EduShyster has written a scintillating post about how three of Boston’s most prestigious law firms (“white shoe” lawyers) have combine to litigate for more charter schools in the name of civil rights. She asks some pertinent questions: Do they know that charters are more segregated than public schools? Do they know that children in charter schools abandon their civil rights at the door? Do they know that many charter schools do not “backfill” (i.e., accept students who apply to enroll in grades after their entering class)? Do they know that the odds of young males graduating from a charter school in Massachusetts are small?

 

She writes:

 

What? You want to know how it is that civil rights can be used to argue for more charter schools, when, according to a growing body of case law, students in charter schools don’t actually have civil rights? Or how, in the course of four decades, *civil rights* could go from a fierce battle over desegregating schools and diversifying the teaching force to the right of students to attend more segregated schools and be taught by young, mostly white teachers? Or why our pro bono-ists seem so charmingly ill-informed, not just about the state’s charter schools, but about all of the schools that are publicly attended? All mere trifles, reader.
While the constitutional challenge to the charter cap has yet to make its official debut, it gets underway unofficially this week with the hottest ticket in town: the annual charter school lottery. Our pro bono-ists will identify a handful of lottery losers, invite them to become plaintiffs, then introduce them to the press, Vergara-style. Of course, the bold plan is not without its challenges. Like getting past that *awkward* bit about the plaintiffs being denied access to *high-performing seats* that have no students in them because of the charter lobby’s staunch position against *backfilling.* Also, probably best to avoid including a would-be 9th grade boy in the plaintiff pool, as he turns out to have about as much chance of graduating from a Boston charter high school, going to college and completing college as he does of winning the actual lottery. But I digress. (The links are in the post.)

 

 

She also helpfully explains why certain law firms are called “white shoe” and includes a very realistic illustration of a white shoe, the kind seen in olden times on Ivy League campuses.