From the Washington Post:
The problem in a 17 minute nutshell.
Congress is about to pass new charter legislation, awarding more money to the charter sector, which will operate with minimal accountability or transparency.
The bill has already passed the House of Representatives with a bipatisan majority and will now move to the Senate.
Make no mistake: on the 60th anniversary of the Brown decision, Congress is set to expand a dual school system. One sector, privately managed, may choose its students, exclude those who might pull down its test scores, and kick out those it doesn’t want. The other sector–the public schools–must take in all students, even those kicked out by the charters.
The growth of the charter sector has been driven by a strange coalition. Charters are supported by wealthy hedge fund managers who give generously to individual charters and to charter chains; they fund political candidates who support charters. Charters are supported enthusiastically by the Obama administration, which…
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Bipartisan supportive legislature for privatization is on the horizon. Research your candidates regardless of party affiliation.
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
Tomorrow, May 6, 2014, is Ohio’s Primary Election. Because both Republicans and Democrats have equally undermined public education with No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, voting along your established party line can’t be always be trusted. It’s important to understand where candidates stand on Education Reform. We’ve compiled the information we can find on Ohio’s primary candidates, and it’s still unclear in some cases, so make sure you check some additional resources before you head to the ballot box.
John Kasich (R) on Education. Supports Education Reform.
Charles Earl (L) does not specifically include education on his issues list.
Mike DeWine (R) on Education. Voted yes on school vouchers.
David Pepper (D) does not specifically include education on his issues list.
Steven Linnabery’s (L) facebook page.
Secretary of State
Jon Husted’s (R) website.
Treasurer of State
Josh Mandel (R) on Education. Supports privatization.
Connie Pillich’s (D) website. Advocate against slashing public school funding.
10th Congressional District (Includes Centerville)
Mike Turner (R) votes on Education.
Bill Conner (D) on Education. Opposes charter schools and vouchers.
David A. Harlow (L) on Education.
Robert Klepinger’s (D) facebook page.
John D. Anderson’s (R) facebook page.
We are not suggesting this article to encourage opting out at this time, because right now that would only serve to hurt our school district. However, this is another great summary of the history of high-stakes testing and how enmeshed government funding and corporate money has become with education.