Certainly,not every person determined to ever open a charter school is in it solely for profit.Unfortunately however,without enough regulations its hard to tell the difference between a well-meaning charter opener and a school being opened for greedy big business. Many charter schools are being opened with grants and funding supplied by large corporations like Walton, Bill Gates, and the Broad Foundation.
While receiving the same per-pupil government funding as public schools,charter schools strive to be autonomous. In a nutshell, they don’t want to be regulated by a school board. Instead they elect their own board of advisors or superintendents that don’t have to answer to parents, educators,or local boards.
The same companies developing the technology for the new high-stakes tests (Pearson, Gates) just so happen to be some of the same people funding charter schools. When well-intentioned parents get frustrated with the tests they are force-feeding our children, the same corporations serve to make more money when those well-intentioned parents start looking for other options. It’s important to see how the new high-stakes tests correlate to privatization. Essentially, by choosing privatization, we are doing exactly what big business hopes we do.
Because they aren’t subjected to the same rules as public schools, charters have the ability to pick and choose which students they keep. This in turn backs up their promise of great test scores. In turn, who is left in the public schools but the learning disabled, poor test-takers, and students without a stable home life.
Instead of using government resources to further fatten the pockets of Bill Gates and Co., why aren’t we focusing those resources on revitalizing inner city schools? Isn’t that a better answer?
Here’s an interesting article on the pros and cons of privatization from USC. Where do you stand on charters