Streams

Who Is Behind the Pro-Charter Schools Group Fighting de Blasio?

Wealthy, powerful people and organizations backing non-profit behind ads and rally

Thursday, March 06, 2014

WNYC
Charter School March Charter supporters cross the Brooklyn Bridge in October in a march organized by Families for Excellence in Schools. (Yasmeen Khan)

Bill De Blasio was pretty clear during the election that he wasn’t a fan of the charter school boom under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Charter school advocates took notice. Late last month, days before the education department announced it would keep a few new charter schools from opening, supporters registered the domain name charterswork.org. At the same time, local television stations started airing slickly-produced ads.

Behind the multimillion dollar ad campaign and website is the same group—a nonprofit called Families for Excellent Schools. If their message wasn’t clear, they also helped organize Tuesday’s rally in Albany where thousands of charter school advocates turned out.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has received more than $100,000 in campaign donations from charter-school political action committees in recent years, electrified the crowd. One board member from the non-profit has contributed at least $20,000 to Cuomo in the past few years.

“I feel fired up! We are going to save charter schools and you’re making it happen,” Cuomo said to applause. His office tells WNYC the governor has been a “consistent supporter of charter schools on the merits—from his campaign through his three years in office."

The rally highlighted the many parents, kids and educators who support charters. But records show there are also some powerful, wealthy people and organizations in the background fighting for these privately-run schools.

Families for Excellent Schools formed in 2011. Four of its five founding board members are Wall Street players, including Paul Appelbaum, an investor who is the principal at Rock Ventures LLC, and Bryan Lawrence, who runs an investment firm and has years experience with charters. Two of the board members did donate to De Blasio's campaign committee.

Financial sector leaders have long been some of the biggest supporters of the charter-school movement. That’s a fact that has been red meat for charter school opponents.

“They crashed our economy. They crashed New York City. We were at a standstill for a very long time economically here. And now we’re going to trust them with our students? That seems preposterous for me,” said Natasha Capers, a parent leader at the Alliance for Quality Education.

The Alliance—a teachers-union backed nonprofit that supports traditional public schools—attacked the pro-charter ads shortly after they started airing. Capers said she wanted to know why the charter schools need free space from the city if the movement has so many wealthy backers.

“If you can spend multi-millions of dollars on an ad campaign and we know how much ad campaigns cost these are very expensive ad campaigns, right. Then therefore you can pay at cost you can pay that rent,” she said.

Jeremiah Kittredge, the executive director of Families for Excellent Schools, said the strength of the movement comes from the bottom.

“Money can’t buy 11,000 folks in Albany. It just can’t. that is long-term, hardcore real grassroots organizing and it takes months and months of work that comes from organizers in neighborhoods doing one on ones, walking floors, walking buildings, meeting families,” Kittredge said.

Families for Excellent School’s most recent tax filings are from 2012, so it’s unclear how much they’ve raised in recent years or where that money is coming from. The organization is technically two entities—a standard charity and a tax exempt group that can accept anonymous contributions for advocacy.

Families for Excellent Schools shares an address with the New York arm of StudentsFirst, a national education reform nonprofit led by Michelle Rhee, the former Washington D.C. schools chancellor.

Kittredge declined to discuss his organization’s funding.

“This is an effort that we’re really proud of as being truly both bipartisan and one that spans a number of groups and individuals and that’s all I’ll say for now,” he said.

Records show some of the supporters are the major foundations that have typically backed the charter movement.

The Walton Family Foundation, of Walmart fame, has given more than $700,000 over the past two years. That foundation recently hired a deputy schools chancellor from the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Another Bloomberg official—the mayor's former spokesman, Stu Loeser—is handling press for Families for Excellent Schools.

A spokesman for Bloomberg says he hasn’t donated to Families for Excellent Schools.

According to the records that are available, other large donations to the organization include $200,000 in 2012 from the Broad Foundation; $200,000 from the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation in fiscal year 2012-13; $100,000 in 2012 from the Moriah Fund; $25,000 from the Ravenel and Elizabeth Curry Foundation in fiscal year 2011-12; $19,000 in fiscal year 2011-12 from the Tapestry Project; $50,000 in fiscal year 2012-13 from the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program; and $1,000 in 2012 from the Dalio Foundation.

Editors:

David L. Lewis

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Comments [27]

Chancey from Brooklyn

I will never forget the first of many PEP meeting I attended ! The large audience filled with nothing but TEACHERS & a handful of parents ! Literally a handful of parents! Why because Charter schools and their advocates empower parents with the tools and knowledge to support and build a strong community ! So the DOE at all the PEP rallies I have attended marched , whistled, blue horns in support and only of fear of change with their union officials! Where were those families of the 1.1 million children. ! Accept change ! Accept Progress! #charterswork

Apr. 16 2014 01:56 AM
sheila from brooklyn

There is so much sadness in the way our new york city school teachers, my dedicated colleagues were and are being treated once the "CHARTER " schools came into being. Many, too many of us are being displaced by becoming ATR and are being excessed. We have all earned degrees, which qualified us to teach and prepare our children for their future. This is such a disaster!!!!

Mar. 30 2014 12:39 AM
Laurie

As a parent of Charter School scholars, I am relieved that there is a coordinated effort to raise private money to help with the start up costs for the schools. Unlike traditional schools, charter schools do not receive public funds to establish a school. They need this money to purchase desks, chairs etc for the school to operate.

Prior to my children attending a charter school,my family spent three years at a District 3 traditional school where I was a member of the PTA Board and a Class Parent for my children's classrooms. The burden of fundraising is placed on the parents. It is an all consuming job to troll the community and corporations to ask for funds. These funds are used to buy copy paper and copier toner for the office. If we raise enough we can fund special electives such as chess or dance that would get offered for a 10 week period.

In addition to the fundraising burden placed on the parents, there is great inequities across schools and even classrooms within a single school. The traditional school my children attended raised approximated $100,000 a year vs. a school 20 blocks south which reportedly raised over $2,000,000 a year. The perceived quality of the traditional school relies so heavily on how much money is raised.

Now at the charter school, my time is focused on supporting my children's education and community building activities. I know that the administration is in charge and proactive in every way. There are no fundraising burdens placed on the parents. My children were in a G&T program at their traditional school, yet joined the charter school being months behind academically from their new charter school peers. The school has done an amazing job helping my children get caught up.

Traditional school parents to need focus their attention on demanding that the administration delivers quality. I will stand next to them on their march to City Hall or Albany if this is the focus. No more excuses on why the administration can't deliver a consistent, equitable education across all schools not just the ones where parents fill the gaps with raised funds. Charter schools are not the problem for these schools. In fact we can help traditional school families. They can point to our success and the fact that we can reach these levels with less per pupil public funding and demand that the DOE accomplish the same.

Mar. 25 2014 06:35 PM
Pat from NYC from NYC

Charter schools have to pay the money back to Wall Street! These charter schools get upfront money and must repay it WITH INTEREST!!!

These are not "donations" that the Charter Schools are receiveing, they are LOANS, in the form of BONDS that are traded on the Stock Exchange. The "investors" are the pension and retirement funds of working citizens. The CEO investment fund managers (Vanguard group, Fidelity, hedge funds, etc.) get paid back first. But these bonds cannot be fully repaid, because there is no way to make a profit on educating kids with the public alottment that is the basis of their funding.

Charter Schools assert that they can take public funding money and provide a good education for less, and they pass the "savings" on to the investors.

However, the non-unionized young teachers at charter schools are paid $60,000 to start! The public protests and objects to unionized teachers' salaries, which start at $40,000. Does the public actually believe Eva Moskowitz's claim that she can provide better CHEAPER education, enough to give interest payments to pension-holders, while paying inexperienced, young teachers 50% more than the union does? Ms. Moskowitz's own salary is almost a half-million dollars!

These charter schools are just the newest Wall Street BUBBLE. And when it bursts, our tax dollars will bail out Wall Street investors again, because, after all, it's people's retirement accounts and life insurance policies that are at stake! But before the bubble bursts, the charter schools will siphon off money from the host schools, to pay the bonds. The host school becomes even more deprived, justifying it's ultimate closure.

ALL kids need quality education. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which promises money for NYC schools, equal to what the suburban schools get, is the only way to elevate the educational experience for everyone.

Charter Schools are not schools of Choice for the students and their families. They are schools of choice for the SCHOOLS, because we parents don't get to choose. ("Lotteries" are not a form of "choice".) It is the Charter Schools that choose the students. And they always choose kids who are already performing at advanced levels.

These Charter schools will collapse when the time comes to provide a "return" and repay the bonds. And the energetic young teachers, as well as the hopeful students and their parents, will be left out in the cold. Theywill then learn that the existing public school system has been decimated. But the flood of students will have no where else to go, and will be stuck in terrible schools that their shortsightedness helped to create.

Mar. 25 2014 01:45 PM
walter from Brooklyn

Your group should start a mayor recall petition. Just start it and get word to the media. It will shake up diblahsio and Have all the legislators scared

Mar. 15 2014 03:55 PM
Edf from Nyc

Boy, I'm really impressed how Charter School.org is able to flood prime time networks with advertisements. They must be good - or really, really well financed!

Mar. 10 2014 06:56 PM

What "public" school is allowed to shut down for a day to bus its students and their parents to Albany?

What "public" school can afford to pay for such a stunt?

What "public" school can afford to pay for billboards?
Please. No one wants Walmart in their neighborhood. Why would you want Walmart in your schools?

Thank you WNYC for a great report.

Keep shining the light on Walton, Broad, Gates, Michelle "Students First" Rhee, Wendy "Teach for America" (Teacher Scabs for America) Kopp, and Eva "Success via cherry picking & expulsions Charter" Moskowitz, Michael "Let them eat cake" Bloomberg, and all the Wall Streeters who invest strictly for profit.

Mar. 10 2014 06:51 AM
dr von geepy from bayshore,ny

funny the same people who don't want the common core don't want charter schools, why??? all they want is the same ole, same ole, no standard no competition, no accountability

Mar. 08 2014 09:38 AM
ETritsch from Harlem

Charter schools are public. The lottery system for public charter schools is no different than when I applied to 20 different non-charter schools in Harlem and the Upper Westside and my daughter only got into one that wasn't nearby. Unfortunately, we can't afford to live near PS 87 and I'm not satisfied with my nearby school so, I selected a "public" charter school that was close to our home.
I agree with Maceo M from Brooklyn and love the points SA Dad from Harlem made.

Mar. 07 2014 09:07 PM
Ora from Queens, NY

The Charter Schools should drop the lottery system and accept the students into their schools when they co-locate. After all charter schools get public school funding. There should be equity for all students regardless of scores.

Mar. 07 2014 06:45 PM
mjma1

I'd like to refer this story to the station ombudsman, as WNYC really missed the ball here and showed a very disappointing bias. This story is basically an implied attack on people because of their profession. How dare wealthy Wall Street types donate money to charter schools! Since they work on Wall Street, they must be evil. Since they support charter schools, charter schools must be evil too. How does this pass as a news report? Why are we condemning people for donating to education?

Mar. 07 2014 04:22 PM
Teach You from NYC

I think its ridiculous. If schools work then keep them open. If they are not working then move to close them. Its that simple. Some charters work, others do not. Some traditional public schools work, others do not.

Lets please stop conflating education reform backers and hedge funders. I support a change but am FAR from wealthy. I don't care about the financial sector meddling in public school tax dollars. They should want to influence education. The amount of educated folks in science and technology directly impacts America's ability to compete in this innovative world economy.

But we have to make teaching a priority and change the standards for teachers. Investing in students, means investing in teachers. Guess what? All those engineers coming out of India and China, don't come from schools built to the latest LEED Gold standards with iPads for every student. They come from cinder-block buildings with 70 students per class. Their teachers are the key difference. Their families are the key difference. We need to stop destroying low income families with backbreaking public policies. It's not just great teachers, but also the reknitting of the generationally low income family unit.

Mar. 07 2014 11:56 AM
daniel bergner from brooklyn

There's something bizarre about the way the charter school story tends to be reported by the New York media. Reporters seem driven to look for financial excess and semi-conspiracy first and academic record second, if at all. This story is a perfect example. Success, the charter organization that's been most vilified by Mayor DeBlasio, has a stunning record of academic achievement. It's a record that puts many traditional public schools to shame. This should come at the top of any story like this one by WNYC. Then, WNYC, you can look at the money, comparing classroom funding and also comparing (as you fail to do here) money spent for charter movement publicity versus the perhaps equally large sums spent by the teacher's union to stir up opposition to charter schools (which are non-unionized). Money matters, yes. But the biggest question is how a school run by Success in Harlem, a school that teaches mostly underprivileged kids, has managed to out-perform every single public school in the state on math exams. Let's look closely at that. We all might learn something infinitely valuable.

Mar. 07 2014 11:22 AM
nlf from nyc

Who funded DeBlasio's supporters making the trip to Albany?

Mar. 07 2014 11:16 AM
Gideon from New York City

Why no similar articles about the Fund for Public Schools, which supports DOE schools. Its 2012 Form 990 shows it raised more than $47 million for district schools. Its biggest donors are a list of powerful tycoons and big business: Gates, Soros, Dell, Bank of America, JP Morgan, etc. Its board includes Mortimer Zuckerman and a managing director at Goldman Sachs. These so-called news articles about who funds what only serve to distract from the real issues.

Mar. 07 2014 09:07 AM

Thanks for the excellent reporting. Glad to be a WNYC reporter.

Mar. 07 2014 08:43 AM
SA Dad from Harlem

A couple of points maybe I can assist with since I have 2 children in SA.
- Charter schools are public schools. There is no tuition and SA is 90% Hispanic and Black from poor neighborhoods. As a public school is it not entitled to public space? Especially unused space in existing school buildings? My kids go to school in a high school that was using classrooms as storage space. Would it be better to not have a high achieving school for the poor neighborhoods and plan for failure instead? Also, why do you care about uniforms? It is one less hassle the children have to deal with (like not having the RIGHT sneakers or jeans so the can concentrate on schoolwork).
- There is no cherry picking. The kids are enrolled via lottery. The biggest difference is that all children and parents have homework nightly (including kindergarten). The children succeed because the parents are vested in the education of the children, not sent home to fend for themselves. There is some attrition, but all school suspend and expelled children.
- The special ed percentages are equal and sometimes even higher than the comparable zoned school.
- The endowment allows the school to have science 5 days a week as well as art and chess classes. If the school has to pay rent, these classes may be cut. The policies BDB wants to enact would go a long way in making our kids mediocre or worse.
- Why are you are concerned about Ms. Moskowitz's salary when 6 UFT bosses make $1.2mm+ (see below for more wasted spending)
- You are upset that the children are helping protest unfair policies when the UFT hires Acorn to do their protesting for them. The policies directly affect the children's future while the UFT is trying to keep the gravy train flowing.

I am more than happy to discuss any aspects of this but all the facts here are indisputable and verifiable.
54 union reps and staffers got salaries of more than $100,000. The average was $144,000 — triple the starting teacher salary of $45,000.
Five UFT officials were compensated more than the $212,614 base salary for the schools chancellor. UFT chief Michael Mulgrew makes $250,000.
$264,000 to groups that campaign against charter schools, including the rebranded ACORN, now called New York Communities for Change.
More than $1.7 million on food, including conferences at the Hilton and Waldorf.
$150,000 for tickets to movies, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show, Mets and minor-league baseball games, and union swag such as mugs and tote bags.

Mar. 06 2014 05:01 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from BK

Thanks to Robert Lewis for the excellent report and to my fellow WNYC listeners for seeing through the anti union rhetoric that Charter Schools represent. Co-location is squeezing cafeteria, classroom, and gym space right out from under public school children. Good for the Mayor, he just didn't go far enough.

Mar. 06 2014 03:22 PM

Maceo M.

My son attended a perfectly NORMAL elementary school. What made the school work was a solid group of EXPERIENCED teachers and some enthusiastic young teachers who were welcomed into this fold. During my sons years of attendance, he was part of the group of children from around the city who were selected to attend based on diversity and parental involvement. So, he had lots of friends from a wide variety of ethnicities and income groups and abilities. There was NO Gifted and Talented program.

My son's experienced UNION elementary school teachers were able to have him a solid education. In fact, his second grade teacher won the black board award. She incorporated physical fitness, math, science, social studies, reading, art, ecology, architecture and history in her weekly trips to Central Park. The fall field trips focused many really fabulous and interesting lessons on birds and other wildlife and the spring focused on the buildings and reservoirs. The children also made a scale model of Central Park including a first ever addition of the subway underneath the model table. And he happened to be in a group of boys who read three levels ahead of their grade. So don't flaunt your child's achievements as proving anything about whether or not UNIONS and PUBLIC schools are incapable of educating. All you have shown is that you child was smart enough to read two years above grade level and possibly may have done so regardless of where she went to school. Ditto for my son and his friends.

The problem with racing to the top is that it doesn't address the fact that NO parent should have to compete for a good school for their children. All parents should have access to good solid normal public schools such as the one my son attended. That cannot happen if we continue to have lotteries for a few children to able to attend a few schools rather than fully funding public schools sufficiently so that ALL children can have what my son had.

My son went on to another normal PUBLIC school with UNION teachers in middle school where he had stellar teachers in math and science. He now attends Bronx Science, yet another PUBLIC high school with UNION teachers.

The issue is not a competition between your child and my child, it is an issue of how to ensure that ALL children get a good education. I have not seen evidence that convinces me that charter schools are a viable option for boosting the entire educational system, especially with such little oversight over how they select and retain students.

My tax dollars pay for YOUR child's education (as they do my own child's education). So while you have a God-given right to educate your child however you see fit, you do not necessarily have a God-given right to how my tax dollars are spent towards public education. That is something that ALL voters get to decide as a collective - not you as an individual.

Mar. 06 2014 03:00 PM
Maceo M from Brooklyn

My daughter attends a Success Academy Charter school. I found this article disappointing.

I am a taxpaying member of the public, and consequently my child is equally entitled to an education at a public school. Her school, while containing 'Charter' in the name, is indeed a public school. I do not pay for her to attend it, admission is open via lottery. I can't believe I'm still explaining this.

We came in position 63 on the waiting list. We were told to hold out, as the Teacher's Union would be suing the school to prevent it from opening (consider that for a moment), and many families would elect to go elsewhere instead of taking the risk to wait out the lawsuit.

We chose Success because we found their approach and philosophy to be congenial. I come from a family of educators was initially very suspicious of the Charter movement. However, we also were looking for alternatives.

The results have spoken for themselves: she reads two grade levels above her own, she is above grade level in mathematics, she is a focused and diligent student with a love and aptitude for academics (at SA, they use the term "scholars", not students). She plays chess at six! Most importantly, I see a lifelong learner. I'm talking about someone who writes in her diary nightly, writes stories and schematics, who picks math books out of free bins so she can do the exercises in her free time.

There is no mystery to how any of this was done. The only reason any of this is controversial at all is that these skills were passed on to her by non-union teachers.

She also spends a lot of time worrying that her school is going to be closed. With good reason. two Success schools in Harlem were recently slated for closure. We are talking about some of the best performing schools in the state. Please understand that the parents and students live under this threat constantly.

I find it incredible that the funding sources behind the schools are treated as nefarious in this article (WALL ST! SLICK WEBSITES!) but the political influence and resources of the Teacher's Union seems to merit no inclusion in this article. Is it possible that they also have resources that have been put into this fight?

The reason charters are able to raise this money is because people believe in the experiment they are undertaking. I as a parent like having a choice where to send my child. The Union does not have any God-given right to my child or my resources, nor the final word on what constitutes an education. They are a professional advancement organization, and they should be working with Charters, not against them.

The idea that co-located schools should have to pay rent is preposterous. Why should they? As I said, I and the other parents are part of the public and are tired of being treated as if we are outsiders.

See also:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCdP2C5130k

Mar. 06 2014 02:23 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

The only reason why de Blasio is asking for major charter schools to pay rent is mainly because they aren't public to begin with. Why on earth do they deserve taxpayer dollars when they are hardly transparent to the people? Unless anyone has connections with those in charge, the only other way in is to go through a lottery process, which your student will most likely lose. I don't get why a hedge fund manager like Eva Moskowitz needs any taxpayer dollars when she is rich enough to afford the space herself or can get it through donations. I wouldn't even be surprised if she paid a whole bunch of families to help her in protest as a good way to play the innocent. I think that the only reason why Cuomo supports the charter schools is mainly for re-election purposes even though he will probably win in a landslide anyway. For those who are complaining about what Mulgrew and Farina make, I didn't hear the same talk about what Moskowitz makes, which is more than those two do combined, but there is no outcry to her salary. Just to let you know, charter schools can be very selective to who they allow and even expel students that are failing just to keep their average grade up when this is not the case in public schools.

Mar. 06 2014 01:31 PM
Penelope from Astoria

Unfortunately WNYC you published another anti-charter biased story :( Exactly how many charter schools receive funding from big business?

Charter schools are not private schools. They are PUBLIC. They have to follow the common core and all the state standards. Moreover, they receive quite a bit less $ than the district schools and need to make up the rest from donors. Some go out of business because they can't balance the budget. A small minority are the "big business" schools. Unfortunately they get all the attention.

Mar. 06 2014 01:23 PM

A recent news article told of how charter schools "recruit" students from the public schools ... a form of "cherry-picking" -- leaving the public school to cope with the students who need more attention, with less parental support. The "job" of NYC is to educate all its children in its public schools. Parents still have the option to remove their children from the publicly provided system and send them anywhere they like ... even out-of-state if that suits them. But the taxpayers of NYC should not have to foot the bill in any form. Charter schools should be treated like any other non-public school -- paying their way!

Mar. 06 2014 11:22 AM
ann from Westchester

I hope Mr De Blasio will not support Charter schools. It is a back door to getting rid of excellent public education. My two granddaughters attend public school in NYC are doing well (their parents could send their kids to private school). I feel that these wealthy contributors are out, whether they know it or not, to ruin excellent public education. They have no qualms letting tax money pay for their "private school", where they can pay their teachers 1/3 less ( I am not a teacher but a grandmother). They want tax money to pay for their space in public school. The tax money that pays for the child to go to public school is taken by them. I have nothing agains wealthy individuals, but see clearly what they are up to. And when I heard Walmart, who is notoriously underpaying their employees, to the point that they have to collect food stamps just to feed their families ( wall-mart even encourages this) While Charter schools at first take all children that apply, they can also not take them. This is a choice public schools do not have. I do strongly believe if they want a semi-private school, let these wealthy contributors pay their underpaid teachers, let them pay for the space and the kids that go there as they already pay their front guy such as Ms. Moskowitz a $1/2 million salary. Can't people see that w this is pulling down our public education system, that could be the best in the world. I know that my grandchildren have to share space with a charter school. While they have to give up space and increasingly ha ev almost 30 kids in a class with less space. This is truly not fair. Why not have these wealthy ontributors conate money to before and after school programs, so these poor children will be in a safe environment while their parents work, frequently two to three jobs to support them. BUt then this is not the real purpose. It is to get rid the few unions that still are in the US. Here we are heading to a third world attitude and the masses are brainwashed to believe this is a good thing. Sadly not for them but for the very wealthy only.

Mar. 06 2014 11:11 AM
amandagov from Manhattan

Where does WNYC's strong bias against charters come from? Their completely uncritical cozy relationship with Diane Ravtich? Every other topic you all cover is treated with some scrutiny and journalistic integrity, but this one--and your on-going reluctance to dig into this is really disappointing. I guess the rich have convinced hundreds of mostly poor people parents that they should seek an alternative to their failing schools, because the rich are.....what????? Privatize them??? That is absurd, and any investor who thought she or he was going to turn charter schools into a profitable business would be delusional. If you want to make that argument--implied or explicit--please go find the evidence to make it. What exactly is so nefarious about this?

Mar. 06 2014 10:56 AM
Claude Singer from New York City

I suppose your reporter would rather hedge fund moguls support art museums instead of schools? Perhaps invest in more Hampton homes? Or perhaps they should hide their money abroad instead of back charter schools for poor families? This morning's report on the funding of the pro-charters movement was absolutely shocking and scandalous -- that WNYC should go after a movement that has benefited kids formerly trapped in failing public schools. With innuendo and implied revelations from financial statements and "Wall Street" connections -- ooooh must be nefarious! Absolutely outrageous that WNYC should so sleazily support union-backed efforts to smear education reform. Really -- shame on you.

Mar. 06 2014 10:13 AM
Arthur H. Camins from www.arthurcamins.com

The salient issue with respect to charter schools is whether they are an effective and moral instrument of government policy and use of public tax dollars, not whether individual parents gain or loose. As a policy instrument, they privilege the right of the few to withdraw from presumably dysfunctional schools at the expense of the many who are left to remain in under-resourced and underfunded neighborhood schools. They function as a release valve for individual families, who– understandably– intend to make a choice for the wellbeing of own children. However, widespread acceptance of the idea that way for the poor to ensure their children’s future is to make a personal choice to send their own child to a charter school rather than their neighborhood school undermines the impetus for social action to ensure the future of all of the community’s children. It promotes self-interest over social responsibility as a human value. Read more here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/26/education-reform-and-the-corrosion-of-community-responsibility/

Mar. 06 2014 08:43 AM

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