Thom, I understand the point you make frequently about the privatization of our schools and how the "charter experiment" is not the end all and be all - HOWEVER I would suggest you not condemn all charter schools - some are outstanding and doing great things -i believe you are intellectually honest and will look into the following and qualify your stance on charter schools- Check out the KIPP system, organized and manged by former "Teach for America" teachers, chartered in mostly if not all (i would have to check) Title 1 public schools, run by educators not businessmen AND doing outstanding educational things
re: Charter Schools
One thing that jumps out at me from my recent experience with charter schools is the mechanical maintenance. Typically any large school would have one full time building engineer to operate and maintain the mechanical systems. These people are unionized in my locale. I've worked on a couple charter schools recently that have the one non-union person in charge of operating 8 new charter schools and more being built. This may lead to more work being farmed out to private contractors, but it may also lead to poor maintenence. At the very least it will lead to a short term savings on the maintenance budget. Long term .... who knows?