Monday, August 4, 2014
New York City's mayor has backed off of his attack on charter schools, but the city council is stepping up. Daniel Dromm, a member of the city council and its education committee, sent a let to the state's charter authorizer, asking that it not charter any more schools in the city “until you address the lack of oversight and accountability in this rapidly growing sector.” Charter advocates respond that the letter is just political posturing to deflect attention from the traditional public schools poor practices and defend the status quo bureaucracy.
Even if charter advocates are correct about Dromm's motivations, their claim is unresponsive. A certain amount of oversight and accountability is necessary in every public program--school's inparticular given the precious stakes. The normative question is how much oversight and accountability? Dromm does not define exactly how much, but says it is more than what currently exists. The charter advocates skirt the question altogether, presumably because they want oversight and accountability to stay at their current low levels, but do not want to own up to. The continual trickle of scandals and failures in charter schools are persuasive evidence that, while we may not need as much oversight as Dromm wants, we need a little more.
More on the story here.