Guest Podcast: The Origin of Charter Schools

Charter Schools Shawgi TellI’m posting a podcast presentation by Shawgi Tell regarding the origin of charter, or more accurately, contract schools. It is with this point of origin of charter schools in the market logic of the contract that we see both the private and corporate essence of charters. This arrangement is not an “innovation”. It harkens back to some features of colonial times (e.g., notice charter chains emphasis on a ridged morality of work — e.g., “grit”), to public/private ventures such as the early academies and charity schools, including those in New York State. It was, in part, the failure of these (pre-public school) arrangements that helped create the conditions for the advance of public school systems and state constitutional amendments mandating common schools. Most importantly, the struggle for public schools gave rise to the historic and yet unrealized aim of providing quality education to all as a right. As charters are bound to the logic of contracts, they are also bound to give rise to the same social, political and economic inequalities as competitive markets, especially under conditions of economic monopoly and in particular the domination of the claims of finance capital over public rights and the common good.

2 Comments Guest Podcast: The Origin of Charter Schools

  1. John McTigue October 3, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    This podcast is incredible. It puts the entire education “reform” movement into a proper context. I particularly love the last suggestion that only a grassroots movement can save public education.

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