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Randi Endorses Charter Schools in Op-Ed Piece with Jonah Edelman

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Randi Weingarten and Jonah Edelman co-wrote an article in today’s Los Angeles Times, standing strong against vouchers.

I still remember Jonah Edelman as the guy who bragged at the Aspen Ideas Festival that he had crushed the teachers’ union in Chicago by buying up all the best lobbyists and raising the bar for a strike to 75% of the membership. I remember that he went to Massachusetts and threatened a referendum unless the unions capitulated to his demands. Stand for Children was showered with millions by the Gates Foundation and other promoters of the corporate reform agenda. Edelman strongly supports charter schools, even though they promote racial segregation.

In the middle of a strong article against vouchers, this paragraph was dropped in:

We believe taxpayer money should support schools that are accountable to voters, open to all, nondenominational and transparent about students’ progress. Such schools — district and charter public schools — are part of what unites us as a country.

It is public schools that unites us as a country, not charter schools. We have seen a steady parade of scandals, frauds, abuses, waste of taxpayer dollars, exclusion of children with special needs, from the charter sector.

Charter schools should be subject to democratic control (an elected school board), should be financially transparent, and should have the same requirements for teachers as public schools. They should be required to accept all children who apply, in the order of their application. They should not be allowed to exclude ELLs and children with disabilities.

Charter schools exist to bust unions and undermine public schools. They are a form of privatization. They should not be put into the same boat as public schools because they are not public schools.

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