WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten responds to “The Progressive Case for Charter Schools” by the Center for American Progress:
“Public schooling is one of the most important institutions in America, and we will never be satisfied until the promise and potential of public schooling is available to each and every child. It is surprising that CAP would suggest that the value of charters outweighs the need for public schools—both charter and traditional public schools—to be working together like never before.
“This is a time when the very existence of public education is under attack by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and others who see it not as a common good but as something to be defunded and destroyed. Why does CAP make this case after the NAACP’s call for a moratorium on charter schools? Why make this case as more and more parents are rejecting charters and as support for traditional public schools continues to rise?
“Ninety percent of America’s children attend our public schools. The progressive solution for education is investing in well-funded, safe and welcoming neighborhood public schools that parents want to send their kids to, that teachers want to teach in, and that really engage kids—especially when 34 states are still spending less on education than before the recession. That’s what parents want; when given the choice between more charters and great neighborhood public schools, parents overwhelmingly support investing in great neighborhood public schools. We’d be happy to work with CAP to lift up the great and progressive work happening in public schools and make sure what is happening in the best public schools happens in all public schools.”