A Place for a Pedagogy of Kindness (public and scholarly writing by P. L. Thomas, Furman University)
CHARTER SCAM WEEK 2015
It’s Charter Scam Week again, and we can conclude that charter advocacy has revealed itself in the following ways:
Charter advocacy cannot be about improving student achievement since charter school consistently have a range of outcomes similar to public and even private schools once student populations are considered.
Charter advocacy cannot be concerned about resegregation of schools by race and class since charter schools are significantly segregated.
Charter advocacy is a thinly veiled attempt to introduce school choice as “parental choice” despite the U.S. public mostly being against school choice.
Charter advocacy is tolerating at best and perpetuating at worst schools for “other people’s children”—a system that subjects minority and high-poverty children to limited learning experiences, extensive test-prep, and authoritarian/abusive disciplinary policies.
Charter advocacy chooses to ignore that charters underserve some the most challenging students, ELL and special needs students.
Charter advocacy has committed to the (dishonest) “miracle” approach to demonizing public schools, and abandoned the original ideal of charter schools as pockets of experimentation (means and not ends) for the improvement of the public school system.
The problem for charter advocacy is that the evidence is overwhelmingly counter to nearly every claim in favor of charter schools.