Not really, but I wanted to get your attention. I am against raising the charter cap in Boston Public Schools, and I have been talking about it. A lot. Of all the issues I tweet on about, this has been the one that has garnered the most dissent from my friends. Why would I be against a type of school? What is wrong with charters?
I have no issue with “charter schools” in of themselves. What I am against is the privatization of education. Charters have become the vehicle in which corporate educators are taking over our schools.
I am haunted by the testimony of principal Teresa Harvey-Jackson at the Boston School Committee meeting after learning that the Marshall was being converted to a charter. I invite you to watch her testimony. It’s hard to watch. But she talks about trying to educate children in a poverty inflicted neighborhood in a decrepit building. She talks about how her funds were continually cut and teachers were fired.
But magically, once the school was converted into a charter, the facilities were repaired. I believe this is very significant. Charter schools are able to deliver high test scores because they are given the resources to complete their deliverables.
And this is my problem with charter schools. They have high attrition rates so students that are unable to deliver on the golden test scores are counseled out or expelled for trivial reasons. The children that are able to remain are given access to all the resources they need to deliver what the corporate education reformers want. And they want high test scores.
It is another post but I don’t believe testing is teaching. Standardized tests are but one indicator of what is happening in a classroom. But mostly, Massachusetts has always committed itself to the public education of children. Corporate Education Reform is an abandonment of this commitment to the kids of Boston.