Nov. 9th, 2016

ge_m: (Admiral Meussen)
The ballot question #2 in MA has caused the most of discussions and arguments. It is about lifting the cap for the number of charter schools. Initially, I was considering voting "yes" on the libertarian basis of allowing everyone to do what they please and general suspicion towards teacher's union. But later and in significant degree due to the discussions at Alisa Rodny, I have changed my mind - for two reasons and both systemic ones.
First, a charter school, as it is now, mixes private and public funds. I dislike economic hybrids and believe that if such mixtures are developed widely, the public interests like accessibility, inclusiveness and fairness will suffer.
Secondly, I suddenly realized that public school of the inner city is a misnomer. We discuss them as schools in the first place and hence apply to them all these nice criteria of good quality education. But in reality such a public school carries over many more roles: it is a social center, a feeding facility, a place of support and refuge. If all of that would be done by widely available and well funded separate entities and the school will be left just to its educational goal, we would be justified to judge it as such, to compare it to suburban and charter schools, etc. Call it a programmer's approach, if you will, but a proper abstraction and correct modeling work. This school is not a school. And until we address this mixture of functions (if we ever do), we cannot break and defund it.
Firm "No" on #2.

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November 2016

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