Don’t Complain About Charter Schools, Compete With Them

Arun Ramanathan, Education Next, Aug 22, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The premise of this article is that public school supporters should cease complaining about charter schools and instead try to outperform them in the classroom. The main argument is that "neither side has a monopoly on the truth or a claim to the higher ground." And so, "In their rush to score cheap political points, both camps sidestep the reality that districts and charters are in a high-stakes competition for students." This competition - and the waste it creates - wouldn't exist were people not trying to privatize the school system. And while they may appear to be the same, charter school and public school organizations have very different objectives: the one to perform an essential public service for everybody, the other to cherrypick the most profitable parts of that service to make money. They are not equivalent, and it is an error to suppose that they are.

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