rebeccmeister: (Default)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
Is the popularity of the charter school movement a byproduct of No Child Gets Ahead?

That would be weird and disappointing, but also unsurprising. In that respect, one could view NCLB as an intentionally corrosive policy to undermine public education. I don't think it was intended to be that way, but to me it seemed pretty obviously terrible when first instituted. And then the shift towards charter schools has been even more terrible.

I think my March for Science poster is going to say, "Invest in Public Goods!"

Date: 2017-04-19 12:54 am (UTC)
twoeleven: Hans Zarkov from Flash Gordon (mad science)
From: [personal profile] twoeleven
I can't say there's any relationship between the two, though I wonder what you have against charter schools. The rise of charter schools, especially the specialty ones¹ seems more to do with pent-up demand for better schools than anything else.

But OTOH, No Child Learns Bupkis is a complete wreck. I've wondered for years if its purpose is to make national testing standards impossible. However, since there was already a push for reform by Junior Bush administration during his second term -- which I think came to fruition during Obmama's first term -- I think it may simply have been naïve and poorly implemented.

1: Specialties like science magnet schools, public arts schools, and vaguely-military schools. The last ones make me crazy, but they apparently work for some kids.

Date: 2017-04-19 05:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] annikusrex
I don't think the two are causally related. However, I also am more sympathetic to charter schools.

I think a lot of what ails public schools is indeed poor teaching. It's hard to get rid of bad teachers because teacher's unions have settled on tenure protections where they cannot extract more money. If legislatures could have freed up more money to pay teachers, tenure protections might not have developed the way they did. However, it's hard to unwind tenure protections even if extra money becomes available (ha) because now some members of teacher's unions value tenure for independent reasons (i.e., allowing them to shirk their teaching duties).

Some, but not nearly all, charter schools offer the opportunity to start the experiment over, exchanging tenure protections for higher pay. Because that's the solution I would have preferred from the beginning, I value the opportunity the charter movement has provided.

(Vouchers, on the other hand, are an unmitigated evil.)

It's true that charters pull out motivated parents and can exacerbate economic stratification in education. But I don't think it's quite true that "[m]ost of the push for charter schools occurs in areas with more concentrated wealth, so kids in poor neighborhoods are denied opportunities for advancement via education." Cite? I've always understood that "[c]harter schools are concentrated in urban and *less affluent* areas...."


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