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View Diary: Nashville charter schools 'lose' problem students to public schools—just in time for testing (74 comments)

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  •  Do charter "schools" even have (13+ / 0-)

    Special Education classes?  

    Wonder if they have any autistic students...

    Oh wait.  They are a business.  Not a school.  

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:08:06 AM PDT

    •  In theory (11+ / 0-)

      charters are supposed to not be able to refuse students (like a regular public school), and allow kids in by lottery if they are oversubscribed. However, in reality it probably isn't too hard to get around the law, if you just tell the family that the school most likely won't be able to meet their child's needs.

      I've seen kids pushed out of our district's choice programs for pretty much exactly the same reason, and those aren't charter programs - i.e. "He/she is not succeeding in this program, so you would probably do better back at your neighborhood school." So they move. They weren't technically forced out, but of course parents don't want their child at a place that isn't working for them.

      •  You know, the idea that the teachers at charter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley, hnichols

        schools are made to be a part of the 'make-the-low-scorers-leave, that the business model of school  seems to demand, is
        grossly unfair the students, the teachers and the parents.  They are being lied to.  Some of them will be hurt by these judgements.


        Time is a long river.

        by phonegery on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:00:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It depends on how you look at it. If the administration is telling them, "Our model isn't a fit for every child. We want children to succeed. If the child isn't succeeding they probably aren't a good fit for this environment and they might do better back at their regular school," that is a fairly benign way of accomplishing the same goal. And it isn't necessarily wrong; kids should be where they can do well, and a given environment might not be a good fit for a particular child. (Take language immersion, for example. Some kids will do well in that, others won't.) However, either way the end result is that a selective school is able to end up picking certain kids, but the neighborhood school doesn't have that option.

      •  We see it constantly. (5+ / 0-)

        It is SOP for charters in our district. I've seen a constant stream of students coming back to our large, urban high school in the month before our state tests were administered.

        The charters follow the admission regulations to the letter, but then find every possible way to get rid of problematic students at the last possible moment before the tests. This gives them the double benefit of not having to include testing data on their lowest-performing students while maximizing the time they have to draw money from the district for that same student.

        It's basically a classic "double-dip" that gives them the best of both situations while it leaves the regular public schools and the students (not just the ones they shove out, but all the students at the public schools) drained of hope, cash, and support. Yet somehow, the charters can't manage to perform better than public schools with all this to their advantage.

        But don't hold your breath if you expect anyone in power to even acknowledge this; it's no fun to pass out from lack of oxygen.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:35:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In reality, charter schools are a cynical weapon (6+ / 0-)

        Charter schools are a cynical weapon invented by right-wing loons and deployed by profiteers to eat away at the public school system in the same way that termites eat away at wood-frame houses.

        Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:04:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, it's a lottery. My granddaughter was in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Azazello, Stwriley, Egalitare

        a charter for a while. Strangely, in that lottery 85% (aprox) of the "randomly selected" students came from the same, high income zip code. Also, there was an autistic student who attended for 1 year. The next summer his parents were told he could not return. They were also rather casual about state regs & best practices. And this was one of the "better" charters.

        Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

        by gelfling545 on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:25:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It depends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, Mostel26

      I worked at a charter school for a year (I was the 7th grade math and science teacher) and I did the IEPs for all the 7th grade students who needed them. Out of 60 7th graders,  I think we had a half dozen with an IEP, of which probably 3 were severely special needs. In my elective, I had one 8th grade student with aspergers. While the special ed students attended regular classes, we also had a special ed class.

      This particular school didn't kick out problem students, but we had one big advantage over the public schools (aside from much smaller class sizes): we required parents to volunteer a certain number of hours per year for each student. Students with more involved parents obviously tend to do better.

    •  and even at that, they are an abysmal failure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Oh wait.  They are a business.  Not a school."  

      comparatively, charter schools do no better or worse than regular public schools. this means they are a failure, since they were promoted as being vastly superior to regular public schools. the money spent on charter schools may have just as well been burned or poured down the drain, it was a waste either way.

      •  Excellent point; but even more so, (0+ / 0-)

        ...if they can only maintain rough parity -- not the desired superiority -- with conventional, "mainstream" schools by, in effect, engaging in systematic cheating, it strongly suggests that, absent the cheating, in fair, apple/apple comparisons, they'd lose.
        That makes them at least double-failures.
        But wait, there's more!
        Since they're bleeding resources from the very same mainstream schools, they're also effectively robbing the taxpaying public, not to mention the charter schools' underpaid staffs, and their unions.
        Of course, since all of those are clearly the design intent of the whole charter-school "movement," it's not clear that that aspect can properly be termed a "failure."
        From their proponents' perspectives -- especially the shareholders of the contracting corporations -- they're working jes' fine.

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