CHARTER SCHOOLS AND DESPERATION

If you live where I do (central New Jersey) there is no shortage of advertising telling you how wonderful the educational system is and how much better it would be if politicians would only stop being so stingy and spend more money on it.

With that in mind, I thought I would show you the first paragraph of Kevin Glass\’s latest column at townhall.com, in which he talks about how interested – make that aggressively interested – make that desperate – parents are to extricate their children from schools that will not educate them:

“Lottery,” to you, might bring to mind ping-pong ballsbouncing around in a glass tube, as millions anxiously wait to see if they\’llwin millions of dollars. But nationwide, millions of parents must anxiouslywait out a different kind of lottery: to see if their children will be selectedto have a chance at a better opportunity. The expansion of charter schoolprograms in some of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas have given moreparents and students access to a different educational track and an alternativeoption to an underperforming public school system. But despite expansions incharter and other choice programs, massive waitlists persist around thecountry. These waitlists can number in the tens of thousands, and charterschool advocates put the total number of parents on waitlists around thecountry at over one million. The message is clear: parents want choice.

Me. Glass\’s article goes on to cite several individual cities, where parents are sweating out whether their children will wind up in a place that will expand their minds, or their knowledge of anarchy and street culture – with an accelerated program in getting the crap beaten out of them for trying to learn.

A question for you: if public education is doing so well, why are there massive waiting lists to get children out of public education?

This is not – repeat, not – to deny that there are a great many talented, caring and dedicated public school teachers.  I know full well that there are and they have my greatest respect. 

But this does not change the fact that, for a variety of reasons (including, but certainly not limited to, the existence of teachers unions which seem far more dedicated to wages and benefits that teaching), we have schools that do not educate, thus students who do not receive educations.

If this were not true, or if it were only a small problem, would those waiting lists be that long? 

Sort of answers itself, doesn\’t it?

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