Regarding the July 28 Under the Dome item “Struggling schools”: Recently, Gov. Pat McCrory signed House Bill 1080 into law, creating an Achievement School District. Under this bill, for-profit, private charter school companies can take over low-performing public schools.
The Republican-led legislature is convinced that this is an innovative solution for struggling public schools, yet evidence suggests otherwise.
Gary Henry, one of the nation’s leading researchers on these districts, states that these achievement districts had “little to no effect” on student performance in under-performing Tennessee schools. In some cases, student performance dropped.
The reality is that public schools will continue to fail unless public schools get the funding they need. One proven method for helping struggling students is access to strong instructional materials, yet the Republican legislature has continuously ignored additional funding requests for such supplies.
This bill is yet another way the McCrory administration is attempting to line his friends’ pockets by creating for-profit schools. Privatization always takes funds out of the system and gives it to stockholders and CEOs rather than being used to solve problems.