Look Beyond NC Politics

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Southern Pines Pilot

Feb 23, 1:00 AM

The Charter School Coin Has Two Sides

Also cause for concern is the realization that those pushing to expand charter schools, the newly empowered Republicans now in charge of the state legislature, are obviously motivated in many cases less by a deep familiarity with charter schools than by a simple ideological devotion to the concept. This devotion would seem to be part and parcel of a larger anti-government attitude that has flowered during the past couple of years in the tea party movement. Another darling of conservatives, besides the charter school, is the voucher concept, which would allow parents who don't like government-run public schools to take their state subsidy and redeem it elsewhere, presumably in a non-public school. Then, of course, there is the concept of home schooling, which some find even more troubling. The problem with all these variations, well-intentioned though they may be in many cases, is that they begin to drain the best kids - the ones whose parents are most concerned with education - away from the public schools. This can only leave them with ever-greater percentages of poor and minority students and children of parents who are too busy or preoccupied to pay much attention to the schooling their kids are getting.

Tags: charter schools, vouchers

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