Here's a final outrage. Some charter school opponents - crying "separate and unequal" - are inexplicably fighting to stop the closure of failing traditional public schools. I find it hard to believe that charter schools that are succeeding, but have minor, fixable issues around admitting English Language Learners and Special Education students are condemned - but schools that have failed for decades are rallied around and supported.Some have tried to explain why they are fighting to stop the closure of failing traditional public schools. But that's not the only inexplicable thing Canada says. He says charters have "minor, fixable" issues that are neither minor nor "fixable". But the thing that almost gets me is his characterization that those condemning schools closures are therefore "rall[ying] around and support[ing]" those schools. We are trying to support those schools! Because those schools have issues that require huge commitments--commitments often never met by those in control--and serve the most impoverished communities.
It's clear to me that on the merits these opponents' case does not stand up to scrutiny. I find their arguments are weak, inconsistent and insincere.
But to say we are inconsistent and insincere is bullshit. We don't condemn the hard work teachers do no matter where they teach. We condemn the notion that schools-as-businesses is good for kids. And we are sincere about that.
I admire Canada's HCZ. If only the whole country could get behind its children like they have in Harlem. Maybe rich and powerful businessmen should use their influence to push policy that includes funding for our public schools, not contests to create young American winners and losers.