Sunday, July 12, 2009

Charter schools teachers 230% more likely to leave profession

Keep the PUBLIC in public schoolsThe Education Week article "Are Teachers Jumping the Charter School Ship?" discusses an important Vanderbilt University study which found teachers in charter schools are 230% more likely to leave the profession than their public school counterparts.

Lower pay than traditional public schools, less overall input and rights than teachers with unions in traditional public schools, longer hours without compensation, constant pressure to teach to the test in order to meet arbitrary standards like the ill conceived NCLB. No wonder these teachers are leaving at a roughly two to one ratio. The neoliberal gutting of public education cannot continue unabated without consequence. Fortunately, the definitive report recently published by Stanford/CREDO proves charters are no panacea.

Do we really think the Waltons, Gates, and Broads would be pouring millions of dollars into endeavors that were good for our communities or education? These giant corporate entities are hardly advocates of progressive education or social equality. The great irony is the reactionaries who claim more money for education is not the answer, are the cash cows for charters. Their libertarian arguments against "throwing more money at the problem" doesn't prevent them from donating millions and millions into charters like Green Dot in order to perpetuate their uneven playing fields against real public schools.

Charter stalwarts claiming competition and free market ideas will revolutionize education on the heels of the dot com and housing bubble disasters have no sense of irony. We don't need the ideologies that wrecked the economy determining policy in pedagogy. We don't need AIG, Goldman Sachs, and Madoff Investment Securities thinking running our schools. Green Dot is a great example; among its top executives of Steve Barr, Marco Petruzzi, and Ben Austin, there's not a single education degree.


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