Charter Schools Failing — This weeklong series is based on extensive interviews with education experts, community advocates, parents, teachers and elected officials on both sides of the escalating controversy over charter schools.
Rosemary Jenkins: Parents, blinded perhaps by the good grades that many of their children receive, seem unaware of the trend away from the long-held and cherished tenets of public education.
Mark Naison: What is going on in heavily TFA dominated charter schools is something straight out of Charles Dickens, and it is spreading to public schools following the charter model who work in fear of being shut down.
Jamaal Bowman: Based on what I know, as they are currently constituted, charters,Teach For America, and yearly standardized testing are wrong for our high need communities.
Steve Singer: So apparently it is perfectly legal in Pennsylvania to beat someone up and demand a week’s worth of their lunch money – and if they don’t pay, you can sue them in court for welching on a contract!
Mark Naison: While the comparison is not exact, there are some powerful similarities between what happened to subprime mortgages and what is currently taking place with charter schools, another “short cut” to opportunity which has been seized upon by elites for financial and political gain, to the detriment of those for whom the charter school was initially designed to help.
Robert Skeels: It’s disturbing that someone so profoundly unqualified for this office — one that requires familiarity with academic instruction — is even in the running, but that’s the power of plutocracy.
Vicki Zakrzewski: Organizational psychology research has for many years shown that lasting change happens only if the individuals within the system are willing to transform their own beliefs and practices, from the ground up.
Mark Naison: The Charter School Fad, which seems to have swept through major parties, is going to result in a very painful Day of Reckoning. Any industry given this kind of public subsidy, and this kind of freedom from regulation, is going to lead to extremely high levels of corruption.
Peter Dreier: The Waltons could end to the company’s longstanding practice of keeping its employees in poverty, with low wages, poor benefits, and unpredictable schedules that make parenting even harder than it already is.
Mark Naison: Race to the Top redistributes income and not in a good way. Why has this ambitious education reform effort become an economic engine in reverse for poor and working class families.
Mark Naison: Our goal is to have teachers around the country to describe how they have experienced No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, and the policies stemming from them, in their professional lives.
Randy Shaw: As corporate interests spend billions attacking teachers unions, the real obstacles to a quality public education—poverty, overcrowded classes, and physically rundown schools—are ignored.