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Blue Digs in
The War on Charters Escalates
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  • JR

    Once again, we get evidence that for the Left, it’s all about naked, pure political power. If that means consigning generations of kids to low quality lifestyles due to their lack of education, than so be it. It’s always instructive when the mask slips just a little bit.

  • Blackbeard

    The left in the U.S. counts on 90% plus black support to have a chance of winning national elections, and in recent years they have consistently gotten it. This despite the fact that, as illustrated by this article, their policies really don’t deliver for African-Americans. They’ve gotten away with this because they haven’t really faced effective opposition from the right. That won’t change this year with Trump in charge but if the Republicans can ever get their act together the Democrats may quickly find themselves a minority.

  • Anthony

    In a nutshell (not warring left or right pedagogical structural institutions) for those actually concerned about elementary education (quality) for “all” Americans, WRM provides a basis for agency: “Good teachers in distressed public schools are some of the ‘most important people in the United States’. Their contribution to the next generation are priceless.” If a war metaphor strikes, then fight for their effort and civilizational contribution as that probably transcends left/right dichotomy.

  • WigWag

    More nonsense from the good Professor.

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day and when the NAACP and Black Lives Matter describe, “charters as the pet project of foundations financed by white billionaires,” they are entirely and completely correct.

    To make matters worse, those billionaires, many of whom work in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street, have a nefarious purpose; they want to turn American school children into profit centers from which they can stuff even more money into their already overstuffed pockets.

    Here’s the drill, Professor Mead. First the billionaires want to destroy public schools by siphoning off all of the relatively educable students while leaving the public schools as little more than prisons for the incorrigible. Next they want to institute the common core, primarily because its a centralized, top down curriculum that’s easy to implement on a nationwide basis. The nationwide testing that they advocate and the databases that collect remarkably detailed information about the supposed strengths and weaknesses of each student, are all designed to facilitate the sale of educational material supposedly individually designed for each student. It’s a multibillion dollar business these magnates are eying; that’s why the billionaires from Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Newscorp (as well as the hectoring hedge fund honeys who invest in them) are so anxious for educational reform. Charter schools are a fraud and the only people who will benefit from them are not minority students but the billionaires who insist that they be rescued at all cost.

    As far as whether charter schools are better than public schools, it pays to remember that there is absolutely no outcry for charter schools in the suburbs or in wealthy urban areas. Families on the Upper West Side of Manhattan love their public schools; so do parents in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. There’s no clamor for charter schools in Scarsdale, Greenwich, Bronxville or Chappaqua either.

    Not only are Democrats not interested in charter schools; Republicans aren’t either. The biggest advocates for charters running for the GOP nomination were Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker. They all had their heads handed to them by the candidate who opposed the Common Core and high stakes testing and practically never mentioned charter schools. If charter schools are so popular amongst the GOP set, why did the most enthusiastic advocates for charters have their campaigns go down in smoke? The reality is that most Americans simply don’t care that much about urban education one way or the other.

    It must have been shocking to people who agree with you, Professor Mead, to discover Tea Party enthusiasts and teacher’s unions working hand in hand to combat the common core and high stakes testing. The teachers and their tea party colleagues won; high stakes testing is being rejected all over the country and school system after school system is backing away from the Common Core; much to the chagrin of the billionaire blowhards.

    When it comes to urban education, certainly some charters are better than some public schools and the other way around. But you are treating your readers as dolts, Professor Mead, when you suggest that charters are somehow better equipped to train children for the jobs of tomorrow than what you deride as big-box education. There is absolutely no evidence for this, and you know it. If there’s real evidence (not some asinine small study that doesn’t pass the smell test) that charter school graduates are more likely to become coders, computer programmers or excel at other STEM professions, cite that evidence. If you can’t, you’re just making it up as you go along.

    The Common Core and high stakes testing are already finito. Charters are next. They represent just another in a long line of failed ideas that American elites insist on inflicting for their own profit on a disinterested American public.

    Trump opposes the Common Core and high stakes testing and barely pays lip service to charter schools. Clinton has made it plain that there’s nothing about charter schools that appeal to her.

    Regardless of who the next president is, the charter school movement is dying. If it’s to be revived, the first thing to do is get the billionaires out of it. The second thing to do is to beg teacher’s unions to support it. The final thing is to convince the American public that they should give a s&*t one way or the other.

    So far, charter school advocates have failed at all three.

    • Anthony

      WigWag, I doubt WRM disagrees with anything you cite. He casually casts Post as a left/right contention while you provide a more nuanced view. Still, you both probably concur on importance of K-12 quality Ed. (how to get there is another matter).

    • Tom

      “As far as whether charter schools are better than public schools, it pays to remember that there is absolutely no outcry for charter schools in the suburbs or in wealthy urban areas. Families on the Upper West Side of Manhattan love their public schools; so do parents in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. There’s no clamor for charter schools in Scarsdale, Greenwich, Bronxville or Chappaqua either.”

      So, tell me. Why should they have a say in whether kids in areas that are clamoring for charters should have them?

    • JR

      I usually agree with what you write, but here I have to respectfully disagree. There’s tons of demand for charter schools in inner city neighborhoods where parents (quiet understandably) don’t want to send their kids to failure factories. To you and I, this is an academic discussion. to them, it is a matter of ensuring good futures to their kids, so they REALLY care. I live in one of the communities that doesn’t need charter schools, but I know I’m one of the lucky ones who is able to afford it. Millions of people can’t. That doesn’t mean their kids should have no chance to advance in our society. My focus in not on those who can’t or won’t learn, but on those who can and will learn given proper environment. Public schools have failed to provide that environment, hence charters. Let the markets decide who provides a better value. I think consumers of education are much more sophisticated than you give them credit for.

    • johngbarker

      Amen

  • Anthony

    WigWag, I doubt WRM disagrees with anything you cite. He casually casts post as a left/right contention while you provide a more nuanced view. Still, you both probably concur on importance of K-12 quality Ed. (how to get there is another matter).

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