school choice

Michael Hoover hoov at
Wed Mar 17 08:18:52 PST 1999

> At 02:34 PM 3/16/99 -0500, you wrote:
> >Charter schools are proliferating now. Vouchers are less
> >widespread, and private management even less so.
> >Charter schools mean a business or non-profit can apply for a
> >license to run a school with public funds. The charter specifies
> >what, if anything, the school is obliged to do.
> McDonaldization is still an option is either case.
> kelley

may be BK-ization in this instance, Burger King was operating high schools (called 'BK Academies') in 14 cities in the early 1990s... haven't kept up with the literature, but Apple, IBM, and Johnson Controls were among corporations considering going into the 'education' business...the NEA had plans to operate schools in several cities as well (as part of a campaign to reinvent itself from labor-management antagonism to education reform, professionalism, & collaboration)...

33 states have charter school legislation, 27 states have charter schools up and running...about 1100 schools with some 300,000 students (up from 500 schools and 80,000 students a few years ago)... state laws vary regarding who can operate a charter school but includes groups of teachers/parents, private non-profit orgs, higher ed institutions, school boards...mantra is 'autonomy for accountability' - schools operate free of many state/local regulations regarding curriculum, credentials, academic standards, collective bargaining (proposed NEA schools called for maintaining same benefits and contract provisions that teachers in traditional public schools had) in exchange for promise of improved student performance...

almost all early charter schools were located in urban core areas (promoted by 'civic' leaders such as current Florida gov. Jeb Bush who has a charter school org in Dade County) but recent quick growth is in suburbs...US Education Dept. study found that 1 out of every 2 schools is servicing white students...charters schools are now in vanguard of efforts to privatize education (which can only exacerbate the caste system of inequalities that already exist in public schools). ..Michael Hoover

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