August 20 2004 Edition

Growing Backlash Against Charter Schools:  A long, long time ago, it seems, charter schools were the seemingly perfect political compromise between public school advocates and those who favored competition and private school vouchers – a compromise that public school advocates (including teachers unions) endorsed just in the nick of time to avoid losing voucher debates in Congress and elsewhere.  

Without charters, there would almost certainly be more publicly funded private school voucher initiatives in operation than the current handful.   Under Al Shanker, the AFT endorsed charter schools, and Bill Clinton and many other Democrats (including Ted Kennedy and John Kerry) helped spur the creation of more than 3,000 charter schools around the country.  

As this week's flurry of articles and denunciations shows, however, that compromise seems on the verge of collapse -- but why?   The overall quality of charter schools seems the least likely reason.  Perhaps it was the loss of Shanker’s progressive leadership, or tight budget times that pit charter schools against their traditional counterparts, or the spread of private and for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) running charter schools, or lack of strong Democratic leadership -- or a combination of factors.  

Still, what seems hard to understand is why anyone would take this particular moment to pick a fight against charter schools (or create a wedge issue during a campaign homestretch).  What remains unclear as of yet is whether pressure from labor will force Democrats to undo bipartisan support for charters in the future.  

Bad News on the Charter Front New York Times
Charter Schools Remain Subject Of Debate CNN.com
Charter Schools and Education in America On Point Radio
Times Crusade I—Anti-NCLB Slate.com
Charter Schools Underperforming, Results Repeatedly Delayed  AFT
Charter School Scores Seen as Bad News for Bush
NPR (audio)
Kids Come Last New York Post
Chester E. Finn, Jr.: Defaming Charters New York Post
Classes of Last Resort New York Times
Downplayed results show charter schools are no panacea The State, SC
Dog Eats AFT Homework W
all Street Journal
Opinion: AFT's charter study virtually meaningless The Wall Street Journal

Campaign 2004:
Effort by Bush on Education Faces Obstacles in the States NYT
Kerry's College Plan Fails Poor Kids Los Angeles Times
Is The Education Prez Making The Grade? Business Week
Bush Mythology National Review
School proposals help define candidates for war-fixated voters USA Today

Lists, Transfers, Corrections, Surprises, and a ‘No Thanks’ (NCLB)
Education law requires fixes, not a full-scale retreat USA Today
High schools 'failing' key test Saint Paul Pioneer Press
No clamor for school transfers Atlanta Journal Constitution
Most schools make progress under No Child Left Behind Jackson Sun, TN
Top suburban schools hit by sanctions Chicago Tribune
85 Schools Don't Make The Grade St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Graphic: The Impact of No Child Left Behind
Some schools labeled as failing dispute data Chicago Tribune
Shape up this year, or else, state tells 22 Chicago schools Chicago Sun Times
(or see Overhaul moves closer for 22 schools Catalyst)
Complex Title 1 formulas create new winners and losers The Washington Post
States' formula-tweaking has Some Children Left Behind The New York Times
2 school districts reject funds Chicago Tribune
Evanston undecided on rejecting US grant Tribune
Few Students To Transfer Out of Low-scoring MPS Schools MILWAUKEE-JOURNAL SENTINEL
Correction lifts North Hardin in ‘No Child Left Behind' Elizabethtown News Enterprise
Picard foresees revamp of No Child Left Behind Act Baton Rouge Advocate

New & Notable:
High school graduation tests found to lack clear purposes USA Today
Average ACT Scores Rise For First Time In 7 Years  USAToday
State Says 13 Schools No Longer Dangerous  Philadelphia Inquirer
ACT average scores up for the first time in years  The Boston Globe/Associated Press
SAT and ACT feature high-stakes essay questions: USA TODAY
Teacher Licenses Will Reflect New State Standards BISMARCK TRIBUNE
LOW-SCORING SCHOOLS Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Classroom Tech: Informate, not Automate Teacher Magazine
Bloomberg: Social Promotion Reform Successful 1010 WINS
Promotion Rate for 3rd Graders Looks Stable New York Times
Clint Bolick: Good Schools: For The Rich Only New York Post
Miami-Dade schools chief offers major fixes for failing schools The Miami Herald

Chicago Illinois
Part of the puzzle Baltimore Sun
Future of Quest Center, partnership schools in limbo Catalyst
Opinion: The Facts About Charter Schools Tribune
Daley defends charter schools here as a success Chicago Sun Times
Least Prepared Help Boost State On ACT Tribune
Backers Won't Flee School On Watch List Tribune
More bad news Chicago Daily Herald
17 DuPage schools singled out Chicago Daily Herald
Wredling must offer students chance to transfer
Students' scores ...
Chicago Daily Herald
ACT Scores In City Jump, But They're Still Too Low Sun-Times
State drops writing, social science tests Pioneer Press Online
Experts to attempt to solve education crisis Chicago Daily Southtown
More teachers stay in schools Tribune
And that's without No Child Left Behind Chicago Sun Times
CPS budget raises taxes to the limit Chicago Daily Southtown
Huge school bureaucracy cheats taxpayers, students Chicago Sun Times
Critics Say Budget Cuts For Schools Don't Add Up Chicago Tribune
Opinion: Illinois' plan to cut out writing tests bucks national trends Chicago Tribune
Illinois to screen new school hires more rigorously  Chicago Tribune

School Life

Schools relax cell phone policies Teacher Magazine
Truant Teens Lose Licenses in Georgia and Other States Stateline.org


Post a Comment

<< Home