Teacher Talk: The Good, the Bad and the Charter (Episode 1)

Kori Milroy interviewing Rachel Douglas SwansonVIVA Teacher Leader Kori Milroy, host of Teacher Talk, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of charter schools with Rachel Douglas Swanson who teaches at LEARN Charter School in Chicago. Download the 30-minute podcast to listen in on a fascinating conversation about the misconceptions and challenges charters face. Learn about the differences between teaching at a charter and a traditional public school. Hear how Swanson felt when she got her first raise based on her performance. And get jealous when she talks about getting the things she needs to be an effective teacher.

This is the first installment of Teacher Talk, an ongoing series of conversations between teachers talking about education policy.

Download the episode here or stream it below.

Spread the word. Share this post!

Comments (1)

  1. xian

    Thank you for the outstanding work you’ve done here.
    I especially found interesting the part where Ms. Swanson discusses the challenges of innovation being compromised by the need to appeal to private donors.
    I also thought she really captured the way that teachers haven’t chosen to go to charters, they are being pushed by the phasing out of district positions.
    Also, I liked the way she stressed that leadership is encouraged and that motivates. This is only unique to charters in the sense that the district neglects that intentionally. Similarly, she liked the lack of bureaucracy, and availability of resources (what do you need). That’s only specific to charters because the district is sabotaging neighborhood schools.

    I do think it’s important to not think that individual stories negate the data-based realities.
    1) Charters don’t outperform neighborhood schools (CREDO, UIC)
    2) Don’t serve special education (and ELL students) equitably http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/04/13/28catalyst_charters.h31.html
    3) Charters provide no security for whistleblowers who protect students. Substance is down, but here’s the website

    If Ms. Swanson’s school does indeed enroll all students, and partake in other positive practices, they are to be commended. They are the exception rather than the rule.

Leave a comment