Schooling as a business: Charter poaching

“I wanted instead to try to focus attention on a very particular issue, raised by a Tennessee superintendent who seems to simply not like the idea of charter schools being approved in his district: poaching.
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Essentially, he’s holding up a giant sign that says, “We don’t deserve to survive as an organization.”  Can you imagine the CEO of a private company making this sort of complaint in public?  He’d be laughed at by the public and removed the next day by the board.”

Michael Lopez puts up the issue as Charter poaching, competition, and dignity. He sees the charter schools debate as one of a defense of what cannot be defended.

“Fight about power. Fight about policy. But whining about how competition is going to hand you your hat, and using the assertion that your competitors are better than you are to argue that they shouldn’t be allowed to compete really betrays a lack of dignity.”

The reason why many charter schools are so popular, and many public school administrators so afraid, is about the approach towards meeting the needs of the market (parents). Public schools tend to be ‘top down’ and government driven. Charter schools are bottom up and market driven. When public schools were more local, communities smaller, and state and federal regulations and funding minimal, the top down and governance aspects were also more immediate and intimate. Charter schools, home schooling, and online schooling are a response to this trend to remove the education of children away from the family.

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