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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Must Read: Why the Racist History of the Charter School Movement Is Never Discussed

Anyone over the age of 30 should recall phrases including "school choice" were the clarion call of segregationists and southern dixiecrats. [Still are.] — Robert D. Skeels

privatization = segregationProfessor Christopher Bonastia's Why the Racist History of the Charter School Movement Is Never Discussed is perhaps the best work I've read on the modern segregation and eugenics movements that are cloaked in the rhetoric of school choice. Packed with historical precedents and an honest assessment of today's empirical data, the essay is a powerful antidote to the nonstop stream of privatization propaganda pumped out by the deep pocketed charter industry. The following excerpt provides an idea of why everyone must read the whole piece:

The driving assumption for the pro-charter side, of course, is that market competition in education will be like that for toothpaste -- providing an array of appealing options. But education, like healthcare, is not a typical consumer market. Providers in these fields have a disincentive to accept or retain "clients" who require intensive interventions to maintain desired outcomes--in the case of education, high standardized test scores that will allow charters to stay in business. The result? A segmented marketplace in which providers compete for the "good risks," while the undesirables get triage. By design, markets produce winners, losers and unintended or hidden consequences.

Read in on AlterNet and share it widely.

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