Mr. Iannuzzi noted that Secretary Duncan's remarks last week at the national charter school conference, warning against allowing too many second-rate charters, is a sign that lifting the cap may not be so important for states to obtain funding from this program.
Nice try, Mr. Iannuzzi. But there is no such "refining" going on here.
Secretary Duncan's position in favor of lifting charter caps and focusing on quality rather than quantity in the number of charter schools is entirely consistent, and reflects the exact position of President Obama.
The President in his comprehensive education speech last March, said the following:
Right now, there are caps on how many charter schools are allowed in some states, no matter how well they are preparing our students. That isn’t good for our children, our economy, or our country. Of course, any expansion of charter schools must not result in the spread of mediocrity, but in the advancement of excellence. That will require states adopting both a rigorous selection and review process to ensure that a charter school’s autonomy is coupled with greater accountability – as well as a strategy, like the one in Chicago, to close charter schools that are not working. Provided this greater accountability, I call on states to reform their charter rules, and lift caps on the number of allowable charter schools, wherever such caps are in place.
This is visionary and sensible. New York has this very kind of system in place -- except its cap remains. It should be removed once and for all, as it serves no purpose after 10 years when the charter movement itself has matured and proven effective.
Know that when the state closes in on the charter cap, NYSUT will again be on the opposing side of charter schools as it was in 2007 when the cap was doubled, over its objections. Keeping the number of charter schools from expanding denies more children the opportunity given to thousands of students throughout the state.
But Mr. Iannuzzi wants no more -- that much he tells us in yet another reminder that he works for adults, not children.
for The Chalkboard
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