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Charter Schools as “Isolation Academies”

November 25, 2018

One of Diane Ravitch’s posts yesterday described the educational history of GOP Senatorial candidate Cyndy Hyde-Smith, whose K-12 alma mater, Lawrence County Academy, “was established in 1970, one year after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Mississippi to desegregate its schools. For 15 years after desegregation became law of the land, Mississippi dragged its feet on integrating black and white students.”

In the comment section, one of the frequent respondents, “Retired Teacher”, offered this insight:

Isolation academies breed mistrust and misunderstanding So-called choice systems increase unhealthy segregation which may become racism. I cannot understand how a nation that aspires to equality can allow public money to be taken from the common schools that educate all students in order to support privatized racism or any group providing religious education. It promotes a continuation of segregation, which is contrary to our laws and values in a civil society.

I like the term “isolation academies”… for charter schools DO isolate children of highly engaged or highly motivated parents from the children of parents who cannot jump though the hoops required to enroll in them… And, come to think of it, zoning laws and housing prices do the same thing across the country. In the south some of the parents are motivated to isolate their child from contact with children of other races and cultures… but, in effect, parents across the country accomplish the same thing by moving into affluent enclaves…. and this isolation of children from each other IS contrary to our laws and values in a civil society.

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