Monday, September 26, 2011

Coke v. Pepsi? or Public School Sponsorship of a Charter

*The thoughts contained in this post and all my posts are my own thoughts and in no way reflect any opinions of the district I work for.

Coca-Cola was first.  They had a pretty good thing going.  The soft drink industry was pretty much theirs.  Then another company came out with Pepsi.  They were completely different entities, did not work together and were in direct competition for customers.

Here's what didn't happen:  The guy behind Pepsi didn't go to the guy behind Coca-Cola and ask for support in getting started and up and running.  I'm pretty sure that Coke would have laughed and said, "No way."  It would not have been good business to support, encourage and bank roll someone who wanted to take away Coke's customer base.

***

A couple years ago, Minneapolis Public Schools decided to investigate Self-governed Schools, schools created, implemented and run by teachers.  They also investigated sponsoring charter schools.

In my eyes, a charter school that operates in a public school district area takes the customer base away from the public school.  

Please don't interpet this as my defending public schools.  Please don't take as me defending charter schools either.  I'm also not trying to say anything about the free market society that we live in.  In fact, I really like that there options for everything in America, even when it comes to education.

This year, a charter school opened in Minneapolis.  This is not new or unexpected in Minneapolis.  There are plenty of charter schools and a few open each year.  This one, in particular, is sponsored by the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Getting back to the Coke/Pepsi analogy.  Minneapolis Public Schools is Coca-Cola.  The charter school is Pepsi.  What I don't understand is why Minneapolis Public Schools was and is willing to give away it's client base.  Why?

If this continues to happen, more district sponsored charter schools opening, the district will be out of business.  Minneapolis Public Schools won't have anymore students for it's own schools.

***

Am I missing something here?  Is my analogy way off?  Where did my thinking go wrong?  What are the upsides for the district opening charter schools?  Please share this post via Twitter, email and whatever.  I'm really looking for comments and insights.

No comments: