See, this is what happens when you commit to a truly random “Tweet of the Day” – you wind up with tweets you feel conflicted about.
On the one hand, I can definitively say that I’m in full support of the original idea behind the concept of charter schools – Given certain freedoms from larger bureaucracy and mandates, schools can innovate, lead, and make a greater impact on the kids they serve, then take those incubated ideas that worked, and share them with the larger educational community.
On the other hand, what I don’t support about charter schools is that what was designed to thrive on a collaborative process with district schools has largely mutated into a competitive process. Whether or not this is actually the fault of charters themselves or of certain district policies that have literally pitted district schools and charter schools against each other is a debate that is largely irrelevant.
The reality is simply this. While some tout charter schools as the best option for closing the achievement gap and others accuse charter schools of essentially destroying the American public education system, this rhetorical gap is not simply going to miraculously close. What it will take is hard, honest conversations between teachers, families, and leaders to (1) honestly and accurately assess the reality of this divide, and (b) committing to find ways to not merely co-exist, but to mutually benefit each other.