The Austin Chronicle

Charter Advocates Advocate for Charters

By Richard Whittaker, December 8, 2009, 12:10pm, Newsdesk

There's a lot of hootin' and hollerin' this morning about a report alleging that empirical facts prove that Texas' charter school law doesn't work. But when the report comes from a charter school advocacy operation, the "failures" may not be what you're expecting.

The report by the innocuous-sounding Center for Education Reform, entitled "'Race to the Top' for Charter Schools," claims that Texas has the 16th worst regulatory structure out of the 40 states in the nation with charter school laws. So what is Texas, the home of deregulation, doing wrong and right by CER's standards?

Seems there's a few points for "Teacher Freedom" (read "union-busting"), but there's grumbling because the state won't pay for facilities funding. The real blinking red light here is that, under Texas law, there is "no blanket waiver from rules and regulations and over time, a highly regulatory environment has resulted." Oh, yeah, it's those pesky regulations that are to blame.

In fact, what this all seems to be about is getting charter schools out from any form of oversight, while diverting every cent of the federal Race to the Top dollars into what the center calls "innovation". Anyone want to bet that's just a synonym for more charter schools?

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