During Mississippi’s upcoming 2013 legislative session, we will hear a lot of talk about charter schools.

It’s nothing new, since for two years now, at least, the vast majority of educational reform energy has been focused on charter schools. It’s just that this year, education reform is getting even more attention — meaning charter schools will lead the discussion.

In a best-case scenario for charter school supporters, expansion in Mississippi would impact only a fraction of students, and that impact could be years down the road. If an expansion is passed, the first charter schools in the state could take years to set up.

Thus, charter schools are little more than a political red herring — garnering most of the debate, energy and focus of the commonwealth while drowning out other education and general issues in Mississippi.

Clarion Ledger