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View Diary: Marketing corporate education reform: The civil rights lie (70 comments)

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  •  There's no need for a study (1+ / 0-)
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    Linda Wood

    Just try to get your kids into a charter and see what happens. Open a new charter and see what happens. I know of no place that has charters that has experienced difficulties attracting applications for available spots. They often have to establish lotteries for entrance.

    •  Wow. "There's no need for a study." (0+ / 0-)

      Just... wow.

      The word "gobsmacked" comes to mind.

      •  Do you think millions of parents are just too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Linda Wood

        stupid to know what's good for their kids?

        •  Do you seriously think millions of parents (0+ / 0-)

          are clamoring for charter schools?

          Really? And you don't think any independent verification of this claim is necessary?

          GIANT credibility gap...

          •  Umm . . . yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Linda Wood

            There are two million kids enrolled in charter schools right now, with another 400,000 on waitlists. So clearly "millions of parents" are interested in them enough to send their kids to them.

            There are surely millions more that would if they were able. There are only 16 states that allow an unlimited number of charter schools; the rest have caps in place. In some communities, there are way more applicants for charter schools than there are spaces in them. In New York City for example, there were 48,000 applications for 12,000 spots in the 2010 lottery.


            •  Here's the thing... (0+ / 0-)
              In the end the proof is in the pudding: parents and kids generally prefer to send their kids to charters when they have the chance.

              You then changed that statement to denote millions of parents.

              Since there are about 50 million children attending public school, preschool through 12th grade, and about six million more in private school, the fact that you can currently find two million enrolled in charters is not terribly surprising - particularly with the full court press of the pro-privatization forces currently demonizing public education at every opportunity.

              It is a patently ridiculous stretch to claim that there is a general preference for charter schools, and one that cannot be plausibly made without genuine, non-partisan data to support it.

              Again, your credibility is being stretched extremely thin when you not only make that claim in the first place, but continue to press it.

              Here's a link, btw - I'd hate to leave myself open to a charge that I demand statistics without supplying them.

              •  You asked for statistics to back up my claim (0+ / 0-)

                that "millions of parents" have chosen charters, I provided it. There are millions already enrolled or waitlisted. My other claim is that given the chance, parents and kids generally prefer them. That is evidenced by the fact that wherever they are available they are oversubscribed leading to lotteries for admission. I cited one particular example from the largest city in the nation where they have four times the applicants as spots.

                You cited statistics as to the number of students enrolled in all kinds of schools generally, and said statistics are not inconsistent with anything I've stated or cited, so I don't know exactly why, other than to just claim that you've "cited statistics".

    •  You are caught by the marketing. (0+ / 0-)

      If it is popular it must be good. But the studies show they are not good, they do not cost less and they do not serve everyone. Special needs students are not enrolled in comparable numbers, are not given comparable services when they are allowed to enroll. In addition they are often disenrolled if they don't perform. Public education can be a true democratic institution. In many ways it has fulfilled that ideal. Our middle class is born from many lower income children who succeeded by getting a good education and earning a good job. Privitization forces would love to restrict who gets a good education. The privatization efforts have engaged in a PR campaign. And they got you.

      Let's go back to those studies you don't think are necessary. (By the way do you care if the medicines you take have been verified for safety and effectiveness or do you just believe that they are good because your doctor or a friend told you they were?) Read this article for support of what I am about to say. (Bracey, G. 2009. Education Hell: Rhetoric Versus Reality. Alexandria, VA: Educational Research Service.
      Payne, K. and Biddle, B. 1999. Poor school funding, child poverty, and mathematics achievement. Educational Researcher 28 (6): 4-13.)
      The international studies that say we are doing so poorly are misleading. If you look at the performance of US students and their level of poverty our students do quite well. The best. Finland is heralded as a fantastic school system and scores at the top regularly. Their poverty rate is 5%. Ours is 25% as determined by those who qualify for free and reduced lunch. If you look at schools in the US that have only 25% poverty (Many of the schools used in studies have more than 50% poverty.) the US students end up in the top 5. If you look at those with 15% poverty we are number 1. This has been shown repeatedly when you disaggregate the data from these studies.

      We have been sold a bill of goods about American education and its poor performance and you purchased it.

      •  It's unbelievable that you jokers keep recycling (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Linda Wood, eumaies

        the same studies in your talking points to try to rationalize forcing low income students to attend failing schools. I have no problem with anyone studying anything as it relates to public education, and I can cite you studies that say that charter schools don't cherry pick, that their demographics reflect their local communities in general, and that similarly situated students do better there than they do in public schools.

        You can cite studies that say all the opposite, and then now you want to cite a study that I suppose argues for the status quo because wow, actually our schools do quite well considering the low quality of students that they have to serve.

        And I say fuck all of that and let the parents decide for themselves what kind of education they prefer for their kids, and provide them with the support necessary to realize their choice: neighborhood schools, small schools, large schools, magnet schools, charter schools, parochial schools, and private schools.

        For me the rule that says that you can only attend certain schools based on the accident of your address is just as oppressive and wrong as the Jim Crow rules that you used to say that you can only attend certain schools based on the accident of your skin color. It is also a fact that the amount of racial segregation brought about by the former rule is just as much as the racial segregation that was brought about the latter. That is to say that schools are just as racially segregated now as they were in 1954, and the reason is residence-based assignment to school districts. Furthermore, the amount of damage done to the lives of those caught on the wrong side of that particular fence is probably even worse than that done by segregation.

        So, yeah, I really don't give a fuck about how academics explain away failing schools, or how they poo-poo charters. I'll support charters until parents stop choosing to send their kids to them. And right now they are overwhelmingly choosing them. in Harlem for example, the charter school lotteries only accepted 18% of the applicants. If you read the linked report, it notes that the rate tends to drop as the charter schools mature, so that statistic promises to only get worse.

        And this has nothing to do with "marketing". I've taught at inner-city traditional public schools, and I've helped establish over a dozen inner-city charter schools, and I'm personally familiar with dozens more.

        •  To back up what you are saying (1+ / 0-)
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          about the wrong side of the fence, during the 1980's I met a public high school teacher who happened to mention that there were no African American kids in her classes. Startled, I said, "How come?" And she said, "Because they're not in the college-prep track."

          Stunned, I said, "This city has a tracking system? Based on RACE?" And she said, "No, no no no no no. We have a tracking system based on neighborhood. If you live west of such-and-such street, you're in the low track, if you live east of such-and such-street you're in the middle track, and if you live east of this other street you're in the college-prep track."

          Flabbergasted, I asked her why on earth the city would want to keep the kids west of that street from getting a college education, and she said, "Because we don't want them to get their hopes up."

          The element missing from this frustratingly endless discussion about education reform at DailyKos is that so many defenders of public schools assume all public schools provide an equal opportunity for all students and that poor children perform poorly because they are poor. I question that assumption, and I support you in pointing out that parents choose charters because public schools are failing their children.

          •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Linda Wood

            It's a bit of a lonely battle here at Daily Kos, but out here in the "real world" I don't think most people see charters are some sort of right-wing plot. It's a way for parents and communities to work towards better education for their children.

        •  So fuck all that medical research! (0+ / 0-)

          Go to a faith healer if you get into a car accident or have diabetes. You are so caught by the marketing. So go and read the research. All of it. I have pages of studies I have read. When you look at it all you come to the conclusion that the charter school movement will not improve the situation. A comprehensive set of changes, including making sure students are well fed. The studies are there showing the effect of poor nutrition on student performance. I have been an educator for more than 35 years at a variety of levels and stages. Presently I am working with prospective teachers. Do you know anything about education and the various pedagogies or are you a charter school marketer. Have you actually read the studies I cited? You just are not a rational person. It is like arguing with a creationist/intelligent design person.

          Have a nice day but decide to be serious if you want to have a real conversation.

          •  Geezus Kryst quit with the melodrama (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Linda Wood

            Spouting on about your "credentials" on a blog discussion is just stupid. Maybe I've been studying education reform for decades. Maybe I don't know the difference between a voucher and a verb.

            I'll tell you one thing though . . . the idea that I'm some kind of a charter school marketer carrying on at Daily Kos for pay is absurd. Check my history, probably fewer than 5% of what I've written here has anything to do with education at all. It just happens that I work as a legal aid lawyer in a community where a lot of people have an interest in starting charter schools and so I've helped them do so, and have become familiar with their efforts. Because of those experiences, I take offense when people characterize charter schools in a way that is 180 degrees opposed to what I know them to be from personal experience and so end up in these discussions at Daily Kos.

            I'm not saying that there's no value in conducting studies, but the fact is that every school is different, charter or traditional public. There are unquestionably good traditional public schools, and there are unquestionably bad ones. There are also unquestionably good charter school and unquestionably bad ones. I've never suggested that charter schools are some sort of panacea for what ills education.

            But for me, unless the studies showed the charter schools were by definition ruinous to the education of their students and they clearly do not, then I will support them because parents who live in areas with failing schools want them. If the education establishment were willing to get rid of the rule that says that your educational choices are determined by the accident of your place of residence, then I might consider reconsidering that position in light of a new reality in public education.

            •  But the studies do show that they are not, on (0+ / 0-)

              average, any better than the average public school, and in fact are worse.

              That's what the studies show.

              So, clearly, you are in favor of a system that is, on average, no better or even worse than the existing system, simply because there are no studies that show all charters to be ruinous.

              That's a hell of a set of standards you maintain, there.

              •  If you take the studies as a whole, pro and con (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Linda Wood

                they are essentially a wash. Some studies show that charters are on average a little worse, some a little better. Invariably, questions of methodology and testing and control groups, etc., come into play. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it takes time to build quality educational institutions. It's no accident that most of the schools in the United States considered to be the very best, are also the very oldest. So even if charters on average are slightly worse than comparable public schools on average, I would focus my energies on closing down the ones that are clearly below average, and supporting those that are clearly above average. Actually, that's true for all schools, charter and traditional. But over time, I expect that you'll see more of a weeding out process amongst charters because (1) they can lose their charter more easily than a traditional public school can be closed own; and (2) nobody has to go to them, so if they aren't good, they won't get students over time and they'll close of their own accord.

                But again, I trust parents to determine what's best for their children over anyone else including academics who purport to inform them that they're choices are wrong.

                •  Nope. The primary study showed clearly (0+ / 0-)

                  that a small percentage of charter schools were above average, a large percentage were no better, and a large percentage were worse than the average public school.

                  That is not a wash. That is an argument against the vast majority of charter schools.

                  The rest of your comment leads back to ideology.

                  •  The "primary study" . . . (0+ / 0-)

                    Fuck off. Say what you want, parents are demanding them, they're opening at an exponentially increasing rate, traditional public schools are losing students by the thousands. And it's all for the better, notwithstanding your specious arguments to the contrary.

                    •  Ah, you've reached the table-pounding stage. (0+ / 0-)

                      The surest sign of a winning argument.

                      Oh, wait...

                      •  The perspective you seem to be coming from (0+ / 0-)

                        is that privatizers in the form of charter school forces are coming into school districts and misleading and persuading parents into sending their children to charter schools. I may misunderstand you, but that's the impression I get. If that's what you're asserting, I agree that privatizers are like locusts and that they are swarming wherever opportunity arises for the transfer of taxpayer dollars into their private hands. I also agree that the forces of privatization have the destruction of universal public education as their goal. I am with you if that's where you are.

                        But an assertion that parents are happy and have been happy with the public schools during the last few decades is false. Parents are leaving the schools in droves. Parents are working extra jobs to put their kids through private schools, they're homeschooling their children in greater numbers every year, they're hiring tutors to help their children when they cannot afford private schools, and they are initiating the creation of charter schools because the schools have confronted them with very questionable reading and math programs and have allowed a breakdown of discipline that threatens their kids' safety.

                        I agree that privatizers are taking advantage of this crisis, and I really do see it as a crisis. But the problems of curriculum and discipline came first.

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