New America Foundation’s Conor P. Williams has a blistering rebuke of charter school opponents. The latest attacks on a high-performing charter school in Nashville are part of a greater problem among critics – a lack of intellectual honesty in their arguments against public charter schools. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but here’s a snippet:
And that’s why I think it’s important to dwell on what’s happening to Nashville Prep. What do you do with this sort of implacable opposition? Charter school critics have abandoned any pretense of consistency—any talking points will do.
We hear that charter schools are too hidebound andpedagogically traditional. Yet Nashville Prep’s now getting complaints that it’s exposing kids to literature that is too expansive, too daring, and too far beyond traditional social norms.
We hear that these schools’ enrollments need to be tied to their local neighborhoods. When charter schools’ enrollment tracks local (often segregated) real estate patterns, critics howl that these schools are vehicles for segregation. Some charters get dinged for not serving enough “at-risk” children … and some get dinged for trying to serve only “at-risk” children.