Monday, June 30, 2014

License to Loot | EduShyster

License to Loot | EduShyster:

License to Loot

 How Michigan charter schools became prime feasting ground for edu-vultures.

turkey vultureBy Tim Fournier
I started teaching in the Detroit Public Schools in 1993, the very year that Michigan approved its first charter schools. Last week The Detroit Free Press published the results of a year-long investigation into the state’s now 20-year old experiment with charters. The series confirms what many of us predicted back then: that freeing these schools from oversight has left them uniquely vulnerable to profiteers, hucksters and charlatans. *Vultures* was the word I used in this letter to the editor I wrote back in 1996.
The wheat from the chaff
When the first charter in Michigan opened its doors, advocates made a pact with state taxpayer: remove the *bureaucratic shackles* and innovation would logically follow, reaping better student outcomes. And as parents exercised choice, the market would respond by separating the wheat of excellence from the subpar chaff.
zebra musselsMeet the Zebra mussels
But as the Detroit Free Press series makes clear, only the choice part of the equation held up. While parents left neighborhood schools and even private schools in droves (an estimated 140,000 Michigan students currently attend License to Loot | EduShyster: