Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bruce Baker: Charters are Parasites

Here is the Ravitch post with the link to Bruce's piece:
Bruce Baker has studied Newark charters repeatedly. As he shows in this post, their greatest success is their ability to skim the students who are most likely to succeed. Some if his findings about their academic growth–or lack thereof-may surprise you. 

Charters are parasites, he concludes, that harm their host. Making the entire district charter does not change that: 

“But sadly, those who most vociferously favor charter expansion as a key element of supposed “portfolio” models of schooling appear entirely uninterested in mitigating parasitic activity (that which achieves the parasites goal at the expense of the host. e.g. parasitic rather than symbiotic). Rather, they fallaciously argue that an organism consisting entirely of potential parasites is itself, the optimal form. That the good host is one that relinquishes? (WTF?) As if somehow, the damaging effects of skimming and selective attrition might be lessened or cease to exist if the entirety of cities such as Newark were served only by charter schools. Such an assertion is not merely suspect, it’s absurd.”
The agenda of the people behind charters is to eliminate as much of the public school system they can before it all falls down around their heads. If they can really break it badly it can never be put back together again and no matter the scandals, etc. we will be back to the 19th century pre-public ed --- except for the kids no one wants --- but I bet some charter slugs will even come up with some scam to take those --- you know, use Guantanamo techniques at the least expense but charge high fees for their "special" services.

Here is a post that reveals that agenda from Andy Smarick posting in Philanthropy Roundtable:

Our schools won’t thrive until the charter ethic replaces the urban school district itself, says this leading reform expert....The traditional urban public school system is broken. It cannot be fixed. It must be replaced.

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