The more than $14 million that has poured into the candidates campaigns’, as well as some high-profile endorsements, reveal how important the race is to charter school supporters and groups that hope to curb charter growth in Los Angeles.
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.
Most of the five remaining traditional public schools in New Orleans will be staying traditional — at least for now.
A new labor-backed study charges that California charter schools are opening schools where they aren’t needed, but parents — not special interests or governmental bodies — should be the final judges.
The report from In the Public Interest criticizes charters for opening in areas where there is existing classroom space in traditional public schools, criticizes them for using public funds for their facilities — as they are entitled to do under Proposition 39, passed by voters in 2000 — and alleges that they are misusing funds.
Free schools are state schools that are outside of local authority networks and which are set up by groups such as academy trusts, charities, parents and community groups. There are now about 800 free schools either open or in the pipeline. The NUT (National Union of Teachers) said the £138.5m on the closed or unopened schools would have paid for 3,680 teachers for a year. Ministers are accused of wasting millions on cancelled or closed free schools.
Charter schools have a special obligation to demonstrate what accountability at all levels looks like so that regular school districts can emulate. It’s unacceptable to violate best practices, especially as it relates to transparency.