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View Diary: Why Democrats Should Oppose Parent Trigger Laws (46 comments)

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  •  Parents should control education. (0+ / 0-)
    "Parents Don't Own Schools

    Finally, Democrats need to renounce the whole notion that education is a commodity that parents shop for like groceries."

    Rich parents can choose between multiple schools. Charters and vouchers extend this power to poor families as well. I do not understand how any "progressive" can be in favor of stopping poor families from having decision-making power.

    We must give power to parents not because it is a "right", or because of any belief in "free markets" but because it just works better. Parents know better than bureaucrats what their children need. Even if we don't, it doesn't matter -- we have the kid for 128 hours/week. The System only has her for 40 hours.

    Parents do shop for education. Look at the real-estate prices in suburbs if you do not believe me. Families with money have always had the privilege to shop. Charters and vouchers -- and yes, Parent Triggers -- give poorer families some of the same privilege.

    •  what "works better" (0+ / 0-)

      Any evidence of parent trigger and "choice"working better? The longest running choice program in America is in Milwaukee. And Milwaukee schools are not better than they were before the voucher policies went into place. In Finland, insisting on equity has worked better. No gimmicks like charters and parent triggers. Just a determination to provide quality education for all kids. I have no idea why you are against this.

      •  Here is some evidence. (0+ / 0-)

        First, let's not talk about Finland. Finland has Finland has the lowest child poverty rate in the OECD of 5%. Ours is the highest at 22%. We also have three times the teen pregnancy rate that Finland does.

        Finnish Education works well on Finnish kids. In fact, I bet any system would work on kids who have a strong, non-poverty, nurturing home environment.

        Second, let's look at the academic evidence on Charter Schools.

        Most studies say that most charters do worse, but some do better. But I say, this is acceptable because parents have choice. If the charter is bad, parents are free to leave.

        (If the Public School is bad, parents are stuck. Unless they can afford to buy an expensive house in a richer suburb).

        Why don't parents leave bad charters? Well, because we (or rather all the researchers) are defining a "bad" charter as one with low test scores. Obviously, some parents believe that there are more important things than test scores. It may be an arts program, a charismatic principal, or even proximity to home that makes a particular family choose a particular school. We should let them have that choice.

        Besides, whenever we try to rate schools by test scores, the Entrenched Establishment tells us that "some things can't be tested" and the "test scores only measure how well you can take a test". Fine. Those parents who choose Charters with low scores must agree with these sentiments. Leave them to their choice.

        Third, we need to look at corrupt Charter schools. The answer here is simple. Round the corrupt people and throw them in jail. Don't let the few (or maybe not-so-few) bad schools taint the good ones!

        We should remember that there is corruption in some Public Schools also. That does not mean we should abolish all public schools!

        Lastly, we must not take our eyes off the political ball. Inner-city public schools are very bad right now. Charters are an imperfect solution but they are politically possible today.  I know what the research says. The research says we should:

        - End poverty
        - Cut class size in half
        - Publicly flog parents who don't make their kids do homework. Just kidding. No really, I'm kidding. Promise I'm kidding {crosses fingers}...
        These things are just not in the 2013 budget. 2014 doesn't look good either. So I advocate Charters because it is a politically possible reform that can solve some of the problem Right Now. Not when we reach Utopia, or Finland, or Narnia. Right Here, Right Now.
        •  you can run but you can't hide (0+ / 0-)

          Nothing you are proposing has any likelihood of producing better results. And your insistence that it is what's "politically possible" just shows how much you've sold out to the right wing. You've resigned yourself to a belief that we can't do anything about poverty or equality, and you've instead filled in your empty philosophy with a political bromide about what can be done "right here, right now." I find this truly sad and in the long run totally impractical to the matter at hand.

          •  You may find me sad... (0+ / 0-)

            ...but I object to being called, "impractical".

            Anyway, it's your turn: Please tell me your program to make schools better for the kids in my NYC neighborhood. My daughter and her friends are in First Grade now. What grade will she be in when your program takes effect?

            Oh, and can you get your plan through the House of Representatives? Last time I looked, there was this Speaker named "Boner" or "Banal" or something like that...

            •  Remember that link (0+ / 0-)

              i gave in my diary about the traditional public school system in Montgomery County that is actually closing the achievement gap? They didn't have to get their plan through the house of representatives. And they didn't pluck low hanging fruit from right wing politicians to achieve progress. But true, it didn't get accomplished with a single silver bullet like parent trigger laws or charter schools. And I would advise you to quit looking for that.

              •  If you mean... (0+ / 0-)

                ...this article, I was baffled.

                Nowhere in that article is there any data showing any sort of "success".

                The only thing they achieved (after 10 years) was the winning of a big grant.

                And what tools did they use? Standardized tests and tracking:

                "Testing identifies talented non-white students as early as second grade, to prepare them for demanding high school AP and International Baccalaureate classes that can smooth the path to a college degree."
                But it was this that told me all I needed to know:
                "[Closing the gap] doesn't happen in a year ... it doesn't happen in five years," said Osseo schools Superintendent Kate McGuire, who visited Montgomery County in late January. "This takes a really sustained focus."
                In "five years", my daughter will be entering Middle School. Shall I let her waste the next five years waiting to see if this edubabble pays off? Or should I put her in a Charter that will give good results Right Now?

                Lastly, you wrote:

                "...it didn't get accomplished with a single silver bullet like parent trigger laws or charter schools. And I would advise you to quit looking for that."
                Imagine if instead of passing Health Care Reform, we just told people to, "Give your Health Insurer more time...just stick with them another five years...reform doesn't happen overnight!"
                •  I'm not criticizing what you do for your daughter (0+ / 0-)

                  Parents have to make the best choices they are able to make. But don't assume that what you have to choose for your daughter should be rolled out as national education policy for every American. And I find your trust in parent triggers and charter schools extremely shortsighted. But nevertheless, best of luck in your personal situation.

          •  Wait, did you read my last post? (0+ / 0-)
            "Nothing you are proposing has any likelihood of producing better results."
            Some charters have better test scores. More don't.

            Parents who choose the ones that don't have other reasons for choosing them.

            How is "choice" not better than "no choice"?

            Lastly, here in NYC, charters don't just have "likelihood" of producing better results, they actually do.

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