Monday, October 25, 2010

The Myth of Charter Schools

Nice rip of "Waiting for Superman" here in the New York Review of Books. The second paragraph makes an obvious point seldom registered in all the hoopla re: this documentary: "[The film] presents the popularized version of an account of American public education that is promoted by some of the nation’s most powerful figures and institutions." In other words, this isn't some novel, "fresh" case for "reform". This is, quite literally, an expression of what the most powerful figures and institutions in the US have to say about education. And one of the few impediments in the way of this enormous "wave" of pressure from above is the American Federation of Teachers. Unsurprisingly, they are the primary target of the film, the so-called villains thwarting "reform". Of course, the article makes far more detailed and nuanced points about the charter school issue. But I think keeping the configuration of power in view here is crucial; and it is completely absent from the way education is being discussed, to the detriment of the vast majority of us.

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