Edward F. Berger is a strong voice for sanity in the desert of Arizona education politics.

He attended a community meeting with a gubernatorial candidate.

The condition of public education after 20 years of failed policies is frightening.

“The politician, who has been involved in the demise of public education for well over a decade, is not naïve, he is not misinformed, he is, in fact, part of the insanity that has taken over the state and is openly destroying public education so that now private religious and charter schools have access to our public tax dollars. He stands before this hopeful group and omits what he knows, that these are dollars diverted from district schools, the very schools this assembly is concerned about. (Even though charter schools are classified as public schools, they should not be. They do not have elected boards, are not effectively monitored, provide partial curriculum, and too many are profit-driven).”

The politician leaves out many important facts that bear on the future of education: “He never mentions the hundreds of millions of education dollars that are lost and unaccounted for. Or that whole financial systems and even buildings are being replicated at great cost to taxpayers. These are dollars that are taken away from the delivery of services to children. He knows that charter operators are their own bosses, making financial and other decisions that, more often than not, put money into their own pockets and those of their family and friends. He is well aware that charter operators can use the dollars allocated for the education of each child to buy buildings for themselves, or lease space to replicate the schools the taxpayers have already built. He knows that too many of the Schools of Choice determine their own curriculum which is too often biased and fact-adverse. He knows that many charters are subcontracted to profit-driven entities. He knows that trained and experienced teachers are not required in charter schools, contrary to a significant body of evidence demonstrating the increased impact of professional, experienced teachers on learning and human development. He knows the history about how accountability for charter schools was undermined when the legislature circumvented the State Board of Education to create a State Board for Charter Schools whose base purpose is to eliminate reporting standards that led to accountability. As Schools of Choice are running rampant, existing district schools are losing students, funding, and their infrastructure is degrading.”