Cynthia Roy and Richard Rosa: New charter likely to approved by state, certain to be condemned by community
Cynthis Roy and Richard Rosa are co-chairs of the New Bedford Coalition to Save Our School. In this op-ed for SouthCoast Today, they explain why a newly proposed charter school is not something that Massachusetts needs.
One of the most morally disturbing aspects of the Innovators Charter School proposal for New Bedford and Fall River is the joining of considerable political and economic power to withdraw resources from public education systems that have been historically underfunded. What is appalling is the deliberate indifference to the impact on our public school systems in New Bedford and Fall River which, together, serve 22,563 students. As students and families are seduced to exit their public schools, the operating costs in these schools remain the same. This proposal is just more of the same looting of the public school system that we have seen with charter schools.
The Innovators Charter School is not an incubator of innovation for public education reform; rather, it is part of a movement to treat public education as a market opportunity for entrepreneurs and business that has proven to be catastrophic for communities across the state.
Virtually every “innovation” that charter schools utilize to decorate their proposals was born in public schools. Charter schools have been on the scene since the 1980s, and yet there has been little to no shared innovation even though they are released from significant regulations that public schools must abide by.
The greatest innovation that charter schools have engendered is that they are very seductive with their false narratives of “failing public schools.” The application is loaded with these references, insinuating that public schools are dated in their assumptions about learning and educator development.
The ICS application places great emphasis on its educators being knowledgeable about adolescent development. There is nothing innovative about this. All licensed public school educators in the state have taken various courses in adolescent development. Many hold advanced degrees and possess a deep understanding of child psychology and how students learn and grow, including students with disabilities. We also wonder how ICS will recruit and retain professional educators who are knowledgeable in adolescent development when they intend on paying their educators ten thousand dollars less than their counterparts working in our public schools.