Uncategorized

270 Charlotte kids impacted by the genius of the market

There is another powerful example this week of why privatizing public education is a lousy idea. As has been reported by the Charlotte Observer, 270 K-8 students are being dumped from the ironically named StudentFirst Academy charter school next week because the school is broke and will close. As the Observer reported:

“That leaves about 270 K-8 students scrambling to find schools less than two months before the school year ends. Parents who gathered at the school Thursday said they fear their children will fail state exams and could be forced to repeat a grade.”

And, of course, as is always the case with these charter failures, the traditional public schools will be left to clean up the mess since they will do their duty and admit the kids left out in the cold.

None of this is to say that all charters are inherently bad. To the extent they receive more oversight (and are more integrated into the public schools than totally unaccountable private schools like those slated to receive vouchers in North Carolina) they have potential to do good. Those who believe in and fight to preserve and strengthen public education “get it” that our schools are imperfect and that, in the right circumstances, well-regulated and monitored public charter schools can serve as incubators of innovation that can experiment and develop helpful new ideas that would be much tougher to develop in a large system.

That said, this latest closure serves as more powerful evidence of the fallacy of one of the core arguments frequently voiced by the far right in the education policy debate — namely that “competition” and the “genius of the market” will somehow magically fix what ails the education system. As 270 kids and their families in Charlotte are finding out, unfettered competition produces many good things, but it also invariably produces something else we can do without: lots and lots of losers.

Let’s hope this latest episode reminds state leaders going forward that when it comes to educating our children, we need a system designed to assure that every child is a winner.

One Comment


  1. Alan

    April 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I am heartbroken for these students and I hate the stress that they and their families will be under the next couple of months. I am an NC public middle & high school teacher and I deal with former charter students coming into my classes at the rate of 1-2 month, from 4 different local charters. Regardless of the reason – whether the decision was their own or whether the school excised them – they are, with rare exception, less-than-prepared for the rigor and structure of the take-all environment of traditional public schools. For this to happen to so many students with only a handful of weeks until our state’s high-stakes testing begins is truly unfortunate.

Check Also

The next time someone tries to equate white supremacists and those who decry hatred and discrimination…

One of the more pernicious bits of conservative ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement refuses to disclose any details of probe into alle [...]

Senate favors form of merit selection for judges as alternative to House judicial redistricting bill [...]

North Carolinians hoping to find out who’s been funding Rep. Justin Burr’s crusade this legislative [...]

The SePro Corporation is receiving as much as $1.3 million in taxpayer money to chemically kill the [...]

Lawmakers to return to Raleigh yet again; agenda may include dangerous “de-reg” proposal The North C [...]

The three federal judges could have just come right out and said it: The Republicans who rule the N. [...]

3---number of states that adopted new state Earned Income Tax Credits in 2017---Montana, Hawaii, and [...]

The post Total Eclipse (of Democracy) appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more