Thursday, April 09, 2009

How Many Charter Moguls Does It Take to Screw in a Light Bulb?

Over at Gotham Charter Schools there's an article comparing the public school on whose back Joel Klein has painted a target to the new Moskowitz academy that wants to help kill it. Amazingly, a huge point that appears to favor Moskowitz is that she was able to send an email and get a light bulb replaced within 30 minutes. It's odd, because I, a lowly teacher, am able to get such a job done much more quickly, without even consulting my Blackberry (This is additionally convenient because I don't happen to have one).

The fact that it's not the UFT, nor the principal in question, but Tweed that refuses to address the rampant dysfunction in public schools. That's neither here nor there, apparently. Why should they bother with such trivialities? After all, Mayor Mike is providing charters for some kids, so who cares that my school is at 250% capacity and that my students are relegated to a trailer well past its due date? That doesn't merit a paragraph, even a whisper, over at GCS.

With convenient outlets like Gotham providing the lion's share of coverage for a system that serves a distinct minority of kids, they can ignore the outrageous failures of Bloomberg and Klein, focus on schools that get private funding and enrich demagogues like Moskowitz. Not only that, but they can recruit teachers who do more work for less pay, and blame those greedy unionized teachers for all the woes of society. Never mind that the kids they shed all those crocodile tears for will grow up to find the more-work, less-pay precedent even more common than it is now.

The staff of Gotham Schools appears to be two tireless and brilliant young reporters, a thoughtful and reflective college professor, and a rich guy with time on his hands who really likes charter schools. But the front page seems to reflect the latter POV, repeatedly, insistently, and in Flintstone-sized helpings.

You won't be reading about my school there, or scores of schools like it and better. Frankly, fair and balanced it ain't.
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