Letters to the editor, Apr. 3

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Charters just an illusion of equality

To the Editor,

Charter schools have an aura of equality stemming from getting their students by lottery but, it seems to me, that is false.

Parents need the energy and ability to tune in on the educational milieu of her/his child to negotiate entering the lottery in the first place. How does a parent of a child with special needs discern if a charter school could or would serve those needs? What about parents whose English is poor and blocking them from “hustling” this particular system?

New York City has more than 22,500 children living in homeless shelters, many with working parents. Are any of these students in a charter school? Then there is the perennial “acting up” student who has always been able to disrupt classes (remember 600 schools? Do they still exist?).

Charter schools can act like private schools and just kick them out… i.e. someone else’s problem. I’m afraid I could go on and on, but the biggest question is how could a charter school fail to score higher than a public school when they do not accept the harder to educate student?

The other question stems from the fact that the organizations promoting charter schools (and paying for the slick TV ads we’ve seen so frequently lately) contain a lot of Wall Street money.

Robert Lewis of WNYC News wrote a detailed report on this on 3/6/14 online if you are interested.

We all know they’ve given Gov. Cuomo a lot of money.

I know educators who believe the longer term motive is to get the contracts (financed by taxpayers) for new educational and testing materials. I have no evidence of this but it’s not an unreasonable suspicion.

Joyce Kent,
Gramercy Park

Continue reading