The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch newspaper runs a regular feature called the Hot Issue, where they ask their readers a question of interest and ask them to answer the question and comment on their answer. Here is their question of the day for this past Monday along with my answer.
The Hot Issue:
Do you think charter schools have helped or hurt the public school system?
In one sense, ideally charter schools and other private schools help the public schools by creating a more competitive environment, in which the public schools would strive to improve. Without competition the schools have no reason to improve. In other words, the public schools get entrenched in the status quo and mediocrity.
A better, more pertinent question, however, would be, “Do you thing charter schools have helped or hurt students and their learning?” But, that does not seems to be the concern of politicians, educational bureaucrats. or the teachers unions. Our public schools, based on the money per child “invested” in education, is an abject failure. This is especially true when you compare US student achievement with other industrialized nations. We rank near the bottom of the list. Why? It is the failed curriculum and the overarching godless, secular humanist philosophy, deliberate dumbing-down of America’s children that is the root cause of its failure. Furthermore, we are turning out amoral and immoral students.
Charter schools and especially private schools seem to have more of a mandate to teach than do the prison-like institutions or indoctrination centers, the government-run schools. Looking at how well government has done in education should be instructive as to why government should not be involved in ripping apart and redoing our healthcare system.