Saturday, December 1, 2012

The ever-expanding rationales and rhetoric of the privateers

In NYC and elsewhere, the charter school lobby initially explained their rationale as providing more “options” to students at schools in low-performing districts.  Then they began justifying them by saying they would create more “diversity” in mixed or gentrifying areas, and also argued that they create more options for middle class parents who are potentially shut out of their zoned schools because of overcrowding. 
The rationales keep expanding….just as does their rhetoric. 
You know how the privateers continue to vehemently insist that charter schools are public schools?
In the Louisiana court battle in which a judge just ruled vouchers illegal, an official in their State Ed Dept. testified that giving publicly-funded vouchers (which they euphemistically call “scholarships”) to students to attend religious private schools should be allowed, because whatever school they may attend, these are still “public school” students.  See this:
The second day of the state district court trial to determine if Louisiana’s School Choice Act (Act 2) is constitutional began with the plaintiffs calling Beth Scioneaux to the witness stand, Scioneaux, who has worked for the Louisiana Department of Education for 19 years, is currently the deputy superintendent for finance and oversees the preparation of the school funding formula—also known as the MFP….
According to Scioneaux, “All students covered by the MFP are considered public school students.” And, with the state Department of Education referring to vouchers as “scholarships”, she added, “The Department position is that scholarship students are still public school students.”
After I tweeted about this earlier today, Jersey Jazzman immediately blogged about it. (How great is twitter!)
Watch out!  Even as the rationales of the privateers expand into new areas, as well as their appropriation of public space and resources, so does their rhetoric.

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