Monday, April 02, 2007


Kevin at the Quick and the Ed clarifies for readers that when people say things like "There must be a special place in hell for these Privatizers, Charterizers and Voucherziers," they should really say "three special places."

I agree with Kevin and find myself having this very conversation all the time. To be fair, though, it's not entirely true that vouchers, charter schools and school privatization are three totally distinct movements and that the only place they intersect is at Cato. I have worked with charter school supporters who see charters as "half a loaf" (with total privatization being the "whole loaf").

Even less extreme, many people in the charter movement are MBA-holders who simply believe in applying the business model to all public services. (Apparently, at some point in business school they run you through a machine that permanently wires your brain to "unions are bad.") What is privatization to some is simply efficiency and common sense to them.

However, the vast majority of people I've encountered who teach in, work for, and send their children to charter schools have no grand scheme for privatization. They are attracted to the specific mission of their school, the (typically) small size, and the (typically) high level of parent involvement.

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