NPE Releases Charters and Consequences: An Investigative Report

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The Network for Public Education releases Charters and Consequencesa 48 page report that is the result of investigations, visits and interviews over the course of a year. From San Diego, California to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, NPE learned about the consequences of loosely regulated charter policy and the effects that charters are having on democratically controlled, true public schools.

We have concluded that this unregulated, taxpayer-funded business model of education is a fiscal and educational disaster. Whatever the benefits it offers to the few, the overall negative consequences must be addressed.

In 1988, AFT President, Al Shanker, voiced his support for charter schools. His hope was that a new school model, judiciously used, would be an incubator of innovation.

However, as Network for Public Education President, Diane Ravitch, reminds us, by 1993 Al Shanker became disillusioned. Shanker saw what charters had become—a privatized system run not by teachers, but rather by non-profit and for-profit corporations who believe that schooling is a business rather than a community responsibility. Instead of supporting and sharing practices with neighborhood schools, most charters have become rivals that seek to attract the most motivated families and the most compliant children.

Over the course of the last few months, we also continued to track the fraud and abuse associated with charter schools.  Nearly every day, we encounter examples (on some days more than one), and those are only the ones we happen to find.

Thank you for your continued support. Please do your part by sharing this important report.