Even corporate reformers admitted that the growing charter sector is a vampire with little accountability, draining resources and the higher-achieving students from our public schools. One report after another was released, showing massive charter corruption and mismanagement. Macke Raymond, the head of the pro-privatization research group CREDO that is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, admitted that market-based competition in the form of charters does not lead to improvements in the public schools: “I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And (education) is the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work.”
Kaya Henderson, Michelle Rhee’s chosen successor as DC Chancellor, said about charter schools, “Either we want neighborhood schools or we want cannibalism, but you can’t have both.” Cami Anderson, the Superintendent who designed the disastrous “One Newark” plan to close neighborhood public schools and open charters in their stead, explained why test scores have dropped during her administration: “We’re losing the higher-performing students to charters, and the needs [in district schools] have gotten larger….[there are public schools] where there are 35 percent of students with special needs…I’m not saying they are out there intentionally skimming, but all of these things are leading to a higher concentration of the neediest kids in fewer [public] schools.”
At Reform Sasscer Movement, We have always believed that conservatives should be strong supporters of public education and not the other way around. Conservatives conserve traditional institutions, they don’t seek to blow them up and replace them with entrepreneurial for-profit schemes. Conservatives seek to strengthen their communities, not divide them up for profit making. Public schools have long been community institutions throughout the world. We believe we are now in a battle between Main Street and Wall Street. Main Street values its community; Wall Street wants to find a way to get a share of public education dollars for investors and this is not a smart move. We must find a way to address these issues heads on without compromising what needs to be fixed while creating more problems for the world.