Many of us who are a part of CAPE feel that charter schools are a key piece in the road to privatization. Many of us do not agree with the ideology behind the movement, but we do not want a personal belief to stand between what is a larger and more important issue. Whether you are pro or anti charter, or neutral for that matter, the ideas of transparency, accountability, due process, and the preservation of our democracy should be important to you. We stand together not to fight against anything, but rather to fight for the protection and preservation of public education. We stand together to defend our schools and our children from what we believe is an assault on pubic education, the pillar of our democracy. What we see is a premeditated war on free, fair and truely public education taking place, often strategically, across the city, and the battle lines are being drawn in our community school buildings. We wonder: if the charter movement and sharing building space is really about what is best for kids, do the policies match the rhetoric?
At issue here is ethics: "What does it mean to be ethical?"
Is going back on one's word ethical?
Is taking something that belongs to someone else ethical?
Is it ethical to go after what one wants at the expense of others, knowing it will negatively impact others?
Is it ethical lie and misrepresent the truth for personal gain?
Is it ethical to deny others in favor of self-interest?
Is it ethical to attack hard working successful educators to benefit a personal agenda?
Is it ethical to discharge students at will from an institution of education?
Is it ethical to call something public when it is convenient and private when it is convenient?
Is it ethical to recruit families and then place their children in programs they are not mandated for, that do not meet their needs, but helps meet enrollment numbers?
Is it ethical to follow a building shared space formula that does not take into account the mandated needs of students and the enrichment and intervention programs that make them successful?
Is it ethical to claim broad success, when there is not transparency or accountability to actually prove it?
Is it ethical to divide communities and set up a system that promotes and encourages children and families to feel one school is better than the other, based not on actual data, but rather on material things and targeted use of emotionally tied words like "scholars"?
Is it ethical to encourage a system that sorts children into "winners" and "losers" based on things such as lotteries, IEPs, ELL, behavior, and parent involvement?
The question of ethics is an important one. It is time we all demand some answers.