Community schools are a great plan
Sarah Lahm’s stuff always has the highest excellence.
But Minnesota—as well as many other states and the federal government—is awakening to another approach to school improvement that is expanding, from the ground up, in a more natural way: the full-service community schools model.
In contrast to charter schools and other market-based approaches to school improvement, full-service community schools offer a holistic approach to education that is about lifting up students and the communities they live in, rather than pitting schools against one another in the interest of greater choice and competition…
In short, the market-based approach to education reform that Minnesota helped pioneer has caused a great deal of disruption, segregation and chaos. In a Hunger Games-type setting, districts and charter schools have been forced to compete for students with white, middle and upper class students and families largely coming out on top.
The end result, critics allege, is an increasingly segregated public education landscape across the state, with no widespread boost in student outcomes to show for it.
Thirty years after Minnesota’s charter school and open enrollment laws ushered in a mostly unregulated era of school choice, many states—including Minnesota—and federal officials may be turning their attention to the reform model offered by full-service community schools.
With my general mindset on these matters, about the first thought that comes to my mind is “How are the greedhead deformers going to try to shoot this down?”
My first notion is that they’ll try to block funding. But that might not be politically palatable. Also from the article previously quoted:
Only a handful of small, less-populated states, such as Nebraska, Vermont, and North and South Dakota, do not allow charter schools.
Three of the four states noted are about as right-wing as they get. It’s not just progressives who don’t want a full-on plutocratic takeover of our education system.
Certainly there will be a PR campaign, including a heavy emphasis on scaremongering, with their allies in corporate media, as soon as community schools begin to be perceived as a real threat to the charter movement. It’s up to us, to keep countering that. Most people aren’t paying close attention to the details of this fight. They just want their kids, grandkids, etc., in good schools.
I could see the deformers trying to get the courts to block community schools, on the grounds that they “misdirect” funds away from education. Specious crap like that. But will they dare potentially expose themselves to a plethora of counter-claims regarding charters? I can’t answer that.
We have wide support for public schools on our side. The deformers have a captive media, a great deal of money, and the willingness to misrepresent and obfuscate their asses off, in the service of their despicable ends, on theirs. They do not have intelligence or righteousness, and we can prevail.
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