Just about the only things charter schools do well are restrict the influence of teachers’ unions and “fatten their investor’s portfolios,” says an inflammatory article this month in Forbes.
The article, written by Addison Wiggin, the executive publisher for a “fiercely independent” financial forecasting and research firm in Baltimore, lobs numerous accusations at the charter school community and its investors, asserting that charters create confusing and lengthy applications, “pick and choose” their students, and fail to educate students any better than their traditional public school counterparts.
Wiggin also asserts that money from charter schools goes to support politicians who push for strong charter school laws, saying they are “frequently a way for politicians to reward their cronies.”
In explaining why most charter school companies are not publicly traded, Wiggin even quotes this Education Week article about why there are so few publicly traded companies in the education space.
Wiggin doesn’t mince words, and I’m sure many will take offense at his staunch views. What do you think? Is he radically off base or refreshingly candid? Does Wiggin’s commentary raise the volume of the debate around charter schools or merely add to the fray?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.