Charter Takeovers Erode San Antonio’s Public School System

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June 26, 2018

San Antonio Independent School District’s narrative about charter school integration into the district radically simplifies reality in the service of private power.

Superintendent Pedro Martinez says public schools and charter schools should work together. In doing so he seeks to transform a complex, deeply political discussion into a one-dimensional misrepresentation in which “reform” is presented as neutral, natural, and disconnected from social and economic developments taking place throughout the nation.

“School privatization is a hoax, and ‘reformers’ aim to destroy public schools,” says Diane Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University, historian of education, and assistant secretary of education in the George H.W. Bush administration.

Indeed, public schools in the United States are under attack, and charter schools are merely the latest attempt by private corporations to rebrand the school reform movement and exploit public funding for profit. Behind simplistic narratives about reform lies the school-voucher movement reborn and rebranded – the market touted as the replacement for any and all publicly and democratically controlled entities.

Charter schools have less qualified teachers, higher teacher turnover, much higher suspension rates for students – especially children of color and those with disabilities – and they push out students with behavior issues and special educational needs.

Even circumventing the rules and regulations that govern public schools, charters fare no better in measures of student success. Their “no-excuses” frameworks have been described as “militaristic and anti-democratic.”

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