How Charters Destabilize Public School Districts: Let Us Count the Ways

Indy, be warned: a system of unified-enrollment school choice will be here soon – – ‘The school-choice policy idea in Chicago creates a stratified, classist society,’ argues Rita Raichoudhuri, the principal of Wells High School, a neighborhood school that has struggled with declining enrollment despite improvements in the school’s dropout, graduation, and attendance rates in recent years. ‘ The cream of the crop is together at selective enrollment schools. The second tier, with involved families, is at charters and magnets. Then the ‘rejects’ end up in neighborhood high schools.’”

janresseger

Three recent press reports—from Nevada, Chicago, Illinois, and Massachusetts—document how expansion of charter schools is  undermining the public schools that serve the majority of students including those with the greatest needs.  The same theory of charter school expansion operates all three locations—competition, innovation, and growing opportunity for students who have been left behind.  Instead all three recent articles describe diversion of desperately needed public tax dollars, destabilization of public schools, lack of regulation, and all sorts of ways that students with the greatest needs get left farther behind.

Here is the conclusion of a new report by Hugh Jackson for Nevada Public Radio on Nevada’s fiscal outlay for unregulated charter schools: (T)oday’s charter industry… reflects a chronic civic defeatism. Echoing the perverse social Darwinism of more than a century ago, faith in free-market education is a surrender to pessimism… Some people are doomed to fail, that’s just the way…

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