Geese, Gander, And Charter Schools

Wayne Barrett (The Nation, Village Voice) writing in the New York Daily News:

…Democrats like [Howard] Dean and others have seen through the “privatization” trashing of charters by [Diane] Ravitch and the union, recognizing that there’s no structural difference between the non-profits that run public school charters and the ones that operate Head Start, day care and pre-K programs.

For his part, [New York Mayor] de Blasio has never explained what distinguishes maligned charter non-profits from the ones that will run 60% of his celebrated new pre-K classrooms.

The only difference, in fact, is that most charters, unlike other nonprofit education providers, opt out of contracts like the UFT’s 200-page straitjacket that micromanages the school day and imposes an assembly-line mentality on schools – one that charters have exposed as dysfunctional.

Some on the left are, like the union, deliberately conflating “privatization” and contract-free schools in the Frank Luntz “words-that-work” tradition of bogus branding. Charter opposition is now reflexively used in New York City as a progressive barometer, regardless of the overwhelming evidence of their benefits to mostly black children, with 63% of the schools here outperforming traditional schools in math, for example…

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