The Feud Between Public Schools and Charters Isn't Helping Kids

I belong to two wonderful families which, alas, feud more than any clans since the Capulets and the Montagues. That's because I serve on the unpaid board overseeing a nonprofit charter school in Pennsylvania, and the school board overseeing the traditional public schools my children attend in Arkansas.To quote Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, charter school people and traditional public school people are "two houses both alike in dignity," yet fighting constantly. Thankfully, unlike in Shakespeare's play, the warring educators shed no blood. Instead, divisive social media bolster each side's self-righteousness.As one with official capacities in both traditional public schools and choice-based charter schools, I often feel whiplash. School board and administrator associations constantly tell me that school choice harms kids. Just last week James Harvey of the National Superintendents Roundtable derided charter school backers as "useful idiots." Harvey and others cherry-pick anecdotes and misinterpret studies to "show" that charter schools fail academically and are downright un-American. Only knaves and fools choose to send their children to such places.  Continue reading...

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