Teachers unions hate charter schools, and are trying (via their wholly-owned Democrat legislative caucuses) to strangle them in the crib, using absurd, pointillistic regulation to try to do what the market won’t – for example, denying funding to schools that don’t hit racial, income, and special ed goals. It’s called “anti-creaming” – as in “charter schools skim the cream off the top of the studen pool” – and it ignores two things:
- Have they actually looked at the stats? I don’t know about the entire country, but in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, charters already get more than their share of poor, second-language and behavioral-issue kids.
- That said, charters do skim the cream off the top – where “cream” equals “parents that give a crap”, a demographic that crosses ethnic, income and pretty much every other line.
Beyond that, though? The fact that so many teachers, beholden to their unions, oppose charters is a tragic lost opportunity, for students and (good) teachers:
The hostility between many teacher unions and the charter school and voucher movement is a tragedy of modern American life. What we really need is a proliferation of teacher-owned, teacher-managed cooperative educational ventures—operating either in public school buildings or in churches or in other community spaces. These coops should receive favorable regulatory and tax treatment, and give teachers the latitude to teach in an environment they control. Different coops would cater to different kinds of students, or different age groups, or offer different educational philosophies. Parents would be able to chose among many alternative programs, and teacher assessment could be something that the community would do in a much richer and holistic way—good coops would get good word of mouth
As they already do in places like the Twin Cities, with charter markets that are thriving despite the unions and DFL’s (ptr) best efforts.
PS: Who says public, union schools don’t look out for kids’ interests better?