asks National Journal on its education blog. Ed Reformers like Tom Vander Ark and Andrew Rotherham say “yes,” as do five other experts. Two people vote “no”: Dennis van Roekel, President of NEA says,
Charter schools are not a magic bullet, and they aren’t the only schools where you can find innovative ideas at work today… Thankfully, the Administration has listened to NEA and others who were concerned about the emphasis on charters. The revised guidelines for the Race to the Top grants now refer to “innovative, autonomous schools” — which is not limited to charters.
Diane Ravitch, the other nay-sayer, is less equivocal:
Charter schools are being overhyped and oversold. They are no panacea. They represent deregulation and privatization. Deregulation nearly destroyed our national economy. What will it do to public education?
Mike Antonucci of Education Intelligence Agency sums it up:
If charter schools were all controlled by school districts, administrator opposition to them would evaporate. If they were all unionized, NEA and AFT would rarely find them worthy of comment, much less prolonged campaigns of containment. But then, they wouldn’t be charter schools anymore, would they?