The NY Times recently ran a story on what school choice means in Detroit.
If you have not yet read it, I urge you to do so, because the parallels between DC public schools and those in Detroit are eerie.
Let’s count just a few ways:
Poor students comprising the majority; a history of poor academic performance; a struggle for education funds and public control of them, while wrestling with private interests; poor facilities; charter schools completely independent of any planning with by right schools and imposed by political interests outside the city; more schools, and more available seats, with fewer students; crazed attempts by administrators to count students to ensure needed funds are available; long commutes to non-neighborhood schools; and robust propaganda.
Here is the money quote:
“While the idea was to foster academic competition, the unchecked growth of charters has created a glut of schools competing for some of the nation’s poorest students, enticing them to enroll with cash bonuses, laptops, raffle tickets for iPads and bicycles. Leaders of charter and traditional schools alike say they are being cannibalized, fighting so hard over students and the limited public dollars that follow them that no one thrives.”
Thank goodness none of that happens in DC!
(Oops, wait a sec.)