Mitchell Robinson, a professor of Music at Michigan State, has travelled the world and discovered that others do not share our obsession with charters and standardized testing. The so-called reform movement has blithely closed hundreds or thousands of public schools and replaced many of them with charter schools. In the rush to privatization, reformers forgot about the purpose of public Ed ivatuion, which is not to make students ready for college and careers but ready to lead a good life.

Robinson writes:

“The charter school “debate” is no longer about charter schools vs. public schools (charters are not public schools — that myth has been exploded), or even about “for profit” vs. “not for profit” charters (the evidence HERE suggests this is really a difference without a distinction).”

No, the real issue here is about the true purpose of education, and whether continuing to support two separate but unequal, and inequitable, school systems is doing anything to improve education for all children. By any objective measure, the answer is a resounding “NO!”

The charter lobby has attempted, through spending millions of dollars on PR and marketing, to redefine the purpose of education from one about producing well-rounded citizens who are capable of making valuable contributions to our society and leading fulfilling lives, to a business-driven agenda of producing workers for corporate America. The latter “purpose” now drives much of our state and federal education legislation, which is rife with references to “21st Century Skills,” and insuring that high school graduates are stamped as being “college and career-ready”.

What the charter chains overlook is that the purpose of education is to prepare young people for lives of caring, compassion, and responsility.

“This is a radical repurposing of a public goal to meet the needs of private corporations, and is echoed in the mission and “vision” statements of the leading charter school management companies zzz.”