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The Deception Of Charter Schools
By Mary Thompson
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 Education Agreement).
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.

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