"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thanking Katrina for Charter Schools

Another big research report is on the way from ED, this one on charters, but Spellings has been given a heads- up this time. Unlike her big voucher debacle, she will not be caught announcing a big new charter school giveaway the same day that her own Department's research shows charter schools no better and sometimes worse than the public schools they are intended to replace.

The results of this new charter school study have already been leaked, so that the Dog Days release on August 24 will create a minimum of headlines and so that the propaganda artists at the sludge tanks like the Manhattan Institute and the Fordham Foundation can get their mantra of denial in synch.

So we won't see Maggie in her black Chevy Suburban on the levee overlooking the wrecked 9th Ward of New Orleans, waxing poetic about a new charter school system rising there just in time for the research to show that she, once more, got her ideological cart before the horse of common sense or science.

As poverty continues in New Orleans, so will the "failed" schools, whether charter ones or otherwise. This fact, however, is not enough to keep Phyllis Landrieu (yes, that Landrieu) from blessing the hurricane that created the opportunity for her and Spellings to create a new charter school system. Someone suffering, you say? Not in the Garden District:
Many parents, school officials and education experts agree that Katrina provided New Orleans with an unprecedented opportunity to reconstitute a system that was failing its citizens. "I say, 'Thank you, Katrina' all the time," said Orleans Parish School Board President Phyllis Landrieu.

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