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View Diary: Charter schools don't perform as advertised, but try getting their advocates to admit that (152 comments)

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  •  So High Quality Education Is To Be Avoided? (0+ / 0-)

    Do I detect some hostility to children who have the kinds of parents who prepare them well for school?  it's not just wealthy parents who choose the highest quality schools when they can get them.  Middle class parents do as well.  Public schools need to provide first class programs for children prepared to do first class work.  That will take the wind out of the sails of charter schools.

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:47:44 PM PST

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    •  When the wind comes from excluding needy students, (0+ / 0-)

      and the government then blames public schools for lower performance--when it should have prepared for a higher concentration of weaker students---well, that's the government shirking their obligations to the public's education, plain and simple.

      There may be notable exceptions, but then they would only help support the diary's contentions.

      The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

      by Ignacio Magaloni on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 02:11:04 AM PST

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    •  Why do you assume these things don't exist? (2+ / 0-)
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      elfling, tikkun

      I taught in a school that was graded as a very low C. Within that school was a marine science magnet. Amongst other activities, the kids built a remotely operated submarine and then took it to South Africa to go research shark population movements. Our district also had a top notch law magnet and an engineering magnet as well. They always located the magnets inside the campuses of underperforming schools. This gave some of the students in the school a chance to work hard and get into the program with prior grades that otherwise wouldn't have cut it.

      What the public schools don't have, is the money to finance a nice PR campaign to expose the truth about charters and about what public education can offer when properly funded and supported. So the charters get to set the narrative and leave people like you thinking that they have some magic ability to reach bright learners that the public schools don't have.

    •  This is an "undesirable, low quality" public (1+ / 0-)
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      Our favorite tour by far in our busy pre-kindergarten tour season was Rosa Parks. It is not a school that had traditionally gotten any buzz in the San Francisco parent community. Middle-class families like ours tend to shun schools named after civil rights leaders, strongly preferring schools named after dead philanthropists or expensive tree-lined neighborhoods at nose-bleed elevations. I like to imagine SFUSD opening a new school named “The John D and Catherine T MacArthur Nob Hill Academy.” Even if it were in the Tenderloin, I’ll bet it would be hugely popular with parents.
      This school has a Japanese immersion program, a garden, chickens, max 20 students per class, a library, a jazz program, and takes regular field trips.
      There were 12 people on our tour of Rosa Parks. The parent representatives said they were thrilled with this turnout. We had toured another school with well over 100 other people, in which the parent leading the tour complained how few of us showed up.  He wasn’t joking.

      More than one person on our tour asked why there were so few of us and why, historically, no one had applied—the year prior to our enrollment Rosa Parks received fewer applicants than there were places available. The parents leading the tour sort of sighed and said that the combination of neighborhood and low test scores meant most people never even visited. We knew low test scores were explained by the high proportion of English language learners and SpEd students, so they didn’t bother us much. They had nothing to do with what our son would learn in a supportive environment.

      When I mentioned touring this school to other white and Asian-American parents we knew who’d actually heard of it, there were, on occasion, curled lips, and comments I would be embarrassed to repeat. Last year I overheard one of my co-workers complaining to all and sundry that the district had assigned her to a horrific Title I school, Rosa Parks, and she wouldn’t be caught dead sending her son there. When I asked her what she didn’t like about it, she admitted, somewhat sheepishly, that she’d never visited. I told her we were very happy there.
      There are a lot of gems out there that aren't obvious from lines in a database.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:21:58 AM PST

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      •  I'm Glad To Hear This. It's Encouraging (0+ / 0-)

        but it's not the norm and programs this adventurous should be frequently available in public schools rather than rare.  There are white and Asian people who love living in cities and understand that diversity does not of necessity mean low quality and can provide significant value.  What we expect is that well prepared students and bright students will receive as much time, attention, and appropriate program for their academic needs as students who are learning and/or emotionally delayed and/or disabled.

        Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

        by tikkun on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:17:31 PM PST

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        •  Educators are terrible at marketing (1+ / 0-)
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          I think there are far more gems like this than we appreciate.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:39:39 PM PST

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