Shake Off Those Charter Chains

Jeff Bryant

Advocates for charter schools frequently argue that generalizing about these schools is unfair because charters, by their very entrepreneurial, unregulated design, are not all the same.

This is true. Charter schools are not all the same. In fact, there is one very significant difference between one strain of charter schools and another, more rapidly growing version. That significant difference is now the subject of a new animated video by Mark Fiore for The Progressive magazine.

Fiore’s video “Shake Off Those Charter Chains” reveals something about charter schools most people don’t understand that what was once considered to be a movement in support of community-based efforts to experiment with different education approaches has spawned – maybe unintentionally, maybe not – a powerful industry competing with public schools for students’ access to education and precious resources.

As Fiore writes, “Sure, there are good, community-based charter schools that are built from the ground up, but the rise of huge ‘Charter Chains’ dwarfs them by comparison.”

What that means is that charter schools, rather than supplementing the efforts of public schools to raise achievement, are becoming mostly an industry driven to supplant public schools. Charter advocates who counter, “Hey, charter schools are public schools, too,” overlook some very important differences between a public institution and a privately operated mega-business.

Watch the video and share with others to spread awareness of this important development.

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