No, Al Shanker Did Not Invent the Charter School Industry We Have Now

Diane Ravitch's blog

This article unintentionally explains where charter schools went wrong. When Shanker proposed the idea of charter schools in 1988, he thought of them as “schools within schools,” created by teachers and subject to both union rules and the school district. But it all changed when Minnesota passed the first charter law in 1992.

The article was written by Paul Peterson, the Harvard professor who supports charters, vouchers, and all kinds of choice. He is editor of Education Next. I have known Paul for many years (though I have not seen him for nearly a decade). I got to know him during my time as a member of the Koretz Task Force at the Hoover Institution from 1998-2008. He is a very genial man. I recall one night after a meeting at Hoover when David Packard (of Hewlett Packard) invited Paul and me to see the old-time movie theater that…

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