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Privatization or Public-ization?

There’s a lot of talk these days about the growing support for a privatization of America’s public school system, and what it augurs over the long haul.

Typically, that’s as far as the conversation gets before breaking down into myopic talking points that force people to pledge allegiance to one of two camps: these days you’re either pro or anti-charter, pro or anti-union, or — the most insulting — pro-adult or pro-kid.

I can’t predict how it’s all going to play out, but I can see that these binary frames are misleading distractions that work great as sound bites, and prevent us from addressing the primary challenges we face as a nation. I can also suggest an illustrative tale worth paying attention to, on from the other side of the globe where the exact opposite push — a public-ization of the school system — is taking place.

Click here to keep reading.

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Evaluating Charter Schools

This morning I appeared on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show. With the DC region at the forefront of the national charter school movement, people want to know why, after a decade of innovation and experimentation, it’s still difficult to evaluate local charters and compare them to traditional public schools.

The framing question for the hour-long show, therefore, was this: “Do charters live up to the claims of their boosters?” You can listen to the show at http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2010-02-01/evaluating-charter-schools.

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