But wait… It gets worse (Charter Schools)

This Monday’s charter school overview in the New York Times is a timely and insightful look at the current predicament facing the charter school movement, rightly calling it one of the most contentious issues in education. In the article, NAACP president Kweisi Mfume is quoted comparing the intensity of the fight over charter schools to the fight over reproductive rights.

That’s hyperbole right now, but it may not be for long. More and more urban districts are looking to create large numbers of charterized small schools as part of their core school improvement plans. Nationwide, NCLB will soon start requiring “forced” conversions of failing neighborhood schools into charter schools – a much larger change on the part of schools and districts than anything that NCLB has thrown at them thus far. If it's ugly now, it's going to get much more ugly soon. Voters to decide on charter schools (New York Times).

FRIDAY UPDATE: Over at Eduwonk.com, Andy Rotherham rather mystifyingly objects to the idea that support for charters might have been weakened recently: "the story implies that support is weakening. In fact, the opposite is true..." He cites the involvement of La Raza to bolster his case, which tells you just how strong support for charters is right now. A more realistic assessment of the situation might help move things in a positive direction.

Over at the Gadfly -- Times to charters: know your place -- Checker Finn argues that charters are now more controversial “because they now are numerous enough, and successful enough, to threaten the system's interests,” which seems not so unlike Don Rumsfeld’s argument that more insurgency in Iraq means the US is winning the war there.


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