Accountability Betsy DeVos Charter Schools Education Industry Failure Privatization

Steven Singer: Charter-Friendly Group Reports Dramatic Decline in New Charter Schools

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Steven Singer reviews a new report from the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. This is a Gates-funded think tank whose belief is that the best way to “reinvent” public schools is to privatize them.

The charter sector had been booming but this past year, the boom fizzled. What once seemed to be an unstoppable steam roller, intent on crushing public schools, has slowed to a crawl.

The problems, says the report, are real estate cost, teacher shortages, and political backlash.

Singer writes:

“How did the hippest new thing to hit education since the chalk board suddenly hit such a wall? After all, it wasn’t so long ago that every celebrity from Magic Johnson to Andre Agassi to Deion Sanders to Sean “Puffy” Combs to Pitt Bull had their own charter school. Even Oprah Winfrey, the queen of multimedia, donated millions to charter networks in Louisiana, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas and her home state of Illinois.

“How could something with so much high profile support be running out of gas?

“The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) has a theory.

“The charter school funded think tank (read: propaganda network) released a report boiling the issue down to three factors: real estate costs, a teacher shortage and political backlash.

“Real estate costs? Yes, few public schools want to offer you public property to put your privately run school that will inevitably gobble up a good portion of its funding and turn a portion of that into profit for private investors.

“Teacher shortage? Yes, when you pay your educators the least, don’t allow your employees to unionize, and demand high hours without remuneration, you tend to find it harder than most educational institutions to find people willing to work for you.

“Political backlash? DING! DING! DING!

“Of course, most people who aren’t paid by the charter school industry – as those working for CRPE are – would simply call this a charter school backlash – not political, at all.

“This isn’t one political party seeking advantage over another. It’s concerned citizens from both sides of the aisle worried about the practices of the charter school industry.”

Singer’s post includes some nifty charts. Be sure to open it.

The bottom line is that the bloom is off the rose.

The public is beginning to understand that charter schools are meant to destabilize their community public schools. They take away money meant for the public schools. They take the students they want and exclude those they don’t want. They open and close like day lilies. The for-profits are interested in profit, not education.

And it destroys their reputation when the public knows that Trump, DeVos, Wall Street, and the Koch brothers are leading the charge to destroy what belongs to the entire community.

Resist!

 

 

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