Charter vs. Public Schools - Fear and Loathing in Education

(Author's Note: This is an excerpt of my weekly column in

A charter school opens, does well, wins praise, and becomes a model of reform for many others. Does this sound familiar? It should. It’s practically the charter school movement’s slogan. And it’s a somewhat similar happenstance when a public school or district is successful as well.

But that’s where the similarities end. Because when both the charter school and the public school are underperforming, they are each treated quite differently. The charter school typically gets the ‘one bad apple shouldn’t ruin the whole bunch’ treatment while the public school is deemed emblematic of a dysfunctional national public school system. Why is this the case? Largely, it is a matter of perception and not reality...

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