Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A cautionary tale about the fight over a charter school and the effect on a community - The Washington Post

A cautionary tale about the fight over a charter school and the effect on a community - The Washington Post:

A cautionary tale about the fight over a charter school and the effect on a community


President Trump and his new education secretary, Betsy DeVos, have made clear that their interest in education is pushing more  school “choice” — charter schools, vouchers, etc. There are consequences to choice policies, though, and this post explains how the spread of charter schools can affect traditional public schools, the ones that educate the vast majority of America’s schoolchildren.
This cautionary tale from Philadelphia was written by Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who is executive director of the nonprofit Network for Public Education. She was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and in 2013, the same organization named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year. She has been chronicling problems with corporate school reform for years on this blog, including with a series about troubled charter schools in California.

By Carol Burris
The popular rationale for charter schools is that they provide families with “choice.” Competition is good, proponents claim, and neighborhood schools will get better as they compete for students and resources.
Increasing numbers of parents, however, argue that the opposite is happening. They complain that charters take away the choice they want — a public school in their neighborhood in easy walking distance from their home. The playing field is not even, they argue. Charters have more money to spend, and are favored by political forces.
And when a charter chain aggressively lobbies to take over a public school, parents are pitted against each other. Surely that is no one’s choice.
What follows is just such a story — that of Philadelphia’s John Wister Elementary, a neighborhood school replaced by a charter, and how that replacement tore a community apart.
John Wister Elementary School
John Wister Elementary School had 400 students, nearly all were black and from low-income A cautionary tale about the fight over a charter school and the effect on a community - The Washington Post:

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