As a follow-on to this post on public vs. private schools, I saw this via Neal McCluskey at Cato:
District officials, as well as the president of the
teachers union, bristle at assertions by the Charter Schools
Association that middle and high school charters are significantly
outperforming their district counterparts.
A fairer comparison would be with the district's magnet schools,
which outperform charters, school board member Jon Lauritzen said.
"I think it's basically unfair to compare an entity that is able to
take their entire budget and focus it entirely on their own schools,"
he said. "They have some real advantages over our schools in the
flexibility of actually providing the type of education that a
particular community wants, whereas we are trying to provide a
curriculum that works for everyone all across the school district."
This last paragraph is hilarious on its face. The average parent must wonder what Mr. Lauritzen is doing with the public school funds in contrast to focusing his entire budget at, you know, the schools, like those evil competitors do. And what government official would ever be caught dead providing the type of serves that a particular community actually wants. And this is all in the context that charter schools are, in McCluskey's words, a "pale shade of choice."
So, what does the teachers union and school board members do in the face of competition that they acknowledge works better? Do they demand the same flexibility in spending and rules in their own schools? No! Of course not! They demand that the schools that work better be eliminated:
It's no wonder that, a few months ago, Mr. Lauritzen proposed a
moratorium on charter schools, and that public schooling's defenders
fight even harder against reforms like vouchers and tax credits. After
all, who could just sit by and watch parents get schools they want when
an old, hopeless system is suffering?