Printed with permission of the author, Gerald W. Bracey
Near the end of the 1969 film, “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper extols all the fun and wonderful things he and biker buddy Peter Fonda have been able to accomplish with the cash from their big cocaine deal that begins the movie. Fonda looks at Hopper and says, “We blew it.”
I’ve lately been reviewing the data from charter school evaluations around the country. That scene kept coming to mind. If I could line up the zealots who’ve been touting charters for over a decade now, I’d say, “You blew it.” If charter schools had been invented by and championed by some part of the “education establishment” like the NEA, the Right would have long since proclaimed charters yet another failed fad (in fact, charters were first popularized by the AFT which later rejected them as having failed to deliver on their potential).