Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Push back on for-profit charters

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) bussed supporters down to Springfield to lobby legislators yesterday to lift the cap on charters. I'm not sure how many went on the busses. It got no media coverage in Chicago. About the only coverage comes from in Rockford.

Even though Obama is outspoken in his support for charters, push-back comes from new proposed charter schools being linked with privatization and school closings. Recent studies in Chicago found that charters were doing no better than the schools they were supposed to replace.

Another reason for resistance to lifting the cap is that there are still unused charter slots in the suburbs and downstate 13 years after the charter law was enacted and the initial cap set. It seems that there's little demand outside of Chicago and little political incentive to shift funds away from struggling urban schools in these times of crises and budget cuts.


In Ohio, Gov. Strickland and Democratic legislators are strongly opposed to privately-managed charters, despite Obama's call for more, and they're reducing their line in the state funding budget by 20%. It could be because Ohio's charters are some of the worst in the nation in a state where there's little accountability over their quality.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Strickland complains that for-profit companies that manage charter schools are blinded by the money, showing little interest in teaching children.


  1. Obama seems to go out of his way to define charter schools as "public schools founded by parents, teachers, and civic or community organizations," as he did in his recent education address, so I wouldn't say he calls for more privately-managed, and particularly for-profit, charter schools.

  2. It was a poorly written sentence


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.