Saturday, May 31, 2014

sayonara public education

If New Orleans is any example, public education in the United States can bend over and kiss its ass goodbye. In the Louisiana city, Charter Schools have won the day.
The creation of the country’s first all-charter school system has improved education for many children in New Orleans, but it also has severed ties to a community institution, the neighborhood school, and amplified concerns about racial equality and loss of parental control....
Critics of the all-charter New Orleans model say it is undemocratic, because leaders of charter schools are not accountable to voters....
“The charters have money and want to make more money. They have their own boards, make their own rules, accept who they want and put out who they want to put out."

There's no doubt that public education is enmeshed in a vast bureaucracy that harms its mission. But there is something dubious about creating a solution that incorporates a 'business model' that overlooks or sidelines the word "public." In one sense, I think public education is too important to be run by anything less than the national government. Public education is for everyone because, in the end, it benefits everyone. Money-men, by contrast, have an incentive to make money, talk fast and loose about educational 'outcomes' and provide something less than the ineffable richness that education can be.

It's all a rock and a hard place, but the current direction makes me suspect (without much hard or well-researched evidence) that it's another aspect of the slippery slope to a new and improved mediocrity.

1 comment:

  1. The push to privatize is on. The old saying that business is more efficient than government being their flag, along with "public" anything being socialism. Something they'll regret when they dial 911 and find themselves talking to a loan officer.