(Kyle Olson/Townhall.com) – Charter schools are facing increasing fierce attacks by organized labor – because they work. Most of them are publicly funded and are not bound by inch-thick union contracts that stipulate what teachers don’t have to do and which hoops administrators have to jump through in order to hold their employees accountable.
Some charter schools don’t produce the desired results. But because of the agreement between the school and their state, if they aren’t up to snuff, they can be shut down. If only the same could be said of traditional public systems in Detroit, Chicago or Los Angeles.
Indianapolis Public Schools is a dismal mess. Leaders there do whatever they can to keep the ship afloat, regardless of the harm it brings to the children of the city. Parents are desperate for choices – and they found one in the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School.
Tindley Accelerated School was started by education visionaries who bought an old grocery store, put up some walls, hired quality teachers and began educating kids. Today, those kids are out-performing their peers in the very same neighborhood, dispelling many myths.
The success of Tindley Accelerated School is showing that anyone can learn when the culture is right. Fancy buildings and heavy spending are not requirements for impressive academic results.
In the pitched battle over education reform that is going on in Indiana right now, the state is expanding reforms that are working, much to the dismay of the Indiana State Teachers Association. But union leaders have vowed to do whatever they can to hamper reform, even if it means sentencing kids to failing schools.
Who will win? It’s a deadly serious question, because nothing less than the future of Indiana (and of the entire United States) is at stake.
(Kyle Olson is founder and CEO of Education Action Group Foundation, a non-partisan non-profit organization with the goal of promoting sensible education reform.)