Charter Schools: Why Can’t Republicans Make This Issue A Winner?

by Vladimir
December 27, 2009

Charter schools work – on so many levels. Charter schools educate kids. Charter schools promote local control and parental involvement. Charter schools succeed in stark contrast to the failed policies of the NEA and the Department of Education.

One New Orleans charter school changes the culture, sees the results

New Orleans’ corrupt, decrepit Orleans Parish School Board was mortally wounded before Katrina. The State-run Recovery School District had started to take over failed Orleans Parish schools, and the charter movement had a toe-hold.

Katrina wiped the slate clean. Charter schools led the comeback. Now, fully half of Orleans Parish’s public schools are charter schools, a higher percentage than any other city in the nation.

The conservative solution is demonstrably the better solution. And it doesn’t take a generation to prove it.

Republicans do a lot of hand wringing, trying to figure out how to make the Republican Party and conservative governance relevant to the minority community. (This is New Orleans, remember, and the public school system is 95% African-American.) Charter schools are a way to do it without pandering. People will notice when their children achieve in school. And rather than wasting taxpayer dollars, it just makes sense to spend it raising a more educated and more employable voter.

Sophie B. Wright Middle School was a typical Orleans Parish public school. It had failed utterly, to the point that the School Board was considering closing it and using the physical plant as an alternative high school.

But instead, in 2005, the school became Sophie B. Wright Charter School, headed by Principal Sharon Clark.

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