I'm not sure what they are teaching these days at Bowling Green University, but one writer in their student paper needs a few lessons. In his article, Patrick Saunders argues that "Charter schools create unfair hierarchy."
However, in making this argument he inaccurately calls charter schools "private" schools. This is incredibly interesting as even the most ardent charter school opponents that I know agree that even if they aren't public schools in the same way as district schools, they aren't private schools in the normal sense of that word either. In fact, it's pretty obvious that they are much closer to public schools in their regulation and the fact that the employees are often considered public employees and most states require charter schools to conform to all or most operating and financial reporting requirements as district.
In addition, he claims that charter schools are "funded mainly by white-controlled non-profit foundations and white-controlled for-profit corporations" Anyone remotely familiar with charter school funding knows that almost all of a charter school's funding comes from public money. While some "white-controlled" foundations and corporations assist charter schools, that funding is never a majority of the funding. Why "white-controlled" is important escapes me a bit, unless he means that a "white-controlled" organization would never assist non-whites, which is absolutely false. The vast majority of grant money has gone to schools that seek to close the achievement gap between the poor and ethnic minorities and the more affluent.
Perhaps the more important point is the overall thrust of the article that somehow charter schools are inappropriately changing the definition of a "liberal" education. Of course, as many do, he writes as if public education is a glorious monument that should be set beside the many other monuments of our country. He writes as if that "liberal" education has never changed.
Mr. Saunders then asserts that parents have no input into charter school curriculum or agendas. This may be true in some schools, but in manifestly not true in others. In many state the reason that charter schools exist is to create more say by parents, not less. In other charter schools that have fixed curriculum and method, it's because they believe that method is proven. No one has to go to a charter school. It is not a school of default as is the district school.
By setting the existing public school system on a pedestal, Mr. Saunders ignores its many problems and because he focuses primarily on Ohio charter schools he ignores the variety of charter schools across the country. Because he hasn't done any research on the facts of charter school funding he is ignorant of the fact that charter schools are public schools as defined by many states. He is ignorant of the fact that they are "funded mainly" by public money, not private money.
I guess ignorance really is bliss, when it is folly to be wise.