Not what it all seems

I recently read an article about the no-excuses charter school I wrote about that was published in a conservative newspaper owned by a very wealthy donor to the school. The Great Founder of the school seems to be able to publish more op-ed pieces in this publication than the head of the public school district where the no-excuses charter school is located. The article made the usual mention about how GF’s schools outperform the local public schools by a wide margin and the Comments section contained the usual vitriol aimed at the teachers’ union. All of these stories tend to look the same. The irritating part is that it offers a hugely biased and inaccurate view of charter schools.

Schools like my former employer definitely post better results on the yearly state exams. There’s no denying the numbers. But here’s what no one discusses (and is certainly not mentioned in any of the pieces published by Conservative Newspaper:

  1. GF’s schools are funded by the wealthiest people in the world. This allows them (among many other things) to have TWO teachers in every classroom.
  2. The schools do not have certified teachers working with the kids with special needs. This is illegal.
  3. Immense pressure is placed on the families of children with special needs to leave the school. (Read my book for more.)

Between massive funding and forcing all of the lowest performers out, GF’s schools are able to outperform the competition. Diane Ravitch has been discussing this for years. The worst part of all of this is that most people don’t know how the sausages are made at no-excuses charter schools like the one I worked at. As a result, they take at face value all of the vaunted claims of success. This fuels the movement to destroy teacher unions and divert funding out of the public school system.

In a time where public education is being attacked all over the country, it is imperative that people know the truth.

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