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

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Globe Joins NYTimes and WaPo in Avoiding Facts about Charter Schools

I am sometimes dizzied by the irony that Massachusetts, the birthplace of modern public education and the home of Horace Mann, is now leading the way toward the establishment of segregated corporate charter schools that resemble apartheid minimum security prisons more than they do schools funded with public dollars for the common good.  

Rather than education functioning as the "balance wheel of the social machinery," as Mann envisioned, the present day segregated charter chain gangs serve to isolate, contain, and intellectually sterilize those whose economic disadvantages have been disguised by the corporate tanks of deficit thinking as  defective cultural traits.  

And so it is that a black President and black Governor now lead the resegregation effort in Massachusetts, and in the process, entirely ignore the poverty and lack of opportunity that once provided the focus for a real, rather than a really phony, civil rights agenda.  As the whores, hoodlums, and banksters of American capitalism are put in total charge of the "equity" agenda and the education purse strings, you may kiss your diminishing dreams of democracy goodbye.

This letter below shows up in the Letters page of the Globe, even though the Globe continues to ignore the latest research on the corporate welfare charters:

RE “JOHNSON to name nonprofit as partner’’ (Metro, June 30): It is true that a growing chorus of politicians are impressed with charter schools. They disregard a growing chorus of parents, teachers, and researchers who are not.
Last week, Education Week reported on a new national study of charter middle schools. The headline: “Study finds no clear edge for charter schools.’’ This is just the latest in a series of studies that conclude most charters perform similarly or worse than traditional public schools, with a minority posting high test scores.
There is also solid evidence that charters do not serve the most challenging students and find ways to encourage struggling students to leave. These include holding students back a grade, a practice shown to increase the risk of dropping out. These claims were reported as the opinion of teachers unions and “hotly contested by charter schools,’’ but why couldn’t the Globe investigate and find out the truth?
If politicians are going to blindly push us on the path to private management of our public schools, and away from the mission of public education including all kinds of students, it seems critical for the public and the voters to know about what is actually happening in these schools.
Lisa Guisbond


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