Charter School Advocates Try to Downplay Growing Opposition to Charter Schools

Prominent charter school advocates are understandably shaken and worried about the growing tide of opposition to privately-operated nonprofit and for-profit charter schools that have been wreaking havoc across the country for nearly 30 years. Charter school supporters are speaking out more in hopes of saving these deregulated and segregated schools that often perform poorly and foster corruption.

We’ve seen this kind of resistance before, it’s no big deal” is the general refrain issued by worried charter school advocates. “Yes, we are experiencing some troubled times and blowback right now, but it is not unusual and it will eventually pass” is another variation of this revealing refrain.

Charter school promoters know that the charter school sector, which has never been grass-roots in any way, shape, or form, is in trouble. But advocates of pay-the-rich schemes like privately-operated charter schools are too dogmatic and profit-focused to see the wood for the trees. Objectively, they are unable and unwilling to come to terms with the fact that people do not want education privatized and turned into a consumer good subject to the chaos, anarchy, and violence of the “free market.” People want fully-funded public schools under public control, completely free of the destructive influence of wealthy private interests.

Opposition to privately-operated charter schools is real, strong, growing, and irreversible. Individuals, organizations, and states across the country are taking real steps to rein them in. Worn-out platitudes, one-liners, lies, and absurd statements about these “innovative” schools that treat education as a business increasingly hold less sway.

Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at Read other articles by Shawgi.