Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time for Some Real Talk About Charters- And Community Schools

 Yes. charter schools have huge issues with fiscal corruption and student and teacher abuse

 Yes, charter schools have been seized on by financial elites as a vehicle to break unions and open up public education as a field for private investment

 But in many inner city and low income communities, charters are extremely popular with parents

 And one of the reasons is that many of them are open from 7 AM to 7 PM every day so that parents or grandparents who work two jobs and can't arrange child care know that their children are safe.

In a country where fewer and fewer people can pay housing costs on a single income because wages have plummeted, this is a huge element in their appeal.

Defenders of public education who do not understand that face an uphill battle in resisting the charter onslaught. And this is why we have to demand that public schools be transformed into true community institutions which are open around the clock.

8 to 3 hours don't cut it anymore in public education. There are fewer and fewer safe places for children in low and moderate income neighborhoods. Not in homes, not in streets, not in community centers-which have been devastated by budget cuts even more than schools.  The schools must become that safe space. After school programs must become part of every public school.  If they don't, there may be no public schools left.

The Community School Model can't be treated just as a clever idea postponed to some distant future. It is the only hope for preserving public education in low and moderate income communities.. And must be fought for tooth and nail, not only by teachers, but by parents and all concerned citiens who want to keep the 1 Percent from privatizing education and using it to cement their control over every aspect of American life