Supply-sider approach to opening charter schools in NC

Build it and they might come. Or not:

Only one of the nine charters that opened in the Charlotte region this year met enrollment projections, and the total enrollment for the nine new schools was only about half of what was projected. Two others approved for 2014 openings delayed a year.

Eddie Goodall, executive director of the N.C. Public Charter Schools Association, an industry group that supports charters and advocates for them, rejected the idea that any region of the state has a charter-school surplus. “Not even close,” he said. A signal that an area may have enough charters is “when parents quit demanding them,” Goodall said, and that hasn’t happened yet.

Right, because anecdotal evidence supplied by a lobbyist is much more accurate than statistics derived from actual enrollment numbers. ;)



Not really that surprising

Republicans in the General Assembly (like Goodall used to be) are notorious for translating a few e-mails or phone calls they receive from supposed constituents into "overwhelming public support" for their policy ideas, or for an opposition to something they don't like, like environmental regulations.

Yeah, I realize it may take

a few years after opening for a school to get enrollment numbers up to expected levels, but the ruthlessly-flogged meme about "waiting lists" provided (still provides) a lot of momentum to the charter school movement, especially amongst the anti-public-school crowd in the General Assembly.

As long as they can keep up the lies about demand, they can justify tweaking the laws and requirements for charter schools, to make it easier to establish them and harder to oversee them.

Everyone seems to forget the

Everyone seems to forget the intended purpose of charter schools. They are suppose to implement innovative teaching strategies that other public schools are restricted from trying. The ones that work are to then be shared with the traditional public schools. Thus all the children of our state receive a better education. I'm still waiting for all those great, proven strategies to be implemented at the charters. The clock is ticking.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Don't hold your breath

While many of them do employ former public school teachers, most of the governing boards I've looked at are composed of run-of-the-mill businesspeople from the area (or prominent church members). As such, not a lot of "innovative education" ideas emerging, but more of a scramble to meet basic requirements to keep the dollars coming.

Exactly! The charters were

Exactly! The charters were sold as a great incubator for education but in reality are simply a way to separate a select group from the masses at the taxpayers expense. In my day people that wanted to do that spent their own money creating their own private school. Now we have added Charters and homeschooling to the mix. I don't begrudge anyone doing what they feel it best for their children, just don't do it on my dime.

I'm a moderate Democrat.