Why Conservatives Love Charter Schools

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Authoritarians hate public schools. Having a public school system means opening doors to all members of a society and providing a common education that builds skills, fuels curiosity, increases civic engagement, and inspires children to learn from the past while building for the future. coming. Done well, it instills a sense of citizenship while developing compassion and empathy for all. It is not surprising that the recent century, commonly referred to as the American century, has coincided with a century of public education from coast to coast for all children.

The American public school system is meant to be the foundation of an egalitarian society where children of all races, creeds, colors, and backgrounds come together to understand what it means to be American. Unless that’s not the goal. Unless you really want to create castes, prevent certain children from having to interact with others, and create targeted, personalized learning tailored only to what your caste thinks your children should know, damn the facts. If so, you will take the position of the authoritarians. You will attempt to minimize access to education that might contradict or compromise your positions of power. And you will say that you are doing this for the good of the children.

That is why one of the key tenets of the race for fascism and autocracy in America today is the demonization of public schools and its teachers, and the embrace of charter schools. Greenwich/Stamford State Senator Ryan Fazio raved about charter schools during a recent speech, wondering aloud why more schools couldn’t be more like the Charter School for Excellency of Stamford.

Good question, but why glorify only charter schools? Aren’t charters still largely financed by the state? And if so, why not just do a better job of improving all public schools? Well, mainly because charter schools help conservatives maintain an appearance of support for public schools, when in reality they’re too cowardly to fuss over removing publics entirely in favor of an entirely school community. private. They want a private education that they can control, but they still want everyone in the community to pay for it.

It’s no surprise, then, that the desire for at least some privatization has led to the “parents always know what’s best for their children” movement in Greenwich and across the country. This has spawned book bans, parents wanting cameras in classrooms, interference in the curriculum, and stagnant teacher salaries. And while anyone can become a parent, no training is required, just having children makes some believe they are now magically qualified to always know “what’s best for my child.” . Here’s a news flash: you don’t.

If parents really knew what was best for their children and acted on it, we wouldn’t be a nation of smartphone and video game addicts. TV wouldn’t be saturated with ads for type 2 diabetes drugs, which is likely a direct result of all the junk food kids are growing up on. Our children would know the difference between the national debt and the national deficit because currently more than half of American adults don’t. Many parents still believe in the story of George Washington’s cherry tree and the fact that the dinosaur bones were buried by Satan, but of course let the “It’s wine time somewhere” crowd make the decisions. schoolchildren instead of teachers and administrators who go through a lifetime of learning. and training designed to help your children perform at their best.

Meanwhile, contrary to the shouts and protests of the crowds, Gallup research shows that American parents with children in public schools are overwhelmingly happy and satisfied with their child’s school. Mysteriously though, when you ask people without kids in school how they feel, that’s when you see the satisfaction numbers drop. Almost as if there was political motivation at work, rather than empirical evidence.

Senator Fazio is right to applaud the success of Stamford’s Charter School for Excellence, but there are many other public schools in Connecticut that are just as excellent. How about analyzing what they have in common that makes them so good, and implementing those strategies in public charter and non-charter schools to make them all better. Unless public school improvement isn’t really the goal.

David Rafferty is a resident of Greenwich.

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