Monday, December 17, 2012

Educational profiteering

The wealthy are opposed to public schools for many reasons. They don't want their children associating with riff-raff, they want their own children in private schools, they don't want to pay taxes for public schools (especially if they are sending their kids to a private school and paying for that as well), and they want to be able to make a profit off of the public tax dollars that are going to public schools. They have had some problems convincing the public that public tax dollars should go to strictly private schools, so they have worked very hard to crate a middle-of-the-road school that is partly private, partly public, called the "charter" school. These schools often get to select some children over others and they are usually privately run, so some capitalist is making a profit at the expense of the educational program.

The wealthy (and conservatives who buy the whole bullshit line of reasoning) like to promote these charter schools as superior in some fashion to the public schools - not as good as the private schools mind you, but better than the average. There's just one or two problems. 

First of all, the public schools do not have to make a profit - every penny they get goes into educating the children. Charter school operators need to make a profit - and given the exact same dollar-per-student aid, 10% is taken off the top for the owners of the charter.

Secondly, there's not a lot of evidence that, on average, the charters do as good a job of educating the children as the public schools. (Go figure - 10% less money to run the program.) And so, they try to break all of the rules for reporting. Oh, there's lots of evidence of this - click the link below to read a fairly comprehensive report on this very topic.

Charter schools don't perform as advertised


Anonymous said...

Actually, charter schools are public schools. They are not allowed to pick and choose their students; they can accept applicants from anywhere, but they have to accept students based on a lottery in which someone completely unaffiliated with the school picks names from a hat, often literally. Charter schools, at least before Obama's waivers for states that do well enough, had/have to meet the same standardized test requirements as regular public schools. The only way charter schools "handpick" students or are "elite" is in the way they can create and run harder classes than regular schools, which must provide bare minimum classes for the students who refuse to pass regular classes. I attend a charter school, which also happens to be an International Baccalaureate school, and there is no elitism, no handpicking of students. We actually have a greater percentage of needy students at our school than the percentage of needy children and families in the community our school serves.
Regardless of who started charter schools, they are not an evil in the world today, Nor, for that matter, are private schools. Yes, private schools often become elitist, but not all of them do, and those that are elitist often do very badly, as spoiled rich kids aren't known for their willingness to work for what they want.

Bozo Funny said...

As with most charter school advocates, you tell a great story, but the facts don't always match up with your vision. Did you read the article I attached to my own monologue? Here are a few more you might wish to try...

Study Finds No Clear Edge for Charter Schools (

Study Casts Doubt on Strength of Charter Managers (

Study Casts Doubt on Charter School Results (

Charters: Students With Disabilities Need Not Apply? (

And here's a very comprehensive study that you should read...

Do Charter Schools
Measure Up?
The Charter School
Experiment After 10 Years