Peter Greene reminds us that charter schools were supposed to be laboratories of innovation–freed from central bureaucracy, freed from state regulations and mandates. But, he says, they have utterly failed. They were also originally supposed to be schools that gathered in the students who were most at risk of dropping out or who had already dropped out, but most compete to get high test scores to prove they are “better” than public schools, so they avoid the neediest students or counsel them out. Charters would be perceived differently if they stopped bragging and started admitting that they face the same challenges as public schools, but with fewer constraints.
Here’s my challenge for charter fans– name one educational technique, one pedagogical breakthrough, that started at a charter school and has since spread throughout the country to all sorts of public schools.
After all these years of getting everything they…
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