Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Uncapping and de-regulating charter schools

Spurred on by Race To The Top

While public education budgets are being slashed, federal support for privately-managed charter schools has increased to new heights including a $52 million increase in charter school funding last year. Since 2009, with $100 billion in stimulus funding for education, including $4.35 billion in the competitive Race to the Top fund behind him, Arne Duncan has offered a stern warning to states: "Embrace charters or risk losing stimulus dollars."

But while Duncan claims it's all about "quality, not quantity" when it comes to charter school expansion and while he tells us that "charters are not inherently anti-union," the administration's Race To The Top policies have opened the door wide for anything-goes charter schools. The current trend is increasingly towards unlimited charter school expansion with fewer regulations, less transparency, more racial re-segregation, and definitely no unions allowed. This despite growing evidence that charter schools on average, fail to outperform traditional public schools despite discriminatory enrollment and expulsion practices.

States currently dominated by right-wing politicians and T-Party governors, like Michigan, are moving quickly to take advantage of the current political environment to uncap and deregulate charter expansion.

Case in point: Fulton County, Ga. which has applied to the state to become a "charter district" and where charters like the  Fulton Science Academy are asking legislators for blanket waivers of state and local provisions and 10 year contracts limiting the community's oversight over the charter schools finances, procurement practices and overall governance.

1 comment:

  1. Arne sprinkles; a sophism is a specious argument used for deceiving someone. In ancient Greece, sophists were a category of teachers who specialized in using the tools of philosophy and rhetoric for the purpose of teaching aretĂȘ — excellence, — exclusively to wealthy young statesmen and nobility. The practice of charging money for education led to the condemnations made by Plato. Dunkin's supposed explanation is a plain sophistry, meant to trick children, and idiots, but which does not, upon close inspection, hold water.


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