The Hamilton Spectator

Charter schools unnecessar­y

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Re: Families in other provinces enjoy more school choice than Ontario families (Feb. 11)

If we are going to have a public conversati­on about “school choice” let’s set the record straight: “school choice,” better known as charter schools, are a scam to allow middlemen squat on public funds in which the only “innovation” is hiring non-unionized teachers and staff.

I’m an American immigrant to Canada, and grew up with friends who went through charter schools. While I, in public education, was learning my times table, my friends were left behind to finger paint well into their fifth year. Let’s not import these kind of vulture institutio­ns to pick apart our public education, no matter what a person from the Fraser Institute says.

Public education is in crisis in the wake of the pandemic, but the bold solutions require more funding to schools and teachers to expand programs and reduce class sizes. Instead we have unserious people demanding “choice”; the choice to pay management consultant­s and think tanks the big bucks to rebrand “education,” while non-union teachers are put through a squeeze and student outcomes suffer. It may improve outcomes for some students from wealthier background­s, but overall reduces quality and access for everyone else.

If any of this has resonated, good or bad, I encourage learning more. An easy first go-to is the first episode of the podcast Citations Needed by journalist­s Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson. It is a great introducti­on and offers more sources for learning more on the consequenc­es of charter schools/“school choice.”

Chandler Hull, Hamilton

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