“In Hollywood films and television documentaries, the battle lines are clearly drawn. Traditional public schools are bad; their supporters are apologists for the unions. Those who advocate for charter schools, virtual schooling, and “school choice” are reformers; their supporters insist they are championing the rights of minorities. They say they are leaders of the civil rights movement of our day. It is a compelling narrative, one that gives us easy villains and ready-made solutions. It appeals to values Americans have traditionally cherished—choice, freedom, optimism, and a latent distrust of government. There is only one problem with this narrative. It is wrong.”44
― Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools
With globalization and growing competition, U.S. society has placed an even greater importance on education, and there is an increased concern about the failure of public schools. But rather than a movement towards improving public schools, this concern has resulted in a privatization movement led by corporations and wealthy individuals. Failing public schools are generally closed rather than improved, and private or privately managed schools are created in their place. The current privatization movement is particularly relevant to urban education, as urban schools are disproportionately labeled as failing. This website explores grassroots activism that seeks to preserve the public nature of public schools, and examines the negative consequences of the privatization movement and the benefits of maintaining public schools.