As a rule, if a progressive shares any part of Betsy DeVos’s agenda, chances are he or she is not a progressive. Progressives usually support public schools governed by a democratic entity; progressives believe that teachers should have the right to bargain collectively and to seek better funding and better working conditions for the students and staff; progressives think that all teachers should be well educated and certified; progressives believe that educators, students, and families should be treated with respect; progressives believe that civil rights law should be enforced; progressives work towards a society that is fair and just to all its citizens. Progressives do not defend racial segregation.

That’s my peroration.

Now comes Peter Greene’s response to Conor Williams’s loopy claim that progressives should defend charter schools even though they are segregated and non-union. Peter notes that Conor’s teaching experience was limited to a couple of years at the “no-excuses” Achievement First Charter School in Brooklyn.

He adds:

“Williams shows his bias right off the bat, saying that Hiawatha runs “some of Minnesota’s best public schools for serving such students.” The link takes you to a six-year-old article, and as usual, “best” doesn’t mean anything except “high score on the Big Standardized Test.” And Hiawatha does not operate public schools– it runs a charter school chain, and charter schools are not public schools. Calling charters “public” schools continues to be a way to obscure the problems of a privatized education system while giving charters the gloss of public school values which they do not possess. If “financed by public tax dollars” is the definition of “public,” then Erik Prince operated a public security company and most defense contractors are public corporations. Charter schools are not public schools; their leadership is not publicly elected, their finances are not publicly transparent, and they do not take every child that shows up on their doorstep (which is one way they are able to achieve outstanding test results).”

He has many other sharp observations. I urge you to read his entire post.