A survey released today by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University has found what it calls “conclusive evidence” that nobody – literally, nobody, not even like the people who work there – know what the hell a charter school is, what it does, or how it differs from a non-charter school.
The details of the survey alarmed university researchers, many of whom admit that they, too, have no idea whether charter schools are public or private institutions or if they are for gifted kids or something like that.
Despite 100 percent of survey respondents being clueless to the meaning of the term “charter school,” several local charter schools have opened in the Richmond area in recent years.
Or maybe no charter schools have opened, or the opening of a charter school is still being debated, or the opening of a charter school is now completely off the table, the study noted. “It just seems like there’s been a lot of talk about charter schools in the news lately,” the report went on to say.
“I had to look [the phrase ‘charter school’] up in the dictionary and there are like 13 definitions for the word ‘charter’ alone,” said Henry M. Saville, a VCU professor who has been studying charter schools for nearly three decades and still doesn’t know anything about them. “Unfortunately, you can individually look up the word ‘charter’ and the word ‘school’ but not both words at the same time.”
Added Seville: “Some friends and I once took out a charter fishing boat, so maybe it has something to do with that?”
Of the 2,428 Richmonders surveyed, 53 percent believed charter schools had something to do with boating, while 37 percent of respondents noted that the anagram of charter school is “choral torches.” The remainder, 22 percent, do not get this joke and perhaps should’ve attended a charter school.