Charter schools have been in the news a lot due to the a lawsuit filed by the Teacher’s Union and NAACP, against the New York Department of Education to stop them from closing public schools and replacing them with charter schools.
Charter schools have the potential to by very good but also have the potential to be very bad. Most charter schools use a lottery system, so thinking that charter schools can stop the education crisis is like solving the economic crisis with scratch tickets. While a few lucky students may benefit from the lottery system, most children will not benefit from charter schools at all.
One of the reasons the right wing is so supportive of charter schools is that they do not require teachers to be in the Teacher’s Union. The Teacher’s Union is a big supporter of the Democratic party and opposes Republicans who are always trying to cut education budgets, especially in urban areas.
While the Teacher’s Union may have issues, as seen in the movie, “Waiting For Superman,” the union is necessary for teachers so they are not mistreated, fired unjustly or discriminated against. In charter schools, many teachers are underpaid and overworked which results in a very high turnover rate.
While the media highlights some of the successful charter school such as Jeffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone, they do not highlight the many that fail.
Many charter schools have inadequate facilities for sports, art and music and many teachers are not certified or qualified to teach the subjects that they teach.
One of the reasons some charter schools are successful, is the parents. If parents are willing to find alternative schools and enroll in lotteries they are more likely to be involved in their children’s lives as well as their schools.
Charter schools are part of the answer. Schools can use some of the successful methods from charter schools. But saying charter schools are the answer to fix education is like saying giving jobs to 1,000 people in Hawaii will solve national unemployment.