Citizens First: A Call to Create “Charter” Police and Fire Stations, brought to you by Democrats for Public Safety Reform (DFPSR)

A modest proposal. Front-paged by popular acclaim. -Charley - promoted by david

The status quo is not working. “Something” has to be done. Generous direct “donations” from the Waltons and Koch Brothers, as well as strong support from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) have helped “Citizens First” realize our goals. Truly, public safety is a civil right; we shall overcome.

CF proposes a national movement to ensure that no citizen be protected by a single union stifled Police Officer or Firefighter again. For too long the patrolman and firefighters unions have stifled innovation in our neediest municipalities. We need reform. We need to put citizens first, and not put the needs of adults before public safety.

Studies show that the US is not safe, and we rank near the bottom of international rankings as defined by the Public Safety Metric (PSM). Bold action needs to be taken.

CF, in conjunction with our affiliates at AEI, propose a trailblazing new vision of Public Safety Reform. Our lobbying networks have dubbed our reform efforts No Citizen Left Behind. Below is a synopsis of how our federal legislation will work to ensure national safety proficiency for all by 2025.

Firstly, we will track all police stations and fire stations in every municipality in the United States. We will collect public safety data and then grade all states, cities, towns, and municipal districts accordingly using our public safety metric (PSM) devised by public safety scientific experts. Underperforming police and fire stations will now be held accountable. As part of a “turnaround” plan these stations will receive a “fresh start”. All police officers and fire fighters will reapply for their positions. Department Chiefs at these stations will hire no more than 50% of the former staff. Certainly, accountability will shake up the status quo.

Through this “incubator of innovation”, new charter stations will rise from the ashes. These charter stations will create a board of directors, most notably bankers and politicians who have no experience in police work or fire. These stakeholders will create charters that will operate outside the jurisdiction of traditional stations. Police facilitators and Fire Stoppers will be non-union employees at will. Licenses, experience, pensions, and pertinent training will no longer be a barrier for stakeholders to create a culture of innovative transformation. The charter board of directors will ensure that the safety improvement plan is carried out. In this way real accountability will be realized on a national level.

In order that this bold, innovative, and trailblazing venture be realized a few earmarks must be incorporated into NCLB. Most notably a corporate enterprise tax credit must be adopted in order to stimulate reform “buy in”. Listen up hedge funders! After NCLB passes an enterprising tax loophole, which will benefit ALL citizens, will be enacted. Through venture philanthropy bankers can now raise money for their innovative charter stations. These monies can now be used as tax deductible donations for your “for profit” companies. Other benefits include real estate, building contracts, and inside knowledge of public safety buying trends. We encourage all police and fire related corporate enterprises to hop on board this gravy train. If you don’t, one of our subsidiaries certainly will and you may be on the short end of our free market! Remember, SAFETY FIRST!

PS: If this post doesn’t make any sense to you, research how education reform has “worked” since 2000. Hopefully, readers can make a connection.



Discuss

48 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. You forgot the best part — to ensure “innovation”, these charter public safety agencies will be able to select what challenges it tries to meet. If a fire looks to dangerous to put out, or a crime too difficult to solve, the charter can simply declare it under the jurisdiction of public safety. Even if the charter begins to try to stop a crime or deal with a safety issue, it’s never too late to declare this a bad fit and walk away. And don’t worry about meeting certain regulatory demands — you don’t have to because innovation!

    Choose the fires and crimes you want to tackle, and leave the hard cases to the suc, uh, public safety agencies.

    sabutai   @   Sat 18 May 11:25 PM
    • Campbell's Law

      Will take care of how our innovation works.

      • Glenn Campbell?

        Bill Campbell? John W. Campbell? Soup?

        • Donald – google it: our public safety metric policy wonks will ensure that we “improve” outcomes for all citizens. The status quo needs to be reigned in – hedge funders are just the folks to make sure that we have public safety for all. It’s time to stop putting adults’ interests ahead of public safety. We can ensure that tax payer funds be better allocated toward real public safety reform, not spent on human capital – at the expense of our citizens’ civil rights to safety. The only perk we ask ask for is tax credits. It’s time for bold action! Be a trailblazer!

  2. I'd like to discuss how we got here.

    Let me state first that I completely get the point of this article – to show how the charter argument would look if applied to police and fire services, and I think to point out its absurdity. I think there is a sense that public education does not give us our money’s worth. If that is true why is that and if not why do so many think so anyway? My own motives for any type of reform, and for me specifically standardized testing, is seeing how US students seem to fall behind their counterparts in other developed countries. I am not aware of similar comparisons among countries regarding the quality of police and fire services, though I suppose by this logic since we have a higher crime rate than many countries one could conclude our police aren’t doing their job. Personally I would blame access to guns for that but I digress. It does seem to be the case though, that for the most part there is not broad advocacy for semi-privatizing public safety so I guess the question remains why is that.

    • I think there is a sense that public education does not give us our money’s worth. If that is true why is that and if not why do so many think so anyway? My own motives for any type of reform, and for me specifically standardized testing, is seeing how US students seem to fall behind their counterparts in other developed countries.

      As I posted in December, MA students rank very high among those from 63 countries that took a math & science exam.

      In the science part of the test, only Singapore outscored Massachusetts eighth-graders. In math, Massachusetts trailed only South Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, and Japan…

      Source
      Note that none of the schools were “teaching to the test.”

      In Massachusetts, 2,000 eighth-graders from 56 randomly selected schools across the state took the exam, the cost of which was covered by the ­National Center for Education Statistics. (Massachusetts fourth-graders did not participate because of budget constraints.)
      Massachusetts not only outperformed the United States as a whole, but also all of the other states that took part as independent entities: Minnesota, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, ­California, and Alabama.

      The ‘sense’ that we don’t get our money’s worth is clearly mistaken; why people think so is because of a consistent campaign of institution-assassination by the Right Wing. This Charter School Movement is the fruit of that campaign. “Our schools are failing the children! Something Must Be Done!” On the contrary, our schools are on the whole doing an exemplary job. There is always room for improvement, and certainly some schools are less effective than others. The teach-to-the-test charters are not an answer.

      Ironically, the parts of that same Right Wing who live in the Bible Belt have made major strides in service of perverting curricula in those areas, championing Creationism and other reactionary nonsense.

    • If that is true why is that and if not why do so many think so anyway?

      According to the federal department of ed, over $500 billion is spent on public education every year. While a fair bit of that is diverted to the private sector in the guise of consultants and textbook publishers, much of that money is unavailable to the private sector.

      Now, how do the Koch brothers and their friends change that? A simple, naked money grab? Not when local schools are popular throughout the country. The answer is to discredit public education.

      You do this by creating tests that are designed to be invalid, and arbitrarily change the rules when students pass them anyway. Exempt your pet schools from having to take the tests, lie about comparative results, and you’re done. (Don’t worry — the media will help once they realize charter schools will flood them with advertising. They will also ignore evidence that previous claims at success by your figureheads prove to be false again and again.) Once public education is discredited, use religious beliefs as an attempt to divert money through vouchers, or if you’re really lucky a hurricane whose effects you exacerbated will wipe out a large public school system and save you the trouble for rationalizing its annulment. Questions? Consult the guide on shutting up parents and closing down schools you don’t like.

      Bonus answer — who are the most vocal, organized defenders of public education? Educators’ unions. So the first first step is to put them out of business by any means necessary.

      sabutai   @   Sun 19 May 6:57 PM
      • easily done...

        Bonus answer — who are the most vocal, organized defenders of public education? Educators’ unions. So the first first step is to put them out of business by any means necessary.

        … since, as Abe (amongst others) put it, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, it is all to easy to divide public schools into traditional and charter and let them bicker amongst themselves. Done and done.

    • The reasons we don't blame police are relevant

      “Personally I would blame access to guns for that but I digress.”

      This isn’t a digression–it’s a relevant extension of the diary’s brilliant analogy, and a key to answering your ultimate question. For crime, we are willing to look at systemic factors instead of trying to demonize police officers or tear up their unions. We look to support them with the best training and technology we can, and we don’t blame them for higher crime rates in areas with more guns and more social dysfunction. While we expect professionalism and commitment, we understand that the fundamental factors which actually drive crime are beyond their control, and we reserve high praise for officers fighting the good fight in places where things don’t seem to get better.

      “there is not broad advocacy for semi-privatizing public safety” because, beyond this recognition of the limits of public safety work, violent crime stats (like student test scores) have been improving for decades, and because (like education) safety is a basic right and a common good, such that chopping up access to it and pitting the recipients against one another is obviously, insanely unjust.

      My theory of why this isn’t obvious in education is that the “crisis” exists to provide illusory solutions to deeper crises of inequality and democracy, the real solutions to which are not politically thinkable at the moment. And the reform evangelists maximize this inchoate anxiety for their own goals, whether financial or political.

      • The one exception, at least in some cases...

        …is that police do sometimes find themselves targets in the context of debates over public employee unions.

  3. mall cops, private security, wells fargo armored cars...

    The status quo is not working. “Something” has to be done. Generous direct “donations” from the Waltons and Koch Brothers, as well as strong support from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) have helped “Citizens First” realize our goals. Truly, public safety is a civil right; we shall overcome.

    …the pinkerton detective agency, personal bodyguards, ADT security, even Comcast now sells home alarms, add blackwater and private security firms and ready availability of GPS, ultra cheap surveillance videocams and your dystopia is nearly upon us. The police officer who died, Sean Collier, at the hands of the Tsarnaev brothers was not public employee but an employee of a private instituition, MIT, who has a charter from the state to run a private police force. Harvard has one also as do many large colleges.

    As for fire prevention, there are an entire business sector of determined (private) manufacturers of home fire extinquishers, building fire suppression system as well as a thriving cottage industry in manufacture of flame proof, flame resistant and flame retardant materials both for building materials and clothing.

    The existing (public) fire and crime prevention really is not a stand alone institution but components of a wider societal partnership between public and private. I don’t see how it can be any other way.

    Your analogy breaks down in one other way also: crimes and fires are events, while teaching and learning is a process. Attempts to bolt one form unto the other is a recipe for failure. To turn around and say that failure reflects upon the initial template, however ill-suited to the initial purpose, smacks of desperation and overreach.

    • Total red herring

      None of the security services or safety products you list are predicated on the diversion of public funds or the fragmenting of public access that corporate ed reform demands and achieves. They are all supplemental, like private schools, homeschooling materials, SAT prep courses, and the like. And further, they are almost all subject to inspection by public safety officials.

      And ask any police or fire commissioner whether they approach public safety as a set of discrete events or as a process. It’s the ed reformers, in fact, who make education more like a series of events (“measurable outcomes”) than a process.

      • You mean...

        … that you object to a proffer of red herring in response to, well, a whole dish of red herring? (with a side of snark…)

        None of the security services or safety products you list are predicated on the diversion of public funds or the fragmenting of public access that corporate ed reform demands and achieves.

        What is “corporate ed reform”? What does that even mean? We are talking about public money being used to pay public school teachers to teach public school students… There is nothing, it needs to be said again, preventing said public school teachers from being unionized, either in a new union or as a member of the existing union. Talk about “red herrings”…

        • Re: corporate ed reform

          The legal mechanisms governing how this public money is used (e.g., allowing charters to operate outside of negotiated labor contracts) are shaped by a reform movement that is funded by the philanthropic wings of major corporations and their super-wealthy execs/owners. E.g.:
          http://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/educationreform/shape-public-policy
          http://www.dfer.org/list/about/board/
          http://stand.org/national/about/board-directors

          Charter schools exist to be non-union. Unionizing them would take an expenditure of time, energy, and conflict that is hard to imagine. If you don’t see this, you’re not really conscious of the reality of this issue.

        • say what?

          There is nothing, it needs to be said again, preventing said public school teachers from being unionized, either in a new union or as a member of the existing union. Talk about “red herrings”…
          Teachers attempting to organize ARE targeted by their employers (who all, in one way or the other, receive money from the WALTONS). Go into WALMART with a union sign. Security will kick you out. Unionizing is not EASY and should not be taken for granted. Closing union schools and opening up non union suspension factories is, in fact UNION BUSTING. These schools have absurd attrition rates for teachers, higher salaries for management, teachers are not as highly “qualified” – meaning holding pertinent licenses and having experience. TAX CREDITS are a major bonus for corporate education reform. Education product monopolies on educational business dealings are a bonus for corporate ed reform. There are many others…if you ask : “what is corporate ed reform”, then you need to find out on your own. There are thousands of articles and dozens of books that you should probably read to familiarize yourself with the subject. The side effects are extremely harmful for most students in the United States.

    • The Pinkerton Detective Agency?

      Yes, yes, good sir we shall hire them forthwith-they have a solid record of shooting unionized employees upon the managers’ whims. Mercenaries, how innovative! The Pinkertons will vanquish the union resistance! They will ensure that our charterized police and fire stations be union free. No Picketing with the Pinkertons! Thank You for your words of wisdom. We must trailblaze on my friend!

      • you mistake me...

        … if you think I am advocating for any of this. I merely point out the flies adorning your ointment…

    • thanks for the critique,

      “Your analogy breaks down in one other way also: crimes and fires are events, while teaching and learning is a process. Attempts to bolt one form unto the other is a recipe for failure. To turn around and say that failure reflects upon the initial template, however ill-suited to the initial purpose, smacks of desperation and overreach.”

      However, based upon this response i can tell you are not a teacher, like I am. Events certainly come into play in the realm of education. It’s much more than a process that can be replicated like a cell. The teachers who work in the most under served communities are valiant and hard working. The analogy points to the fact that police officers are not blamed for crime, firefighters are not blamed for fires, but teachers are blamed for poverty and the health disparities that their kids face. If students live in an underperforming district, then it must be the “process” of education that is too blame, not the myriad of epidemiological factors that are exacerbated by poverty? If that’s the case fire ALL the teachers and staff from Boston – replace us with the admin, teachers, and staff from Winchester, Newton, Belmont, etc. We would be BEGGED to come back! Sign up as a sub through 26 court street. Go into a classroom and work. Stay there for an entire school year. Repeat for thirty years. Then I’ll listen to your Siskel and Ebert criticisms of topics that you do not really have a qualification to argue about because you lack schema and understanding of the REALPOLITICK of the whole mess that is status quo education reform. This isn’t a movie, it’s a fiasco!

      • I am most certainly not like you...

        However, based upon this response i can tell you are not a teacher, like I am.

        What puts us at odds, again and again, is my desire to be as unlike you as possible: I do not like painting with the broadest of brushes; I do not like making arguments based upon a swirl of generalities and inchoate gestural memes that posit a surfeit of goodness (for you and your side) and a blanket condemnations for those who don’t genuflect at the utterly shallow logic you proffer in an all too keen appreciation of your own wit.

        The analogy points to the fact that police officers are not blamed for crime, firefighters are not blamed for fires, but teachers are blamed for poverty and the health disparities that their kids face.If students live in an underperforming district, then it must be the “process” of education that is too blame, not the myriad of epidemiological factors that are exacerbated by poverty?

        You have an eternity to search, fruitlessly, to find anywhere, anyplace and anytime in which I said, wrote, thought or ever countenanced anything even remotely in resemblance to the above slur against teachers.

        You could, however, take some 5 or 10 minutes on this very blog and find what I did say. Then you will wonder, as I do, why you tried to slide this particular herring sideways into an argument where it clearly does not belong.

        It is possible, if you would only take a deep breath, for someone like me (and you) to be FOR teachers and FOR charters. Indeed, it is the only defensible position I can find after long and deep study of the issues at stake, the players in the game and the context in which we all live. You can dismiss me as somebody who, lacking your specific experience, cannot comment with gravitas, but that’s just where your arrogance bumps up against the shallowness of your argument. And that is certainly not my problem, but yours.

        • Although experience is usually educational,

          I don’t think Petr needs to enter the classroom to truly understand education. Experience can be useful, but it shouldn’t be used as a canard. To understand the charter school phenomena, it can be helpful to be a public school teacher, but it’s neither necessary nor sufficient.

          With that said, I have been unable to converse with Petr on charter schools. The proportion of his words to his thoughts is too skewed, and his assertions on the subject–such as charter schools are public schools– are often tautological. He relies heavily on logic with obscured premises and little evidence. And those premises are not shared by most people. It doesn’t mean he’s wrong per se, but it does mean you’re unlikely to have a satisfactory conversation on the subject.

          • tautology is leverage

            he proportion of his words to his thoughts is too skewed, and his assertions on the subject–such as charter schools are public schools– are often tautological.

            You dismiss the tautology because you think it mere self-reference, a turning on itself with not relevant impingement upon that which is outside itself.

            Well.. yes. I am not the one trying to bring the outside world in. I am the one trying to describe public schools as public schools: yes, a clear tautology. Others imagine corporate bogeyman just around the corner or anxiously work to ferret out evidence of corrupt influences that might, one day, come to pass. The fear of what it might be changed into occludes the reality of what it is.

            That is another tautology: it is what it is.

            And, to be clear, that’s the only leverage you have: to take what is and demand of those who you fear would change it that it be what it is. You have no other claim to it that that. If charter schools are public schools then your only leverage is to claim that mantle and demand that they live up to the expectations of the public: charters must flourish or fold as public schools. That’s the only way you can get them to flourish and the only reason they’ll be forced to fold. What other way is there to either make them better or make them go away? Sure, there are the angry ones who just insist that charters should just not exist at all. Well, that cat is already out of that bag. Charters do exist, and If they exist in some grey area, without firmness of purpose or adequate and proper description they’ll just continue to shape-shift according to political whims without leverage to either force them to be better or force them to be gone.

            So the power of the tautology gives you leverage. That’s the only leverage you have. It’s also the only leverage you need. It’s the same leverage MLK jr used when he required that the US “live out the meaning of its creed”. He forthrightly looked us in the eye and made us admit to both saying we want to be one thing and acknowledging we were not acting in a manner consistent with that thing. If you embrace charter schools as public schools then you can do that same thing to whatever political hack wants to act in a manner contrary to that. If you cede the definition of charter schools to that same hack then, well, you can shove off for you’ve given up the struggle.

            Or, consider Orwell, who wrote a book, 1984, which I know you’ve read, about people who try to convince other people that 2 + 2 sometimes equals 5 and sometimes equals 3 and sometimes equals all of them together. What other way to respond to that than to forthrightly say no, 2 plus 2 equals 4…? Arithmetic is tautology: you’re only ever saying these things are the same as those things. Do you reject arithmetic? But in this case, that of charters, someone is trying to tell you that 2 plus 2 equals 5 and you are all to willing to believe them. The minute you say 2 plus 2 equals 5 you’ve given up any leverage you have. It’s gone. Poof, like a fart in the wind.

            • You're refracting on me.

              What does this mean in plain English: “So the power of the tautology gives you leverage. That’s the only leverage you have. It’s also the only leverage you need” It sounds great, but what’s wrong with making your meaning clear?

              I reread 1984 and teach it twice a year, but the statement 2+2=4 is fundamentally different than the proposition that “charter schools are public schools.” Mathematics exists within its own closed sphere of logic. Follow the rules and the argument is valid. 2+2=5 is not true in mathematics.

              are what is called necessary truths. 2+2=5 is not mathematically true.

              A tautology is a proposition.

              • logic

                What does this mean in plain English: “So the power of the tautology gives you leverage. That’s the only leverage you have. It’s also the only leverage you need” It sounds great, but what’s wrong with making your meaning clear?

                I don’t know how to make it clearer. It’s crystalline as it is. If I say a black man is not a person you would say “black people are persons”. You would not argue the case and you would laugh at me if I pointed out the tautology of your assertion: “black people are persons” is a tautological proposition in the exact same way that “charter schools are public schools” is a tautology.

                That a black person is a person is a tautology that has power: you can put it next to the phrase “all men are created equal” and force white people to either treat black people equally or retract the statement that “all men are created equal”. However, if you cede the point, and say that black people might not be people, you’ve lost the game and what can you do?

                So, take the tautology, that is to say the logical formula that is true no matter how you look at it, of “charter schools are public schools” and put it right next to Deval Patricks commitment to public education and FORCE HIM to act accordingly. Put them together and make him own it.

                How much plainer can I be?

                A tautology is a proposition.

                Perhaps the issue is that you make two mistakes. 1) “a rhetorical tautology which is the mere rearrangement of words to say nothing new or different is not same as the formal concept of tautology in logic. And b) “proposition” does not mean question or ‘proposal’ as, I think, you are using it here. In logic, a proposition is a declarative sentence that can be either proved or disproved. (2 + 2 = 4 is a proposition in this sense… )

                It is in this sense that I use the clear tautology “charter schools are public schools” and I have endeavored to prove it (strenuously) over and over again. And because I can prove it, I can use it to force action. I think you should go and do likewise.

                • Petr, your ability to

                  go on and on while seeming to be on the subject is amazing. I certainly knew the risk when I comment.

                  What I mean is your argument about chart schools being public schools doesn’t hold up. Previously, you argued that charter schools were public schools because they were. Then you said because the law said they were public schools, then they were public schools. The fact is, in most respects, charter schools are not the same as public schools. Beyond certain limited, legal contexts, charters are not public schools. If you were to argue that charters are a species of public schools, that would be technically true, but your arguments following that premise are based on the false equivalence that there is no significant difference between the two types of schools, and thus everyone else is wrong.

                  You have a long way to go if you want to “force action”; debate cannot take place without shared definitions. In actual policy debate, definitions are argued over and judged. To win topicality, you’d have to support your definition with more than logic. The grounds upon which you would lose are referred to as the resolution’s grammar: “Distorting the meaning and context of words and phrases makes the resolutional meaning difficult to determine.”

                  • all the true you'll need to get started...

                    If you were to argue that charters are a species of public schools, that would be technically true

                    Technically true is all the true you need.

                    Or do you think that nobody ever said “Yea, it’s technically true that black people are people but that doesn’t mean we’re going to end slavery…”

                    Or, perhaps, nobody ever said “It is technically true that women are people but that doesn’t mean they have the right to vote.”

                    Do you, perhaps, think that nobody ever said, “It is technically true that people are happier, more productive and, in general, better employees on a 40 hour work week, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to implement it.”

                    Perhaps no one ever said “its technically true that children die horrific deaths in industrial settings but that doesn’t mean we’re going to enact child labor laws.”

                    Maybe no one ever said “It is technically true that both children and the economy grow to be more productive when they are educated, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to fund public schools.”

                    Probably no one ever said these things. But I very much doubt it.

                    And maybe Lincoln never mused, as the recent movie has him so doing, about the technicalities involved in emancipation: slave-as-property, rebellion-not-statehood, slave-as-free… Perhaps he never uttered the exact (rather tortured) soliliquoy the movie posits of him, but it’s certain that the 13th amendment would not have been necessary to clarify the ‘technically true’ aspects of his actions.

                    You, put simply, don’t think “technically true” is enough. You say as much right here. I don’t know why… Perhaps you’re looking for a ‘magic bullet’, one simple overriding argument that will sweep away all before it. Perhaps you feel that enterprises of great pith and moment ought to accompanied by a booming soundtrack and choirs of angels and resolution mightier than can be modified by a word like “technically”. Perhaps you just don’t understand that the modifier ‘technically’, often used pejoratively, doesn’t make the meaning “not really true”. In fact, if you have to modify it at all, it might just be because you fear the entire truth. I’ve not argued here that it is “only” technically true. I think that it is more than that. I ignore the modifier altogether because limiting it, or attempting to diminish it at all, simply doesn’t make any logical sense… charter schools are not sorta-kinda-like public schools. Charter schools are public schools.

                    If you want to modify it and say charter schools are imperfect public schools. Well, I don’t necessarily disagree, but I’ve yet to see evidence that’s compelling and I think traditional public schools are not imperfect either… but, regardless, if we settle on that I’ll, again, counter with the advice to embrace that and make it your aim to perfect them…

                    debate cannot take place without shared definitions.

                    Infuriating.

                    The process of debate-define-legislate-debate- refine-legislate is what we call “politics”. If the law labels charter schools as ‘technically true’ then the process of politics is what will make it either comprehensively true or outlaw it all together.

                    You’re sitting around waiting for the definitions to resolve themselves into a crystalline simplicity that you can then enshrine in law. You have it backwards. The law is imperfect. The process of making the law more perfect is what goes on and that process derives from debate about shared definitions. Take what is enshrined in law, the “technically true” part and make it comprehensively true or ban it altogether. Or, in our case, make the governor and/’or the legislature do it in EXACTLY the same way that Lincoln and MLK Jr. and Gandhi and a whole host of others have. The “technically true” part is your leverage to make it all the way true, or all the way gone. To be all the way gone you have to eradicate any and all referal between charter and public and then force the Governor or the Legislature to dare to fund that with public money.

                    That. Is. All. There. Is. To. It.

                    Isn’t that what you want? You want better public schools. You can have it in only one of two ways: make charters into better public schools or make charters disappear altogether. That’s the end game and there ain’t no other. Status quo is just this same argument over and over without possibility of resolution.

                    • legal definition vs. mission

                      I’ll admit I haven’t read all of what has transpired here because I have a life. But from the gist I get, the difference being squabbled over is a legal definition of “public school” vs. what most of us think of as the “mission” of public schools. First and foremost, it is the mission of public schools to take in all comers, no matter what the obstacles are that accompany a particular student. Until charter schools meet that definition, many people will not think of them as “public” schools because they defy the mission.

                    • Petr, your arguments

                      are backwards. By your definition (that is, the law says charter schools are public schools) black people actually were property in the 19th century and 3/5 of a person because that was the law.

                      Ranting on the word “technically,” you cherry-pick my words, ignore my assertion, and go on to produce more text than anyone wants or needs to read to understand you. Then you wrap up with a false dichotomy that “you can either make charters into better public schools or make them disappear altogether.” You’ve reached troll status on this topic.

        • Problem?

          “that’s just where your arrogance bumps up against the shallowness of your argument.”

          Your arrogance is only matched by your propensity for pompousness and condescension. Case in point: “I do not like making arguments based upon a swirl of generalities and inchoate gestural memes that posit a surfeit of goodness (for you and your side) and a blanket condemnations for those who don’t genuflect at the utterly shallow logic you proffer in an all too keen appreciation of your own wit.”
          Really, you sound “wicked smarter” than me when you write with such sesquipedalian fortitude. However, I am mostly in a soporose state as I attempt to decipher your unique and supererogatory vitriol. Sometimes, I fall out of this hypnopompic coma, only long enough to realize that your ad hominem attacks hold little stature with me.

          Regardless, if you are arguing that the “process” of teaching is inferior in traditional public schools, and that charter schools are “getting it right”, then you really need to understand what’s really going on by talking to experienced teachers – not lambasting our efforts to expose the truth by dismissing our claims. BELIEVE ME – NOONE is “genuflecting” toward public schools. How about you actually post some writing of your own that is not a condemnation of another’s writing? Your obnoxious critiques are circular and “getting old”. Start your own conversation, I’ll be sure to chime in ;)

          • unreal...

            if you are arguing that the “process” of teaching is inferior in traditional public schools, and that charter schools are “getting it right”

            I have never made that argument. I will never argue that. That is not, at all, my argument. My argument is the opposite of that: traditional public schools and charter schools ought to be the very best schools that they can be for one very good reason: our teachers, yourself included, traditional or charter, deserve the very best working conditions we can come up with in order to provide the very best environment for our students. It’s not hard. It’s not rocket surgery, I’ve argued all along that there ought to be no argument, in deed no difference whatsoever, between a traditional public school teacher and a teacher at a charter school. They ought to be one and the same. And the divisions that exist are the one thing keep both traditional public schools and charters schools from being outstanding.

            You are not paying attention. You mis-characterize my argument, which is not a complex one, because you simplemindedly insist upon both the validity of your rage and the cliche of good guys and bad guys. You are neither entitled to your rage nor are you entitled to a reductive simplemindedness that puts good people, of good motives and good will, at odds with each other just so you can have a rage-gasm.

            • Unfortunately

              Your generalizations about me, and ad hominem attacks are fueling the “division” that you espouse to denounce. You are misinformed about the calculated effort to capitalize on education profits through free market reform that is increasingly detrimental to students, teachers, parents , and the United States of America’s democratic principles. I get that you do not enjoy satire. Perhaps you can enlighten yourself by researching what is going on in this country. Do not mistake my commitment to my profession, students, and country as “rage”. You can disagree with my opinions, which are based upon countless hours of research , as well as my own personal experiences as a Boston Public School graduate and teacher . However, I find your personal attacks “outrageous” , and am starting to realize that it is testament to your character.

              • Actually, I quite enjoy good satire...

                … but what you’ve attempted here is merely viagra for your rage: an attempt to keep it stiff in all circumstances.

                You are misinformed about the calculated effort to capitalize on education profits through free market reform that is increasingly detrimental to students, teachers, parents , and the United States of America’s democratic principles.

                … and I’m not at all ‘misinformed’. I’m merely saying it’s partly your fault. I understand that you don’t want to hear that, but too bad. Don’t believe that? Why not? Just because I say it? If you don’t believe me, how about my friend, Gandhi, who said “nobody can hurt me without my permission”?

                The only way to keep corporate influence out of public schools is to say no corporate interests in public schools. Calling charters something other than public schools wont do it: that only gives the corporate people (who aren’t as organized or as united as you wish to believe) permission to change them (hurt you) in whatever way they desire. Saying that unionizing charter schools is too hard is a lazy and a cheap way out and again gives corporate whores license (permission) to inflict harm. There is no substitute, satirical or otherwise, for hard work.

                So your love of standing on your hind-quarters and raging at the world, is part of the problem. Understandably, you don’t wish to hear that. But keep studying and, eventually, you’ll come to that conclusion.

                However, I find your personal attacks “outrageous” , and am starting to realize that it is testament to your character.

                I have made no personal attacks. A personal (or an ‘ad hominem’) attack would be to fault you for misusing “sesquipedalian” and “soporose” earlier. I have said that you paint with a broad brush. You call it ‘satire’. I have said that you are full of rage. You deny it but your writings tell an entirely different story. I have said you are arrogant. You deny it but your assertion that your experience as a teacher and your experience alone qualifies you and you alone for comment belies your denial and betrays your attitude. I have said you mischaracterize my arguments. And so you do: your deflection of my comments (I never said anything about “genuflecting towards the public schools” but rather I made a comment about genuflecting towards you) indicates a clear identification with the issue that is personal, arrogant and quite angry. If it is a personal attack to call rage rage, then I am guilty. But I do not say that to attack you, only to point it out because it so informs the conversation from your end.

                • Nasty

                  …what you’ve attempted here is merely viagra for your rage: an attempt to keep it stiff in all circumstances.

                  So your love of standing on your hind-quarters and raging at the world, is part of the problem.
                  . . .
                  I have made no personal attacks.

                  Oh, really? You’re expending a lot of words that (intentionally or otherwise) leave a bad taste in readers’ mouths. At best, your comments are almost but not quite civil.

                  • bad taste indeed...

                    Oh, really? You’re expending a lot of words that (intentionally or otherwise) leave a bad taste in readers’ mouths. At best, your comments are almost but not quite civil.

                    .. I too have a bad taste in my mouth. If the bad taste in your mouth means something then the bad taste in mean is equally important. It derives from watching the amen chorus upvote this because it cheaply salves their emotions. Is that an attack? Perhaps. Is it a “personal” attack. Not in the least. Is it “ad hominem”. Not in the least. It is based solely and comprehensively on what is said and done here.

                    • Jeesh

                      The arrogance of your comments here is revolting.

                      “Cheaply salves their emotions”? Speak for yourself. I upvote this because I think it appropriately skewers a variety of targets that desperately need skewering. Beyond your own apparent rage, I’m not sure I have any idea whatsoever of why this piece provokes such rancor from you. I am sure that I have no desire for you to ventilate even more of that rancor.

                      I am also sure that I’m genuinely weary of your frequent attacks on anybody you find the slightest bit imperfect in your own pursuit of some perfect world you apparently attempt to imagine.

                      I enthusiastically agree with kirth’s comment.

                    • ...

                      All I have is a voice
                      To undo the folded lie,
                      The romantic lie in the brain
                      Of the sensual man-in-the-street
                      And the lie of Authority
                      Whose buildings grope the sky:
                      There is no such thing as the State
                      And no one exists alone;
                      Hunger allows no choice
                      To the citizen or the police;
                      We must love one another or die.

                      Defenceless under the night
                      Our world in stupor lies;
                      Yet, dotted everywhere,
                      Ironic points of light
                      Flash out wherever the Just
                      Exchange their messages:
                      May I, composed like them
                      Of Eros and of dust,
                      Beleaguered by the same
                      Negation and despair,
                      Show an affirming flame.

                      W H Auden

                    • "If the bad taste in your mouth means something,

                      then the bad taste in mean [sic] is equally important.” Presuming you mean “mine,” why would the bad tastes in our mouths be equal? You’re disguising an assertion as a syllogism.

      • I would also point out

        that education reform has very little to do with process, and everything to do with “result”. Since crime also has numeric “results”, Petr’s criticism holds little value, and your analogy is, in fact, valid.

  4. Front page this

    post please, dear Editors! I realize there are too many posts on charters to post them all, but Colum’s post is insightful and helps look at charters from a unique perspective.

    16 BMGers can’t all be wrong!

    • AGREED! Time to “Front Page” Colum Whyte!

      Colum Whyte’s “insights” on charters are funny and gives one pause! Give him some luv…Front Page him!

    • Nah

      They’re probably sick of all this charter talk. This is what happens when you don’t have EBIII to churn out posts…boring policy stuff.

      sabutai   @   Mon 20 May 8:06 PM
    • 21 and counting

      stomv can probably do the math faster, but statistically speaking it’s unlikely that we could all be wrong…

  5. Bravo, Columwhyte, bravo!

    You always express so eloquently exactly what is relevant to the debate…thanks from a fellow teacher.

  6. >>>Yo, Editors!

    I’ve never seen a post with 21 recommends before, how is this not on the front page?

  7. I think you forgot

    To add that the charter police and fire will be able to find ways to pick and choose which residents they defend and serve.

  8. Thanks! Reminds me of Johnson's "A Modest Proposal"

    Either we have a social compact, after all, to serve one another, all of “one another” or we do not.

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Fri 19 Dec 8:37 AM