Observations and Opinions on Texas Charter Schools: Introduction

Introduction

This is a multi-part series that reports observations and shares opinions on Texas’s open-enrollment charter school system.

The open-enrollment charter school system is a significant part of the national political scene as noted in an article in Forbes titled, “Sam Walton’s Granddaughter Has Plans To Fix Public Education In America.”

In the article, Sam Walton’s granddaughter’s plan to fix the public school system is charter schools. [Note: If you go to the link, the picture that is embedded in the story is of Sam Walton’s granddaughter at a Texas open-enrollment charter school.] “The Waltons have spent more than $1 billion on K-12 eduction since the late 1980s.” And as for Sam Walton’s granddaughter, “with decades of productivity ahead of her, [she] promises [that] she’s in it for the long haul.”

The open-enrollment charter school system is an important part of the Texas political scene, too. If evidence is needed, just look at the political debates and agendas involving charter schools in the current Legislative session.

The prevailing political vision can make observations and opinions about charter schools difficult to share because observations and opinions that run counter to that vision can have negative consequences. Thomas Sowell in The Vision of the Anointed put it this way:

… what the prevailing vision of our time emphatically does offer, is a special state of grace for those who believe in it … those who disagree with the prevailing vision are seen as being not merely in error, but in sin,” (pp. 2,3).

There is another danger with a prevailing political vision: it “may seal itself off from any discordant feedback from reality,” (Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed, p. 1).

It is healthy to have a solid grasp of reality when discussing a subject, even one as politically and emotionally charged as the open-enrollment charter school system. Consequently, with good health in mind, this series reports some realities of Texas’s open-enrollment charter schools system.

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Notes

This series of writings is not about individual Texas open-enrollment charter schools. They are filled with well-meaning adults and students and their people are to be commended for the good that they do. The observations and opinions in these writings are directed at the system level – a system created by state government.

About drjstewart

Educator, writer, and photographer
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