California: What’s Wrong with Charter Schools?

What’s wrong with Charter School in California and why they should not be funded with public money?

Diane Ravitch's blog

In 2010, I traveled to California to

Guest post created by a longtime Northern California parent volunteer education advocate

  • Charter schools take resources away from the public schools, harming public schools and their students. All charter schools do this – whether they’re opportunistic and for-profit or presenting themselves as public, progressive and enlightened.
  • Charter schools are free to pick and choose and exclude or kick out any student they want. They’re not supposed to, but in real life there’s no enforcement. Many impose demanding application processes, or use mandatory “intake counseling,” or require work hours or financial donations from families – so that only the children of motivated, supportive, compliant families get in. Charter schools publicly deny this, but within many charter schools, the selectivity is well known and viewed as a benefit. Admittedly, families in those schools like that feature – with the more challenging students kept out…

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Posted by on March 28, 2023 in Uncategorized


Michigan: For-Profit Charter Schools Are a Disaster

The primary goal of for-profit charters, that are publicly funded, literally stealing money from our K-12 public schools, is making money, growing wealth, not educating students.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Cassandra Ulbrich is the former president of the Michigan State Board of Education. She is also a member of the board of the Network for Public Education. In this post, which appeared in Bridge Michigan, she describes the failure of for-profit charters, whose top goal is making money, not educating students.

She writes:

When it comes to education, Michigan’s number one. Unfortunately, that’s not a good thing.

Once again, Michigan has the dubious distinction of being the state with the highest percentage of charter schools run by for-profit corporations in the nation. Eighty-one percent of Michigan’s nearly 300 charter schools contract with private management companies, often referred to as Charter Management Organizations (CMO).


Casandra Ulbrich is the former president of the State Board of Education.

What do we get in exchange? Mediocre results and a lack of financial transparency.

As the former president of the Michigan State Board of…

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Posted by on March 3, 2023 in Uncategorized


Josh Cowen: There Is No Upside to Vouchers

What if I told you there was a plot to destroy public education in the United States and throw the country back to 1900? Find out who is funding this plot to destroy our country.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Josh Cowen is the voucher lobby’s worst nightmare. He was a participant in voucher research from its beginnings. He knows the research as well as anyone in the country. He knows that vouchers have failed. And unlike many others in this tight-knit world, he declined to climb aboard the gravy train funded by billionaires. He determined to tell the truth: vouchers hurt kids.

In this article, as in many others that he has written, he explains that there is no upside to vouchers. They subsidize kids already in private school. They harm the kids who leave public schools. They defund the public schools that the vast majority of children attend.

He begins:

What if I told you there is a policy idea in education that, when implemented to its full extent, caused some of the largest academic drops ever measured in the research record?

What if I told you that…

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Posted by on March 2, 2023 in Uncategorized


Stephen Owens: The Public School Is the Best Choice for a Just Society

“Generations of white supremacist policies have ensured that wealth is concentrated in white families. So, the limitations of our public school system cannot be separated from our nation’s original sin.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Stephen Owens is an evangelical Christian who has thought deeply about the importance of public schools in our society. He has a Ph.D. In education policy from the University of Georgia and is Director of Education at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. His blog is called “Common Grace, Common Schools.”

Let’s begin my argument for public schooling by making the familiar strange. There are aspects of public schooling that you do not see in any other facet of American life that need to be evaluated to better understand the institution’s value. Our familiarity with them takes away their novelty, but they are unique nonetheless. I think of us like a child who has Kelly Clarkson as an aunt. Just because she thinks of the singer as “Aunt Kelly” doesn’t mean we all have aunts who can sing like an angel.

Not only are parts of American public schooling unique…

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Posted by on February 15, 2023 in Uncategorized


Come Visit Your Wasted Tax Dollars at Commonwealth Charter Academy’s Waterfront Luxury Office Space

Come Visit Your Wasted Tax Dollars at Commonwealth Charter Academy’s Waterfront Luxury Office Space

Cyber Charters – It’s all about the money, not OUR children.


There’s plenty of fun to be had if you go to the Waterfront in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

There’s a Dave and Busters, Primate Bros, and even an AMC Loews’s multiplex movie theater.

But right across from the Barnes and Noble is a building with a neon green sign advertising its tenant – Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA).

This is the newest satellite office of the biggest cyber charter school network in the entire state! One of 51 locations statewide.

These are not your typical brick-and-mortar charter schools. They’re remote schools where students are taught at a distance via computer.

Like other charters, they’re still publicly financed, often privately run, and free from most safety precautions that ensure kids get a quality education at authentic public schools – things like being run by elected school boards, requiring entirely certified teachers, etc. But cyber charters don’t have to house children during the school day…

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Posted by on February 4, 2023 in Uncategorized


From Diane Ravitch: Why I Sent My Sons to Private Schools Half a Century Ago, But Support Public Schools Today

If someone changes their mind about political issues over the years because of what they are learning, does that make them a hypocrite? I do NOT think so!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Over the past few days, I have received a number of hostile tweets, comments on my blog, and Instagram comments, accusing me of hypocrisy because I support public schools but sent my own sons (now ages 60 and 55) to private school. I am touched, even baffled, that anyone is upset by decisions that I made half a century ago.

It was easy to see who inspired these denunciations of me: Christina Pushaw, who is one of Ron DeSantis’ closest aides, and Chris Rufo, the man who led the phony crusade against critical race theory. They seem to think they unearthed a dark secret. That’s absurd. I’m guessing that Governor DeSantis doesn’t like what I write about him in my posts and tweets. I’m flattered.

The question of where my middle-aged sons went to schools is a nothing-burger. For the past decade, my blog bio has said that my two…

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Posted by on February 3, 2023 in Uncategorized



Read this to learn if you live in a state that is using public money to support private schools teaching children to grow up and become Nazis or other far-right extremists.

Diane Ravitch's blog

For Immediate Release: For more information, contact: Carol Burris, NPE Executive Director, 718-577-3276,


The Network for Public Education (NPE) calls for the immediate cessation of ESA voucher payments to homeschoolers and all other non-school-based “individualized” instruction programs based on the discovery of an online homeschooling network whose primary purpose is to teach young children to be Nazis. According to the report in the Huffington Post, its numbers thus far are in the thousands, but the greater threat is how its existence exposes the dangers of publicly-subsidized vouchers designed to fund extremist beliefs. Such programs, including so-called micro-schools, operate with almost no curricular supervision or public fiscal oversight, allowing them to legally indoctrinate children with a distorted hate-filled curriculum directly supported by public funds.

NPE President Diane Ravitch stated, “Our nation fought a World War…

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Posted by on January 30, 2023 in Uncategorized


Happy 10-Year Blogday, Mercedes Schneider!!!

“Mercedes Schneider is one of the sharpest, smartest voices of the Resistance to privatization (of K-12 public education). She is a hero of the Resistance thanks to her incisive, brilliant exposés of ‘reform’ hoaxes.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of Mercedes Schneider’s wonderful blog!

I learned about it last night, too late to mark the actual blog birthday.

Mercedes is one of the sharpest, smartest voices of the Resistance to privatization. She is a hero of the Resistance thanks to her incisive, brilliant exposés of “reform” hoaxes.

She is a high school English teacher in Louisiana. She has a Ph.D. in statistics and research methodology. she could have been a professor but she wanted to teach high school students.

I started my blog in April 2012; she started hers in January 2013. We exchanged emails, and we met when I came to speak in Louisiana. We became fast friends. Mercedes has been a regular at annual conferences of the Network for public Education, where she gave lessons on how to obtain tax forms and other public data about “reform” groups, which sprouted like…

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Posted by on January 26, 2023 in Uncategorized


Network for Public Education: Chartered For Profit, II: Pandemic Profiteering

Learn how how scammers and grifters have gotten a stronghold in the charter K-12 school industry, to the detriment of students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Network for Public Education has released a new report on for-profit charters, which grew during the pandemic years. The report is titled Chartered for Profit II: Pandemic Profiteering. It builds on the findings of a report published by NPE in 2021. For-profit charters not only divert money away from the public schools, which enroll the vast majority of students in every state, but they skim off profits that should have been spent on students and teachers. The report details the nefarious deals that enrich the charter operators. Every citizen who cares about our future should be aware of the facts detailed in this report. We believe readers will be genuinely shocked by the findings in this report, which shows how scammers and grifters have gotten a stronghold in the charter industry, to the detriment of students, teachers, and taxpayers.

Here is the executive summary:

In March of…

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Posted by on January 11, 2023 in Uncategorized


Peter Greene: Charter Schools Are Not Public Schools

What does it mean to be a public school? If you aren’t sure, have doubts, or do not know, read this re-blogged post and learn the TRUTH!

Diane Ravitch's blog

You may have noted, if you have followed this blog for a long time, that I am a big fan of Peter Greene. Peter is a wonderful writer, has a great sense of humor, and was a classroom teacher for 39 years in Pennsylvania. In addition to his own blog Curmudgacation, Peter is a regular columnist at Forbes, where he educates business people.

He writes so much so quickly that I sometimes miss terrific columns. This is one that I missed. It was published in 2019 in Forbes. The topic remains pertinent. Just in the past few days, I have had to defend the proposition that charter schools are not public schools. They call themselves public schools, but that doesn’t mean it is so.

Peter Greene explains here why charter schools are not public schools.

Modern charter schools prefer to attach the word “public” to their descriptions. Many of the…

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Posted by on January 9, 2023 in Uncategorized