This post was written by Mark Naison and Bruce Bernstein. Naison is a professor at Fordham University and Bernstein is a community activist, with a background in business and software.
How to Know If Your Local Charter School Sucks
By Mark Naison and Bruce Bernstein
We will not categorically write off charter schools because there are some great ones. However, more and more charter schools are bringing the worst features of private enterprise to public education. You know the local charter school probably sucks if:
1. Its leader calls himself/herself a CEO.
2. The CEO’s salary is more than three times the salary of the highest paid teacher in the school.
3. The board of the school is full of hedge fund executives.
4. Teachers in the school are terrorized and students treated as though they were in prison or on the verge of being sent to prison.
5. The construction company who built the school is owned by a relative of a politician or a powerful community organization.
6. The school teaches that those who practice some of the world’s great religions are heading straight to hell.
7. The school drives out students who are discipline problems or don’t test well.
8. The school accepts a co-location with a public school and then tells its teachers and students not to talk to anyone in the other school.
9. The school is run by a private for-profit “educational management company” which won’t reveal its budget for the school.
10. The Principal or “CEO” of the school is related to one of the owners or executives of the “educational management company.”
11.The school has board members who blog and tweet about how screwed up teachers unions are.
12. The school uses extreme forms of “merit pay” or a bonus system to create huge disparities among teachers.
13. Teachers who used to teach at the school tell horror stories about how everything was geared towards tests and fundraising.
Please feel free to add your own points!