Sunday, August 28, 2016

Who profits from a "broken public school" narrative? - SF Public School MomSF Public School Mom

Who profits from a "broken public school" narrative? - SF Public School MomSF Public School Mom:

Who profits from a "broken public school" narrative?

trashing public ed

One of the best ways to sell something is to create a problem that needs to be fixed. This is nothing new, as you can see in this old ad which uses the fear of spinsterhood to sell mouthwash.

Retromercial: Listerine Ad (1950s

So, what does this have to do with education?
I’ve talked for a while #onhere about the ways false narratives hurt our public schools. Most folks do agree (at least publicly) that all children should have access to a high quality education. Currently, traditional public schools are the only schools mandated to serve all kids. With this in mind, one might wonder why folks who say they value public education perpetuate narratives that undermine our schools?
My dad would say, the answer is simple: For that good ol’ greenback dollar bill!
dirty sprite 2 animated GIF

There are some strong public schools and some that struggle. But talking about our entire public school system like it’s Armageddon is overblown, and does a great disservice to the many dedicated students, families and teachers that pour their time, money and love into our schools. More than anything, this harmful narrative seems to target urban public schools serving low-income, Black and Brown youth. There are hundreds of tiny miracles happening in our urban public schools each day that never get media attention. It’s time we analyzed why the “failing public schools” narrative is so pervasive nowadays. Who benefits when public schools fail?

A Disclaimer

But first, like the tiny print at the bottom of a prescription drug ad, I feel a need to make a disclaimer…
Let’s agree, challenging narratives about how we educate kids is a decidedly touchy conversation. I’m not saying all charter teachers are bad, or all private-school parents are racist. To be fair, I worked in charters for over five years and I didn’t work there with the intention of ruining public education. I have friends who have children enrolled in private schools. I support folks in making choices for themselves and their families. We all have our reasons, and, there are always exceptions. Before reacting defensively, I want to get one thing straight—I’m talking about systems, not individuals.
That said, each day we participate in systems that either reinforce or dismantle the status quo. It’s time for us to start thinking beyond individual anecdotes to analyze the ways our collective choices create our childrens’ schools.
With that out of the way, let’s get back to the subject at hand…

Who benefits from trashing public schools?

Charters – Public School “Lite”

A few days ago I wrote about the way private schools benefit from a “broken public school narrative”. But, they aren’t the only ones who profit.
The multi-million dollar charter industry relies on the perception that charters are private school “lite” with a public school price. The best way for charters to differentiate themselves from traditional public schools is by selling themselves as the free-market (read: better) alternative to public schools which proponents paint as “bureaucratic” and “inefficient”. Most often, charters sell the idea that they offer specialized curriculum or enhanced instruction that can’t be provided in “failing” Who profits from a "broken public school" narrative? - SF Public School MomSF Public School Mom:

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