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Kentucky is one of the few states in the nation that does not have charter schools. Marty Solomon, a retired professor at the University of Kentucky, wrote this column in the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader to urge the state’s leaders not to let them in. Some political leaders in Kentucky look longingly at the charter school proliferation in neighboring state, Tennessee, apparently forgetting that Kentucky has higher academic performance on NAEP than Tennessee. Why copy a state that has lower test scores?
Solomon is blunt. He writes:
Charter schools are a cancer on public education. Kentucky should continue to reject their creation.
This is because they suck scarce funds away from our public schools, thereby making quality public education more difficult. At the same time, the vast majority of charters fail to deliver on their hollow promise to provide a superior education.
Charter schools are essentially private schools, run by private operators, under private rules, with private teachers, operating with far less accountability than public schools, and are exempt from all state statutes and administrative regulations.
The state would have absolutely no control over them. Because they swipe public funds from public schools to operate, they misleadingly call themselves public schools to hide their private nature.
While they promise to save children from failing public schools, charter schools are notoriously incompetent.
The track record for charter schools is abysmal and shameful. But that is what you would expect since they can hire teachers without any teaching experience or training — not even one college course in education — and can hire administrators without even a high school education.
The nation’s report card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, is administered by the U.S. Department of Education every two years. It is given to children in every state to measure their academic ability.
On math and reading tests in grades 4, 8 and 12, over the last eight years, public schools outscored charter schools in every category every year….
The proposed charter-school legislation for Kentucky is a sweetheart deal for charter-school operators. In addition, everyone working for a charter would automatically become eligible for health care and retirement and the Kentucky system is already billions in debt.
Further, it would create a commission of charter-school advocates to uniquely monitor and approve new charter schools while having the ability to pay themselves lush salaries. Ever hear about the fox and chickens?