Charter Schools on NPR

I was glad to hear this story about Charter Schools today on NPR.

It reminded me of one of my early heroes in public education Al Shanker who I once despised. Al started the Charter School movement much to his union’s chagrin. The Edison Charter Schools, now Northstar Academy are one result and the local teacher’s union fought tooth and nail to kill it in the cradle.

it was a top union leader who first endorsed and promoted the concept of charter schools in the spring of 1988. Al Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, gave a supportive speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“We’re meeting here today because it’s time to take a major step forward in trying to improve the schools of our nation,” he said.

It was Shanker’s response to relentless political attacks, namely by the Reagan administration, that blamed unions for the dismal quality of public schools described in the 1983 report, A Nation at Risk.

But the school-reform movement born of that report, Shanker argued, was so feeble, it was bypassing 80 percent of the nation’s public school students.

My search engine points to two blog post mentions of Shanker one of them is here.