Lee  Culpepper

In contrast, The New York Times headlined an article Friday that reiterates charter school critics proclivity to celebrate, [studies] generally have shown charters doing no better than traditional public schools. What the critics tend to avoid discussing is that most studies fail to distinguish between targeted charter schools that serve at-risk students-- from untargeted charter schools --that serve general populations. Furthermore, whenever critics gleefully report that charter schools overall are doing no better than traditional schools, they always seem to cover up that charter schools are still performing basically as well while spending a lot less taxpayer money and doing without other assets the teacher unions assert are vital.

Frankly, successful charter schools are more efficient than traditional schools. They have eliminated deadwood-administrative positions and other wasteful spending that still infests traditional schools. The also have broadened their search for skilled teachers by not restricting themselves to hiring only applicants with teacher licenses. Unlike traditional schools, charter schools have some flexibility in hiring non-credentialed teachers. For example, a charter school principal can choose to hire a retired surgeon desiring to teach high school science over an applicant with only a teaching credential and classroom experience. Charters also set their own teacher salaries, as opposed to collective bargaining. Teacher unions loathe this independence.

Nevertheless, Obamas announcement about doubling charter-school funding has surely left some charter supporters feeling effervescent. The Trojans apparently felt the same way as they dragged the wooden horse into Troy. But most of us know how that story ended. The Trojans were slaughtered, and their princess was raped.

Perhaps Obamas Greek, Styrofoam columns were merely a coincidence lending themselves too easily as a connection to Greek mythology. In contrast, the NEAs endorsement of Obama is no different than Sinon endorsing the wooden horse as good luck for the Trojans.

Lee Culpepper

Lee Culpepper has served the United States as a Marine officer and less formerly as an undaunted-non-liberal English teacher and a substitute dad. The cultural divide Lee battled from leading Marines to motivating teenagers mired in public schools laid the foundation for his social and political commentary. Contact Lee Culpepper on Twitter @drcoolpepper or by email at drcoolpepper@gmail.com.