Just Give Charter Schools a Chance
Proposed policies to govern charter schools in West Virginia have been made public by the state Board of Education. Fred Albert, leader of the second-largest teachers union in the state, appears not to care what policies are adopted, however.
Any policy permitting charters is unacceptable to Albert, who is president of the American Federation of Teachers — West Virginia. He said last week that his union plans to file a lawsuit with the goal of blocking charters entirely.
“We feel it is unconstitutional,” Albert explained, insisting privately operated charter schools go against the state constitution’s requirement for a “thorough and efficient” education system.
Charters are intended to help make Mountain State education — all of it, including public schools — more thorough and efficient, however. Is there anyone willing to argue honestly that some public schools are not sadly lacking in both thoroughness and efficiency?
A new state law enacted just months ago provides for no more than three charters to open before July 1, 2023. It gives county boards of education life-and-death authority over charters. It is far from an open door for them — more like a tiny crack, in truth.
But Albert does not want to even give charters a chance to show what public schools could do if they were not hampered by reams of state regulations. That makes absolutely no sense.
State board members should proceed to adopt a charter school policy. The courts should say no to Albert. How can we know anything about them in terms of “thorough and efficient” if we do not let them try?