PSAT for 7-5-11: Oppose new federal charter school proposal

Since it’s becoming harder and harder to find consensus on the supposedly “bipartisan” issue of education, the U. S. House Education Committee has decided to try to reauthorize ESEA one piece at a time (we hear the Senate isn’t going along).

The House committee’s first piece is H. R. 2218, a bill that would expand charter schools while purportedly holding them more accountable. We were optimistic when committee chair George Miller went on the record with his concerns about charter schools, warning that he would “keep his eye” on them.

Well, that apparently was just window dressing for the giveaway for charters in H. R. 2218.

I’ve spent the last week working with my colleagues at Parents Across America on a position paper opposing H. R. 2218. We’ve sent the paper to each member of the House and Senate education committees. We plan to discuss it with our representatives when we meet in D. C. for the SOS March.

The evidence against charter schools grows. For example, though this new Tribune analysis last week was headlined “Tests Raise Questions about Longer School Day,” it was really just more evidence that Chicago’s charter schools are not doing well: “The fact that charter schools and neighborhood schools performed nearly the same, despite charters’ additional classroom time, suggests the impact of more time is unclear.” Apparently it does not suggest to the staunchly pro-charter school Tribune that the impact of charters is unclear…

For more evidence that charter schools are not as great as Arne Duncan says, check out the fantastic new charter school fact sheet prepared by our PAA founding member Sharon Higgins, one of PAA’s charter school experts. And for Public Schools Action Tuesday, please read and share this position paper as well as the charter fact sheet with your friends and elected representatives.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.