Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” In that vein, it makes sense that my first conversation with Mitchell Chester was about assessments.
Stalwart public schooling defender Diane Ravitch does not like what she saw in School Inc., a three-part documentary series created by former Cato education analyst Andrew Coulson. Of course, she is welcome to disagree with it. But her main complaint—that PBS dared show the documentary in the first place—is concerning from a public debate perspective, while her more substantive critiques of School Inc. illustrate precisely why we need to let all voices engage in debates, not just those with whom we agree.
Democrats for Education Reform’s president, Shavar Jeffries, is fighting an uphill battle in trying to convince democrats to support charters and choice. Now that Barack Obama is no longer on the Oval, DFER and other similar groups are out in the open with their hostility toward President Trump’s education choice agenda. “I’ve heard from some folks that DFER is opposed to [U.S. Secretary of Education] DeVos or opposed to certain types of policies because we’re Democrats,” said Jeffries. “We’re like, no we’re opposed to this because we love children.”
In this new era of partisan politics, we’re to believe that only Democrats love children!
It’s a bit of twisted logic for charter advocates to turn their back on President Trump’s support for charter school in order to ingratiate themselves with anti-charter foes.
“It would be much more valuable for me, frankly, if [the president] just said he hates charter schools,” said Caprice Young, chief executive officer and superintendent of the Magnolia network of charter schools. “The fact that Trump supports charter schools gives the opposition… an opportunity to equate charter schools with the things that Trump cares about, that most Californians are opposed to.”
Supporters of charter schools appeared to win control of the Los Angeles school board Tuesday, a watershed moment with huge implications for how students are taught in America’s second-largest school district.The charter school movement has long been a major force in Los Angeles school circles. But the victory Tuesday night by pro-charter forces — who dramatically outspent rivals in what was the most expensive election in school board history — gives them the opportunity to reshape the district.
Opposition to charter schools is to the left what climate change denial is to the right, a fortress of unreason that shields ideology from contrary evidence. Everywhere, including in Massachusetts, home to some of the nation’s best charters, anti-charter zealots always, always have a “yes, but –” response for every study suggesting disadvantaged students benefit from these schools.
This writer, Bill Quigley, goes to tremendous pains to explain how charter schools in New Orleans are a challenge and might not be performing up to his expectations. We wonder if Mr. Quigley ever wrote any articles critical of the colossal educational disaster known as New Orleans Public Schools Pre-Katrina.
By Bill Quigley
New Orleans is the nation’s largest and most complete experiment in charter schools. After Hurricane Katrina, the State of Louisiana took control of public schools in New Orleans and launched a nearly complete transformation of a public school system into a system of charter schools. Though there are spots of improvement in the New Orleans charter system, major problems remain.