Former charter school advocate Dave Hornbeck, who served as Maryland State Superintendent of Schools and Philadelphia Superintendent of Schools urges Kentucky to reject charter schools:
I believe you teeter on the edge of undoing your success in considering House Bill 520. Regrettably, I speak from the perspective of experience. As Philadelphia’s superintendent of schools, I recommended the approval of more than 30 charter schools because I thought it would improve educational opportunity for our 215,000 students. The last 20 years make it clear I was wrong.
Those advocating change in Kentucky’s education law through proposed legislation to introduce and build charter schools are no doubt committed to educational improvement. But they are equally wrong. You stand on the brink of embracing a strategy with a track record that is mixed at best and a serious failure for children at worst.
Hornbeck advises Kentuckians to stick with what has worked: The reforms ushered in under KERA:
The reason? It has worked for children. Kentucky children have made more progress than any other state in the nation. The quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians is better because you carefully crafted legislation that resulted in many more schools that work for their communities, families and children. You not only enacted KERA in the first place but for 27 years, with both Democratic and Republican leadership putting children first, you have sustained the essential elements of KERA. That sort of stable bipartisan leadership is sadly rare. You have kept your eye on what’s important, the children and Kentucky’s track record of success.
READ MORE to find out why Hornbeck now rejects charter schools as a reform tool and why he’s urging Kentucky to move forward with education reform that works.
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