(2nd in a series of posts on Education)
The idea of charter schools as a way to pilot new ideas & approaches was a good idea, because they be somewhat experimental and parents could decide whether it was right for their children. If successful, public schools could then adopt that model.
As implemented, charter schools are a mixture of new ideas and things the school district is already doing or wants to do. Children with special needs are routinely excluded. Profiteering through related companies is rampant. Covert segregation is also often a problem. Although many charters pay staff lower, non-union salaries, their cost to the district is very high due to the way payments are calculated.
Charters could have been a valuable addition to the field of education, but as a result of how they were implemented, most charters are a big negative.
(Peter is way ahead of Gadfly here, who sees most of the news he’s come across on charter schools is negative but wants to withhold judgment till he understands the situation more. Sounds like we are going to need some charter school advocates to speak up if we are going to have a balanced view. If the source of the money is the big negative issue, Gadfly wonders if that is fixable. But, again, Gadfly doesn’t know enough to judge yet and is just trying to understand the problem. He believes that an issue regarding athletic teams — basketball — recruiting — has hit the sports pages: that he understands!!!!)