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Funding Charter Schools

jkang's picture

"Mastery is 'not doing more with less,' Masch says. 'They're doing more with more.'" (Denvir September 24, 2014).

I have a lot of feelings about the article "How to Destroy a Public-School System" by Daniel Denvir and the realities and arguments it presented.  One particular statement that elicitied a response in me was Michael Masch's statement that charter schools are actually "doing more with more."  I've been grappling with the question of charter schools for a while now because I definitely see the benefits of providing opportunities of choice depending on students' learning styles and interests.  However, a lot of charter schools seem to me to only focus on standardized tests instead of learning.  Another qualm I have with charter schools is that they are in reality publicly funded private entities that also have other funding streams, some of which funnel incredible amounts of money into charter schoosl.  So when people compare the test results of charter schools and traditional public schools, it seems like an inaccurate comparison.  As Masch states, charter schools, in some cases, have a lot more funds to accomplish similar goals (improve test scores), sometimes without the same difficulties that traditional public school face.  

I also find it disconcerting that some charter schools are funded by corporations and people who may have certain political agendas.  I'm sure that some of these people and organizations are providing funds because they believe in the privatization of the school system, but it makes me wonder if there are any other ulterior motives behind these donations.




jccohen's picture


Although I don't think that charters necessarily focus on standardized testing any more than public schools do - this is a heavily pressured area for all schools these days - I do share your concern about the public/private issue; specifically, public funds for institutions that are not public in terms of their decision-making processes lay us open to the agendas of those running the charter schools.  In terms of the "ulterior motives" you're wondering about, this is an important direction for continued investigation - as we track the news this semester, stay aware of this question.