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
September 6, 2012
Thank you to Michael Corbin for bringing Jonathan Kozol’s voice to the pages of Urbanite:
A good society cannot be based on the accident of selectivity or philanthropic intervention. This holds true not just for these lucky kids who got into these unusually good boarding schools, but is also true of the kids making it to the very few slots that are available to one of these heavily promoted charter schools. We cheer for those kids that are success stories, but it is just not the way to run a school system in a democracy. There just will never be enough avenues of exit to compensate for the millions who are left behind.
Click the quote to read the piece in its entirety. Then get out and volunteer in a Baltimore City Public School. (Or a public school wherever you happen to live.)
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.