Monday, August 6, 2007

Separate and Not Equal

This article plays a little bit to the middle ground, conceding to quite a bit of the rhetoric of the right in setting up the debate concerning public schools versus charter education, but factually it's quite telling. If you need any proof that charter schools are the worst way to improve the educational system in the U.S., this is it.

I think we need to be especially careful not to make the mistake the author makes in claiming that, "
if the schools in the top half had to accept the students assigned to the second tier schools, the results of the experiment would obviously turn out quite differently." I think that Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) member Glenny Lee Buquet gets it closer to the mark when she refers to the students enrolled in public schools as "the average New Orleans students - talented, creative and bright, but locked in poverty and out of opportunity" (unfortunately, she uses the disgusting phrase "leftover children" in apposition). The problem here is not, as some of this rhetoric might incorrectly suggest, with the students at all or their division into top and bottom tiers, but rather with the very system they're being forced into, which is borne out by the fact that even 18% of the charter school students still aren't passing the GEE (graduation exam).