The indispensable blogger Jersey Jazzman discovered a column in a New Jersey newspaper, chastising me because I gave a history lesson to Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf. The writer feels sure that if Shanker were alive today, he would be supporting charters and the handover of public schools to private entities.
I have read all of Al Shanker’s columns as well as his speeches about charter schools. What I wrote was documented, not based on opinion or hearsay. I knew Al Shanker well. I did not speculate about what Al Shanker might believe today, but what he wrote and said when he was alive.
The writer thinks that charters have nothing to do with profit. She needs to read up on K12, which just won a charter; it is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and reported revenues last year of $522 million. Its CEO was paid $5 million. It operates for profit. Not your average mom-and-pop school.
For some reason, the writer thought I was angry, but I thought I was professorial. I never get angry when I am giving lessons. In instructing Chris Cerf, I was calm, cool, and collected.