What many should-be-concerned citizens mistake in the charter school issue is that the Republican assault on public education is not really targeted at education at all. Rather, this is an assault on the concepts of citizenship, community and the very concept of public.
Choice advocates of every stripe do not believe that the public is to be trusted to come together and solve problems or provide services collectively. Instead they claim we need only markets to improve most everything, while also allowing some “providers” working “in the market” to (one day) derive financial gain.
I doubt that Kentucky public education can escape the anti-public but hopefully temporary political climate today. I also acknowledge that there may be some urban school districts where the local school board might want external help to improve intractable schooling outcomes; allowing them to experiment with them might be useful. However, I have not heard public school leaders issue any massive cry for help that the legislature seems to argue they need.
Legislators’ assault on public education is an assault on our public unity and dignity.
Alan J. DeYoung