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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ravitch Doubles Down on NAACP Charter Embrace

Last October the NAACP passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on the approval of new charter schools.  The resolution did nothing for the millions of segregated children already suffering in the penal no excuses charters that no NAACP Board member would ever allow for his or her own children, but it was a decision that, nonetheless, freaked out the multi-billion dollar charter industry and the abusive, well-paid overseers who run the charter reform schools.
As a result of NAACP call for a moratorium last fall, the billionaires went to work to put pressure on the NAACP to recant.  The NAACP, an organization largely dependent upon the generosity of corporate foundations, the philanthrocapitalists, and their corporate unions, caved to the pressure.  Less than a year after the squeeze began, members of the NAACP Board issued a report that ignores the moratorium by making recommendations for how new charters are to approved. The report provides a clear signal that the moratorium is now irrelevant.  

The NAACP report won the praise of the DNC/AFT/NEA/NPE.  As schoolmarm to the nation's neoliberals, Diane Ravitch went so far as put the NAACP in her blog's Honor Roll.  

On August 8, Ravitch took the opportunity to praise once again the new NAACP position, which mirrors the AFT/NEA/NPE position on charters.  Here are the two NAACP points regarding charters that Ravitch posted on her blog:

4. Mandate a rigorous [charter] authorizing and renewal process. States with the fewest authorizers have the best charters. Only local school districts should be allowed to authorize charters, based on their needs.
      . . . .
5. Eliminate for-profit charter schools and for-profit charter management companies that control nonprofit charters. Not a dollar of federal, state or local money should go to for-profit charters. The report notes that the widespread reports of misconduct of for-profit charters and their for-profit managers is reason enough to forbid them. As for-profits, they have an “inherent conflict of interest,” and may well put the interest of their investors over those of students. 

Ravitch then asks:  Now, I ask you, what part of these five recommendations suggests that the NAACP is wrong? That it was doing the bidding of teachers’ unions?"  

The second part of your question I will answer with a question: Does anyone believe that it's a coincidence that the NAACP position on charters now mirrors the AFT/NEA/NPE position?  Or is the NAACP seeking refuge inside the DNC education tent?  Can they afford to support a moratorium that the DNC, which still run by the Clintonians, is not supporting?

As to why the NAACP/NEA/AFT/NPE position is wrong:  As I have noted most recently, putting local boards in charge of deciding which charter chain gangs get approval does nothing to staunch the flow of education dollars into the pockets of charter operators. It just makes local boards complicit in the corruption.

And as for the weak call to eliminate for-profit charters, here's what I said about that a couple of weeks ago:

. . . the majority of charters have always been of the “non-profit” variety, with only 13 percent of the nation’s 7,500 charters run by for-profit companies.  Insisting that all charters become “non-profit” will only guarantee that that state and local education dollars will continue to fill the coffers of the charter industry, which thrives by claiming “non-profit” status for their segregated cultural sterilization schools based on the KIPP Model. 
Which, of course, is the final and most egregious "wrong" associated with the NAACP position: it ignores the damage being done to children in the neo-eugenic psychological neutering camps that are the chosen solution to controlling the urban poor.

1 comment:

  1. A little point: "Non-profit" charters (as well as some other "non-profits") suck in the profits for their ancillary suppliers, managers, evaluators, testers, curriculum creators, and other parasitic entities with which they are usually associated. The original charter idea seemed to be an opportunity for teachers to circumvent blocks to effective teaching and learning, but anyone who has tried to establish a charter to actually do this can tell you that that path no longer exists, if it ever did.