Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Professor Christopher Bonastia has posted an essay about the roots of the contemporary charter school movement. Bonastia's message is important for charter school supporters and detractors. An excerpt from the essay relates the attempts in 1959 in Prince George's County, Virginia, to stall integration by directing taxpayer funds to segregated private schools. The overt justifications behind charter school expansion have changed since 1959, but the methodology is eerily familiar:
Two years before a federal court set a final desegregation deadline for fall 1959, local newspaper publisher J. Barrye Wall shared white county leaders' strategy of resistance with Congressman Watkins Abbitt: "We are working [on] a scheme in which we will abandon public schools, sell the buildings to our corporation, reopen as privately operated schools with tuition grants from [Virginia] and P.E. county as the basic financial program," he wrote. "Those wishing to go to integrated schools can take their tuition grants and operate their own schools. To hell with 'em."
Read the rest of this essay here.