Following up on Free Schools & Transparency

Laura McInerney

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My Guardian column this week explained why the current lack of transparency around Free Schools is unjustifiable.Several of the best US states have thoroughly transparent systems where the applications and school-granting process is publicly available and publicly consulted upon.

Opponents to transparency argue that making the Free School process more open would mean it getting knocked off course, but groups using cash paid in taxes by working people to inculcate those same people’s children during their limited educational time should at minimum be expected to stand their ground in a public hearing. Winning the right to that money and time means taking the heat, and explaining over and over again why you are planning what you are planning.

Concerns about transparency rippled through my conversations this week with New York-based education reformers. People looked genuinely concerned when they heard England has academised 60% of secondary schools in three years…

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