Moi Naturale is a new blogger. She is Evan Seymour, who worked for KIPP in New Orleans until she learned that had a disability and was unceremoniously abandoned, including losing her health insurance. This is her report on her disenchantment with charter schools.

I will be perfectly frank here. I have seldom criticized KIPP. In part, it is because I like Mike Feinberg, one of the founders. I was very impressed when Mike invited me to speak in Houston a few years ago, knowing that I was a critic of charters. That is the kind of open-mindedness that I admire. And I feel I don’t know enough about how KIPP schools operate, so I have hesitated to make any generalizations.

For those who credit KIPP with having cracked the code of urban education, I have issued what I called the KIPP Challenge: Take over an entire district, no exceptions, no excuses, including the children with disabilities, the ones who don’t speak English, the ones who don’t want to go to school. All of them. I hit a hornet’s nest when I suggested it, and received many vituperative responses.

Evan Seymour knows more about KIPP than I do. She has a personal issue with KIPP, because of the shabby treatment she received, but she has other issues.

She writes:

This is the truth when it comes to charter schools — they aren’t working like society has been led to believe they are.  There are a variety of problems with the country’s charter schools, including these:

  • a lack of oversight
  • exploitation of teachers
  • non-compliance with Federal Law as it pertains to students with disabilities
  • fiscal irresponsibility
  • hiring practices (see: inexperienced teachers, teachers who aren’t interested in remaining in the classroom, teachers who do not at all represent the demographic make-up of the student population they serve)

Evan Seymour was born in Pasadena, California, earned her BA at Spelman College, and studied journalism at the University of Southern California. She currently lives in New Orleans.