Opinions by John R. Liming
Charter schools are high on the list of favorite things for Conservatives in many areas of the country.
If the Republicans and their Conservative cronies can destroy The American Public Education System and replace it with thousands of privatized “For-Profit” carter schools, they can create many more millionaires and billionaires and do some of it at taxpayer expense.( The voucher thing!)
Imagine the advantage it would be to some greed monger to start a “Charter” school and staff it not with well-educated, certificated professional teachers, but with “Students” who may be studying to become teachers, but who are still in college working toward their degrees, and who are willing to work for low wages and no benefits just in order to “Get some hands-on experience”.
To my way of thinking, this scheme would present some immediate and difficult challenges and disadvantages for the kids who have to be subjected to it.
There would, of course, be no end to the supply of these “Student” teachers and, by the same token, there would be little if any need for teachers who have actually been tried by the fire of experience, who have earned their degrees, who have been respected members of their communities and who have been the back bone of the best educational system on earth for decades. (And who, incidentally, earn a decent living from teaching.)
Well, guess what?
In Ohio, at least, it is reported that there are at least 15 of these “Charter Schools” in the process of crashing and burning because they have been discovered to be “Low Performers.”
According to an article I have been reading in a large metropolitan newspaper from Ohio, three of those sub-standard excuses for schools have already been shut down and another is being prevented from expandng.
If you want to read this particular article, I suggest you look up “The Cincinnati Enquirer, edition of Saturday, October 8th, 2011 and look on page D1 for an article entitled “15 charter schools on ropes.”
Hey! I can believe that this might not be confined just to Ohio.
I have always maintained that the so-called “Charter Schools” that the Republicans push so hard and the Conservatives seem to love so much will never be able to meet the challenges of educating American kids to any acceptable standards because, in my opinion, the emphasis of these things is on their own bottom lines and not on what the students might achieve.
To my way of thinking, this fail report is just one more example of how the dreams and schemes of the Conservative Far Right Wing Extreme types are built on sand, are nothing but dreams gone awry and are intended more for enriching entrepreneurs than for educating kids or offering real benefit to the Nation.
The academic performances of some of these kinds of institutions are apparently atrocious enough to draw fire from local and state Boards of Education and to cause them to be in grave risk of censure and closure in many instances according to reports I have been reading.
According to some reports I have seen, some of these “Charter” things have sunk to the point where they are rated the absolute worst in Academics. The absolute worst!
I guess some parents are happy with some of the charter schools regardless of their performance.
I mean, after all, a charter school is a private school and can provide a happy family atmosphere where Conservative “Family and Moral Values” can be emphasized and where a revisionist world view can be presented by means of some of those newly minted textbooks coming out of Texas, right?
If there were nothing but charter schools, those dreadful “Teacher Unions” could be dispensed with forever and students could be brainwashed in a much more productive educational environment which leans more toward conservatism and less toward the evils of Liberalism, correct?
And the rich get richer and the poor get poorer!
And the quality of American Education falls further and further downward as other countries catch up to our standards and overtake us and usurp our position on the world stage.
All because some Conservative nut cases somewhere have decided to pillage, loot, crash and burn our Educational System for the sake of a few million lousy dollars in profits.
In my opinion, that is not a very admirable use of either the Education System or our precious children’s minds and futures.
Just another crazy, useless, perhaps even dangerous, Conservative idea gone into the outhouse of History– like most all their schemes eventually do!