Charter Schools: A Marketplace for Profits or Ideas?

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Education historian Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education under the first President Bush, was once an advocate of school choice and charter schools. But Ravitch changed her mind after following the money trail behind the charter movement.

“The lure of getting federal money made many states change their laws to open the door to many, many more charter schools,” Ravitch tells Moyers. And who’s behind the investment in new charters? Hedge-fund managers, private investors and philanthropists, she says.

Watch the three-minute clip:

Ravitch tells Bill:

There is a tremendous political force of very wealthy hedge-fund managers who are investing in the charter-school industry and seeing it grow. And so they have fought for these laws. There’s also a lot of charter school money going as political contributions to legislators in many of the states where the charters are booming.

Watch the full episode »

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  • Anonymous

    The government bureaucracies and the teacher unions are terrified to give parents the choice of what schools to send their children to.

    They know, that the *only* way they can keep then 3 months a year of vacation, pensions that no private sector worker has (including constitutionally protected payments), tenure and inability to be fired, etc…..is my keeping the * monopoly* on K-12 public eduction that extorts the tax payer.

    Urban parochial schools and charter schools perform much better. And if they don’t, parents don’t send their kids there and they fail. What the teacher unions want to preserve, is a prison system. A system where each student has one, and one only, unionized public school to attend. Regardless of quality.

    The American public is on to the government unions.

    They should be terrified. They can slow down the process, but they can’t stop it.

  • Anonymous

    Which one of the Koch brothers actually wrote this?

  • Anonymous

    It was the public school system that educated all the children of the 20th century to make this country great. Yes, the public schools currently have problems, but the answer is to address and fix those problems.
    The charter school system has 2 purposes:
    1 to help speed the transfer of the nation’s wealth from the middle class to the 1%, and

    2 to break up one of the last successful unions in the country (again with some fixable problems) and complete the return to the gilded age labor conditions to help the 1% even more. The 1% have a visceral hatred of unions, because they helped ordinary people and created the American middle class.

    I agree that the American education system is in trouble when it produces so many Americans who fall for the propaganda line of the Koch brothers and their 1% friends.

  • Roger Clarke-Johnson

    It was disingenuous of Ms Ravitch to pepper her closing comments with the word “democracy” when just minutes before she had decried (with obvious revulsion) legislative action in Florida to allow 51% of PARENTS to actually VOTE to their public school out of business.. Isn’t 51% support what we used to call democracy in action?

    Her unsubstantiated claims that charter schools “do no better” than public schools should have been exposed by Mr. Moyers as a sham. With a minimum amount of research he could have challenged her on many points. Like this excerpt from a current WSJ article, citing the shake-out that IS occurring within the charter network:

    “Nationwide, 561 new charter schools opened last year, while 206 laggards were closed. Unlike conventional public schools, the charter system allows poorly performing schools to be squeezed out. [Imagine the teacher-union hew and cry if this were to EVER happen in our lumbering, refusing-to-judge public school system!]

    As charter operators have figured out how to succeed with children, they are doubling down on the best models. Successful charter schools have many distinctive features: longer school days and longer years, more flexibility and accountability for teachers and principals, higher expectations for students, more discipline and structure, more curricular innovation, more rigorous testing. Most charter growth today is coming from replication of the best schools. The rate of enrollment increase at high-performing networks is now 10 times what it is at single-campus “mom and pop” academies.”

    No, Ms. Ravitch decries the investment of PRIVATE money in charter schools. She must, by definition, prefer the PUBLIC shakedown of taxpayers, through politicians who are beholden to the NEA for their turn-out-the-vote campaigns. I am not terrified by spooky “hedge-fund managers” getting involved in educations. In fact, would PREFER having private money at risk than my own tax dollars.

  • Kerry Maxwell

    “Successful charter schools have many distinctive features: ”

    You forgot the part where they can just kick out anyone who brings their stats down. Have a special needs kid? Charters say GFY.

  • Daddy Warbucks

    I bet that raises their success rate close to 100%, which is astonishing when you consider any general population of students has a bell-shaped curve of intellectual abilities :-)

  • Daddy Warbucks

    Florida could fall into the ocean and then how would that affect the other 49 states? For example, Vermont has public schools which are controlled by town hall meetings, yet California has independent school districts with boundaries that overlap many different towns and counties and voters have no say over school board decisions. And couldn’t that “for-profit” money be better spent buying modern equipment and facilities for public schools, instead of paying out dividends and share buy-backs which benefit mostly those rich enough to start a charter school?

  • Daddy Warbucks

    Create all the super-fantastic private charter schools you want, JUST DON’T USE PUBLIC MONEY TO START YOUR BUSINESS! And don’t expect taxpayers to pay your “tuition”; if you are truly better parents will pay for the privilege of giving you their money.

    And how about collecting all the school taxes into a common “block grant” fund and give each school in the state an EQUAL AMOUNT per pupil? Instead of rich White neighborhood schools getting the best of everything and the poor non-White schools get left-over junk.

  • Anonymous

    No. Any public school funds should follow the student, enabling parents to send their kids to the best school for THEIR children.

    No block grant. No monopoly. Money follow the child. Parents choose the school. School managers hire/fire at will.

    End the teacher union student/parent prison system.

  • Anonymous

    The one who is slowly, but surely raising awareness of parents that the government monopoly of schools is a teacher union’s racket to imprison their children, and extort their tax dollars.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid. The gig will soon (2 decades or so) be up.

  • Anonymous

    Pathetic, bitter, and sad…that is how I describe people like you. Public education has been the equalizer and could be again. Anti union losers will never bother with the faces.

  • https://twitter.com/MetroIssuesLou Metro Issues :: Louisville

    No, no they shouldn’t, because charter schools are effectively NOT public schools.

    Also, union eliminationism should be left to 1930s Europe.

  • https://twitter.com/MetroIssuesLou Metro Issues :: Louisville

    You’re obviously a shill. The American people are waking up to the charter school fraud, slowly yes, but surely.

  • Peter Allan Burmeister

    I was one of those kids that was educated in the public school system of the 20th century. My experience of public education led to drug addiction and criminal behavior. By the kindness of strangers in the public sector I was rescued and went on to have a reasonably successful career. Ultimately I became a college professor. I experienced dozens of young people whose experience with public education mirrored me own. It is sad that the advocates of public education are unwilling to accept competition. If public schools are as great as they believe they are, let them prove it by competing against charter schools and traditional private school;s. All we ask is vouchers to give us the choice as to where we will send our kids. If the public schools win the contest, fine! As long as our children are the winners.

  • https://twitter.com/MetroIssuesLou Metro Issues :: Louisville

    I was one of those kids also. And I graduated with honors and went on to Engineering School to graduate with honors. For every sad story, there are many other success stories. It’s called life.

    What we need is a stronger institution of education in our communities. Not silly consumer choice that ends up robbing most people of a decent education.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t hear any substantive criticism of charter schools here. Only that there are people making money from charter schools, over and over. It was assumed I’d jump to the conclusion that this was bad. The public charter school my child goes to gets less money than its county public school equivalent, and problem children are not sent back to other schools. Our principal has found that children coming in from the county public schools who got high marks there cannot do school work at their grade level; a friend with children in a local county operated public school say that only two parents volunteered for the PTO – in the whole school. Our charter school requires 20 hours a week of volunteer time per child. Those kids whose parents aren’t involved are not invited back; I’m sure some of them are the underperformers, since lack of family involvement correlates. The current method of education – at public charter or public county operated – is antiquated; it does not promote creativity or curiosity. Parents of students in charter schools are looking for a better way. If someone is getting rich while giving us good – or at least better – schools, so be it.

  • Anonymous

    Who is talking scout charter schools? That is just the nose of the camel.

    I’m talking give the parents choice of ANY school. Just like higher education Pell grants can be used by the student/family at ANY university. Private or public.

    You don’t get it. Taxpayers provide the money. Money gets allocated to the student. Student/family chooses the school.

    You can have unions if you want. I have no issue against unions. The only issue is unionized workforces on an activity to which the state grant them a monopoly by force of law – like public school teachers.

    In a competitive environment, if unions produce good results, the unionized schools will thrive – no issues. If they don’t, they die and the unionized labor is laid off.

    All is well.

  • Anonymous

    Stanford University did the most complete and thorough analysis of charter schools . The study showed when comparing students of similar economic and developmental levels, charter schools do better than similar public schools 17% of the time, do worse 37% of the time, and do the same 46% of the time. Charter schools have also been found to keep out special ed and high needs students. Your own school’s requirement of 20 hours of volunteer time automatically reduces the probability of participation from families where both parents work 2 jobs to just keep their family afloat. The courts would find it illegal if traditional public schools kept out families who didn’t do volunteer work. We are required to provide equal access to all students despite their parents’ income, their special needs, or their English literacy level. However, private schools can create any barrier they wish and they do. It is a misuse of public tax dollars if charter schools are using public funds to create similar barriers or to underperform 37% of the time.

  • Peter Allan Burmeister

    I’m very glad public school worked for you. But it doesn’t work for everyone. What’s wrong with providing a choice? All I and any others want is a voucher that will allow us to utilize our taxes to send our children to alternative schools if that is our and their choice. Anything wrong with that?

  • Anonymous

    Republicans have had designs on taking over education all across the nation. Why else would Rick Perry and Ron Paul argue over de-funding the three different federal agencies, which included the USDA(United States Department of Education) which Republicans have fought public funding of schools since implementation back in the Carter Administration. Republicans want this revenue source in their portfolio. A good example is Texas where attempt after attempt to limit budgets for schooling have occurred in the past 2 to 30 years. And Now the TEA-type who is running for Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, is the point man in implementing Charter schools in Texas!

  • Arm of Keaau

    Money is the answer to all your problems isn’t it?
    “Our charter school requires 20 hours a week of volunteer time per child. Those kids whose parents aren’t involved are not invited back; I’m sure some of them are the underperformers, since lack of family involvement correlates.”
    That statement alone tells me if someone doesn’t have the money and or time to “volunteer” most likely jobs that teachers or staff should be hired to do, someone is making money in the background and not providing services (otherwise “underperforming” their responsibility).
    Parents should be involved with their child’s education, however not all are equipped nor may have the time higher paid parents who can afford to have a house wife/husband at home to meet this requirement. That is exactly why schools were instituted so that teachers who were qualified could pass on knowledge to a new generation.
    Your statements sound very much like “I’ve got mine, tough if you can’t get any”. Let me guess you’re either a Libertarian or Republicon right? (_: FBI

  • hunnyhugger

    The main reason Republicans encourage charter school is to bust the Teachers Union. Since the T.U. is one for the biggest financial contributors to the Democratic Party, it only makes sense to them to destroy this source of funding for their “enemy” all under the cover of improving education. Greed and power are the motivating forces behind all they do. The same thing happened in manufacturing. They final goal is to destroy all unions of every ilk and have a middle and lower class without any bargaining power operating in a cut-throat world of the ultimate haves and the have nots, wolves and sheep, the Hunger games.

  • Roger Clarke-Johnson

    Are you both childless? Schools (public or otherwise) file and get exemptions for their disabled or Special Needs students. I live in WA State, which shone breifly in infamy with it’s difficult WASL tests in 5th, 8th and 11th grades. Parents rebelled against this testing as “unfair” or “not the point” and filed for exemptions for their Otherwise Able children. Touchy-feely Admin folk agreed and granted their wishes. Only those parents who opted to just call in that their child was sick on testing day(s) earned the school a big, fat goose egg for their child’s test score. THAT brought down the school’s average. Epilogue: the WASL was scrapped and replaced with a dumbed-down test, so more students now pass. (When was the last time that happened to you at work? Didn’t think so. Not everybody gets a trophy in real life)

  • Phil Davis

    There has been a very sharp downward number of college students who are not pursuing a career in teaching…reports are that its down 40%. Perry has cut the requirements to teach in a charter school to only a high school diploma or GED.
    I think some people must think charter school administrators have some kind of

    magic dust they spread on the heads of the children as they enter school. How many readers could define a charter school and how many have made the multiple studies that document the massive failures from Florida to California?

  • Roger Clarke-Johnson

    Tell the low income families in DC (and soon, NYC) that the #1 purpose of a charter school is “to help speed the transfer of the nation’s wealth from the middle class to the 1%” and see what they say. Incredulity would be the word. They would explain with some irritation all the hoops they had to jump through to get their child enrolled in a school that they were actually EAGER to attend, only to find the Benevolent Dictators of the Left have yanked that option and their children will be forced back into the crappy school they thought they’d escaped.

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  • JonThomas

    The schools are underfunded. Go ahead, reduce taxes some more and wonder why you have difficulties funding education and fixing any problems with public schools..

    Leave the poorest (who can’t afford to live outside the city,) and least educated of families in the D.C. district and wonder why many parents don’t have the time, the self-confidence, or the educational knowledge to get involved or help their children.

    Keep supporting a system that fosters inequality and increasingly wants to abandon families by reducing public assistance and aide to poorly nourished young bodies and minds.

    Yes, parents do want to see their children get the best education possible, but the reasons for failing schools are complex and compounded by a society that prioritizes individual wealth and financial success over community.

    Moving children into charter schools is the step you’ll have to take before you move into the clouds to get away from the people you’ve left behind.

  • JonThomas

    Yes, there is something wrong with that! Pay for it yourself. If you don’t like the city garbage collection, then hire a company or take your trash to the dump. But the COMMUNITY has decided, as it’s in EVERY citizen’s best interest to use tax dollars to provide a service.

    Could the service be improved? Of course! Get involved, don’t run away! If you do choose to not use the service at all, then recognize that the community as a whole will do better in the long run if even the most challenged of citizen’s is served by a system that is funded by the tax dollars of EVERYONE!

    Your tax dollars do not just pay for your own children’s education. They are a security against the difficult truth of what will happen if the most challenged are left behind! Bury your head in the sand at your own destruction.

  • Peter Allan Burmeister

    “Bury your head in the sand at your own destruction.” Meaning what exactly?

  • Peter Allan Burmeister

    I don’t think public education ever worked very well. It certainly didn’t for me. So I welcome any alternative, to give folks a choice. Let the most effective method win. If it turns out to be public education, fine, so be it. But let there be competition, which is the only way to spur change to the miserable status quo.

  • Frau From Fly-Over USA

    So much for the ‘free market’: what you are basically saying is having my tax dollars should be redirected for your kids mediocre/poor education at a FOR PROFIT diploma mill. or worse yet-a religious school that doesn’t believe in the tenants of modern science: sorry bud-fund your own ignorance. If you really believe in the free market Jesus-these private schools should operate (and succeed upon that demand you keep insisting is out there) outside of tax payer funding. I want my tax dollars going to public schools so EVERY child can excercise their right to be educated. Sadly, the privatizers found useful idiots with the ignorant, religious, and bigots who have a deep seated resentment in ‘their money’ going to educate the unworthy, poor, and the ‘others’.

  • Sarah Jane

    While there are many legitimate criticisms of charter schools, they need to be accompanied by solutions to the chronic problems of underperforming school districts. As a parent in a failing urban school district who cannot afford to move to the county, charter schools are not an abstraction, but a real potential lifeline to decent education for my daughter. I am not unfamiliar with our zone school which would have difficulty adequately serving the educational needs of my child, nor am I a blind believer in charters, as our zone school was a charter run terribly by a for-profit company for years. However, there are other charter schools here that do an excellent job educating students. While all voices are welcome in the conversation about charters, I encourage people to make sure they do not forget the needs of the families who do not have the school choice available to those with the financial means to live in successful school districts. The best charters help to provide decent educational opportunities to poor students in weak school districts and middle class families who would like to remain in the city without sacrificing their children’s future.

  • Sarah Jane

    The 20 hours a week of volunteer time per child requirement at your charter school is unacceptable and should be grounds to revoke the charter. That requirement poses an undue burden for almost all duel income families and single parent families to educate their children in your school. I am highly opposed to using taxpayer money to fund such discriminatory practices.

  • Sarah Jane

    In Maryland there are much tighter restrictions on charter schools. Perhaps instead of closing down all the charter schools in your state, the law should be revised.

  • JonThomas

    Meaning… abandoning public schools by wanting your tax dollars redirected to the private sector, in favor of private schools, means under-funding an already underfunded public system.

    The result… a two tired society of haves and have-nots… An entire stratum which will further be limited in it’s ability to flourish… A society with literal and figurative walls separating the well off from those who will need to do anything they can to survive… including crashing violently through your walls!

    If you abandon the PUBLIC of ‘public’ schools, you separate yourself from “community”.

    By leaving the public school system, and wanting to take your public funding, you bury your head in the sand. You no longer have an interest in seeing the public system fixed and you ignore endemic and systemic problems.

    The results will not be beneficial for the health and security of the nation, nor it’s citizens.

  • Peter Allan Burmeister

    So instead, we will have a one-tiered (“tired” to use your Freudian slip spelling) system where one size fits all, or nobody very well? Why can’t we have choices, diversity, freedom? Why does it have to be all one way? What is this desire to make everyone conform? This has a curious resemblance to Fascism.

  • JonThomas

    You have every right and freedom to pay for your children’s education on your own, above and beyond the share of your tax dollars which the community deems necessary for public education, if choosing diversity is what you can, and want to do…

    However, taxes are used to support THE COMMUNITY’S educational interests, not just your own. Even those without children benefit from an educated populace!

    There is more to self-interest than selfishness.

  • Peter Allan Burmeister

    So if I can afford it, I can give my children an opportunity to seek out the school that might serve them best. But another parent, less affluent, is denied that choice because the public school system is the only viable option?

  • JonThomas

    Yes. As long as this society under-values education and prioritizes individuality (such as individual success) over community responsibility (such as wanting taxes slashed to nothing) then unfortunately the entire country will suffer.

    I’m not saying that public schools should be simply a base education. In fact, I’m saying that public schools should be figurative palaces adorned with the best, highly paid staff, the best supplies, etc… and outreach that slowly lifts the the educational standards of the entire community.

    I think I understand what you are hoping to achieve by your desire to have flexibility in educational funding, but there is much more gained from having public schools well funded by every tax payer.

    Education needs to be more highly prized! Most people take it for granted. Some of the most profitable corporations in the country are not paying any taxes at all. Tax loop-holes allow them to escape that burden and yet one could argue that they are the very ones who benefit most by having a competently educated workforce.

    Investment income is taxed lower than wage income and that too lowers the burden of many who directly profit from an educated community. Without a well educated populace, the nation as a whole suffers. If the nation as a whole suffers, then each individual member suffers.

  • MrM3000

    When profits become the motivating factor behind an education system, someone is going to become very, very rich, and my guess is that it will be at the expense of someone else.

    People, run away from this concept of charter schools, as fast and as far as you can, before it is too late.

  • Anonymous

    I am a huge supporter of the public school system after having received both my K-12 education as well as my bachelors from state college. However, now experiencing the public school system through my daughter, I am discouraged. I think the elephant in the room that Ms. Ravitch does not address is that we do not have great teachers. Which is bothersome as I am a true fan of Bill Moyers who usually calls out these things and at least gives the person a change to address it.

    I will take a great teacher over all the technology any day of the week. That is a large part of the why charter schools started. Because families were stuck sending their kids to failing schools that were owned by the teachers union. And the sole focus of the teachers union is to get better pay and better conditions for the teachers, not the students. And I get why there are teacher’s unions. Both my parents were teachers who were part of a teacher walkout in Florida and longtime teachers.

    Ms. Ravitch also brought up the fact that other high performing nations do no have charter schools. But nor do they have teachers unions. The one difference between Finland, Norway, Korea, etc., is that their teachers are the cream of the crop. In fact Finland started from scratch, only allowing the top 10% to even be teachers who then had to graduate from grad school where they are taught how to teach. There should be no such thing as a “teaching degree”. Even my mom, who has one, calls it a joke. And that permeates throughout the society. If you teach history, you should at a minimum have a history degree. If you teach physics you should have a physics or engineering degree….etc. And then you obtain a graduate degree to learn how to teach. Because we all know brilliant people who are terrible teachers. But we don’t even have that. We often just get the bottom percentile who are then mediocre teachers. And that’s what people are afraid to say. Because there are amazing teachers out there and God Bless Them. But there is a reason for the old saying, “Those who can, Do, and those who can’t, Teach”. And now that women are no longer tied to teaching or nursing (unlike my mother, I got an engineering degree where she had been discouraged) the pool of great candidates has diminished. And that is what the Charter Schools do not have to deal with. They can pay for performance and they can have longer school days that aren’t dictated by the union. And if after intervention the teacher still is not performing at par, then they are fired. Everyone is not cut out for teaching. We should reward those who are, and get rid of those who are not. Our children our the most valuable resource and they shouldn’t be stuck with the “leftovers”. It sounds harsh and it is, but we need to state it how it is.

    And the Common Core is now getting bashed and liberals are giving the right wing conservative tons of ammunition. I am a die hard liberal (I’m here at Bill Moyers for heavens sake). But the terrible roll out and ridiculous curriculum (or lack thereof) is making it a joke (a la Healthcare.gov which I also support but gave conservatives a field day). We need a curriculum that is more rigorous that what we had which I’m sure all those profitable book purveyors would love to provide. But we get is garbled silliness. Perhaps it should be rebrandeda “Unified Curriculum” that just gives the minimum requirements for each state to meet how they decided (which is Common Core). But these wackadoo math worksheets and concepts created by ivory tower pHD’s without any meaningful classroom time is setting it up for failure. I have to guess what they are going for. In the meantime my daughter is tutored at home using the tried and true Algrebra II textbooks. Good teachers know what works. And its not a new curriculum. Its to actually do the old one….and more. But each year it seems the schools do something to allow for less time on task, and then hope that some new fangled method will make up for it. Rather than 45 minutes for seven classes why not 75 minutes for seven classes?

    Any great math teacher will have a drawer full of curriculum that is tried and true. We don’t have a disconnect it relaying concepts, we have a failure in mastery. And we need more time on task and classroom control. And that again goes to qualified teachers. And its not like we citizens and parents are unwilling to pay for it. New Jersey has voted to fund education over and over. But they didn’t intend for that money to pay for another school district or another superintendent or a luxury school full of iPads and smartboards. And that goes to the politics of education and funding. We cannot allow the person who received campaign contributions from the teachers union to then negotiate the collective bargaining agreement. Maybe we disallow unions from making campaign contributions (but that opens up a whole can of worms too).

    Most of us parents would fine with no iPads and no Smartboards and really great teachers. Because that is what we lack and why the other nations surpass us year after year. Lets have an honest discussion as to the problem though.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with the teacher’s union. However, I don’t believe that anyone elected that received campaign contributions from the teacher’s union should then be in charge of or responsible to collectively bargain the agreement with the teachers. We’ve all heard the stories of the “rubber rooms” and tenure of terrible teachers. But all of those issues can be addressed in the bargaining agreement (longer work days, pay for performance, tenure, what it takes to fire a bad teacher….). But when the elected official “owes” the teachers union its just ripe for corruption. The teacher’s union is there to protect teachers which is how it should be. But somebody in the equation should be ONLY concerned with students and their educational outcomes. And when the elected official is “beholden” to the union, then nobody is looking out for the students.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t seem to get it. The government is already, by force of law, extracting money from taxpayers to pay for educating every child. In fact, that is on every state’s constitution – taxpayer financed child education.

    Given that decision, the question is WHO gets to choose where the chid goes to get that taxpayer financed education.

    Option A: Monopoly, unionized, failed public schools like the ones in Chicago, Detroit and TheBronx.

    Option B: Let the family choose the best for THEIR child and the money follows the child.

    You tell me, which one is more American?

    A prison-like, no choice, monopolistic public school system, or a family-chosen option?

  • Frau From Fly-Over USA

    you can choose to send your kid to a private school: who is stopping you? you just have to pay for it. that’s how for-profit enterprises work: you want it you pay for it. Isn’t that the commandment of Free Market Jesus? I get you are not happy having your tax dollars go towards those ‘others’ getting all educated and rising out of poverty and wanting to be treated equality et al but that’s just tough shit-I am not too happy with half my paid taxes going towards the industrial military complex: who’s the welfare queens? it’s the defense contractors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Slaby/100001301975166 Dan Slaby

    Consumerism has corrupted the value of standards that define excellence, and replaced the notion of competence with populism. Democracy is not about populism, but about the rule of law establishing the purposes found in the Preamble; education is not only about getting a job, but about cultivating the skills and bonds of citizenship. Charter schools, like the privatization of government functions, is a method for siphoning off public resources to corporate profits. Public schools require public participation and public oversight by parents who care about the future for their children. The people need to take responsibility for government, and parents need to take responsibility for schools. If parents are too busy working at more than one job to make ends meet, then we need to pass a minimum wage that allows for their participation.

  • Anonymous

    For many families, the poorest among us, the ones that are trapped by the monopolistic public school system, they don’t have the resources to simultaneously pay tax to support the failing public schools and pay for private school tuition.

    The “rich” have already opted out and pay double. But the middle class and poor can’t.

    Vouchers give freedom to all – equality.

  • Frau From Fly-Over USA

    The poor in rural areas especially in the south are stuck in a cycle of voting against their best interests caused by their focus being directed by this for profit interests onto divisive social issues. they elect these for-profit puppets who in turn push laws cutting taxes and thus reducing available revenues for schools: hence struggling starving schools. You have been plaid or perhaps been paid-a troll for the industry-for which i say – you earned your pay today so give the shallow talking points a rest

  • Anonymous

    Good. If they are “waking up to the charter school fraud”, what is wrong with giving parents the choice?

    Surely, you are convinced they will choose the monopolistic, unionized, public schools, right?

    Or maybe, you are not, you are scared that given the choice, most parents will bolt from failing public schools. Yep, you are probably very scared. Worried about your pension?

  • Anonymous

    Nationwide, last year, 561 new charter schools opened and 206 low performing charter schools closed. The ones that stayed open have huge and growing wait lists of parents trying to get their children in.

    That is the beauty of choice. Low performing charter schools, as opposed to monopolistic public schools, don’t imprison children in failing schools. If the schools don’t perform, parents pull their children and the school closes.

    Over time, high performance (as measured by parents) is rewarded and low performance eradicated.

    That is what scares the public school unions and liberal democrats. Competition always, scares them. Giving choice to parents on a non-government, non-monopolistic approach terrifies them.

    They know that only by force of law and the public school funding monopoly they can preserve their perks (like retirement at 50, unheard of pensions, etc) even when they fail students.

  • Rick

    The problem with letting the market dictate results is that the market is horribly inefficient at judging the merit of something as complex as a school system. Also, charter school administrators have huge financial incentives to game the system, to provide the illusion of educational superiority.
    baron95 seems to think that it’s a sign of progress that 206 “low performing charter schools closed”. That’s small consolation for the students who went there.

  • Rick

    Teachers have longer work days than 95% of the work force. If you think teachers only work from 8 to 2, then you’re sadly misinformed.

  • Rick

    “Tell the low income families in DC (and soon, NYC) that the #1 purpose of a charter school is “to help speed the transfer of the nation’s wealth from the middle class to the 1%” and see what they say.”

    If they had kids at the Options Public Charter School in NE DC, where administrators embezzled away over $3 million, I suspect that they would agree.

    Grifters gotta grift. And the population of frustrated urban parents is a target-rich environment, as the saying goes.

    Spare us your “Benevolent Dictators” language.

  • Rick

    I was one of those kids educated in the public school system of the 20th century. I worked hard, went to a good college, and ended up getting a doctorate in mathematics. Apparently you did drugs instead.
    And somehow that’s the fault of the schools?

    I’m curious, did you really mean this:

    “By the kindness of strangers in the public sector I was rescued and went on to have a reasonably successful career.”

    I’m guessing from the context of your entire comment that you meant “private sector”, not “public sector”.

    No other branch of government is continually undermined by this allegation that “competition” will make it better. Imagine if that’s how we ran our police, or our military, or our courts. Fire departments used to be run that way in the 19th century. It was a disaster.

    Any half-bright school administrator can create the illusion of educational superiority when they get to choose their own students. Public schools don’t have that luxury.

  • Rick

    The problem is that this “debate” has been going on for decades, and the grifters behind charter schools are never going to take “no” for an answer. Whenever their “experiment” fails in one locality, the grifters just pull up stakes and move on.
    Nor is the status quo “miserable”. People who judge American public schools by focusing on the outliers do the process of analysis a disservice.

  • Rick

    “What’s wrong with providing a choice?”
    It’s a waste of taxpayer money.

  • Rick

    “Option A: Monopoly, unionized, failed public schools like the ones in Chicago, Detroit and TheBronx.”

    Bronx Science is generally considered to be one of the leading high schools in the country.

  • Rick

    Professional prevaricator.

    Who else could type something like this?

    “Good. If they are “waking up to the charter school fraud”, what is wrong with giving parents the choice?”

    That sentence doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Let’s change it to a different setting.

    “If they are waking up to the pollution in the public waterways, what is wrong with relaxing environmental standards?”

    There’s more to making an argument than merely juxtaposing phrases.

  • Anonymous

    It is better than the fact that thousands ob abysmal monopolistic public schools stay open year after year after year with no improvement.

    Why not let parents decide where to send their children.

    Oh, wait, I know, the liberals and the teacher unions, know better than parents what is best for their children.

    Sorry. I forgot, the low opinion the teacher unions have of parents in this country.

    Carry on.

  • Anonymous

    Really, Rick? Pollution, a regional, country or global-wide problem, with multiple actors, is the same as a parent deciding what school is best for his/her child?

    Really?

    Why don’t you display some honesty? Why don’t you say you are scared to death that given the choice, parents will chose to leave behind the unionized, monopolistic, failed system?

    It is OK for you to fight for the status quo, monopoly, retirement at 50, life long pension and medical care, etc. Just be honest.

  • Anonymous

    I do not believe I indicated teachers work from 8-2 and I am certainly not under than misconception. Nor am I sadly misinformed. Having parents who were teachers I am well aware of the additional work that is done outside of class (at least during the school year). But I do believe we need longer school days for the students which would require longer work days for teachers – work day meaning time with students. If you’ve ever taught, you know that it takes a skilled teacher to get everyone settled down, attendance, homework collected,etc. And then about five minutes before bell rings, you start to lose the kids as they start anxiously watching the clock. If you are lucky you maybe get 30 good minutes of actual time on task which is nowhere near enough for complex concepts to be taught, and then reinforced with practice problems. There is anywhere from 1-4 hours of additional work to enter grades and prepare curriculum. I would be in favor of hiring interns or admin staff to perform much of the busy work that teachers are now required to do (entering attendance into the computer system du jour, recording homework, making copies, monitoring the halls or lunchroom which is a gross sign of disrespect for teaching professionals). Let the teaching professionals spend their energy on improved curriculum. Also teachers do get two and half months off in summer (albeit unpaid). I really don’t see why we do that anymore since we no longer need the children to harvest the crops. It costs money for parents to scramble and find good summer camps when we could use that time (and the existing infrastructure that just sits there) to better educate and enrich our students.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t get to speak for liberals or the unions, because you obviously can’t do any better than resorting to cartoons to make you argument work out. The problem is there’s no proof that private enterprise could possibly do a better job. The more likely possibility is that schools will cater to money and “shareholders” while doing the best to invest as little as possible in their actual product. Low investment, high pay-out. Meanwhile, money is taken from schools actually trying to do their job. History is definitely not on your side.

  • Anonymous

    And if the alternatives are not better than the monopolistic public schools, why would parents send their kids there?

    Your argument falls flat. Because you are arguing for NO CHOICE.

    And I am not arguing for forcing kids to leave the public schools. And I am not claiming they will be better either. In fact, in some communities, like where I live, the public schools are very good and that is where my kids go.

    I’m advocating giving parents the choice of where to send their kids. If the best alternative is the public schools, that is where they’ll send them for sure.

    But just in case, in the remote possibility, that the public schools they are currently forced to send their kids to are failing, what is wrong with giving parents the choice.

    Give me one reason, why you don’t want to let parents choose? One reason.

  • Amanda Kelly Reichert

    dear public school teachers:

    THIS IS YOUR BIG CHANCE! Get together with some like-minded, knowledgeable colleagues, plan a great school and get a public charter for it. If it’s a free choice between a great charter school and a crappy one, you got this.

    You cannot put this genie back in the bottle, but you can beat the moneygrubbers at this game. Crying about saving the current public school model will not help. This is happening. Now is the time to reform public education by owning it. Your opportunity to drive the school reform bus is sitting right in your lap. All you have to do is dry your eyes and grab the wheel.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with some of what you have to say. I wonder if we do not have the best teachers in part because it has not been a highly valued profession, teacher salaries are not great given the amount of time and effort they require to do the best job and teachers must fight for their students as much as teach them.
    My son started high school this year. He has some excellent teachers. They started the school year with up to 40 students in a single classroom. There were more students than desks in a large number of classrooms. We live in a moderate sized city with a major University – not in the back woods.
    How can any teacher be expected to excel when they do not have supplies, when they have so many students and when they need to grade papers, exams,… when they have any time not working with those students?
    I think parents need to be involved and need to let their kids know that education is important. I have seen some parents who appear to regard schools as publicly funded day care. How can even the best teachers engage a child who does not want to learn or who has never been taught the value of education? It is not all up to the teachers, parents must be involved as well.

    the quote was originally “those who can, do. Those who understand, teach.” Aristotle.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Arm of Keaau, I happen to be, politically, very leftist. I vote Democrat, or Green. Your classist assumption that I’m a housewife and rich is erroneous. I work full time, my husband works full time. We don’t have much money.

    Education has to be something parents, teachers, community are involved in, not just teachers. There are lots of volunteer opportunities in all schools; everybody has time to do something. I volunteer because I care, and because I believe in taking personal responsibility to help build the world I live in. I believe in public education, but education requires the family to be invested, and I don’t see that in our public schools. Republicans took money out of public education and have instituted ridiculous testing and regulations, demoralizing teachers and alienating interested parents, their goal being to make the people stupid so they’ll vote Republican.

    My dilemma is: do I put my kid in the local Florida public school, where anyone who can count past ten without using someone else’s toes counts as gifted, where elementary school kids walk off campus without being noticed, to uphold my conscience? Do I sacrifice my daughter on the altar of my political beliefs?

    I’m also educated, and I know that the statistic of how many charter schools underperform is meaningless. It includes the test scores of kids just moved into the school and all charter schools (including those that intend to keep the kid ignorant for the lord). And of course, I don’t care about any other school, just the one my kid is in.

    I’ve been in this discussion before…. usually it’s rich people whose children are in private school, pointing out that I’m being a disobedient and troublesome working class person. I should accept my cog existence and not ask for any alternative.

    I don’t know if I made the right decision to put her in the charter school. I don’t know if I’ll keep her there. It’s a difficult situation.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong again. Your assumptions keep you chasing your own tail. The biggest assumption is that your argument is automatically correct and that the burden of proof rests on others. Your most recent assumption is that I’m arguing for no choice. Which is wrong, also shallow and lazy, but I can see why you have to see it that way. It’s the only way to guarantee that boffo-socko finish of yours. I don’t have to give you a reason because you don’t get to determine my argument. I’m not arguing for no choice. I’m arguing for not using public money on a bad choice. Is your proof that charter schools work because people go there? People do lots of things that aren’t good for their kids. Spend some time in parent-teacher conferences. Then give me one reason why parents should be given impunity in choices for their kids. People also go to McDonald’s and watch Two and a Half Men. Showing up is no proof of worth. You don’t have a position, unless (1) simply being pissy and small with, yes, pension zingers; or, (2) the public should close its eyes to history and jump into a public-private experiment that like most such experiments continues to demand without show of substance, unless you’ve lowered the standard to where platitudes and shallow assumptions count as substance.

  • Frank Lockwood

    I used to think Charter Schools were a good idea too. But then I began to notice the numerous ways in which the public school system was under attack, under siege, really, and how the Charter School movement fit into the whole picture, as a way to take public moneys away from the public school system. Wish I had never had those earlier thoughts. Wish I had never supported Charter Schools, even though they could have a place if they were not just another political tool to bring down the Federal school system, and too often, that’s what I think they have become.

  • Anonymous

    The government, through medicare and medicaid, uses tax payer funds to pay for health care, but it does not force everyone to only see a government doctor or use a government hospital. They let patients use those tax payer dollars to pay for the provider they choose (private or public) within an acre edited/licensed list.

    Similarly, pell grants and state tuition assistance, etc, provide taxpayer money to let students choose the university or college of their choice, within the accredited list.

    Your argument that taxpayer provided services (medical care, education, etc) can’t be used for private providers is ludicrous. It already is – in huge amounts – hundreds of billions a year.

    Public K-12 is the largest monopolistic activity in this country. It is the only individual entitlement for which there is no choice.

    It is only the public school you are assigned to and the prison you are sentenced to, that can’t be chosen in America.

    It is an absurdity to advocate for no choice.

    Why aren’t you up in arms, advocating that medicare recipients can only go to government doctors and hospitals?

  • Ralph Byrns

    “… no NYC private sector taxpayer has (a pension)?” So you don’t consider golden parachutes or deferred compensation plans for corporate executives to be pensions? And no major employer offers employees 401K or other pension plans? Public schools are monopolies? Characterizing public schools as monopolies implies that every child must attend a public school, no exceptions. [Please look up the definition of monopoly.] Your solution for problems with public schools is to reduce their funding? Wow!!! Slashing real (inflation adjusted) per-student funding even more than it was post-2007 will improve quality? An amazing logical stretch. A huge proportion of your statements might be true in an alternative universe, but not in this one.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. Public schools have a near monopoly for taxpayer provided K-12 education in America.

    Virtually the only way to escape this monopoly, is for parents to pay double. Pay taxes to the monopoly public school system, and pay out of pocket for private schools. That is an option that is available to very few citizens.

    I don’t want to reduce any funding for education. On the contrary, I’m actually in favor of increasing it.

    But on the condition that the money follows the child. The parents choose the school to send their children to.

    Just like medicaid and medicare recipients choose their doctors and hospitals, and food stamp recipients choose what supermarket to shop at and Pell grant recipients choose what university to attend.

    Why are public schools a prison like system, where we don’t let parents choose? What is the moral justification for that?

  • Ralph Byrns

    Nice argument about why we should forbid legislators to deal with teacher unions that contribute to the politicians’ campaigns. But why single out teachers’ unions? Your argument logically suggests that legislators should never vote on any proposed laws or budgets that affect their campaign contributors. For example, investment bankers should be forbidden to wine-and-dine political candidates who might vote on such issues as financial regulations or capital gains taxes. Might be a good idea, but practical? Huge problems. From whom would legislators secure expert testimony about the effects of particular regulations? And who will finance campaigns? Public funding? Hmmmmm …

  • Ralph Byrns

    So you’re retreating from your absolutist position that ONLY public school teachers receive pensions? You don’t admit to your error on this point? And you also retreat from your assertion that public schools are (pure) monopolies, instead complaining that K-12 public schools receive the bulk of taxes collected for K-12 education? And that makes them monopolies? Please read a definition of monopoly. You ask about the moral justification for not supporting private schools? That issue has been discussed at length. (See above.)
    Fact: You do have the freedom to choose to send your child to a private charter school if you have sufficient resources to do so … But please, don’t expect taxpayers to subsidize your decision. Incidentally, I paid for K-11 education in a private school for gifted children because my oldest daughter’s intellectual curiosity rapidly eclipsed the curriculum of the most prestigious public schools in Colorado. She ultimately graduated as #1 from one of the nation’s top law schools. My youngest daughter chose to be with her friends, so she did the gifted-talented school for K-4, and then transferred to public school. Ideally, the public schools should have sufficient resources to accommodate both special-needs and gifted students.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not retreating from any position.

    Fact is that unionization and defined benefit pensions prevalence has declined steeply in all competitive sectors of the economy, and have increased in the non-competitive, monopolistic government sector.

    This is a milking of the taxpayers from public sector unions that are, by force of law, immune from competition.

    Police, Fire, K-12 forced taxpayer supported public education, DMV services, etc *ARE* monopolies. The definition of monopoly is not 100% market share. It is a large enough share that restrict choice or make other chooses burdensome (financially or otherwise) to consumers.

    Microsoft was declared a monopoly even though it had only 90% of market share. It was declared to have abused its monopoly power, because it made burdensome to consumers to choose other browsers than IE, other office products than Office.

    Similarly, K-12 public education is a Monopoly. It has 98% market share nationwide. It is extremely burdensome for parents to escape it. In fact it is near impossible for the majority of parents to do so. It forces parents to pay taxes to support it, and they pay again to escape it.

    You need to read up a bit on the definition of monopoly power.

    As to using taxpayer funds to pay for education…

    Why is it OK for higher education, but not for K-12?

    Why is it OK for medicare/medicaid, but not for K-12?

    Please answer that honestly. What is the moral justification, to ONLY apply the restriction for K-12?

  • Ralph Byrns

    K-12 public education is a monopoly? Your assertion presumably hinges on whether K-12 is a single organization. But there are roughly 132,183 schools (K-12), and 13,588 independent school districts in the U.S., each governed by an independent school board, and most school board members are elected. This makes it hard to argue that K-12 is an undemocratic monopoly. Any inference that all school boards automatically capitulate to the demands of teacher unions is extremely naive.

    FYI, my coauthored text, Economics (Byrns and Stone, used at more than 1,000 universities by more than 1 million students during 1981-1999) usefully distinguishes monopoly power (some control over price) from monopoly (complete market dominance as per, e.g., an electric utility or natural gas company). If you want to argue that individual school districts have some measure of market power, you are correct. But to view all 13,588 school boards as colluding in some fashion that amounts to monopolization? Absurd! Admittedly, a few school districts may be pure but “narrow” monopolies, but only in remote sparsely-populated locales where no reasonable substitutes exist (home schooling, private schools, private tutoring). For most parents, private schooling may be expensive, and that may preclude some people from using private schools, but it is hyperbolic to assert that “…it is near impossible for the majority of parents … [to afford]“.

    RE: higher education. Greater mobility facilitates far more efficacious decisions for college students than is the case for K-12 students. Most college students are also much more independent than K-12 students. Truth: Taxpayer support of higher education is, in fact, difficult to rationalize because the benefits of higher education redound overwhelmingly to the subsidized students, who tend to gravitate into the upper half of the income/wealth spectrum. K-12 education, on the other hand, generates significant positive externalities to the larger public. Basic literacy, for example. Imagine how horrific traffic congestion would be if most Americans were illiterate. Identifying similarly powerful and positive spillovers from college education is far more difficult.

  • Anonymous

    I know. Its a sticky wicket with complicated alternatives and I’m not sure how best to address it. We can’t ban interested parties from contributing to the process (particularly in light of Citizens United). I live in a right to work state, but that’s not something that is great for teachers either.

    Ideally, (in a perfect world) no politician should weigh in or decide issues for organizations that contributed to their election. But then we’re talking about revamping the entire political system in the United States. Likely a bit much to solve on a Bill Moyers comment section.

    Thank you for the well thought out comment. This is a complicated and multi-faceted issue.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for taking the time to respond in detail. I understand some of your points.

    The primary discussion on alternatives to public schools, is primarily (though not exclusively) centered around large city, failing, urban school districts.

    School districts in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, etc, cover hundreds of thousands of K-12 students, tens of thousands of teachers, and dwarf all other alternatives, except for rich families.

    Each of these school districts is a virtual monopoly, where only by spending the equivalent of 30% of median family income per child can a family escape that monopoly.

    In addition, these school districts share a near universal characteristic. Single party, Democratic, public union supported, control of mayor, school board, assembly. I.e. a monopoly that is under single party, single union control.

    This is a system that is run exclusively for the benefit of the unions and the single party machine, not the children.

    The reason that parents overwhelmingly want choice, to the point of being on wait lists on even poorly run charter schools, and public teacher unions oppose is vehemently, should tell you all you need to know.

    The consumer in that market (parents) demand choice. The monopoly entity (individual, teacher union controlled school district) resists choice.

    It is as simple as that.

    I’m hoping that you are not disingenuous enough to suggest that the teacher’s unions are not acting in their own self interest (as they should. They have captured the assembly and city hall in all these large urban centers.

    Even the President wants more choice.

    It is a failed moral argument to restrict choice. Even if the choice is worse than the monopoly, it must ethically be offered to parents. It is better to choose and see no improvement in your child’s education, than not to be able to choose at all.

    These families have a 12 year sentence of poor education and lifetime of poverty. Give them a moral choice.

  • (not Mr., leave the formal add

    My credentials:

    I am person who lived
    with Learning Challenges (not Disabilities) in communication and both memories,
    since birth and ESE classes from K to 11th-grade, so excuse this communication.

    Took 8-years to earned
    a degree in Specific Learning Disabilities and 5-add on certificates from VE to
    ESOL, in ‘2001, from the most respect Public/Private** Education Higher
    Educational School in the state and one of the most respected in The USA.*

    A bad*** substitute
    facilitator, think of a subject, I subbed, for a year and 3100 facilitator, for
    a year,

    A Bad*** high school
    FootBall TE Coach for a year,

    I have worked as the
    Head Tutor, and by far the most successful,
    for Sylvan Learning Centers (private tutoring, even though they use terms like
    teacher, for the tutors),

    One whole immediate
    family part of my whole family (99% Democrat and 25% at best Left Democrat and
    75% former and current public school educators) that is all caught up in the home
    schooling fab,

    And

    Son of a mother who
    has been in both private and public high school level education for almost
    35-years, but only count 24-years for retirement

    *- All of which was a
    joke- but an affordable joke; but now, it is a lot more expensive and offering
    less free resources- covered through public funding and tuition, but still 2nd-cheapest.
    I experienced EDUCATIONAL MAJORED
    students not caring and treating professors like BLANK.

    **-There are no
    public only Education Higher Educational Schools and have not been for far, far
    and far too long.

    ***- Overwhelmed by lack of quality and interest
    in behavior management of students (while at the top high school in the state-
    absolutely no support, because I was told ruin their chances for best higher
    educational schools) not strong enough person and willing to sell out by
    reasons for being a person to be in education

    From my experiences
    and knowledge (from being sub and 3100 facilitator – protesting and keeping
    myself educated about educational politics and education; educational experiences
    all before Privation of Public Education went wild) I could not agree more with
    Diane Ravitch points; though it disturbs ME
    and makes careful what they say and when they say it, when anyone, older than
    18-years old, that has once agree with form of privatization, especially in
    education. As I tell my part of my whole family (99% Democrat and 25% at
    best Left Democrat and 75% former and current public school educators) and
    others that are all caught up in the home schooling or any forms of education
    except Public education fabs-

    Think of any USA person,
    from founders (Thomas Pane through Thomas Jefferson) to TRUE change agents
    (not Compromising Capitalist President Obama; but awesome person- MLK Jr.
    through former USA presidents and great people- FDR or Jimmy Carter) that you
    admire and then think what would have happened to The USA and what those people
    were trying to accomplish, if instead them working with a whole community (even
    enemies) first belief they did not work with those that they disagreed with and
    was a challenge to work with?

    Also, from Home
    Schooling to Charters Schooling to Private Schooling they are all Private
    Education; if you are not working with and to help make Public Education
    better, than you are part of Private Education. There is no profit concern
    and/or ME in Public Education!

    Finally, the previous
    leads ME to telling them, you dislike how your child/children or other
    child/children are being treated or educated and/or how it affects our USA,
    then EDUCATE yourself on FACTS of EDUCATION, work within PUBLIC EDUCATION and
    VOTE accordingly!! The Parents and followed by The Citizens have the biggest
    possible affect on PUBLIC Education, in every single Country on this planet,
    let alone The USA; work to make it better instead of RUNNING AWAY from it and
    to a worse system in PRIVATE EDUCATION! Work within your child’s/children’s
    schools!

  • Anonymous

    It’s 20 hours a semester. I am a working parent, and so is my husband. They have time, just not willingness.

  • Anonymous

    Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes has done several studies, in 2009, 2013, and a recent on in LA published last month. All the studies have been quoted as saying widely different things. The latest is unequivocally positive toward charters. But really, it doesn’t matter. The only unit of analysis I’m interested in is my kid’s school. Most studies on charter schools include the for profit and the praise-the-lord-keep-them-ignorant-and-Republican schools, so the scores are low. It not only takes a village to raise a child, it is imperative. If your kid does not have other kids whose families care to be involved, there will be no education. My tax dollars are being used to educate my child. How is that a misuse? Our charter school gets 30% less funding from the county, but is doing 100% more work for the kids.

  • Sarah Jane

    Claire,
    What has been happening in North Carolina to public education is truly shameful, and I understand your anger. I, too, am a proud product of public schools. In no way do I favor charters in areas where public schools are successful. However, I live in Baltimore City where the plight of the public schools was fully illustrated in season 4 of The Wire. The public schools here ARE failing… badly. Here, charters are highly regulated, and many are significantly more successful than their zone counterparts, if only because they draw from a more diverse socio-economic community. Because zone schools draw from a specific geographic area, most have very little racial or economic diversity. The schools in wealthy neighborhoods are strong, the ones in weak neighborhoods are poor. Charters truly offer a decent educational alternative to many families that do not live in wealthy neighborhoods and have no other options to help their children create a better future for themselves. It is unfair to withdraw educational opportunities from these children simply because of political rhetoric.

  • MrM3000

    Have you noticed how no one favors your comments? That’s because those who are informed don’t want charter schools. What they want is their public schools to be as strong and successful as any.