"Charter Schools" A Ruse For Destroying Public Education?Tweet
2017: with the Trump nomination of a charter school advocate for Secretary of Education this should be considered.
Virginia political/religious leaders have vowed to destroy secular public education in America. Their tools for doing this are school vouchers and charter schools.
While Virginia has approved charter schools, it's proponents are dismayed they have to follow the same standards, including the Virginia SOL, as the public schools. Their intention was never education, but the removal of science and history and substitution of religious myth.
They also demand to use uncertified teachers and to be exempted from all civil rights laws including ADA regulations for the handi-capped. (religious institutions are already exempt.) Fortunately, vouchers were overwhelmingly defeated in November in California and Michigan. In fact, Washington County, Virginia has approved charter schools, but has had no takers because the fundamentalists didn't want to operate as schools. Now Tennessee has gotten into the act. But the almost 50% drop-out rate in the state has nothing to do with schools. It's family priorities. Here is the fundamentalist' agenda is in their words in 1995:
Coalition called to eliminate schools
Raleigh, North Carolina - "We must eliminate public education as it is structured today and reinvent it in a new form," according to Roxane Premont, director of the North Carolina Education Reform Foundation (NCERF). If successful, the "new form" of public education will ultimately result in private religious schools paid for by taxpayer money.
Premont addressed Christian Coalition members in a Saturday afternoon workshop at the annual Road to Victory conference last September in Washington, DC. Literature outlining the plan to eliminate public education was distributed during a workshop called "Vouchers and Tax Credits - It's Time for Parents to Choose."
The first step in the proposed plan is to establish charter schools, which are, according to Premont, "public schools that operate independently of local school district jurisdiction and operate much like private schools."
According to NCERF literature: "Charter schools will provide a pool of independent schools that can readily be converted to private schools to meet increased demand for private education once voucher laws are passed. Charter schools that are converted into private schools will be initiated by those persons who want religious education.
"With charters the money goes directly from the state to the charter school. With vouchers it goes directly to parents who then take it to the school.
"What is called for is an incremental strategy that helps acclimatize the public to school choice readying them for phase 2 - vouchers. Converting all current existing public schools to charter schools is the necessary transition. The creation of large numbers of charter schools will weaken our union-led opposition - giving us the chance of passing vouchers."
Senate OKs charter school legislation
The Associated Press, 6-26-02
NASHVILLE - The Senate voted 30-to-1 Wednesday for a bill authorizing charter schools in Tennessee that supporters hope will provide better options for students who are failing or are assigned to low-performing schools.
The only senator to vote against the bill, Democrat Thelma Hayer of Nashville, said, "It's a bad idea to take public dollars and put them in private hands when we know the public schools can use the money.
But Sen. Jeff Miller, R-Cleveland,
said that's not what the legislation
does. "We need to infuse the notion of
competition into the public school
These students need to go to schools that won't fail them," he said. "We're just sending that money to the school they choose to go to. It's their choice."
Charter. schools are publicly funded schools that are given greater flexibility in exchange for greater accountability in improving student performance.
The legislation would allow failing public schools to be converted to charter schools and it would let universities create them for students who are at risk of failing or drop- ping out. A small number of schools could also be created to meet the needs of disabled students.
The "charter" allowing teachers, parents or a nonprofit organization to establish such a school is a contract with the local school board setting out goals, proposed instructional methods, a budget, policies for governance and other details.
Charter schools would have to
meet or exceed the performance
standards as those set for other
They are subject to all federal and state laws. prohibiting discrimination and must comply with health and safety standards.
Senators defeated an effort by Lincoln Davis, D-Pall Mall, to prevent the bill from going into effect unless the state fully funds the Basic Education Program - the formula through which most public dollars are distributed to local schools.
Sen. Roscoe Dixon, D-Memphis, said that would upset the delicate balance of compromise on the bill.
The House, which had earlier passed a version of the bill, must consider changes made by the Senate before it becomes law.
The key difference is that the House version would exempt the schools from most rules and regulations that regular public schools operate under, while the Senate version would require charter school applicants to ask permission for each rule or regulation they want waived.
The bill would not allow for-profit companies, private schools or church schools to sponsor charter schools. It requires all charter school teachers to be certified.
There are now more than 2,400 charter schools in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
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