Liberal Democrat of Politics in Mudville blog, has blasted the Perz women today and the concept of charter schools, saying they just take money from public schools.
I don't know the Perz women that well --have met them briefly long ago.
But I would like to comment about schools being in the hands of private citizens and religious groups.
But first of all, let's agree that charlatans and mis-managers and incompetent people --and financial problems --seem to come to the public system, too, even though their boards are subject to the voters. They get to come to the voters for levies to cover their cans.
Voters rarely get an accurate picture of board members --I know one mentally ill, very reactionary and not very bright (at least not about education issues) or suitable person who has been on a board for years --few in the know would disagree with my description- but the person gets elected by playing up his or her political party affiliation for this non-partisan office --and the party edge and emphasis gets this person elected every time-
Moreover, most boards are gutless and their main job is hiring a sup't. and rubberstamping all decisions made by administrators.
So the quality of a school really depends on 3 things: the quality of the teachers; the quality of the parenting of the students; and the discipline (self and external) of the students. Administration is important in the choosing of staff, the money and facilities management, community and staff relations, structuring the school so teachers can teach and so students have varied opportunities to excel, including athletics and arts.
The religious school numbers, charter and otherwise, have arisen because of the social change objectives of many in public education --of people like LD who hold Christians and Catholic Church in such low regard --like the author of the book calling Christians Fascists. Many such educators hope to weaken the influence of religious homes and get more support for the democratic party sacred cows of gay and abortion 'rights.' They don't believe in traditional morality --and thus, we tax paying parents tend not to trust them with our kids.
Result: a demand for religious schools, home schooling and smaller schools with more parental involvement re: curriculum --including schools that emphasize special talents and attempt to provide a peer group of similar talents and interests.
Yes, there are some who probably hoped to get rich --or just wanted to run schools without the rigmarole of the public system. But many wanted a smaller, more personal alternative to our mega-schools. Many wanted a better handle on the values education of their children, realizing that many in public ed would undermine those values. And they rightly think some of their tax money should go for the education of their choice --either through vouchers or charter school subsidies. Vouchers are still the best idea.
The NEA national platform and agenda are evidence to what I have written here about liberals in public school wanting to undermine conservative parents.