An opinion piece in the Indy Star on charter schools suggests that "IPS must not recoil from charter competition" and suggests that, "Charter schools are enriching Indianapolis and Indiana." The problem of course is that the author [Keven Teasley of Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation] uses their existence to somehow prove their worth. We can't deny the fact that they exist, and that they have waiting lists, but this is far from proving that they're good for the children of Indiana. In fact, as recent research from the Bush administration proves, they actually do WORSE than public schools in teaching children coming from high-poverty environments [see an earlier post Ignoring Research...].
Perhaps more troubling is a statement from the ol' GEO itself that cites their core belief in and support of "all quality means of educating children including public, private, charter, religious, and home (see above website)." Do you know what that means kids? Vouchers. Yes, tax vouchers for religious schools (of the kind that I myself graduated from), private schools, home schools. I advise you take a look at the Republican 2007 Education Agenda in Indiana which has this very component as part of the platform.
So...let me just be clear. I'm not saying that folks working in charters are part of a larger political plot. But, gentle reader, that doesn't mean that there isn't a larger political plot! There is and its goal is to end public education. 61% of the rebuilt schools in New Orleans are charter schools now AND vouchers for religious schools was slipped into the rebuilding bill. Go back and read this editorial and see how competition is the unquestioned philosophical position: competetion is good. Nevermind the fact that there is no empirical evidence for this. Even in the School of Ed we have to admit that Dewey's Lab School did not improve the general education in Chicago, it didn't (and he said it would! because of competition!). Then go and read on this GEO and their proud connection to the Heritage Foundation and the lack of any research to back up any of these assertions. Damn.
Now I've gotten myself all fired up and I try not to rant. Oh well, there's just so much work to do.