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Friday, November 20, 2020

Shawgi Tell: Obsession With "Academic Performance" is Charter School Disinformation | Dissident Voice

Obsession With "Academic Performance" is Charter School Disinformation | Dissident Voice
Obsession With “Academic Performance” is Charter School Disinformation

Promoters of privately-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools are obsessed with students’ scores on punitive and curriculum-narrowing high-stakes tests produced by big corporations. They think that test scores on these unsound tests are the end-all and be-all. They have even convinced themselves that the more technical and professional their “academic performance” reports look and feel the more believable and meaningful such test scores are.

Putting aside the 50 problems with these top-down corporate tests, the central issue when it comes to charter schools is not students’ scores on pseudo-scientific tests, but whether education is a public good and social responsibility that must be publicly-controlled and publicly-funded, or if education should be a commodity subject to the chaos, anarchy, and violence of the “free market” and something parents compete for? Is education a social responsibility and basic right that must be provided with a guarantee by government or is it a business run by entrepreneurs who advertise their schools to consumers the same way a retailer advertises goods to consumers? Should education be fully-funded, high-quality, and available for free to everyone in every neighborhood, or should it be based on a hit-or-miss survival of the fittest ethos?

The law of the jungle is not a modern, responsible, and humane way of organizing education in the 21st century. The outmoded “free market” approach to education has led to thousands of charter schools failing and closing over the last 30 years, leaving thousands of black and Hispanic kids and their parents out in the cold. Poor and low-income minority families have CONTINUE READING: Obsession With "Academic Performance" is Charter School Disinformation | Dissident Voice