Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Maintaining the Charter Mirage: Progressive Racism – the becoming radical

Maintaining the Charter Mirage: Progressive Racism – the becoming radical:

Maintaining the Charter Mirage: Progressive Racism

As a former (and humbled) recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English’s George Orwell Award, and devoted reader of Franz Kafka, a Twitter debate can often seem surreal—and yesterday’s pushed me to suspect I was a victim of a satire account (but I wasn’t).
Spurred by my posts confronting the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) embracing both takeovers of traditional public schools and “miracle” claims from a privatized charter chain, I foolishly waded into a charter debate with a self-professed “libertarian” edujournalist who writes for a publication that advocates for school choice and is a research fellow for The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice as well as the superintendent of South Carolina’s Charter School District (if charter schools are public schools why do we have a separate school district for them?).
My Orwellian/Kafkan moments included the edujournalist calling me an “ideologue” and the superintendent bristling at my questioning the value of one year of data on the “miracle” charter school—seems there is no time for accountability for those knee-deep in the pet projects of the accountability movement.
But it became even more ridiculous (the feeling of a satire account even more intense) when the edujournalist began to Tweet horror stories about public schools, suggesting (“come on” was his refrain) that these cherry pickings somehow justified continuing to support the charter school mirage. (You see, the charter/school choice crowd cannot maintain multiple facts in mind at once—that we can challenge the very real failures of traditional public schoolsand recognize that the charter school alternative has been an equally negative failure.)
Because charter schools are without a single controversy—students of color walking out due to a lack of diversity and lack of racial sensitivity, children wetting their pants under the intense focus on testing.
Nope. Nothing to see here in the rosy land of the charter mirage.
The charter mirage is a scam, similar to the entire buffet of education policies embraced during the past thirty years of accountability.
This political scam can be traced to two facts: (1) politically and socially in the U.S. we refuse to identify and confront directly the race, class, and gender inequities that scar our nation and all our public and private institutions, and (2) education policy is driven by ideology and not Maintaining the Charter Mirage: Progressive Racism – the becoming radical:

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