Charter schools are not public schools. Despite protestations to the contrary, charter schools re-purpose public money toward the private agenda of a few individuals, advocacy groups and corporate underwriters.
The owners of charter schools may well benefit the children they selectively serve, but they disproportionately and unfairly benefit themselves at the expense of the 1.1 million children who attend public schools, their parents and the 70,000-plus public professional educators who work in our public schools.
As semi-private entities impersonating fully public institutions that are interwoven into the communities they serve and the greater New York City community, charters are not and can never be part of the ongoing public conversation taking place daily in our neighborhoods and across the city.
Charter schools, by definition and function, must focus on their individual and private ends. Public schools, in sharp contrast, have a more comprehensive imprimatur: They must focus on not just the individual needs and aspirations of their students but also on the needs and aspirations of the community at large.