Tennessee Serves As A Role Model For Charter School Failure (VIDEO)
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump claim they want to provide parents “more choice” regarding the schools their children attend.
Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want more choice? After all, aren’t we theoretically an independent nation where we are supposed to be have ample choices about…well…everything? Who wants a system with no alternatives?
Don’t be fooled. “School choice” is Republican-speak for the systematic deconstruction of America’s public schools. Betsy DeVos is a wealthy Republican donor and proponent of school vouchers, private schools, charter schools, homeschooling, and digital, or online, learning–not public education.
For a glimpse of what we could be in for if DeVos and Trump are successful, let’s take a trip to Nashville, Tenn. (TN), where charter schools are quintessential examples of the special interest ruse festering beneath Trump and the Republican-majority Congress.
Last month, a federal judge certified a class-action lawsuit from Nashville parents who complained charter chain RePublic Schools was engaging in shady recruiting tactics.
RePublic allegedly sent unsolicited text messages to thousands of parents, whose information was obtained from a Metro Nashville Public Schools database, then turned over to an out-of-state vendor that generated the texts.
This is illegal, and parents are seeking damages of up to $1,500 per person.
RePublic claims it is at the forefront of a movement where students are flocking to charter schools. However, there would be no need to illegally solicit business if it were truly as successful as it claims.
California-based Rocketship is another charter chain failing some of Nashville’s most vulnerable kids. Like RePublic, it too is operating in violation of federal law by refusing to offer legally mandated services to students with disabilities and English language learners. A Tennessee Department of Education report even found out that Rocketship is forcing homeless students to purchase uniforms.
To seek state approval for expansion, Rocketship routinely circumvents the local school board. That is possible because student learning growth isn’t based on what benefits students, but what benefits Rocketship’s real-estate deals with Tennessee Serves As A Role Model For Charter School Failure (VIDEO):