May 23, 2014
Thank you for saying this:
“There is widespread belief among teachers and principals that traditional public schools are subsidizing charters. This should trouble parents in traditional schools, especially parents helping school family councils make ends meet during budget season. It should trouble responsible charter parents and staff who do not want to succeed at the expense of children attending a traditional school. Each charter should reflect on its budget, then review the budget of a nearby traditional school — and vice versa — and discern the reasons for the disparity. The Baltimore City Public School System needs budget transparency and an honest conversation about how much it takes to run a great school.”
Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-school-funding-20140522,0,6687049.story#ixzz32XKlYSyu
August 9, 2011
Illiteracy in any land as well-informed and wealthy as the U.S.A. … is not an error. It is not an accident. There is no way that it could be an accident or error. Illiteracy among the poorest people in our population is a logical consequence of the kinds of schools we run, the cities that starve them, the demagogues who segregate them, and the wealthy people who escape them altogether to enroll their kids in better funded, up-to-date, and more proficient institutions. It is a consequence, too, of pedagogic class selection which for many decades has regarded certain sectors of the population as the proper persons to perform those unattractive labors which no man or woman would elect to do if he or she received the preparation for more lucrative and challenging employment. Finally, it is the consequence of the illiterate conditions of the parents of poor children – parents, in turn, who have been denied all recourse for self-liberation by the absence of a conscientious government initiative on their behalf.
– Jonathan Kozol, Illiterate America (1985)
June 21, 2011
The mural on the wall of my neighborhood school, Hampden #55
Here’s Diane Ravitch’s answer:
“Do we need neighborhood public schools? I believe we do. The neighborhood school is a place where parents meet to share concerns about their children and the place where they learn the practice of democracy. They create a sense of community among strangers. As we lose neighborhood schools, we lose the one local institution where people congregate and mobilize to solve local problems, where individuals learn to speak up and debate and engage in democratic give-and-take with their neighbors. For more than a century, they have been an essential element of our democratic institutions. We abandon them at our peril.
Business leaders like the idea of turning the schools into a marketplace where the consumer is king. But the problem with the marketplace is that it dissolves communities and replaces them with consumers. Going to school is not the same as going shopping. Parents should not be burdened with locating a suitable school for their child. They should be able to take their child to the neighborhod public school as a matter of course and expect that it has well-educated teachers and a sound educational program.”
from The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
May 19, 2011
“Charter School Lottery: Why Am I Here?” is a public Facebook post by an education policy reporter in New York City named Abigail Kramer. She is the mother of a four-year-old son who found herself waiting for his name to be pulled from a bucket.
If I weren’t a parent, my feelings on this would be clear: All the energy and angst that I’m spending in this room would be so much better spent on my neighborhood school, where any kid in a 12-block radius should have the right to the attention and quality that I’m trying to get from a charter. There’s nothing in my values or politics that makes it okay to prioritize one kid over another, except that I am a parent and I have no idea how to do right by my own child while also doing right. So here I am, staring at a projector screen and hoping that my kid will beat out somebody else’s.
I recommend reading the original post. But this paragraph sums up the ethical bind that the charter school movement creates for well meaning parents. We want to do right by our own children while also doing right. And it won’t let us.