We’ve heard a lot of criticism of charter schools from teachers’ union folks and their allies recently. Not surprisingly, there is a lot more to the discussion that Kentuckians deserve to hear, but the unions are not saying.
In Part 1, I talked about how teachers’ union spokespeople cite only certain data from a well-known 2009 report from Stanford. Not surprisingly, the union types don’t tell you about this report’s most important conclusion – once kids spend enough time in charter schools to benefit, then they do outshine their traditional public school counterparts.
Today, let’s dispel another union rumor – the claim that somehow charter schools are not public schools.
This one is very straight-forward. Charter schools are absolutely public schools. Students who go there are totally tax supported, and unlike private schools, charter schools are subject to public scrutiny and accountability.
For example, charter school kids take the same state assessments as everyone else, and the schools are generally subject to the same laws about discrimination as other schools, as well.
What the unions don’t like is that while they are public schools, charter schools participate in the governmental education system with different playing rules. Those differences can include not having to get involved with teachers unions and their innovation-smothering ways.
To be sure, charter schools are different. They are run for the kids, not for the convenience of the adults in the system. If a charter school doesn’t live up to this charge, it gets closed.
When was the last time a union-dominated public school got closed in this state?
Up next: We’ll talk about the credibility of the union charge that we don’t need charter schools because Kentucky’s School Based Decision Making system can also cut through red tape.