Coincidence? ‘Charter School Week’ Is the Same as Brown vs Bd of Ed Anniversary (video)

GOP stands for charter schools

Is it a coincidence that Charter School Week is the same week as the landmark Supreme Court Decision Brown vs the Board of Education?

Rep. Gerae Peten
Rep. Gerae Peten

On May 16, Arizona House Republicans stood to honor Charter School Week while a proclamation was read. A few minutes later Rep. Gerae Peten reminded us all that Friday, May 17, 2019 is 65th anniversary of the landmark desegregation case Brown vs the Board of Education. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these two events overlap.

If you have read “Democracy in Chains,” you know the links between the Brown decision, Southern pushback against desegregation, taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, racial disparities across school districts, and the rise of the “public choice” movement in education.

The popularity of customized charter schools and tax-funded vouchers for private education — and the related budget cuts to public education — have led to white flight from public schools and increased segregation in our schools overall. Charter schools that cherry pick high-performing students and weed out others exacerbate the equity problems.

Arizona has been shortchanging it’s children for too long. We have been marching backwards. It’s time to shift gears and go forward by fully funding public education.


  1. We need to end the mythology that charters are public schools. They have none of the attributes of public school districts. First, their governing boards are not elected in the local community. Charter boards self select their so-called governing boards. Many times filled with relatives, and cronies. Many times charter boards are just straw parties for the out of state profiteers. I know a number of charter boards with out of state relatives on the boards. I know of one charter with the founders’ relatives, living out of state, who are employees, and even counselors to students. Second, it is well documented in Arizona that charter operators can profit on the taxpayer dime, even selling them for profits. Third, the charters are in no way accountable in the same manner as real public schools. There are things charter operators can reveal and not reveal that would put public school board members or employees in prison. And finally, and most importantly, throwing money are charters, have not, after 20 years, really improved student achievement, overall. You can pick and choose success at charters, lots to do with the little hidden practice, of picking and choosing likely successful students. But tons of data, by Ravitch, Berliner, and others show its a myth charters do better. The one thing they do better, is spending more administrative money without accountibility.

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