By dianeravitch, February 6, 2014
Rick Cohen of the Nonprofit Quarterly traces a clear pattern: The Republican party has embraced charter schools as their cause.
Republicans have always favored school choice, assuming that competition makes all schools better.
But they have never been able to persuade any electorate to endorse vouchers for private and religious schools.
So, charters are now the darlings of Republican donors and candidates.
The fact that charters have failed to demonstrate consistently superior academic performance doesn’t bother the Republicans, nor does the number of failed charters, nor are they dissuaded by the charters that have been caught up in financial scandals.
Nor do they care that the expansion of charters drains money from the public schools.
Nor are they troubled that many charters cherrypick their students and exclude students with disabilities and English learners.
Follow the money.
In politics, you have to follow the money. The editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News found it almost laughable to imagine that what it counted as more than $800,000 in campaign contributions from “charter school interests” between 2006 and 2013 didn’t play a role in convincing the Texas legislature to lift the state’s cap on charter schools. The Express-News is referring to the findings of a report from Texans for Public Justice that indicated people affiliated with the state’s top six charter school chains doubled their political contributions in recent years, comparing 2006 and 2008 to 2010 and 2012….
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