Saturday, May 28, 2011

Anti-public school bluster in Baton Rouge

A pro-charter school organization allowed a critic of public schools to make unfounded, inflammatory accusations against teachers and their unions, as reported here by Koran Addo of The Advocate.

Kevin Chavous, chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, regurgitated the now-familiar claims that teacher unions are one of the reasons for an "across the board" failure of public education in the United States.

Seeing as how his speech was given to Advance Baton Rouge's Charter School Association and the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, it is not surprising that Chavous' concluded that semi-public charter schools are the right prescription for education's ills.

He left out some important details, which reporter Addo picked up from an LFT spokesman.

For example, one of the highest performing school systems in Louisiana is in St. Tammany Parish, where every teacher and school employee is represented by a union contract.

The problem, as LFT points out, is not in middle and upper-class school systems which have broad community support and adequate resources. Students in those schools do well whether or not educators are unionized, and there is little groundswell of support for questionable fixes like charter schools.

Our educational challenge is in "underfunded urban and rural school districts plagued by poverty and crime."

Solutions to those problems go much deeper than state seizures of schools and wholesale charterization, as revealed by the failure of Advance Baton Rouge to make much headway in improving some of the schools over which it has control.

No comments: