He wants charter fans and charter haters to unite for kids. Is he crazy?

By Jay Mathews

When an experienced educator moves from a top job with a New York mayor who fiercely opposes charter schools to an important job with the nation’s largest charter school network, I wonder what he’s thinking.

The man in question is Rich Buery, a proud Brooklynite with a platinum educational résumé: Stuyvesant High School, Harvard College, Yale Law School. He was a deputy mayor under Bill de Blasio but now is chief of policy and public affairs for the KIPP Foundation, helping lead a charter network with 242 schools and more than 100,000 students in 20 states and the District.

I’ve been talking to him. He seems sane. Yet he wants to bring inner-city school systems, teacher unions and their supporters together in an alliance with the charters they despise to help the impoverished children both sides are devoted to.

He isn’t asking that big names like charter critic Diane Ravitch and charter advocate Eva Moskowitz dance down Broadway arm-in-arm. He just wonders, he said, “Why do we feel so disconnected from other people who are also fighting and working for Black and Latinx communities?”

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