In this month’s issue of Fortune Magazine, page 34, writer Nina Easton quotes Daniel Loeb, CEO of the hedge fund Third Point and Success Academy board chair, “The intensity of focus that leads to outstanding results, the use of data, the recruitment and cultivation of talent – it feels like you are on a mini-Google campus.”
The difference being, these are elementary school children, not company employees; the outstanding results are high test scores and lowered human expectations; data is used to control minds not outcomes; and, talent is cultivated not nurtured.
The article continues to point out, “Kids should struggle . . . Chess is key to building agile minds. Every kid is required to study the game . . . Assume all your students are going to college . . . Extend the same college expectations to special-ed students . . . No coddling for teachers either . . . Principals, not just teachers, have to know their students.”
All of these aspects are seen as the “good” results of Success Academy Charter Schools which “rank in the top 1% of all the state’s programs in math – and the top 3% for English.”
Charter school proponents who proudly boast the achievement of these schools fail to recognize the true intent of public education which is to create a knowledgeable, concerned, actively engaged citizen of these United States.
While there may be a necessity for this type of schooling, it cannot be considered “public” education since it does not follow or commit to public education’s intent.
In order to fully guarantee every child in America a free and public education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their gifts and talents towards becoming a knowledgeable, concerned, actively engaged citizen of these United States, our elected leaders must have the courage to amend our Constitution.
We, as a nation, must make the commitment to provide every child in America with a free and public education that is child centered, developmentally appropriate, experiential, grounded in the arts, delivered in safe neighborhood schools by knowledgeable dedicated teachers who know and understand that everyone in the school community is gifted and talented, especially our children.
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