(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Over at the Chamber Business News I pose a few questions to charter opponents who want to force Arizona charter management organizations to competively bid out the management of new schools. Questions for the hive mind: can anyone think of a reason this should be done to charters but not districts? I mean you know given stuff like this:
…wouldn’t most reasonable people take a look at that dot on the top right, learn that it has a majority-minority student population, gets only a modest level of funding, and take in kids from districts in their state with below average test scores and conclude “hmmm these schools seem to be pretty well managed?” Given Arizona’s growing school population, am I nuts to think such a provision would stop new school construction dead in its tracks if applied to either districts or charters? I’m trying to imagine either CMOs or districts raising millions to build a new school only to RFP off the management of that new school, and I’m coming up empty trying to imagine a case to build the new school. Maybe you can help me out in the comments.
Real schools of choice, ones created by educational entrepreneurs with real autonomy, have a huge advantage in that their management isn’t an interchangeable widget that can be bid out. The schools aren’t political bureaucracies, they’re communities that have shared values and trust. The very fact that you can bid out management of a school system shows it’s set up to fail.