From the Times-Picayune:
Feds investigating racial discrimination complaint involving some Orleans charter schools
January 19, 2010, 7:46PM
Without being aware of the investigation in NOLA, President Obama made this claim during his speech today:
In Illinois, Louisiana, Tennessee, California, we've seen changes in laws or policies to let public charter schools expand and succeed.
So, Mr. President, what are you doing to regulate the expansion of these charter schools? The alleged "success" of NOLA charters is certainly less rosy than many members of the media (and government) realize/understand. And, while the Civil Rights investigation is only an investigation at this point in time, it's certainly (yet another) indication of the need for serious regulation of charter schools.
But one other remark by the President shows exactly how mis-informed he is about the charter school movement:
These [charter schools] are public schools with more independence that are formed by teachers, parents, and community members.
He's half right about this: some charters are designed this way. This was the original idea behind charters - independence for local communities and teachers/parents. But the CMO/EMOs that Obama and Duncan are pushing are NOT formed by teachers, parents, and community members - they're formed by chains (both for-profit and non-profit) and are yet another form of top-down management. Charters were also supposed to be labs of innovation, not a template for replacing public schools. To say "things have changed" would be an understatement.
I know Obama is smart - but he's grossly unaware of the more nuanced details of the charter school movement. How can we get through to him?