There is nothing inherently bad about being a square peg. However, problems arise when a square peg is asked to fit into a round hole.
Politicians made Texas Public Charter Schools a square peg when they created them to fix singular problems – the round hole – in Texas K-12 Public Education.
Texas K-12 Public Education System is, in general, good, actually very good, at what it is called upon to achieve with the resources made available. The system has not failed.
But, as is to be expected with any institution, the Texas K-12 Public Education System is not perfect. There are singular problems: a student who wants to change her assigned public school setting, an entire classroom of students with a needy teacher, a failing school, or a poorly performing school district.
Unfortunately, governments struggle in effectively addressing singular problems – helping individuals. They tend to create system changes that help some individuals – never all – without ever solving the problem(s) for which the programs were designed.
For example, the war on poverty. Government programs were designed to help people who lived in poverty and to eliminate or at least substantially reduce poverty in America. President Johnson at a speech at the University of Michigan (1964) asked, “Will you join in the battle to give every citizen an escape from the crushing weight of poverty?”
Yes, welfare is necessary. Some people have been helped but not all, and poverty, after billions of dollars and decades later, still exists.
Texas Public Charter Schools are necessary. There are students in very difficult learning situations and relief, immediate relief, is needed. Texas Public Charter Schools have helped students. But problems – singular problems – still exist.
The failure to fix the singular problems within the Texas K-12 Public Education System is not the fault of the faculty and staff who work in Texas’s Public Charter Schools, they, like their traditional public school colleagues, give their best and do a wonderful job. The failure rests in the politically designed solution: a systems approach to singular problems.
Texas Public Charter Schools are necessary. They do good things for their students, but Texas Public Charter Schools cannot fix the Texas K-12 Public Education School System – it’s a square peg in a round hole.