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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Corporate Charter School Industry Resists Oversight at All Costs

From Suzy Oppenheimer, the Chair of NY Senate Education Committee:

. . . .State government's inability to successfully compromise and come to resolution on policy issues is unacceptable to me.

Some additional background is needed to give a fuller picture to your readers. As chair of the Senate Education Committee, I worked hard to forge a compromise that would have doubled the existing cap on charter schools, while at the same time adopting reasonable safeguards to ensure that state education dollars are used appropriately by charter school administrators.

As you know, charter schools are funded by tax dollars, yet are currently subject to almost no public oversight. The legislation I supported would have imposed modest disclosure and audit requirements on charter schools, while increasing the number of these alternative schools.

In this case, all participants in the negotiations — legislative, executive and the education community outside of state government — share responsibility for not passing a charter schools bill. The Senate and Assembly did develop a compromise bill. But charter school advocates and their allies in state government refused to agree to any changes to the charter school process that would have made it more open, accountable and transparent. . . .

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