Phi Beta Cons

Charter Schools and Unions

Regarding charter schools, I know that conservatives place hope in these schools for being able to bypass union influence. But many of these schools are starting up with diversity propaganda and race, gender, and class ideology, and so forth. They are not straying from an original vision; the ideology is their vision. And yes, the charters will be withdrawn if the schools aren’t successful, but that wouldn’t happen until a large cohort of students had passed through them and had had from them whatever education they are to have for those years.  Also, as far as demonstrating success, it is possible that schools built on ethnic propaganda might actually show decent reading scores. Literacy is very high in Castro’s Cuba, even though the education is sheer propaganda.
I don’t understand why any charter schools are being allowed to base themselves on ethnic chauvinism and the like. Why isn’t there an insistence on Hirsch’s Core Literacy approach and similar approaches from the very outset? Candace says that the rotten pedagogies put forth by charter schools also come out of the teacher-ed-cum-union mentality. But the whole idea of the charter school is to resist that. So why does that mentality still have its sway in the formation of charter schools? If the mentality is that pervasive, the only thing then is to continue to fight the fight against these noxious ”progressive” ideas and pedagogies, and not to trust that the charter-school movement will take care of the problem.  
Regarding unions, once again, I do feel that we alienate teachers needlessly by villainizing them and the unions wholesale. I have a number of teachers among my family and friends and I know the circumstances in which they have to teach are often dreadful, and they get little support. And these are not the loafers and goof-offs you read about in the paper. These are conscientious people who want to do a good job. We shouldn’t forget them and their need of job security.
For their part, the unions deserve reproach as well, because they will not take on the problem of discipline in the schools. They probably fear that it would inevitably bring up the vexed issue of race, and so they focus their energy on demands for higher pay and smaller class size instead. 

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