I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, January 15, 2012

High School Sr. Speaks Out on Charters

A reader at my Facebook page (you "like" me, don't you?) pointed me to this great letter in the Chicago Tribune about charters from a high school student:
The charter school system is one of the biggest problems with our current education system. Charter schools are allowed to be privately operated yet publicly funded, which is a paradox. Instead of public tax dollars going solely to public schools, they are now split between the authentic public school system and the quasi-public charter schools. In a time when the public school system is heavily underfunded, this makes no sense.
Most charter schools prevent teachers from unionizing, leading to an overworked, underpaid work force. Although the media frequently demonize the Chicago Teachers Union, public teachers' unions are some of our most necessary institutions. Children cannot be educated properly if their teachers are not receiving adequate wages or guaranteed the rights all workers deserve.
The worst part about it all is that these charter schools are doing no better than the public schools. In general, charters score no higher than average neighborhood schools. A school like Whitney Young, which is admittedly a selective school, far outscores every single charter high school in the city. The top-scoring high schools in the state on the 2011 PSAE were Northside, Whitney Young, Walter Payton, Jones and New Trier. Those schools are not charter schools.
The kids are alright.

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