Ann Cronin, a retired teacher of English in Connecticut, writes about what charters were supposed to be and how they have failed to fulfill their original promise. Nowhere have they been more disappointing than in Connecticut, where the harsh “no excuses” model prevails. The charters in the Nutmeg State have won generous state funding, thanks to the campaign contributions to Democratic Governor Malloy by hedge fund managers and the OxyContin billionaire Sackler Family.
Cronin thanks the NAACP for speaking truth to power.
“An English teacher friend of mine was a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year in the mid 90’s. As one of the culminating steps in the selection process, the four finalists were assigned a topic little was known about at the time. They were instructed to research it and present their findings to an audience.
“The topic was charter schools.There were no charter schools in Connecticut at the time. My friend concluded that the worth of charter schools would depend on the answers to two questions:
“1) Will the innovations created at charter schools inform and improve the public schools that the vast majority of children and adolescents in the U.S. attend?
“2) Will charter schools be held accountable to address student needs as traditional public schools are required to do?
“Fast forward to 2017: We now have had charter schools in Connecticut for 21 years. The answers to my friend’s two questions came from the NAACP.”
The answer to number 1: NO.
The answer to number 2: Not yet.
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