Charter CEO Backpeddles. – K. Griffin

Tom Barrett, CEO of White Hat Charter Schools, is a hypocritical dunce trying to mask the failed Charter experiment with excuses while protecting his own salary.

In Saturday’s Dispatch, he wrote that poverty is a significant challenge for both traditional and charter schools.  Oh what a different tune they are singing now.  You see, 15 years ago, when for-profit education companies like White Hat started, they said those of us who were talking about poverty were just making excuses.  Now he’s the one using poverty as an excuse.

The “demand” for charters was not created by a failed traditional school system.  It was created by the profiteers who exaggerated the challenges facing traditional schools.  They created their own market by claiming competition was the magical silver bullet and then they preyed on the most vulnerable with flashy brochures and promises of excellence by means of a “no-excuses” approach or a “safe online environment.”  Now that the data is showing they are the failures they are whining about how difficult education is.

The simple truth is the for-profit charters get more money per student, are taking locally voted levy dollars from school districts, are exempt from over 200 regulations public schools must follow, are not held to the same standards as public schools, and in the rare cases where they are, are failing far worse than even the worst public schools in Ohio.

Tom Barrett’s letter is a sad and shameless attempt to shield the company that employs him.  If he truly cares about children he should not be lobbying for his employer.  He should be explaining that 100% transparency of charters schools will give parents a honest choice as opposed to the marketing propaganda from the for-profit charter owners.  But then again, holding himself to the standards of public schools may cost him his job.