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Two Birds, One Stone

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Arne Duncan weighs in on unions and charter schools. From his speech at the Education Writers Association:

"Twenty-six states cap the number of charters and 10 other states have no charters. The President has called on every state to lift charter caps. And where unions are behind these efforts to impede charters we should certainly call them out but we shouldn’t demonize unions or blame them for all of the problems in education."

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This has got to be one of Duncan's dumber speeches ever. For one thing, Chicago schools CEO, he played the criminal, openly skirting the charter cap by granting more than a dozen schools under a single charter. Secondly, after more than a decade under the Illinois charter law, the cap hasn't even been reached yet, statewide. Why raise it? That's the case in many states. Those decisions should be left up to state legislatures on a case-by-case basis and not imposed from the top-down. Third, as long as charters are being turned over to private management companies, there will be resistance to raising caps, not so much from the union, which is organizing charter teachers, but from school boards who oppose privatization and loss of public decision making. Finally, until charters are being held to public accountability, why let them keep throwing up more and more crappy, mismanaged charter schools?

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