We’re a bunch of happy lefties, so of course we spend lots of time listening to public radio. Chances are the frequent guilt-inducing pledge drives are also leading us to contribute generously to our friendly local public radio station.
It’s also nice to have some underwriters helping with the mission. Or is it?
Lately, those little underwriting statements have been giving me a bit of indigestion. Instead of those friendly little messages from a local business or an altruistic contributor, there have been some messages that seem to be doing a bit of advocacy.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundaton has been on the air promoting its commitment to “developing teachers who help students achieve at our public charter school in Kansas City, Missouri.”
That’s nothing compared to the frequent underwriting statements from the Walton Family Foundation promoting quality school choice.
Even more troubling, it seems to be influencing the editorial content of WBUR. Start with the Boston Globe’s prominent Sunday story lamenting the loss of momentum for legislation to further expand charter schools.
State lawmakers originally planned to unveil a bill to increase the number of charter schools in Boston and other cities last fall, but five months later they have yet to produce any legislation, with time running out on the legislative calendar.
One of the key lawmakers reluctant to move forward with the bill is Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz of Boston, co-chairwoman of the Education Committee, who is concerned that allowing more charter schools could drain resources from traditional public schools, some of which have been forced to make cuts this year.
Sunday evening, the internets were full of emailed cries from Marc Kenen, executive director of the Massachusetts Charter School Association, citing the Globe in its campaign to flood Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz with emails.
Charter cap lift BLOCKED by Boston Senator – EMAIL HER NOW!
The Sunday Boston Globe in their lead Metro article cites State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz from Boston as the key block to lifting the charter school cap. The full article is below.
Senator Chang-Diaz is using her position as Co-Chair of the Legislature’s Joint K-12 Education Committee to block the bill!
If you sent an email to Sen. Chang-Diaz earlier this week, thank you!
If not, the Charter School movement urgently needs you to take 2 minutes and send an email to Senator Chang-Diaz RIGHT NOW!
Please tell her in your own words what your charter school has meant to your children and ask her to please support the bill.
She holds an important position that impacts children all across the state, so we want her to hear from people in every corner of the Commonwealth, urging her to Lift the Cap!
You can send her an email by clicking here: Take action now – Or you can call her at 617-722-1673
Marc Kenen, Executive Director
It seems the charter folks have been working on flooding Senator Chang-Diaz for the better part of the previous week, and the Globe article was in harmony with this campaign.
But that’s not all. WBUR jumped on the bandwagon, with an aggressive interview by Bob Oakes, pusing the senator on her intent to move legislation forward.
Legislation that would raise the number of charter schools allowed in Boston and other Massachusetts school districts is stalling on Beacon Hill.
The charter school cap was a major issue in the Boston mayor’s race, but now, as lawmakers face a deadline next week, it appears unlikely a bill will make it to the full Legislature for a vote.
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Boston, co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, joined WBUR’s Morning Edition to discuss the charter school issue.
But that’s not all. WBUR was back on the air Wednesday, this time with chief charter school senate advocate Barry FInegold.
Charter school advocates are calling on lawmakers to finalize a bill that would raise the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts.
A coalition backing the bill called on the Education Committee on Wednesday to release the bill before a legislative deadline next week.
State Sen. Barry Finegold, who sponsored the bill, says more charter schools would be part of improving education across the board.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think parents really care whether you call the school a district school or a charter school,” Finegold said. “What we really want to try to do is give any child the opportunity to get the best education possible.”
Charter schools are public schools that operate independently from local school districts. Advocates say charter school students consistently outperform academically their counterparts in traditional public schools.
Critics say charters drain financial resources from other schools.
The push on Beacon Hill came on the same day a lottery was being held for more than 13,000 Boston students seeking spots in charter schools. Only 2,000 will be selected.
The legislation would also give state education officials more flexibility to intervene in low-performing schools.
Oh. Nice to note that critics say charters drain financial resources from other schools. Fair and balanced, kind of like Fox News.
As a frequent donor to WBUR, I might also conclude that advocacy for charters could drain financial resources from WBUR.