Charter schools usually run for profit.
We give them our tax dollars and they spend them however they want.
They do not have to account for where the money goes.
So it doesn’t take Shelden Cooper to work out charter schools are so appealing to some. But just in case, let me make it plain:
You might have the impression that charter schools do better for kids, and that the money is well spent and the secrecy and profiteering is all worthwhile if it gets kids a better education.
Oh if only that were true.
Better results from charter schools?
The USA’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that students in charter schools performed several points worse than students in traditional public schools in both reading and maths on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test.
The 2009 Stanford University CREDO study found that a ”quarter of New Jersey charter schools have below-average growth and below-average achievement in maths, and the same is true for 35 percent of the charter schools in reading.”
CREDO 2009 also found that when charter school students and public school students from the same districts were compared, only 17% of students did better, 46% did about the same, and 37% of students were doing worse. Source.
By 2013, CREDO declared that charter results were about the same as public schools. The same. And all this despite much more funding and 20 years of operation.
So what’s the draw?
Well why not go to this conference and find out: “Private Equity Investing in For-Profit Education Companies – How Breakdowns in Traditional Models & Applications of New Technologies Are Driving Change”
The conference description is rather intriguing:
Private equity investing in for-profit education is soaring … for-profit education is one of the largest U.S. investment markets, currently topping $1.3 Trillion in value.
The advert goes on to say:
“What are some of the main challenges that Private Equity investors are facing in the education sector?”
The answer: Teachers. Thus, we must silence them.
Well, dear reader, do you still think it’s all about educating the poor kidlets?
Oh wait, there’s more…
Check out this agenda for the 2013 Education Summit in Arizona. (edinnovation.asu.edu) The panel, they crow, will include Ron Packard (of K12 Inc.) and other profiteers discussing:
A Class of Their Own: From Seed to Scale in a Decade: What Does it take for an Education Company to Reach $$$1Billion?
Remember, that’s tax dollars they are salivating over.
Yep, allllll about the students.
As Associate Professor Peter O’Connor said:
Charter schools are part of an international Right-wing attack on progressive and humanist traditions of education…
The attack is not driven by a genuine desire to remedy the ills of the education system, but by the desire to create a cheaper teaching force, one that is shackled by narrow-minded, test-based accountability measures, and one that has less union power to fight back.
And if you still think charter or partnership movement is about helping our neediest students, you really need to start clicking on some of those sources above.