Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Charter School Factories

I am continually amazed by the education “reformers” who are apparently unfazed by their own continual contradictions. 

They argue that seniority bidding rights leave struggling students with the least experienced teachers and yet they want to fill those same schools with inexperienced and under-trained Teach for America (TFA) teachers.

They claim to be the leaders of the "new" civil rights movement, fighting for social justice.  They then create schools on the backs of teachers and staff who are required to work 10 hour days at school, and then be "on-call" until 9 or 10 p.m. each night to answer any and every question a student or parent may have.  Many schools also have classes on Saturdays, resulting in teachers working 60 to 70 hour weeks.  Many charters also have extended school years.  What does this teach students about social justice? 

They criticize public schools as relics of the industrial age and then praise charter schools that operate as assembly lines.  I'm not sure the irony is recognized by anyone in this video about Rocketship Education charters.  I believe the comparison to the Model T is intended to show the "innovation" of the charter model, and yet it simply shows the assembly line approach is what most charters are all about.

Charters claim to make their students "college and career-ready," or as Rocketship Education claims, "Rocketeers are well positioned along a path toward expanded opportunities in Middle school, high school, college and life."  Yet, when you look at the scene with students spending an hour and a half of their day in the "learning lab," you can't help but see this as their future.

Posted by Rob Panning-Miller

No comments:

Post a Comment