WITH THANKS STEVEN SINGER AND DIANE RAVITCH:
Steven Singer was blocked by Facebook for a week because of the post you are about to read. This post “violated community standards.” Steven Singer was censored by an algorithm. Or, Steven Singer was censored by the Political Defense team that tries to prevent any criticism of charter schools and TFA. This team swarms Facebook and other social media and complains that a post or tweet is “offensive” and the machine blocks the offending post.
This is the post by Steven Singer that has been blocked. This is the lie about “school choice” that DeVos and ALEC and charter promoters don’t want you to read.
Neoliberals and right-wingers are very good at naming things.
Doing so allows them to frame the narrative, and control the debate.
Nowhere is this more obvious than with “school choice” – a term that has nothing to do with choice and everything to do with privatization.
It literally means taking public educational institutions and turning them over to private companies for management and profit.
There are two main types: charter and voucher schools.
Charter schools are run by private interests but paid for exclusively by tax dollars. Voucher schools are run by private businesses and paid for at least in part by tax dollars.
Certainly each state has different laws and different legal definitions of these terms so there is some variability of what these schools are in practice. However, the general description holds in most cases. Voucher schools are privately run at (at least partial) public expense. Charter schools are privately run but pretend to be public. In both cases, they’re private – no matter what their lobbyists or marketing campaigns say to the contrary.
They take money from public schools that serve all students and give it to privatized schools that choose their students and expel those they don’t want.
Charters and vouchers are the Walmartization of public education. They introduce corporate chains to run what used to be neighborhood public schools. The only difference is that everyone may shop at Walmart, but not everyone who applies will be accepted at a choice school. The school does the choosing, not the family.
Steven reinforces what I wrote in Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. “School choice” is a hoax, a lie. It is promoted by rightwing ideologues and by Democratic politicians hungry for funding by the financial sector, which sees schools as an emerging industry. Don’t be fooled.
School choice is privatization. And privatization is very bad for those who are not chosen. And very bad for our democracy.