Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stolen Language: Charter Schools Are Not “Public” Schools | deutsch29

Stolen Language: Charter Schools Are Not “Public” Schools | deutsch29:
Stolen Language: Charter Schools Are Not “Public” Schools

On August 15, 2016,  the Post News Group published an op-ed entitled, “There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Public Charter School.'”
The piece was written by retired San Francisco State University adjunct professor, education activist, and Oakland, CA. resident, Ann Berlak. In short order, Berlak lays bare the lie behind the popularized message, “charter schools are public schools,” in such a clear, direct manner that I thought it worth sharing with my readers:
This year, more than a quarter of Oakland’s 49,000 students are attending one of its nearly 40 charter schools, far more per capita than anywhere else in the state.
Is this something for Oaklanders to boast about?
Not long ago I visited a school in Oakland to read to third graders on “Literacy Day.” On 
the way to the classroom I asked my guide if this was a charter or a public school. The 
immediate and decisive response: “We’re a public charter school.”
On June 14th the LA Times informed the public: “Charters are independently operated, free public schools.”
The California Department of Education makes no bones about it: “A charter school is a public school.”
However, the term “public charter school” was developed by a PR firm to reframe the way we understand schooling in relationship to “public” and to democracy.
The campaign has been wildly successful. However, though the term “public charter school” is increasingly ubiquitous, charters are not public schools.
Public institutions—schools, libraries, zoos—are, at least in theory, funded by 
taxes from all the people in its jurisdiction—local, state and national—and are held accountable to and by those people through that fundamental process we in a democracy call voting.
Most public schools are accountable to an elected school board made up of community 
members. Residents of that community have the right to be present at Board meetings, weigh in 
on votes and debates, and access public financial documents.
Charter schools are run by executive boards, committees or corporations 
Stolen Language: Charter Schools Are Not “Public” Schools | deutsch29:

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