Though national publications like Newsweek and the New York Times may parrot the "blame the teacher" narrative favored by "school-choice" or educational privatization advocates, it is refreshing to see the Atlanta Journal Constitution put the blame where the blame belongs.
The very first sentence of this article sets the tone in describing systemic problems, by calling out the people who run the system.
Lagging test scores. Crowded classrooms. Inattentive school boards. Aloof superintendents.
This balanced and informative article goes on to describe how the parents themselves lobbied for a charter school, and some of the drawbacks even charter schools experience.
So the Shaginaws appealed to neighbors on an East Point play group Web site. Many of those who responded were also trying to decide between relocating or private school. The neighbors formed an interest group to research the idea for a charter school and held community forums that drew hundreds. They established a nonprofit and cultivated relationships with two national education management firms.
This article is a far cry from the cheerleaderism from the lobbyists, national media and invested public figures that we are usually subjected to on this topic. It also describes a completely different, and probably more healthy, state attitude towards charter schools. Furthermore, you can almost hear the parents' desperate voice through the words on the screen.
The unnerving thing is still that parents feel the need to abandon public schools because those schools are failing them, and there doesn't seem to be anything parents or communities can do about it. One only imagines why that is in a representative democracy, as the individuals ruining our public schools are being hired and paid by someone at the local and state level.
I'm sure this builds a receptive market for those who would privatize our education system, which explains why so many organizations want to get into the business of education.