It's a clever question, but one that's intended to deflect attention away from the problem.
In New York City, for example, Mayor Bill de Blasio opposes charter schools and has worked assiduously to stop their growth if not shut them down entirely. For example, in February 2014, de Blasio blocked the opening of two charter schools and the expansion of a third--part of the Success Academy network of charter schools--by reversing a decision the Bloomberg administration had made. All of this opposition to charter schools despite the fact that these schools offer parents in poor, urban locales an opportunity provide their children a quality public education.
To wit: Consider P.S. 149--a public school in Harlem--whose third graders boast an 82% failure rate on standardized achievement tests.
Annaly Lopez would have been forced to send her daughter, Renee, to P.S. 149, except that Renee won a much-coveted spot at Success Academy, a charter school boasting a good record of student achievement. At P.S. 149, Renee would not receive the extra help she needed until after she received a poor report card and endured a subsequent evaluation. Upon enrolling at Success Academy, however, Renee was immediately provided the extra help. Her mother was able to communicate with Renee's teacher at all hours of the day, something Verboten in the New York City public school system.
Isn't it great that charter schools--like Success Academy--are available for students like Renee? Shouldn't every student who wants to be educated be provided that opportunity?
Not according to those who are vested in maintaining the infrastructure of the current dysfunctional, urban public school system. When students like Renee are freed from bondage to the system, critics of charter schools complain, it hurts the kids left behind.
According to that logic, students--like Renee and those left behind who want to be educated--should enjoy equal opportunity failure. After all, to this point, nothing has improved or is likely to improve their academic achievement, despite having poured even more $$$s under the Obama administration into the failed system.
Worse yet, critics of charter schools opine that the parents of those children who are left behind often lack the knowledge or motivation to look outside their public school zone.
According to that logic, those parents are ignorant, lazy, or some combination of the two. So, because Annaly Lopez is educated and motivated, her daughter should be penalized? What do the critics really want, to keep students who could achieve academically from doing so and, then, to preserve a permanent underclass?
Research demonstrates that charter schools not only improve the charters themselves but also the public schools around them. How? Competition for students like Renee Lopez. According to Jim Epstein in Reason Magazine, P.S. 149 has been forced to make changes, one of which was to bring in a new principal who is endeavoring to improve the school. If there was no competition, the system and its advocates--including Mayor de Blasio--would continue to keep the students at P.S. 149--and others like it--ignorant and unmotivated...fit candidates for a Nanny State's oversight.
Let the discussion begin...
To read Jim Epstein's article, click on the following link:
"Progressives Fight to Keep Poor Kids Trapped in Failing Schools"