This comment was posted by a reader:


How will privatization of our school system over the presently run public school system be certain to have any effect on education let alone making education improve by having students achieve better grades? Is the hope to have education improved only because it is privatized? Is the hope to give people a choice in school variety? But we already have four choices in which school to send children: public school, Christian school, parochial school, and private public schools like Groton in Massachusetts. Maybe all that is certain with privatization is that one owner and manager, public education is dismissed and another owner and manager now runs the show, the profiteer. Now, who benefits for certain from this change of the guard of poor performing schools? The students? The teachers? The new owners?
Whether student learning will be bettered, whether ALL students, the present goal of NCLB, will improve is unknown for certain. If charter schools methods are so much better all that is necessary then would be for the public school to adopt same such methods. Who can say: is it possible student achievement can get worse with charter schools? Students learn their subjects through a teacher not who owns or manages or runs the educational system. Education should not be run as a business like management runs a business of selling and buying goods and services. Teachers and children are people, not commodities. In a way students are both employer and employee of their own business in their own education. Education is for them, not management to make a profit from. The teacher is the conduit, the aqueduct of bringing fresh water of learning for the student. Fire one teacher after privatization takes over and there is now no union there to help the dismissed person the class gets another teacher who may be worse yet and not better. So, fire and hire, fire and hire, like in private work places since charter schools have no unions; interesting fact.
It surely must be easier to gauge the effectiveness of say a machinist whose handiwork is an inanimate creation. The outcome of a machinist’s labor rests on 90% of the machinists’ competence and ability and 10% on the material used, that is whether the steel, iron etc, is flawed, etc. But to gauge effectiveness of one teacher with just one gauge, the test, when student class participation, seatwork, homework, or graded papers handed in of student’s answers to a video just viewed are other means of teacher evaluation for student achievement and progress, must surely be inaccurate. Why? Reason one: if a student gets a D on the test but does well with class participation, etc. the student can raise his score to a C or better. So the student achieves better than the test show’s she is. According to the test results, the teacher is poorly performing, along with his student, but the student herself, by her own effort and intelligence and with help from her teacher brought her grade up unknown to the test observer. The student has been an overall success unbeknown to the test observer (these tests include the regular classroom tests as well as those tests necessary for NCLB). Second reason: Because, apart from these other methods of evaluation the effectiveness of the teacher depends very much on the infinite variety of the personality, physical health, emotional health, of 20 or more human beings in the classroom, including the teacher’s own, as to whether pupils are listening to a lecture or are working on that written test. Such human qualities will determine much of the motivation of each student, and as such, in the words of that renown first and second century Roman professor and orator of public speaking, Quintilian, have “study and learning depend very much on the good will of the pupil,”(towards their classmates, education, their school, and their teacher) “a quality which can not be secured by compulsion,” and which was then and remains to this day a very big reason for the success or not of a student.
But with many, if not all unions weakened, or maybe some worse off, partly due to reaganism and globalism, and giving in to a successfully rapid and furious political and corporate abusiveness and assault to have the public blame union and teacher for total student failure, when in fact it is at least both participants to blame, the corporatists’ and political allies’ derision and the union and teachers defensive posturing, serves only to weaken education. Just how little or how much is less important then that some weakening occurs. And, with the general population down on education even before this abusiveness and also due to the billions going overseas for both wars and for foreign aid, many politicians of all parties ride this wave of popular discontent with education to the shoreline of and for their own political advantage.
Now, unless this is the primary intention of the political and corporate derision to weaken all but the classroom, where the real education exists and occurs and is insulated and protected, for the most part, by the noble teacher from the weakening of the system, then there is no good, or not enough good to condone the continued existence of the current group of reforms, is there?
I believe a successful attempt at privatizing any or all of the general welfare and public health and happiness is at best risky and at worst maybe illegal or even unconstitutional. Privatize social security, public schools or any other public function and where the government will seek to aid, equalize, and help retirees, etc, the private enterprisers will first need to determine the cost of helping and the need for securing a profit for themselves before considering promoting the public welfare and health and happiness. If a profit cannot be made, can profiteers be trusted to promote the public health and happiness which is a very important concept of our Enlightenment heritage? Profiteers will only promote the PUBLIC good once and foremost their own PRIVATE interests, made in profits, is promoted first, correct? The people’s trust and happiness should not be allowed to reside with people who will likely have a conflict of interest in promoting the general welfare. Once social security, public schools, health care, or any other public interest is privatized what will keep the profiteers, now the owners of that specific public interest from one day deciding that they now no longer want to own that public interest and either sell it to who knows who or downright just decide not to have it anymore?
And one last thing which should surely show the short-sightedness and poorly considered set of current reforms. Schools which continue to fail are ultimately closed down. The students of these closed schools now go to charter schools or to the schools which were closed when they were public schools and which now are reopened and managed by private enterprise. And now, like magic these children who were failing before will “poof” miraculously begin to achieve better, will now be a success for no other reason then because another manages the school. How much better will the programs, directives, etc. of the directors of a privately run school be, which will have no governmental restrictions, when the public schools now could likewise take the initiative if allowed by state and federal regulations to implement programs, no one knows. Why wait to privatize a school which will have little if any restrictions, when all that need be done today is lessen if not eliminate restrictions on our public schools so they can initiate programs on their own with no government interference and become more like the charter schools would be? Ludicrous.