Charter Schools

Charter Schools Criticized For Preferring Better Students, But Public Schools Do the Same

Charter schools tend to offer a better product than public schools, and so parents of all backgrounds flock to them.


Ed Krayewski

Anti-charter school rhetoric seems to be on the rise in recent weeks, with the NAACP (nominally an organization that advocates for black people but in general a mainstream left-wing advocacy group ) taking a strong stance against charter schools, which have helped poor, mostly black students in cities across the country access better educations than were otherwise available in their dysfunctional public school districts.

As David Osborne of the Progressive Policy Institute and Anne Osborne point out in a column in USA Today, one of the primary critiques of charter schools—that they privilege higher-performing students with higher-motivated parents in admissions—is just as applicable to public school districts, many of which maintain magnet schools for higher-performing students and offer other avenues for higher-motivated parents to get their children into better public schools.

I can vouch for this first-hand. I attended a magnet school in Newark, Science High School. I was able to get in because my mother, an illegal immigrant, was motivated enough to hit up the principal and force me in. I was 10 when I started high school, which should illustrate how dysfunctional the Newark district was that getting me into a magnet school still required my mother to work outside of the system.

Nevertheless, while the teachers I had there that I still follow on social media seem to be unanimously against charter schools, Science High might as well have been a charter. In fact, it can have stricter admissions policies than actual charter schools in Newark, which largely operate (as many charter schools now do) on a lottery system. I saw one teacher complain that charter schools were "exploiting" black and brown bodies (not clear to me how offering such students a quality education and the opportunity to vastly improve their income-earning potential does that), yet teachers unions (which have donated to the NAACP and never been a target of the advocacy group) often resist reform.

While teachers unions' public relations side may insist they have children's interests at heart, as with all unions, their primary over-riding goal is protecting employees. Reforms threaten employees by threatening the status quo in which those employees are comfortable. In most districts it remains almost impossible to fire a public school teacher, even though anyone who has spent any amount of time in a failing public school understands that personnel changes have to be part of any substantive solution. When I was a public school teacher in Newark, I had one co-worker who stashed liquor in her purse. No increase in school funding would make her classroom anything other than dysfunctional.

Many of the critiques of charter schools are transparently hypocritical. Charter schools have exploded in the last twenty years, and are popular even in cities where nominally anti-charter school candidates win (as in New York City and Newark, NJ). In recent years, teachers unions' involvement in politics has focused in large part on stopping the spread of charter schools. They use their positions as government employees with government-granted union privileges to smash their thumbs on the scales against charter schools. They have largely failed to thwart charter schools because charter schools, by and large, offer a better product than public schools. Despite the stereotypes held by many teachers about poor parents and their unwillingness or inability to be involved in their children's educations, like many other parents, they too tend to be highly-motivated about their children's education, even if they can't be as involved in the schools themselves as some teachers would wish them to be. The success of charter schools in poor, mostly black cities across the country bears this out. The opposition to charter schools will only intensify as it becomes harder for parasitical public school employees to make a living off a system that systematically fails students. Charter schools allow parents to vote on education with their feet without having to move out of town, an existential threat to dysfunctional public school systems.

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  1. I've posted links in the comments many times to current studies which provide hard empirical data that cream-skimming by charters is largely a myth.

    I'm too lazy and unmotivated to go searching for them now.

    1. Though, I'll direct you to anything by John F. Witte, who has been banging this drum for almost 30 years.

    2. I'm too lazy and unmotivated to go searching for them now.

      To be expected from a public school graduate.

    3. I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

  2. the teachers I had there that I still follow on social media

    You are a sick man, Ed.

  3. Progs would rather every child suffer then some have a better school. 'Equality'

    They seriously believe that the failing schools are because parents send their kids to better schools, and they would be better off if the smarter kids went there instead.

    No, you dumb fuck union shills.

    1. No. The Progs are beholding to the teachers' unions and to the system that supports the "colleges of education" and also their "(favored minority here) studies" programs. Also, they don't really believe that most children can absorb a vood education. They consider the vast majority of people to be "the working class" and almost too stupid to breathe. It makes them special, at least in what must (for decency's sake) be called their minds.

      They don't believe in equality. They say they do. They say a lot of things.

    2. It's probably not a coincidence that the politicians making these decisions most likely send their children to incredibly expensive private schools and then, after their kids graduate from those private institutions, send their kids to a private college as well.

      Meanwhile, they will tell the unwashed masses to get in line and get into a public school for a public education. Perhaps they would have a greater incentive to make sure public schools aren't terrible if their own children were forced to go to the same schools as these 'underprivileged' kids.

      This entire issue is blindingly hypocritical of the politicians who opt their own out of the system they're supposedly trying to 'reform'. Maybe they should admit all these 'underprivileged' kids into the private schools their own children attend, but my guess is that won't be happening any time soon.

  4. But I want my lazy, stupid, bullying kid to have the same opportunities as everyone else!

  5. So if the argument is that magnet schools do the same thing that charter schools do, what is the difference? Are most of the charter school teachers not members of the teachers union?

    People against charter schools are probably against magnet schools too and just use "charter" as the catch-all word.

    1. Magnet schools pay teachers better than private charters.

    2. Magnet schools pay teachers better than private charters.

      1. fucking squirrels.

        1. They work for peanuts.

      2. I assume there is some sort of performance based pay as well? Also, easier firing of teachers?

  6. This sort of segregation is going on already in the public school realm, where the schools in the nice neighborhoods have effectively poached the "good" students.

  7. Honestly? I don't understand why the progressives don't bring back busing.

    Take them clean cut white kids, bus they asses over to Compton and Kyla Park.

    1. Hahahaahaa, see my post below.

    2. That is how magnet schools started. I went to magnet schools - take a guess what sorts of neighborhoods they were in.

  8. "..I was able to get in because my mother, an illegal immigrant, "

    Krayweski doesn't sound very Mexican to me.

    /raises eyebrow.

    1. He proud 1/64th native American. Tribe call him Lying Bull.

  9. Progs, who call everyone else racists, mostly live in 90+% white neighborhoods where they don't have to be near those icky colored folk that they love so much and champion non-stop, and so their kids don't have to go to school with those icky colored kids. They then push gentrification in their turf so that there isn't any opportunity for icky people to move in. This is all out of love, the rest of us just don't understand it because we're unenlightened racists.

      1. That's why they're so scurred of global warming.

      2. Crusty would

    1. Yeah, interesting timing as to when they started worrying about people having guns as well.

    2. David Frum has some astonishing stories about open and blatant prog hypocrisy in the 1970s in How We Got Here.

      One judge (Garrity maybe) when asked about how he could force busing on students when his own kids didn't have to go through it replied along the lines of, "my kids only get one shot at a good education, I can't take that away from them."

    3. Some day, when I'm feeling especially nasty, I'm going to make a poster of an 1860's Klansman in full regalia on one side and Al Sharpton on the other, over the slogan "Democrats; championing racial sepratism for more than a century."

  10. I bet you the assholes railing against charter schools are trying to get their own kids in one.

    "While teachers unions' public relations side may insist they have children's interests at heart, as with all unions, their primary over-riding goal is protecting employees."

    Well, as the husband of a teacher, I can vouch 'for the children' is mostly bull shit. It's all about expanding union power and if it protects employees all the better.

    You can't be both because if they were to be in conflict guess who wins?

    On the other hand, at my place of business, security trumps EVERYTHING. It takes a back seat to NOTHING. Not the educators, not the parents, not me. If someone doesn't like it (and they don't ever dare) they can kiss my ass. So all decisions are truly in the interest of the children.

  11. I remember an article about some rich progs in new york (after forced integration) saying "well it's not like we are the south or anything"

    yeah so it's fine for the plebs but not your rich ass. Go Fuck Yourself

  12. I was able to get in because my mother, an illegal immigrant, was motivated enough to hit up the principal and force me in.

    Go on...

    1. I saw that movie, but had no idea Mrs Gump was illegal, and or Forrest had a brother named Ed.

      (sorry, first post after lurking in the shadows for years so figured it best to insult a Reason writers mother)

      1. Go big or go home! ^_-

  13. Random Things

    -There is an upcoming movie called Arrival about deciphering an alien language. It's based on a short story called Story of Your Life.The gist of it is the alien written language is sort of like Chinese in that it doesn't represent sounds. The linguist studying it eventually ends up thinking differently after studying the language. Humans perceive things as a sequence whereas the aliens see the big picture. It reminded me of the Tralfamadorians in Slaughterhouse 5.

    -Seal escapes killer whales by jumping into tour boat

    -Professor imagines nightmare scenario of President Trump censoring art, because progs never censor things they don't like.

    -San Fran Reasonoids: anyone up for a Labor Day meet-up?

    1. YES. I actually posted in the PM and AM links looking to get one going.

      I'll be visiting SF from Aug 30 to Sep 6th.

    2. I they made Arrival 20 years ago.

      1. (And unfortunately, the song I was thinking of was used in a different movie, so I couldn't link to it and make the joke.)

    3. Seal escapes killer whales by jumping into tour boat

      Well, he is never gonna survive unless he gets a little crazy.

      1. I saw that earlier today. I loved the chickenshit who pissed his pants over a seal the size of a small dog.

        I would have grabbed the little guy and put him more out of sight. The first thing I thought when I saw the video was "oh shit, a whale is going to lunge up to get him and sink the boat"

        1. You don't generally want to touch wild critters, since they generally don't like being handled, and there's a lot of bacteria in the mouth of various critters, so you don't want to get bitten.

    4. sort of like Chinese in that it doesn't represent sounds

      Nitpick: While the most basic characters are "pictorial" in origin, the majority are actually based on a combination of picture & sound. For example, half the character expresses the meaning and the other half is a different word that is a homonym.

      1. Er... homophone

    5. Thats right, its the R candidates that hate freedom of expression.

      1. I can't wait to see the NYT's take on this.

        1. Why not wonder about closer sites?

  14. I was 10 when I started high school


    1. Right? Check out the big brain on Ed.

  15. SF Meetup? Or better yet, the South Bay? I work in Oakland but live in SJ near Campbell

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