...the unchecked growth of charters has created a glut of schools competing for some of the nation’s poorest students, enticing them to enroll with cash bonuses, laptops, raffle tickets for iPads and bicycles. Leaders of charter and traditional schools alike say they are being cannibalized, fighting so hard over students and the limited public dollars that follow them that no one thrives.
After her experience with the failing charter school in southwest Detroit, Ms. Rivera moved her younger son, Omar, to another charter nearby. It has had three principals in the three years since it opened. Nearly 20 teachers have left, and in January, the Wisconsin-based company that operates the school announced it was leaving. So for fifth grade she has enrolled him in a Detroit Public School, where instruction will be split between Spanish and English. “I’m a little fed up with the charters,” she said.... NY TimesThe NY Times seems to have woken up to the charter school catastrophe. A major front-page piece doesn't seem to have gotten enough notice. The fact is the Detroit story is the inevitable outcome all over of the unfettered charter movement and why I oppose the very concept - schools are a public institution and so is the concept of a neighborhood school from K-12. Competition and choice is not the answer. They involve competing for the kids who can perform. Bad neighborhood schools need to have oversight. But putting in awful principals make the problem worse. Until teachers and parents get to play a major role in choosing the school leader, the system will self-destruct.
A few tidbits before you read the entire piece:
“We’re spreading the money across more and more schools; it’s no wonder that every school struggles,” said Dan Varner, the chief executive of Excellent Schools Detroit. “They’re all under-resourced.”
Even as Michigan and Detroit continued to hemorrhage residents, the number of schools grew. The state has nearly 220,000 fewer students than it did in 2003, but more than 100 new charter schools....
By 2015, a federal review of a grant application for Michigan charter schools found an “unreasonably high” number of charters among the worst-performing 5 percent of public schools statewide. The number of charters on the list had doubled from 2010 to 2014.
A Sea of Charter Schools in Detroit Leaves Students Adrift