| Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?
Late last week, Representative Gary Holder-Winfield of New Haven and most of the members of the General Assembly's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus held a press conference to speak out about Governor Malloy's "education reform" legislation.
These legislators, some of the finest and most dedicated in the General Assembly, had important things to say about the "education reform" debate.
Despite what the "reformers" sent out in their blast emails, Representative Holder-Winfield made it very clear that the minority legislators were not endorsing Malloy's version of the "education reform bill" or the governor's "Commissioner's Network" plan, but he did say that the minority legislators supported the proposal to allow the commissioner of education to take over a community's school and give it to a charter school company to run.
Rick Green, the Hartford Courant columnist applauded the legislators saying "successful charter school models - such as Jumoke Academy in Hartford or the Achievement First schools in New Haven and Hartford - should be a part of Connecticut's reform plan. To exclude these Connecticut-grown schools - as a current version of the school reform legislation would now do - throws out proven strategies merely because of unfounded union fears that they will lead to "privatized" public education."
Green's statement actually does the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus a tremendous disservice and his anti-union bias limits his understanding of the issue. His conclusion is also incorrect.
The attitude many of us have about charter schools is not based on union concerns but on the fact that charter schools have proven that they cannot or will not provide educational services to every single child who walks through the door, which is something that district schools must do.
While Governor Malloy's proposal to ban collective bargaining at Commissioner's Network schools is appalling and inappropriate, the notion of turning a public district school over to a charter school company should be rejected because, despite what Mr. Green claims, Connecticut's charter schools DO NOT have a proven track record when it comes to serving the broader community.
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