DNA Test: The Ancestry of Charter Schools

Did you hear the one about how charter schools were the brainchild of Albert Shanker, the legendary teachers union head? Writer Rachel Cohen did, but when she began tracing the tale back to its origins, she found that the real *father* of charter schools looks a lot like their biggest fans today: market-oriented reformers who aren’t crazy about public institutions or labor unions. As for claims that the charter school vision has been *hijacked* from Shanker’s original vision, well, that’s a myth too. Charter schools have turned out very similar to how their *dads* first conceived of them back in the frenzy of government deregulation that began in the 1970’s and has never stopped. It’s Have You Heard #18!