This HAD to have given William Tucker a heart attack: New Orleans now only has charter schools

SchoolhouseThat’s right – recently appointed to the NH Board of Education,  William Tucker is one of those that seemingly believes that only Government schools manned by union teachers should be the ONLY form of education for our children.  After all, we’ve seen such stunning scholastic successes with this 140 year way of doing business – educational factories turning out cogs for Society’s machine of life.  Simply, churn out that workforce.  ‘Cept in too many cases, neither Johnny or Mary can read, write, or do math (but can spout the current PC nonsense of diversity and social justice, thanks to the Bill Ayers radicals teaching the teachers, ayup). So news that there are no longer any public schools in New Orleans and that it is working, must be shaking Tucker to the core (emphasis mine and reformatted):

In New Orleans, major school district closes traditional public schools for good

…With the start of the next school year, the Recovery School District will be the first in the country made up completely of public charter schools, a milestone for New Orleans and a grand experiment in urban education for the nation.

…It has been two decades since the first public charter school opened in Minnesota, conceived as a laboratory where innovations could be tested before their introduction into public schools. Now, 42 states encourage charters as an alternative to conventional schools, and enrollment has been growing, particularly in cities. In the District of Columbia, 44 percent of the city’s students attend charter schools.   But in New Orleans, under the Recovery School District, the Louisiana state agency that seized control of almost all public schools after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city in 2005, the traditional system has been swept away.

They realized that what was the norm was also what was not working – the traditional model that has, in my mind, outlived its usefulness.  Except for  those that are committed to top-down control systems (aka, Obama Administration), life is moving along to a decentralized one where mass production moved to mass customization – and with the next and upcoming rounds of disruptive forces in manufacturing, we may be heading back to more of the cottage industry model.  After all, the Internet is nothing BUT decentralization (except for the naming servers at the top that act as guides to where the site you want actually lives) and has disrupted most areas of human life in the First World.

The creation of the country’s first all-charter school system has improved education for many children in New Orleans, but it also has severed ties to a community institution, the neighborhood school, and amplified concerns about racial equality and loss of parental control.  An all-charter district signals the dismantling of the central school bureaucracy and a shift of power to dozens of independent school operators, who will assume all the corresponding functions: the authority to hire and fire teachers and administrators, maintain buildings, run buses and provide services to special-needs students.

Certainly parents want local schools – but THIS parent wanted a school that actually produces results at a reasonable price – and the public schools often are not doing one or the other (and in a lot of cases, neither).   New Orleans dismantled its bureaucracy – and moved to a competitive format.  In essence, An Army of Davids (h/t: Glenn Reynolds).  As we are in favor of saying here, the more local the governance, the better performance AND ACCOUNTABILITY.  In a large bureaucracy, as we are seeing in the VA Scandal, no one is accountable.  When a single operator is in charge of a school, you know who to go after for bad results and it much easier to fire those that cannot produce the results that our kids deserve.

…“We’ve reinvented how schools run,” said Neerav Kingsland of New Schools for New Orleans, which promotes and supports charter schools. Kingsland is leaving the organization to try to export the model to other cities. “If I am unhappy with service I’m getting in a school, I can pull my kid out and go to another school tomorrow. I don’t have to wait four years for an election cycle so I can vote for one member of a seven-member board that historically has been corrupt.”By most indicators, school quality and academic progress have improved in Katrina’s aftermath, although it’s difficult to make direct comparisons because the student population changed drastically after the hurricane, with thousands of students not returning.

Granted, but one of my favorite sayings bears saying again: “No child deserves a public education – but they do deserve a publicly funded one”.  Problem is, the teachers unions have been feeding at the trough for too long and it is no longer about teaching the kids, it is about the adults and the power that comes with a union.  No one has ever convinced me that one’s zip code should determine the excellence of the education my child will receive.   In this country where Freedom and Liberty was foremost, parents have little or no Freedom in most areas to determine where and how their children are taught – that is the sole purview of The State.

But not in New Orleans.  But that is also not the model here in NH where people like William Tucker seem to have an agenda to keep the money flowing to the unions without regard to the outcome.  They hate the idea of charters schools and homeschoolers – given their druthers there’d be no such things.  Even as New Orleans is showing improvement:

Before the storm, the city’s high school graduation rate was 54.4 percent. In 2013, the rate for the Recovery School District was 77.6 percent. On average, 57 percent of students performed at grade level in math and reading in 2013, up from 23?percent in 2007, according to the state.