The Sick Consequences of "Competition" in Education
ADDING: Big props to @pippi longstocking for guiding me to this story.
There are two ways to get you to buy my product:
- Convince you my product is good.
- Convince you the other guy's product sucks.
Sure, there are plenty of companies that base their marketing strategy around a positive message. But if my product isn't really that good to begin with, it's going to be hard to convince you to fork over some cash for my stuff. It's probably easier, and more effective, to just bad-mouth my rivals.
Now, we are currently living in the golden age of competition in public education. Milton Friedman's dream of pubic schools having to compete for students has finally come true. Which means charter schools have to go out and make their case for enrollment, either by extolling their virtues, or by denigrating the public schools with which they compete.
The problem is that when you're opening a brand new charter school, it's hard to prove to people you're better than the local public school district -- the same school system that has been at the heart of the community for generations. The same district that brings America Friday night football games and kindergarten Halloween parades and high school spring musicals and all the other traditions tightly tied to our nation's identity.
That pretty much leaves you only one choice:
This is an actual mailer sent to families in the Bethlehem, PA area, recruiting for the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School. Sara K. Satullo, reporting forlehighvalleylive.com, picks up the story:
A promotional mailer claiming to be from a new Catasauqua charter school paints Liberty High School students as drug users, sparking outrage among many Bethlehem residents.Innovative Arts Academy Charter School denies it had anything to do withJersey Jazzman: The Sick Consequences of "Competition" in Education: