The SRC and District administration have claimed to take the high ground for years on equitably overseeing both charter and public schools run by the District. But let’s take a closer look. You didn’t seem to have any difficulty denying teachers and principals decent pay and health care as they continued to work for over 5 years even after you cut necessary school resources, including supplies which staff routinely provide on their own dime.
But when it comes to charters, you say the law doesn’t allow you to consider whether or not you can afford them. You approve new charters with the thinnest of proof that the school plan is even viable, as with Deep Roots Charter. You keep charter chains open for over 20 months when your own charter office provides you with information of financial malfeasance and academic decline. You move quickly to dismiss District teachers for unproven, even disproven, accusations of being overly rough with students, but are silent when the CEO of the Aspira chain is all over the news for having made a pay-off settlement for sexual harassment of staff. You agree to turn-over Wister School to Mastery, despite the protracted objections by scores of parents, based on data which was proved to you to be wrong and simultaneously ignoring data demonstrating recent school gains and promises by Dr. Hite that the school would remain open, and gave the school to Mastery anyway. But when charter schools don’t make good on the fantastical educational promises they love to advertise, you note how much poverty the children endure as justification for their not living up to their contracts, or just throw up your hands as if it’s out of your control, without even taking a principled stand. But District schools can, and have been, closed at your say so.
Most charters are no longer the mom and pop operations of small groups of educators who want to try a different way. They’re now powerful chains like big box stores such as Walmart, where their design is to keep costs down and where each store is run according to a programmed method for maximized profit and sold to the public through careful advertising… “plop, plop, fizz, fizz.”
Ed Reformists pontificate about their passion for “saving our schoolchildren” by closing neighborhood schools and enacting their cookie-cutter training techniques, because their goal is always about their methodology or product, not about individual students.
Well, say hello to the new education in America – Where corporations and non-educators such as hedge-funders, lawyers and real estate developers who see the glint of public tax dollars as seed money and a captive audience of customers/aka students, as the core of profitable businesses under the guise of non-profit corporations creating branded store – excuse me – branded chain school names.
How cynical have we become in this country? Obviously, the education of our children as critical thinkers and as our future citizens is no longer our priority.