The Truth About Charter Schools

The Truth About Charter Schools

On August 2, 2016, in sunny Los Angeles, I interviewed with the amiable principal of a charter school. A former teacher herself, she founded the school with an attorney friend to give middle and high school kids a college preparatory program that offered AP courses, sports, and the arts. The teachers at her school had a voice, she said, and the close rapport between students and staff made it feel “like a family.” I was inspired by her passion — and despite the fact that the school was moving for a third time in three years and had lost its co-founder and a few teachers (all of whom had resigned), I signed a non-union contract on the spot.

But I soon realized there was a gulf between charter school hype and reality. Every day brought shocking and disturbing revelations: high attrition rates of students and teachers, dangerous working conditions, widespread suspensions, harassment of teachers, violations against students with disabilities, nepotism, and fraud. By the end of the school year, I vowed never to step foot in a charter school again, and to fight for the protection of public schools like never before.

I soon realized there was a gulf between charter school hype and reality.

On August 15, my first day of work, I dashed into the school’s newest home, a crumbling building on the campus of a public middle school in South Los Angeles.

via Shondaland The Truth About Charter Schools

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