The three finalists for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools, announced on Monday, include two STEM-oriented charter networks and a high-profile set of charters in New York City. The $250,000 prize is given out by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to reward charter management groups for strong academic outcomes.
By Marshall Tuck: This year, we have a chance to help students and protect taxpayers across California, and I hope we don’t miss it. The California State Legislature is currently considering whether to ban for-profit charter schools. Educators — whether at district or charter public schools — can agree: public schools must serve students, not shareholders. Profit has no place in our public schools, and I urge politicians in Sacramento to make that the law.
For at least the last two decades, for-profit and non-profit charter management organizations have co-existed peacefully within the charter sector. However, since the election of President Trump and the appointment of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, both staunch pro-charter supporters who worry less about the tax status of the operating entity and more about performance, the non-profit operators have been increasingly taking swipes at for-profit operators. They seem intent on ingratiating themselves to teachers’ unions, the archenemies of charters and choice, as well as to formerly influential groups like the NAACP. Perhaps they believe that aligning themselves with these anti-charter groups in opposition to for-profit operators they will be spared from attacks. A naive bunch for sure.
The charter school advocates on the panel seemed to agree that some charters weren’t working. They were quick to denounce for-profit charters, for instance. “For-profit operators have no business in education,” said Katie Duffy, CEO of Democracy Prep Charter School. Our children “are not assets and liabilities and they shouldn’t be treated as such.”
This article, which reads more like fake news than an actual piece of investigative of journalism, should be a wake-up call to all who support charters and choice. Opponents of charters will stop at nothing in their campaigns to slander and malign charter schools.
As the Trump administration plans to redirect taxpayer billions to privatize K-12 education, a scholarly article by some of the nation’s leading investigators of charter school rip-offs has highlighted how their business model is prone to fiscal self-dealing.
Ironically, Universal Companies, a non-profit charter operator is accused of caring more about profits than about kids.
Students at a local charter school returned from spring break to find their entire school had changed, after the charter school company suddenly decided to end its contract with Milwaukee Public Schools. According to MPS, Universal Companies notified the district in March that they wanted to leave the Universal Academy for the College Bound Webster Campus on April 7.
Building a network of successful charter schools isn’t easy, especially in a state as wary of school choice as California. But Dan Katzir and Gloria Romero have transformed public education in the face of tough opposition from political party leaders, union bosses, and school administrators. Katzir and Romero discussed the challenges of school choice with Lisa Snell at Reason Weekend, part of a series of lectures held annually by Reason Foundation.