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Charter schools are just one of the options, dean says

Tom Stritikus, dean of the UW College of Education, addressed in a recent Seattle Times op-ed the growing interest in charter schools. He references the new documentary “Waiting for Superman,” in which director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvient Truth”) tells the tale of an American education system that caters to adults and not children. Stritikus sees the movie’s buzz as an opportunity to talk teacher training and quality.

A former Teach for America corps member, Stritikus says, “I know firsthand that many of today’s youth aren’t getting a quality education. But can charter schools alone fix this problem?” Washington voters rejected a charter school initiative in 2004, but Stritikus believes it is time to re-approach that decision. He says teachers must represent and respect the diverse landscape in which they’ll work. Charter schools are just one of the options needed to face the challenge, he concludes.

Read the op-ed by Stritikus, and make room for this week’s Dawg Treats:

Photo courtesy of Thomas L. Pratt.


8 Responses to “Charter schools are just one of the options, dean says”

  1. Timothy wrote:
    October 5, 2010

    We should award the good charters. Great things are happening in charter schools!

    • Derek Belt wrote:
      October 6, 2010

      Hi Timothy – Have you seen “Waiting for Superman” yet? I saw a sneak preview at SIFF this year and David Guggenheim was there to answer audience questions. A lot of the people there were teachers or involved in education somehow and it was a fascinating discussion. The movie raises some very good points, and if it gets people talking then it is doing what Guggenheim set out to do.

  2. David wrote:
    October 13, 2010

    Charter schools are nothing more than an attempt to privatize schools. They work in a small number of cases when a community can raise the capital to build, maintain, and hire the appropriate staff, but in most cases when a charter school is built, it is built by a company that “specializes” in charter school development. The first question you should ask yourself is why there are companies that do this. The answer to that question is these companies like to recieve free money. Don’t we all? The charter school companies answer to no one. Not the parents of the kids, not the state, not the teachers or staff. They answer to no one. They take their tax dollar allotment from the state, spend as little as possible on yor child’s education, and pocket the rest.

    If you open your eyes and look at what’s going on, it’s not a very sophisticated scam and it is easy to see what’s happening. It’s one more way to privatized government services so that some rich person somewhere can get richer at your expense without having to answer to you as a consumer as they would if they opened a private school, for instance.

    Don’t fall for this scam. Keep charter schools out of your community. Ask the right questions. One of these charter school companies that I am personally familiar with, Imagine Schools ( is run by an ex-beltway bandit. These are the most corrupt members of the military-industrial complex. Why did he leave that scam? Obviously there was much more money to be made in charter schools. When they start promising you something for nothing, hold on to your wallet.

  3. Frank Fontaine wrote:
    October 17, 2010

    Publicly funded yet privately managed – Charter School fraud is an easy concept. Charters can be succesful it depends on the “agenda” of the the managing company. Accountability has not caught up to the growth of the Charter movement. In the USA we have an Islamic Imam – Fethullah Gulen (Gulen Movement) that manages over 130 US Charter schools they have taken over $1 billion in Educational monies in the last 10 years and are growing like rapid fire.

    The Gulen schools have a network of foundations and instutitions layered over the schools and much of our educational money is going to non-educational expenses such as: Turkish Olympiads, trips to Turkey for the students and local politicians, H1-b Visas of over 2,000 uncredentialed teachers from Turkey (while American teachers are handed pink slips) this money is to fuel the grand ambition of Fethullah Gulen who lives in exile (for a reason) in the Poconos, PA area with his $25 billion in wealth from inflitration in: education, media, police, poltics and military. Seems the same model works very nicely in the USA. Do your research!!!

  4. Frank Fontaine wrote:
    October 17, 2010

    P.S. David, I think the Imagine schools are a far cry better than the Gulen Managed “Science” academys that lie and swindle tax money. while claiming all the teachers are “scholars”

  5. David wrote:
    October 19, 2010

    It is odd how none of us would be taken in by this kind of scam individually, but collectively we are completely lobotomized when it comes to recognizing these obvious conflicts of interest. If a private school told you they wanted all of your child’s tuition to be put into an account they control at the begining of the year and they would withdraw the money when they saw fit, you could remove your child from their school at any time but your money would stay, and their accountability to you would exist only at their discretion, no one would be so stupid as to send their kids to that private school. Yet collectively we hear this bought politician or read that magazine propoganda article about how great charter schools are and all of the sudden our brains are mush.

    This isn’t rocket science, it is a very simple minded scam.

  6. David wrote:
    October 27, 2010

    Here’s a website that summarizes many of the charter school scandals going on across America right now:

    And here is a press release on a Stanford University study about the failure of charter schools to help students achieve:

  7. Atlanta Interior Design wrote:
    December 3, 2011

    I liked browsing through and i think this website has some really usefull stuff on it!

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