Ravitch Slams School Leaders' Motives

Today, education leader, Diane Ravitch slammed the leaders of an Arizona private school by calling them "Crony Capitalists" for converting their school to a Charter School. Much more lies behind situations of this sort and it rarely deserves the slam she gives it. Here is her post… and my response follows…
I wrote:

Dr. Ravitch, you should be ashamed of your analysis! To simplify the painful loss of identity of what was likely a private religious school to “crony capitalism” is shallow at best. First, the inability of private schools to compete with free schools is nothing new. It began during the nineteenth century with the growth of the free public schools system (Engelhardt, Education Reform, p. 40). More recently, in 2008, the US Dept of Ed documented this phenomenon in “Preserving a Critical National Asset: America’s Disadvantaged Students and the Crisis in Faith-based Urban Schools.”
Second, why impute selfish motives on any school struggling to survive? Most private school educators enter the field with hearts to serve children for much less pay than their public school counter-parts. Since charters have been in Arizona since 1994, it is unlikely this school saw “public money” as a windfall that would support their educational vision.
Third, it is an error to say that “capitalism has failed” in a situation where public money favors one school over another. Even with its diverse school choice laws, Arizona’s private schools are not tuition free for everyone. Families who value small school environments are frequently (unfairly) drawn away from private schools not for a better education, but for a less expensive one.
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