There is an article in today’s (2/26/11) Tennessean,   “Metro school board weighs changes in teacher tenure” available to read in full Here.

First, we found the response by Metro school board vice chairman, Mark North, concerning Haslam’s proposal to remove the cap on the number of charter schools statewide or in a district interesting.  North referred to the removal of the cap as:

“a slippery slope toward open enrollment” that would basically let any child in Davidson County attend any charter school.

At lease North understands given a choice parents would leave the bureaucratic failing Metro schools for a better performing option, in this case a charter school.  North continued:

Now, instead of a group starting a new private school, they could start a charter school targeting an isolated affluent group.”

That would mean a real risk of charter school segregation, [Director of Schools Jesse] Register said recently, a system of rich charter schools and poor charter schools.

[Ed] Kindall agreed. “Unless we supply transportation, charter schools could only have students with more advantages.”

Board member Michael Hayes countered that there is a great deal of money from charities and institutions available for charter schools, which does level the financial field.

Now we get to the real issue:

Register told board members that the crucial issue is that the school board maintain authority over charter schools “to give a charter or to remove one.”

Power and control.  Not concern for if TN children are learning or competing at a global level.

Let’s look at a few Charter school facts via The Center for Education Reform

Do Charter Schools Take Money from Public Schools? Charter schools are public schools. When a child leaves for a charter school the money follows that child. This benefits the public school system by instilling a sense of accountability into the system regarding its services to the student and parents and its fiscal obligations. Fiscally, charter schools have demonstrated efficiency.  For more information on common misconceptions surrounding charter schools, see CHARTER SCHOOLS: Six Common Criticisms from Opponents…and Proof That They are Unfounded.

Why Are Charter Schools So Popular?

Educational quality: The primary reason for charter schools is to make sure every child has access to a quality education. With the freedom and choice to do so, charters set higher standards and must meet them to stay in business. Most other public schools stay in business no matter how poorly they perform. Not so with charter schools. They are your ticket to higher-quality schools.

Focus on the kids: Perhaps most important, a charter school is set up around the needs of children, not around the needs of adults. The focus should always be on the kids, and programs should be designed to help children succeed, no matter what it takes.

Safer, stronger communities: Charter schools typically engage local businesses and other organizations to help provide resources and services to the school and its families. Many charter schools create a community hub, whether it is turning an inner-city ghetto into bustling and safer neighborhood or whether it is bringing families in rural America together, charter schools have a proven effect on the strength and safety of a community.

The Cartel – NJ Charter Schools

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TNSC maintains the best answer to Tennessee’s education failings are vouchers.

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