I was interested to read Ron Wolk’s column about charter schools [“The Power of Ideas,” August/September]. However, I would like to make a correction to the history of charter schools: They were not invented by Ray Budde in 1974. At that time, I was in my second year of teaching at a public charter school in Massachusetts, in a school district organized by the NEA and not the AFT, and state law already encouraged the formation of charter schools to foster desegregation. Ray Budde may have heard of us—and other charters operating in Massachusetts and other locations at the time—and adopted the idea. But he didn’t invent them. And the problems hobbling and limiting charter schools today are exactly the same as they were in 1974.
Director, Instruction and Professional Development
Maine Education Association
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2005 edition of Teacher as Charter Course