Argument: Competition created by charter schools distracts from the classroom

Issue Report: Charter schools


Larry Kuehn. “Ten Problems with Charter Schools”. British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. 1995 – Marketing, rather than educational improvement, becomes a central focus.

The British grant-maintained system is based on a model of competition in the market place. The assumption is that the value of education can be determined by consumer choice. Consequently, significant attention is placed on selling, advertising, and promoting in order to recruit and retain pupils.

Recent studies indicate that resources are devoted to marketing instead of educational program change. One study (Gewertz) says that “concerns about self-presentation, surface appearance and image [are] increasingly becoming a main preoccupation for school managers.” Further, “significant amounts of money which could be spent on teachers and textbooks are being diverted to meet the costs of publicity and presentation.”