Transferring Poor Performing Public Schools to Poorly Performing Charters

I had a post from Diane Ravitch emailed to me this morning.  In a post entitled “Theft of Public Education in Memphis” she described what seems to be a colossal shift of taxpayer money from public schools to charter schools in Memphis, TN.

The Memphis schools will be merged with the schools of Shelby County, allegedly for efficiency. But in fact, the plan is to implement a massive transfer of students to charter schools.

By 2016, a mere four years from now, enrollment in charter schools will increase from 4% to 19%. This will happen not because parents or students have asked to be assigned to charters but because the planners want it to happen (one guess as to who devised the plan).

This will result in a handover of $212 million of public funds to privately managed charter schools.

That is, $212 million will be removed from the budget of the public schools and transferred to charter schools whose governance is private and not subject to local, democratic control.

I’m in favor of school choice, but I have pointed out, numerous times, that the answer is not always charters.  It seems the same crew who promotes the common core state standards (Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, etc.) tend to push charter schools as the only school choice option.

The primary problem, Diane points out and I agree with is that there is little to no accountability for these charters and these types of decisions are rarely made by elected policymakers.

It is simply mind-blowing to watch this small cadre of people who are associated with TFA, Gates, Broad, Stand for Children, and the Walton Foundation colonize and privatize America’s public schools. Who elected them?

She then concludes in a postscript that if results from charter schools are no different than public schools why is all of this money being shifted around?  Be sure to read her entire post and a post that Jim Horn of School Matters wrote that she referred to.

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