Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Problem with Charter Schools

Charter schools are a good concept. Use public funds to start a school with targeted programs that attract highly motivated students and parents. Sounds good, especially if parents live in an area where the zoned school is, well, not so good. But there's a problem which is evident to most anyone who does not have a child whom they are trying to get the best education for: What about the rest?

One of the issues with Charter schools (and vouchers) is that bright students are sucked out of lower performing schools. They are segregated from other students which then leads to a two (or three) tiered public educational system. That should have been obvious to people but apparently not and in NY this is coming to a head:

Suzanne Tecza had spent a year redesigning the library at Middle School 126 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, including colorful new furniture and elaborate murals of leafy trees. So when her principal decided this year to give the space to the charter high schools that share the building, Ms. Tecza was furious.

“It’s not fair to our students,” she said of the decision, which gives the charter students access to the room for most of the day. “It’s depriving them of a fully functioning library, something they deserve.”

Kinda reminds you of the "whites only" schools right? Or the "Whites only" pools. You know the whites (bright kids) get the pool (library) most of the time and then the darkies (dumber kids) get it. I mean really. Functionally there is no difference. Want more?

In Red Hook, Brooklyn, teachers at Public School 15 said they avoid walking their students past rooms being used by the PAVE Academy Charter School, fearing that they will envy those students for their sparkling-clean classrooms and computers.

Can't walk past a classroom in order to not raise feelings of inferiority among non-charter school students? Anyone read the Brown V. Board of Ed decision? No? let me paraphrase the portion regarding the reasoning. The idea was that "Negro" children would feel inferior to white children because they were separated from them for no other reason than that they were black." Flawed thinking but if taken at it's word, then I believe housing charter schools in non-charter public schools in such a way that students are segregated by facilities is unconstitutional and is no different than the issues brought up by Brown V. Board. If a charter school wants to have no access to non-charter students it ought to have it's own separate building.

But really, I think that the whole charter school idea should be scrapped entirely. I have absolutely no problem with magnet schools. I went to one. You test in and the best of the tested get in (supposedly). But funding and updated facilities need to be provided for all students period. These corporations who want to donate ought to donate to the entire school. The curriculum ought to be revamped, where needed, across the board. It is the job of the public school system to provide the best educational facilities it can for all it's students. Not just some of them. Charter schools (and vouchers) represents a failure to provide such an education and institutionalizes tracking.