- Charter Schools have become the topic of the day among
parents, think tanks, political candidates, school districts, states and
Federal Department of Education.
- Generally defined as: Publicly financed schools
that are independently run and free to experiment. They are seen differently
by different interests.
- 1) Frustrated Parents see them as an answer to dumbed
down regular schools. 2) Many political conservatives see them as
an optional euphemism called "school choice" which they think
will create competition. 3) Constitutional conservatives see them as
"taxation without representation". 4) Global corporate entities
and NGO's see them as a vehicle to further workforce training to create
a global work force to serve the ends of a global society.
- Rather than addressing the specifics of charter school
models, a basic premise needs to be recognized before discussing any facet
of education. It has become obvious to all but the very blinded to reality
that government schools have become a disaster regardless of which end
of the political spectrum one finds one's self. One often hears, "schools
have failed". Not so, it was planned, and the orchestration during at least
the last half century of the deliberate dumbing down has succeeded to set
the stage for restructuring what we've known as public schools. Rand corporation,
one of the players in the process, had a name for it, "the unfreezing
of the system".
- Since mid 1960's and the implementation of ESEA (Elementary
and Secondary Education Act) Federal dollars became the vehicle to begin
the restructuring of the system. Elite planners at national and international
levels superimposed authority through state and local control
of education working with and through think tanks, NGO's, NEA and state
governments which lusted after Federal dollars to implement
the agenda. There's no more guesswork re: the intent to nationalize/internationalize
education with the release of the Common Core Standards Initiative from
the National Governors Association Center in 2009. That initiative calls
for "internationally benchmarked" standards "so that
ALL students are prepared to succeed in our GLOBAL economy and
SOCIETY". (emphasis added by this writer) Therefore,
every thread of government financed education must be seen in context of
the total picture of National/International planning to create global
citizens for an international workforce.
- Nearly everyone, including concerned conservatives, parents,
teachers, legislators who haven't done their homework (everyone except
the elite planners), continue to see the ever changing parade
of innovations, ideas, curricula, classroom whim, etc. as
separate entities to be assessed, on their own merits. However all
of the above needs to be discerned in context of its being an integral
part of a closed system of education planning originated and put into motion
by national/ 'international planners. It's been going on for decades
including agreements signed between U.S. Department of Education with
Soviet Union during President Reagan's Administration, (<http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/>www.deliberatedumbingdown.com)
to the recent agreement with China signed by Arne Duncan, Secretary
of Education and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown (U.S.-P.P.C
- An appropriate metaphor to put the system
in perspective might be a Banyan Tree which is a fig tree which
has the ability to spread out laterally by putting out aerial shoots that
grow down into surrounding soil forming additional trunks which continue
to do the same, forming a configuration of a maze of what appears to be
separate entities but is in reality, a complex arrangement intricately
a part of original trunk.
- So you say, what does all that have to do with charter
schools? Since charter schools are not autonomous private schools,
but are public schools funded with public money, they must be considered
as a component of the original "parent" trunk of the
Education Banyan Tree.
- Frustrated parents and many proponents of charter schools
need to consider:
- Charter schools are not a new idea. The idea has been
around for centuries, but can be traced to the 60's and 70's "when
innovative schools were established in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia,
Minneapolis, St. Paul..." (League of Women's Voters, Charter School
Movement, March 2000). Keep in mind it was in the 60's when
ESEA enabled the beginning of the planned unfreezing of the existing traditional school
systems. The Charter School Movement did not originate from parents looking
for an escape from existing public schools. It originated from government
planners in collaboration with think tanks, NGO's and global corporate
interests. The question not asked by charter school proponents
today is, "how do charter schools fit into the Banyan Tree's
original trunk, and why are top level education officials (Arne Duncan ,Secretary
of Education) leading the parade for charter schools unless charter schools
have a role in the bigger picture to internationalize education?
- Arne Duncan was quoted addressing a club of billionaires,
as pledging "to combine your ideas with our dollars from the Federal
government. What you have created is a real movement" . (Trip Gabriel
of New York Times) NGO's, and foundations play a big part
in the agenda including Bill and Melinda Gates who met with a little known
gathering of selected state governors in Pennsylvania during planning
of what led to the Race to the Top agenda which calls for charter schools.
- Why does Pres. Obama support charter schools? Certainly
not to provide for a constructive option or escape from the dumbed down,
often dangerous schools.
- Conservatives who see charter schools as school choice
(a euphemism which is purported to be a catalyst for creating competition)
need to address the inconsistency of the premise that government has never
been and cannot create true competition in the sense of free market context.
By its very nature and authority of the "power of the sword"
to tax, it also must control and rightly so, if the constitutional principle
of taxation with representation still exists. It is a contradiction in
terms to think that government funded functions can or will create entities
to compete with itself. So parents and other proponents of charter schools
must be willing to jettison the idea that the public school system is genuinely
providing a convenient escape from schools the very same forces have destroyed.
Why, unless charter schools fill a purpose in the published documents
which lay out the plans for nationalization/internationalization of schools
which are to include ALL students?
- One scenario to consider is that by creating a classification
of schools which are exempt from mandates and regulations for regular
government schools, the traditional lines of jurisdiction of ELECTED school
officials are diminished. UNELECTED overseers of charter schools operate
under their own authority but receive funding from taxpayers who ELECTED
the local school boards to be accountable for those tax dollars. The more
charter schools, the more the concept of elected representation is weakened
until local district lines can be eliminated to gradually accomplish the
transformation of local public schools (including charter schools) to state,
regional, national then international oversight in that order. The question
needs to be addressed in context of the Banyan Tree metaphor. Are the
many branches touching ground to take root to form a global umbrella controlling
schools and our children's minds? Are desperate parents and conservatives
not seeing the whole tree, but only the shoots which may be designed to
engage those who are most concerned about the dumbing down of schools?
Could those most concerned inadvertently be being used to break down the
CONCEPT of elected representation responsible to an electorate?
- Publicly funded private schools are an oxymoron. Charter
schools play on the idea that parents can have something resembling private
schools and have that same government pay for it. The carrot of charter
schools may appear sweet short term until local jurisdictions are destroyed.
Then the long term deception will manifest itself. Clues may already
be surfacing. I.e., the annual summit of Silicon Valley tech leaders
(San Jose Mercury 5/16/10) calling for an education czar to "redo
existing regulations". So much for the prospect of undoing regulations
through charter schools.
- Many proponents of charter schools also see them as the
antidote to teacher unions, but that is falling into the trap of promoting
something because a political opposition opposes it. Unions have
contributed to the unfreezing of the system, but they are not the
originator or major element in the formation of the Banyan Tree's trunk
root. If unions can't beat "em" they will
join "em. Talk of unionizing charter schools in New
York City are already beginning.
- Charter schools may be the planned transitional vehicles
from brick and mortar classrooms to what an elite is planning and beginning
to implement as the final synthesis of traditional schools to a hybrid
model of virtual cyber schools called Distance Learning. Students (think
Pre K-12) will be assessed, then a curriculum will be devised for each
child according to his/her assessed abilities toward training for
a global workforce. The training will be in the form of direct Instruction
with each child sitting in front of a computer in a setting which could
be anywhere with others or alone or even at home. The training will
tap into instructors from around the world. Remember the agreement recently
signed by the Sectretary of Education with China? Technology lends itself
to instant changing of information and misinformation and who will program
the cyber curriculum designed for each child, or monitor the monitors?
- One observer said it well. "The origin of choice
in education is not grassroots America, but the Department of Education
and various public and private entities. They are using school choice
as the catalyst to restructure the education environment". Will charter
schools empower parents? No ! What government funds, government ultimately
controls. There will be strings attached. Government will control both
systems, for government funds both systems. As the recent health care
legislation debate in which the flaw was exposed in the idea
that government can create competition in health care, charter schools share
the same flaw in concept.
- Legislators and candidates for office who mistakenly
promote charter schools as "choice" should work toward abolishing
the Federal Department of Education, the tap root
- of the education Banyan Tree, and the offshoots which
continue to take root in the interest of nationalizing/internationalizing
education will be exposed for what they are.