Jason Stanford lives in Austin, Texas, where he writes frequently about school issues. Here he gives us the latest in the school choice saga in Texas.
Texas is crazy for school choice. The state legislature is about to take up the question of vouchers, and the state board of education has approved many charters. The new state commissioner of education Michael Williams previously ran the State Railroad Commission, which regulates the energy industry (lightly), and he is a fan of school choice.
Now the state board has approved a charter called Great Hearts Academies for an affluent white neighborhood in San Antonio. Now there will be a charter for white kids, and other charters for black and brown kids. That is the new world of school choice.
There is a charter school for rich white kids in Los Altos (the Bullis Charter School), the Metro Nashville school board has been trying to stop the Great Hearts Academy of Arizona from opening a charter in an affluent white neighborhood, Eva Moskowitz has opened charters in affluent NYC communities on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn (maybe that’s why she changed the name of her chain from “Harlem Success Academy” to “Success Academy”). New Jersey parents in middle-class towns have thus far repelled them.
The wave of the future, it seems, is that charters will expand into mostly affluent white districts. The kids are less challenging. Instead of “saving poor children from their failing public schools,” they will go where the pickings are easy.