Hmmm….NAPCS’s new blog is flirting dangerously close to being self-critical and proving this contention wrong:
…a theme emerged that I’ve come across in a few other settings of late. The leaders of America’s very best charters are EXTREMELY unforgiving of their struggling charter colleagues. We’re not at a schism yet, but we’re not too far. This is just another consequence of the greatest structural disappointment of the charter movement so far: the inability to swiftly close lousy charters.
It’s also a good point. Seems to me that choice in education is expanding regardless of quality– in no small part because we’ve left some parents so desperate they’ll grab at anything. So the quality issue isn’t the right thing to address because it’s politically smart or a good way to rebut criticism of public charter schools but rather simply because it’s the right thing to do. Within a decade there will be substantially more publicly funded educational choices and rather than howling at the moon about them the more productive thing is to make sure the work as well for kids as they can and Adam Smith isn’t going to take care of that for us. And, there is a lot of educational promise in more options, choice, and customization anyway and it’s not like the existing system is without its quality issues, too.