Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education

By Stan Karp | Published in Volume 28 No.1 – Fall 2013 of Rethinking Schools

Excerpt:

It has become impossible to separate the rapid expansion of charter networks from efforts to privatize public education. Those who believe that business models and market reforms hold the key to solving educational problems have made great strides in attaching their agenda to the urgent need of communities who have too often been poorly served by the current system. But left to its own bottom line logic, the market will do for education what it has done for housing, health care, and employment: create fabulous profits and opportunities for a few, and unequal access and outcomes for the many.

Our country has already had more than enough experience with separate and unequal school systems. The counterfeit claim that charter privatization is part of a new “civil rights movement,” addressing the deep and historic inequality that surrounds our schools, is belied by the real impact of rapid charter growth in cities across the country. At the level of state and federal education policy, charters are providing a reform cover for eroding the public school system and an investment opportunity for those who see education as a business rather than a fundamental institution of democratic civic life. It’s time to put the brakes on charter expansion and refocus public policy on providing excellent public schools for all.

Read more: http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/28_01/28_01_karp.shtml

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