Charter schools once offered the promise of teacher-led innovation. Twenty years in, the proliferation of charter schools in a district almost always means corporate-based chains are privatizing formerly public schools. Doing this nets these corporations, both domestic and foreign, massive profits, but it doesn't always result in real educational improvement.
In Chicago, we have seen the rise and fall of the UNO network of schools. The Noble network is having its draconian disciplinary policies called into question by CPS. The Concept network is part of a globe-spanning web of schools operated by Turkish former imam and movement leader Fethullah Gulen. Many other charters are simply struggling and failing. Being a charter school in Chicago does not guarantee success at anything but a profitable investment.
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