Opinion: The Future of Charter Schools
To the Editor:
“Blue Wave May Be Charter Schools’ Black Cloud” (front page, Nov. 10) does an excellent job of sketching the charter school political landscape and has laid bare the conundrum that many of us in the charter movement are facing.
The great majority of the educators we work with are progressive, and their independently managed schools mirror that progressivism in their pedagogy and community interactions. I helped found two such schools in western Queens, and I know how fortunate my neighbors feel to have their children attend them.
The flip side is that the advocacy and political leadership of the charter movement has been fed by money that is decidedly not progressive and has imperiled the charters’ legacy. There is a very good progressive case to be made for charter schools, but the movement must first rediscover its democratic, educator-empowered roots and take a more humble approach to changing the world.
Steve Zimmerman Sunnyside, Queens The writer is the director of the Coalition of Public Independent Charter Schools.