This morning I read a well-written and mostly-neutral short history of the charter school movement. In “The Original Charter School Vision,” Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter outline how charter schools have developed over the past couple decades.
Charter schools remain confusing and controversial. Critics argue that charter schools worsen racial segregation. Others decry high staff turnover (twice the rate vs. other public schools) and the lack of unions. For others, the lack of unions is a positive. Because they’re fairly new, charter schools are right in the middle of the education debate fusillade. Depending on whom you ask, charter schools are either the best or worst things ever.
It’s weird: I’m usually a reflecting kind of guy, but I don’t spend too much time ruminating on my work in charter schools over the past 15 years. Where I’ve worked, we’ve focused on the students the traditional system, in general, has overlooked. And that’s where I want to be.
“ALTHOUGH the leaders of teachers unions and charter schools are often in warring camps today, the original vision for charter schools came from Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.”