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

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top 10 Reasons For 1%ers to Support Charter Schools

Based on comparisons from the Stanford CREDO study of 2009, only 17 percent of charter schools nationwide are performing better than matched public schools.  Of that 17 percent of higher-scoring charters, the intensely-segregated urban charters use forms of total compliance lockdown teaching, corporate positivity, and cultural sterilization that white teachers in these schools would never allow to be used on their own children. 

There must be, then, more important social and economic reasons that some folks, who would otherwise not leave children behind in these hellholes if they were public schools, see charters schools as the only other choice for children in crumbling public schools whose poverty and lack of privilege are predictably reflected in their very low test scores.   

These are a few of the reasons that charter schools garner so much corporate support, venture philanthropy, and unending public relations boosting from the corporate media:


1.  Urban charter schools require minimal public investment in physical plants, library programs, the arts, science labs, athletics, personnel, and transportation infrastructure.

2.  Urban charter schools are cheaper because they depend upon an endless stream of young beginning teachers with few benefits, no retirement payouts, and no collective bargaining.

3.   Urban charter schools make it easy to segregate based on race, economics, gender, and disability.

4.   Urban charter schools allow for the exclusion or dumping of problem students whose abilities, behaviors, or test performance that could damage to the charter brand.

5.   Urban charter schools make it easier to hide the problems of the poor by pointing to testing success by those who survive the charter gauntlet.

6.   Urban charter schools allow for the imposition of cultural and psychological control techniques in urban areas that are not subject to public scrutiny.

7.    Urban charter schools put decision-making and control into the hands of unelected executives with no oversight beyond hand-picked board members.

8.    Urban charter schools (not for profit CMOs) allow corporations and wealthy donors to reap huge tax benefits for their generosity to corporate charter schools.

9.    Urban charter schools (for profit EMOs) expand business opportunities for the education industry & testing-industrial complex.

10. Urban charter schools make it possible to take the state tax dollars saved from the forced choice of urban charters and use that money to enrich suburban public schools without raising taxes.


  1. Anonymous5:19 PM

    Thank you for this beautiful Valentine! Will keep in my file and email to friends. Just coming out of a meeting in my elementary school in which our union and teachers are being forced into being evaluated based on the test scores of our mostly ELL population. This is being done to appease the local reformers, Gov. Cuomo, NYState Ed, and the USDOE in their endless search to prove that teachers are the problem. Buffalo, NY

  2. Anonymous3:12 AM

    One issue that I've never heard anyone but a public school teacher raise is this: Charter schools get funding from the public school system for every student they accept. They accept everyone. Then, they have zero tolerence policies that allow them to quickly kick out undesirables back to the public schools, but thet get to keep the money. So the already struggling public schools have to educate more kids for even less. And the charter schools get to do educate fewer kids with more. It's a trap that will perpetuate failure.

  3. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Some charter schools are run by foreign national such as the Syracuse, NY Technical Charter School and the soon to be opened Utica, NY Charter School (both run by the same Turkish nationals, whom some have alluded to being connected to a secretive Imamn in Pennsylvania...60 Minutes covered him, look it up...)As we scour the landscape for terrorists and plots and "sleeper cell" is this what we want? Turkey's our "friend" today but tomorrow, who knows?) The money trap decribed by anonymous at 3:12am was cleverly concocted...they know what they are doing, it's to bankrupt the public school system. Look to the Third World, Haiti is a place where there are no public schools, just private...if you can't pay, you don't go...period! (With our constant meddling, err..."help" in Haiti, they just may have been the corporate Elites' "test lab") This could be the eventual endgame...extreme wealth for our "esteemed" 1% and grinding poverty for everyone else...first we have to take care of a few details like public schools, libraries, public health departments, etc..

  4. Anonymous6:35 PM

    I am not a blind supporter of public charter schools, traditional public schools, or private schools. I am a loyal supporter of schools that are diverse, academically rigorous and relevant, and safe for children emotionally and physically. I am new to this site and noticed many comments that condemn charter schools in a blanket manner. We need more people who are interested in schools that are good for children because they provide students, no matter where they come from, with an opportunity to pursue their God-given potential through education and hard work. There are bad charter schools, traditional public schools, and private schools. Traditional public schools should not get a pass because the local charter school is just as bad. We need leaders who have the integrity, courage, and heart to do what is right for children - even if it requires dismantling the entire public education system. I am not concerned with protecting any school or the groups who benefit from them; be it administrators, executives, corporations, teachers unions, non-profits or 1%ers.

    1. There are very few public charter schools, if you define charter school by any other means other than receiving public money to fund them. Most charter schools are run by boards whose members are hand-selected to represent the donors and managers whose corporate welfare ideology demands the replacement of public schools with corporate charter schools that enslave both students and teachers.

      If you are not interested in "protecting any school or the groups who benefit from them," I assume "any" would include the children who represent the future of our democracy, if there is to be one. If this is an oversight on your part, surely you will concede the fact that children growing up learning to participate in a democratic organization with humane conditions is preferable to growing up in segregated corporate testing hothouses aimed to create robots. If you see no distinction between the two, then you are a perfect candidate to sit on the board of one of the thousands of anti-democratic institutions that want to feed on the contributions of taxpayers.