Yesterday the Annenberg Institute for School Reform released a report called “Public Accountability for Charter Schools: Standards and Policy Recommendations for Effective Oversight.” It received immediate and glowing endorsements from the presidents of both NEA and AFT. It came to the conclusions that charters had “uneven academic performance; practices that pushed or kept students out of charter schools; overly harsh discipline policies; funding patterns that destabilized traditional schools; and a lack of representative governance, transparency, and adequate oversight, leading to potential conflicts of interests and instances of fraud and other problems.”
Maybe they do. But you have to work your way to the end to find the name of the primary author of the report, Leigh Dingerson. Let’s just say her opinions about charter schools and education reform in general are well-documented.
Here she is on the pages of Rethinking Schools:
But there’s nothing remarkably visionary going on in Washington. The model of school reform that’s being implemented here is popping up around the country, heavily promoted by the same network of conservative think tanks and philanthropists like Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and the Walton Family Foundation that has been driving the school reform debate for the past decade. It is reform based on the corporate practices of Wall Street, not on education research or theory. Indications so far are that, on top of the upheaval and distress Rhee leaves in her wake, the persistent racial gaps that plague D.C. student outcomes are only increasing.
She appeared at the 2013 AFT Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Conference. “This is a significant coming-together of parents, teachers and young people determined to protect public education from falling into corporate hands,” she said.
She is the author of “Unlovely: How the Market Is Failing the Children of New Orleans.” She wrote: “The elixir of ‘choice’ serves the privatizers’ interests. It serves up an individualized escape route that not only divides communities, but also weakens the political will for collective action in support of public schools.”
For U.S. News & World Report she wrote “The Promise of Parent Trigger Inspires, But Doesn’t Deliver.”
I could go on, but you get the idea. It’s important for charter schools to be held accountable – too important to be left to those working for their demise.