We have over 20 years of data about charter schools (partial schools) and how they have benefited or damaged public education and children. Originally, the purpose of charter schools was to free educators with new insights and give them the support they needed to create education programs that would improve our public schools. Many effective educators believed they could demonstrate ways to break out of the old top-down coercive systems (the factory system) and make our public schools more effective. Now, after 20+ years of experimenting, we must identify the effective charter schools and make certain that what they have learned and demonstrated is integrated into our comprehensive schools.
“Choice” is a marketplace idea wrongly applied to education. The assumption that most parents have the information they need to make intelligent decisions about the education their children need, and the education children need to be effective citizens, has been proven wrong. School choice has failed to improve our schools. In fact, choice has created a chaos of confusion for parents who have risked (gambled) on moving their children out of comprehensive education programs to place them in partial education programs. The costs of these misguided experiments is evident in high dropout rates, incomplete educations, and damaged children. Criminal activities created by intentional lack of accountability and unfettered access to our public tax dollars is horrendous. In addition, the experiment has resulted in massive duplication of services that sap money needed for our children and increase the cost of education for no valid reasons.
Politicians, ideologues, so-called libertarians, and crooks attracted by profit motives, took over the charter school experiment. They decided, with no educational data to back their decisions, that charter schools, regardless of whether they worked for children or not, whether they served America’s need for an educated populous or not, would become stand-alone schools that could be run with little accountability, certification, or even democratically elected boards. Now, tax money is often used to create private Real Estate empires. Our tax dollars that we pay for children and their education are siphoned off to individuals, corporations, and companies that contract with charters to provide “services.” Is it any wonder that hedge fund operators and the self-appointed reformers see charter schools and outfits like K-12 as income generators? Is it any wonder that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies cannot keep up with the criminal activities of those milking the system? These thefts are criminal even if approved by legislatures. Are you surprised that the largest Charter School operator in America is a We Can Recover From The School Choice Movement | Dr. Edward F. Berger: