Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The model is constant upheaval

"School choice" means a perpetual hustle for students and parents.
Harper Royal spun her laptop around to show me a spreadsheet she's created. By her count, since 2009, 24 schools in New Orleans have been closed, forcing 4,393 students to seek an education elsewhere. If Lagniappe and Miller-McCoy Academy are closed at the end of this year, the count will be 26 schools and 4,938 students, she said.

"That's totally unacceptable to me," she said, "that we would displace that many children."

One of the arguments for charter schools is the relative ease at which they can be shut down for underperforming. A school that's not cutting it can have its charter revoked and be erased out of existence. But our conversation revealed that Harper Royal doesn't see that as a feature of charter schools but as a bug.

She sees it as inherently problematic to shut down a school and, thus, destabilize a child's education, problematic to tell parents they're free to choose a school and then shut down that school soon after they do.

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