Re "The charter mistake," Opinion, Oct. 1
To say I am disappointed by Diane Ravitch's Op-Ed article is an understatement. Many of her assertions regarding charter schools are offensive to the parents and educators who have created some amazing charters. The fact remains: Los Angeles parents are choosing charter schools in high numbers, and they are producing academic results for students.
As independent, tuition-free public schools, charters disproportionately serve low-income students incredibly well. Charters are accountable to taxpayers and the state and federal government for results. As student performance improves statewide, parents and communities demand that more charters open to serve more students, evidenced by the 50,000 families on waiting lists.
Many charters have found the secrets to success for their students. I invite Ravitch to talk with charter parents and visit the outstanding schools their children attend. Maybe then she'll better understand how charters are addressing the needs of students and families in Los Angeles.
The writer is president and chief executive of the California Charter Schools Assn.
As a retired pedagogue, I commend Ravitch for her magnificent Op-Ed piece. Like her, I subscribed to the charter school concept when it first arrived because I am a champion of open classroom education. Alas, as Ravitch points out, charter schools have become a business, oftentimes unethical, squandering taxpayers' money.
Like Ravitch, I've become dismayed with public education of late, with its stress on computers and other gadgets in the classroom and stripping education to the bare bones.
It's time to stop using teachers as scapegoats and address the issue of poverty, the root cause of our failing educational system.
Samuel M. Rosen
The problem with our stagnating public education system is not charter schools. The problem is that public schools are monopolies. The solution is to end their monopoly position by introducing competition, which would shake up and improve our schools.
The parents would then be consumers selecting among multiple businesses, and those schools that did not perform well and couldn't compete would not get checks from those parents. Schools that did perform well and could compete would attract plenty of checks.
The noncompetitive schools disappear and the competitive schools thrive. Over time, the quality of education rises and stays high.