Group the current range of America’s devastating problems together, pick the most important, and one of them is bound to be public education that does not educate, at least not adequately. There is an answer to what the standardized tests tell us, a simple answer, one that the majority of black Americans agree with, but teachers’ unions do not.
It’s more relying on wonderfully innovative charter schools, which also happen to be public schools. Charter schools are paid by taxes and are free to students. A main objective is to experiment with different teaching techniques, to find improved teaching methods. A student does not need to have a brilliant record to be accepted as admission is by individual choice or, if applications outnumber openings, by lottery.
For a negative outlook on all of this, turn to the teacher unions and respectful White Democrats. For the facts and the logic, turn to the incredible Thomas Sowell.
A Harlem child and Harvard student before going to graduate school and becoming an economist, columnist, and think tank member, Sowell has a clear, logical, and realistic view of the world. The bottom line is that he does not play intellectual games like the unions do by comparing the test scores of these charter schools teaching students from disadvantaged families with those in public schools teaching the offspring of the rich and the very educated.
Instead, he goes to a place like New York, where it’s possible to compare charter and public school students with the same socio-economic backgrounds, living in the same neighborhood, and maybe even learning. in the same buildings. Charter schools are winning big.
Charter schools do not appear out of nowhere. Sponsored by private groups, they are vetted by school authorities before being allowed to settle in, and can be terminated if they fail. When a student moves from a public school to a charter school, the money goes with it, but so do the costs. Overall, charter schools do not have unions, and for those who adore these politically capable organizations, it might be worth considering the enormous cost of their unscientific resistance to in-person teaching during the crisis. COVID-19. Millions of young minds have been hit hard.
In his book “Charter Schools and Their Enemies,” Sowell discusses all kinds of cultural issues that can cause some students to perform worse than others, and then states that this is no excuse for that public schools say there is nothing they can do about it. . Education is a great provider. If not always, it can be overcome over and over again, providing life opportunities that are hard to come by any other way.
Sowell is not saying that all charter schools are great or that all public schools fail, but that there is a model of charter school networks in New York City that should be seen as a crucial way to solve one of our country’s most pressing problems. His book competes more successfully with the puzzling changes in education being promoted by progressives right now even though President Barack Obama also believed in charter schools. As Sowell notes, it is far more important for students to become good at English and math than it is to practice grief or absorb leftist propaganda. What’s particularly frightening are states that want to put numerical limits on charter schools or relax disciplinary rules that lead to better learning environments.
Develop charter schools, spread their best techniques and see what happens.
Jay Ambrose is a union columnist.