Charter School Smack Down

TC Weber attended last week’s National Charter School Convention in Nashville and offers this first report of what he saw and heard.

First, he wasn’t sure if he was at an education conference or WWE Smack Down:

Entering the main area for the morning speeches was like entering a high-end disco. The room was lit up like the set to WWE Smack Down, with two giant video monitors flanking the stage, loud music, and ever changing lighting. I half expected the Rock to bound on the stage and holler, “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking!?” The music selection that was being pumped loudly through the room induced a bit of a chuckle. “1999,” “Centerfield,” and “Life is a Highway” were among the tunes meant to pump up the crowd and convey a sense of being on the cusp of greatness.

After being pumped up, Weber notes that some speakers framed the charter movement as a sort of war:

Next up was journalist Roland Martin, who was also broadcasting from the convention. If I had any notions of this being a welcoming, feel good, we entertain all kinds of ideas type of convention, they went screaming out the window once Martin began speaking. He made it clear from the get go that we are in a war, and he had no time to be nice, no time to entertain alternate opinions because this was a fight. Martin issued a warning to any who opposed charter schools: “We will fight you until hell freezes over, and then we will fight you on the ice.” What made things even more disturbing was the thundering applause in response to his remarks.

Read more of TC’s take on the charter convention and stay tuned for further dispatches from his time there.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport



One thought on “Charter School Smack Down

  1. Understand the Charter movement has NOTHING to do with providing choice or better education. It is ALL about money and destroying the traditional public school system and eliminating elected school boards. The likes of Gates, Broad and Walton are heavily invested in this highly lucrative boon doggle. Just talk to parents in New Orleans. They will tell you they not only have no choice they now have no voice either. The TN ASD was modeled after the test pilot the RSD in New Orleans. In order for New Orleans to get money to rebuild they had to commit to changing to a Charter system. Nice huh? Kick em when they are down. That is how they operate. They used the devastation from Katrina to use New Orleans as their beta site for the Charter take over. But the legislators here in TN that get nice campaign contributions from Charter and voucher lobbyists don’t want to hear the truth just like they didn’t want to hear the truth about Common Core. Charters are BAD for education but they are GREAT for the investors back accounts.

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