That’s Right Nate

Thoughts from a right thinker.

Charter Schools Will Fix Education if We Let Them

with one comment

As today is the the first day of school for many children in this country, I thought I’d address the charter school movement.  It is an area that I feel very strongly about and one that I hope we can all agree upon.   The support that these schools get from both the left and the right makes me believe that like the landmark No Child Left Behind legislation, this is something we can all get behind.  Education in this country is in a very sorry state.  If we are going to be able to compete with the top education countries in the world like Finland despite having higher childhood poverty than any industrialized country, but Mexico and an extremely high child mortality rate, we need to get our lazy teachers to do something. Charter Schools get public money, but are freed from the strict controls placed on public schools.  In this way they are like the brave folks of Blackwater or as they are now called Xe.

Charter Schools began for four noble reasons:

  1. To replace the ineffective public education system with a profit-based system.
  2. To give wealthy, involved, and politically connected parents a chance to separate their children from the less desirable children in their community.
  3. To create an island of educational utopia because fixing the public schools would be way too much work.
  4. To crush teacher’s unions.

Charter Schools have not been very successful in raising student achievement on standardized tests, but aren’t schools supposed to be about more than test scores?  KIPP for instance has managed to open 82 schools in 19 states in a relatively short amount of time.   The profit motive is a great incentive  to keep expanding.   The public schools don’t have this kind of incentive.

Teachers unions are crippling education.   Let’s face it.   Where else can you make 30K a year or more for watching a couple dozen adolescents for 6 or 7 hours, still get a 20 minute lunch, and take your work home with you instead of staying in a depressing cubicle until you’re finished.   Worst of all, like cops and firemen teachers have ridiculous due process rights that require a school district to prove that they’re incompetent in order to fire them.   In a charter school, they can fire you that day if your shoes and belt don’t match.  That’s the way corporate America is and that’s the way our schools should be.  Public schools also require teachers that work for them to be licensed and certified.   Charter schools are freed from this bureaucratic monopoly of the education process.

Chicago is currently in the middle of an educational renaissance.   In fact, the program Chicago has established is called Renaissance 2010.  I hope that former Chicago Superintendent Arne Duncan will bring this program national.   Every year, the city opens up 10-20 new charter schools and closes some public schools.  Conceivably, this educational miracle will be completed by next year and I can’t wait.   The Heritage Foundation and some other conservative think tanks have no trouble being for charter schools and being against a public option for health care because they don’t want to see public and private insurance competing.   On the other hand, I think the two issues are one and the same.   Public schools don’t work for the same reason public health care wouldn’t work.   More charters mean more profits and more profits mean more learning.


Written by thatsrightnate

August 24, 2009 at 6:55 pm

One Response

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  1. Nate, Even though you didn’t go to a charter school, I know you are a very smart man. The honorary degree you received from Eugene Sawyer Community College is evidence of that. I also know how much you helped Lola by answering her questions about the English language. I would really like it if you could answer a question for me.

    I have always thought Jean Schmidt (OH) was the best Republican in Congress. But, my friend Britannie, a former Miss Noonday, insists that Louie Gohmert (TX) is the best Republican in Congress. How can we — two young, blonde, attractive women — choose which is better?


    August 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm

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