9 months ago

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Charter School Lobby

Charter School Lobby Panics as NAACP Rejects For-Profit School by Steven Singer White America has a history of freaking out at perfectly reasonable suggestions by the black community. Hey, maybe black people shouldn’t be slaves. SOUTHERN STATES SECEDE! THE CIVIL WAR BEGINS! Hey, maybe black lives should matter as much as white ones. BLUE LIVES MATTER! MAGA! TRUMP! Hey, maybe we shouldn’t be making money off of children’s educations? PANIC! That’s what seems to be happening at think tanks and school privatization lobbying firms across the country after a new report by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) this week. Some news sources are characterizing the report as “radical” or “controversial.”

However, the report, titled “Quality Education for All: One School at a Time,” basically says nothing more revolutionary than that all public schools should be transparent and accountable. That includes charter schools. “Public schools must be public,” the report states. “They must serve all children equitably and well. To the extent that they are part of our public education system, charter schools must be designed to serve these ends.” And why shouldn’t they? More than 3 million students attend charter schools across the country. Approximately 837,000 of them are black. Don’t they deserve the same kinds of democratically controlled schools and fiscal responsibility as their counterparts in traditional public schools? Somehow your local public school is able to teach kids while still keeping a record of how it’s spending its money – your money. And if you don’t like what’s being done, you can go to a school board meeting and speak up or even run for a leadership position. How does getting rid of that help kids learn? How does operating in secret in the shadows benefit children? The report also recommends that local communities should have more control over whether to open charter schools in their districts and calls for an end to for-profit charter schools, altogether. Not exactly the musings of anarchist provocateurs. Charter school cheerleaders like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos call their movement School Choice. Shouldn’t communities get to choose whether they want them there in the first place? If the program is based on the free market, let them make their case to the community before setting up shop. They shouldn’t get to make a backroom deal with

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