Did You Know That Charter Schools “Bury Their Dead”?
On September 14, 2016, The New York City Coalition of Community Charter Schools (C3S) posted a piece by co-director, Steve Zimmerman, entitled, “The Summer of Our Discontent.”
The piece is a charter school lament; in it Zimmerman states that he is particularly concerned about “complaints against charter schools raised by civil rights advocates.” Zimmerman adds:
…We’ve pledged ourselves to improve educational options for the very people who now seem to be rejecting the means by which we’ve chosen to address that inequity.
Let’s stop for a second right here. Note the dripping condescension in Zimmerman’s message, *we pledged, we chose… and you rejected”– and the perched reasoning that *your* rejection is (of course) *wrong* regarding “our mission”:
Even if the paintbrush used by NAACP and BLM is overly broad we can’t dismiss this stuff out of hand. Even if the premise of the suit in Washington State against their charter law is based on a narrow interpretation of what constitutes a public entity, questions are being raised that cut to the heart of our mission. And these questions are not going to be resolved easily or soon. It is going to require a campaign of thoughtful engagement with leaders like Nelson Smith at the forefront. And it is going to take more introspection on the part of the charter movement in terms of where are we going and how we intend to get there. …There is so much good that the movement for increased autonomy in public schools has brought to the national discourse on education. But careless presumption of bad motives on the part of those with whom we disagree has led us into a thicket. What will lead us out of the thicket is thoughtful engagement with those who find fault with us.
Zimmerman alludes to National Association of Charter School Authorizers senior advisor and National Alliance for Public Charter Schools former CEO Nelson Smith as being at the “forefront” of “a campaign of thoughtful engagement”; moreover, Did You Know That Charter Schools “Bury Their Dead”? | deutsch29: