What Ideology hath San Antonio Imported from Arizona Charter Chains?

What charter ideology hath San Antonio imported to Texas from Arizona?!

p.s. For those of you saying to yourself that BASIS and Great Hearts is just fine for your kids…

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. Cesar Chavez

Diane Ravitch's blog

Amanda Potterton of Arizona State University presented this paper at the recent annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Now that these charter chains are going national, it is a good time to review them.

Potterton writes:

Last November, I wrote a commentary published in Teachers College Record about two “highly performing” charter school management organizations (CMOs) in Arizona, BASIS and Great Hearts Academies; I summarize the findings below. These top-ranked schools rarely serve all students. When the demographics of these schools are compared to demographics of all public school students in the state, it is clear that disadvantaged students are vastly underserved by these schools. This is a critical issue that should be considered alongside enthusiastic calls for increasing the numbers of charter schools.

I compared the demographics of these schools using the most recent data available(2010-11) in Common Core of Data (CCD) (U.S. Department of Education…

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  • What’s new? Well it is “public” education isn’t it? The great “equalizer” the institution in America that at least tries to give everyone a fair and equal opportunity? Critical theorists have long understood it’s a journey, not a conclusion. Private wants v. Public needs are the essence of American politics and attitudes about the role of government and the economy. I say that privatization systems give the illusion of satisfying “private wants” and “choice” and therefore, generally speaking, Republican ideologically supports such schemes. Democrats, also, in my opinion, are afraid to oppose such privatization systems politically. Thus, even Clinton and Obama support them.

    The ideology of “choice” and “freedom” goes back in our history to our countries founding through the writings of “Common Sense” by Thomas Payne, whether it’s living in safe, toxic free, beautiful places or a congested, violence infested, trashed place; to draw a contrast, depends on the private means to own beautiful property. Property rights work in some parts of society, but schools are “collective” endeavors whether built as “private” or “public” institutions.

    When one has the financial means to send their kids to school in beautiful places that are safe and offer good educations they generally do. For them, public or private or privatized makes no difference. When districts are protected by zoning, or perhaps, “red lining” then charters are unnecessary. Those with the means to protect their “school choice” through their property rights, i.e., their home purchases do so! I have a suggestion for the Arizona State researcher that she examine her questions geographically, using maps. Map the locations of the charter schools across the Phoenix Valley, i.e., map where these charter schools exist and make comparisons by district.

    In the Phoenix Valley use the Paradise Valley district, as one example, I suggest- as a standard for public education. It would be my guess there are few if any charter schools in Paradise Valley! Then compare and see how many “charter schools” are located there per square mile as compared to South Phoenix, for example?

    Anyone who knows the Phoenix valley can tell you the answer straight away and would be able to tell you the demographic differences too!


  • Pingback: What Ideology hath San Antonio Imported from Arizona Charter Chains? | Educational Policy Information

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