Reading this study about online charter schools is troubling. Even though I’ve no children to worry about (thankfully), these people will be taking care of us when we’re old. Of at least equal importance is these are the people who will be called upon to advance and protect our civilization and our species. A book I’m reading now talks about how when the Soviets launched Sputnik, American parents, teachers, and politicians were shocked into awareness that something wasn’t right with our educational system. By and large they banded together at that time (1950s) to aggressively tackle the issues. Nowadays we have governors taking money from universities to give it to the already wealthy, underfunding public schools suffering from decades of white flight, school shootings, rampant homeschooling, privatizing and/or closing schools, etc. In Ohio these ‘alternative’ schools seem to be gaining a terrible reputation, and then this about online charter schools. It’s troubling to me and I don’t have any children, so hopefully people with children are doing something besides complaining about standardized tests or Common Core. Mostly over the past 10-15 years I’ve just seen conservatives defend No Child Left Behind against liberal critics, and then the same conservatives inveigh against Common Core and what seems like teachers in general. I don’t know what the answers are but I can see where we rank against other countries, and we’re not #1. We should be #1.
“Is our children learning?” – George W. Bush