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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

charter schools and imPURE thoughts

Charters are at the center of a great (and urgent) debate about public education reform. This is terrific news for students and teachers who day in and day out work together on academic excellence. It’s also terrific for those of us looking for new metrics and new methods of public accountability to open the next breakthroughs in American public education. It’s great news for teachers seeking higher status and support for their profession and for parents seeking more respect from the institutions of public education.

It’s disappointing then when voices in the debate pick and choose their fact to fit another agenda, as Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) did in their recent blog entry. The fact is charter public schools and closing unacceptably low-performing schools are two totally separate issues in this great debate. If individuals associated with PURE actually looked at the whole picture, they would not be attempting to discredit charters as part of their honest questioning of school closing policies in Chicago.

In the 21st century, we must regain our place as the leader among nations in giving every single student an equal chance at the education necessary for their lifelong success.

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