A School I Believe In, a Movement I Don’t

Editor’s note: the following piece was written by a charter school teacher whose request for anonymity I honored. Leave comments or email them to me at tips@haveyouheardblog.com and I’ll pass them along. JCB

How my charter network’s advocacy hurts more kids than it helps…

old seatsLast year I made the agonizing decision to leave my urban public school and take a job at a charter school that is part of a highly-regarded network. I loved my students and the community at my former school, but after a tumultuous year spent battling a hostile administration, I knew I had to leave. About two months into work, and now at the beginning of the school year, I’m convinced that I’ll become a much stronger teacher as a result of the feedback, support and coaching I’m getting at my new school. What I’m far less comfortable with, though, is the role that my charter network plays in the larger charter-school movement Continue reading →

For Philly Edupreneurs, Time for Remedial Math Lessons

The Philadelphia School Partnership offers a gift that will keep on giving…

By Susan DeJarnattgift
Philadelphia still isn’t quite choicey enough for the choice choosers at the Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP).  The PSP wants more charters so much that it has offered to pony up $25 million to cover the cost of 11,000 new *high performing seats.* No one—not even PSP—thinks the math works. But the real math problems are in the demographics of the charters whose expansion the PSP is proposing to underwrite. These *high quality* schools aren’t teaching the same kids that attend District schools, which means that granting them more seats will decimate the remaining District schools. This *gift* will keep on giving—till Philadelphia has no more public schools.

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The Chicago Charter Blues

The Windy City’s experiment with charter choice falls flat…

bluechicago2Chicago’s grand experiment with education reform dates all the way back to the 80’s—as in the 1880’s. In recent years, Windy City-style reform has meant charter schools, lots and lots of charter schools. So what has the Chicago’s choice-i-fi-cation meant for students? According to a new study, the charter experiment has wrought the unthinkable, producing worse schools that are even more highly segregated than Chicago’s already highly-segregated schools. The study made headlines and raised plenty of eyebrows, not to mention hackles. But can mounting evidence of an experiment-gone-awry shift the city’s reform winds? I recently chatted with Myron Orfield, the author of the new study, to find out.   Continue reading →