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View Diary: Rich white kids: The wave of the charter school future? (105 comments)

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  •  Not the Rich, They're Served By Prep Schools (18+ / 0-)

    which go back to the early days of the country. The one I attended predates the clipper ships.

    High powered public charter schools are most likely to be aimed at the middle to upper middle incomes much more than the rich.

    The public schools are to be the dumping ground.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 08:05:22 AM PST

    •  Right again Gooserock (10+ / 0-)

      These charters aren't for rich kids, but upper middle class students. The rich kids go to private schools.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 08:10:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Generational wealth attends prep schools; (8+ / 0-)

      that is where they meet the others from generational wealth with whom they will associate for the rest of their lives.  Situational wealth often is accepted into the small circle after a generation or two.

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 08:12:21 AM PST

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    •  How are these charters... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, nextstep

      ...any different from how we organize our public schools?

      The public school you attend depends on your parent's ability to afford high property taxes. Rich kids live in rich suburbs and get good schools.

      These charters are allowing parents who can't afford a $350,000 house to have a choice also.

      •  Public schools have to educate whoever shows up (9+ / 0-)

        Charters are picking and choosing, using the lack of transportation options, the lack of a free lunch program, the lack of an ESL program, and charging for things like uniforms and athletics to screen out the kids they don't want - the poor, the disabled, ESL kids, and kids with 2 working parents.

        They are cherry picking the best students out of public schools, leaving a higher concentration of problem students for public schools to deal with. As a bonus, they are pulling the parents who are most able to volunteer time and money out of the public schools.

        Most of the country doesn't have a large enough concentration of $350,000 homes to fill a school - the schools are mixed. Charters allow the upper middle class families to concentrate together no matter their address.

        Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

        by bear83 on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 08:55:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Doesn't even have to be the " best" students (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TKO333, Things Come Undone, JanL

          My school has inherited three students who started the first few weeks in a Charter. Two of them had behavior issues: they disrupted the learning environment and the Charter (I'm guessing) didn't have the support services and staff experienced enough to deal with the behavior. (The third student was a sibling of one of the other two children and it was logistically challenging for the family to have the children go to separate schools as the charter had no transportation arrangement with the district or county). Both students were simply reacting to the new environment they were dropped in (both were kindergarten students with no previous formal pre-K) Our Principal called in student support services to evaluate both students and gave us - from classroom teacher to classroom Parapros to lunch monitoring staff - frequent "rules of engagement" which changed as we learned more. By the third week both students were in the normal range of of acceptable "community behavior" though there were and still are rough patches. My perspective is one will end up with a formal IEP, the other might.

          Having those "assets" is expensive. Social workers, sensory specialists and even school nurses are a dying breed in many school districts because they take away from "direct classroom expenditures" and harder each year for districts to justify in the era of "cut Public spending whenever politically advantageous." Yet not having those "assets" on hand would have taken away from the education of other students.

          Charters are a good idea in small doses. But most families cannot deliver what most Charters expect to service: problem-minimal students who have households available to accept "temporary problems" at all hours of the school day. Many of our students have thin emergency contact plans. My kids always had no fewer than 5 contacts for the school to call in the case of an issue of any sort. Any Charter set up only to service "ideal conditions" is structered to exclude more than half of the total Public School population in most districts from what I have observed to date.

          Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:55:39 AM PST

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          •  I can accept limited charter schools (4+ / 0-)

            that focus on a specific topic -- for example: performing arts, art and graphic design, science/technology, etc.; kids with an interest in those areas get their general education but also intensive study in their specific field. But I see no need for charter schools to completely duplicate what the public schools offer.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 02:17:45 PM PST

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            •  Why not have magnet schools then? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              historys mysteries, Egalitare, akeitz

              Why should they be charters?

              Here in Cleveland, the magnet schools are among the most successful schools, and i have read it's that way across the country. They've basically been shouted out of the discussion by charter school advocates, who have convinced even some of us that many charter schools do a lot of things better.

              Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

              by anastasia p on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 04:19:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Public schools DON'T have to... (0+ / 0-)

          ...educate everyone who shows up.

          Try "showing up" at a public school in a Rich Suburb and see what happens. They will ask you to prove that you live there.

          •  Conflating cherry-picking the top students (7+ / 0-)

            for charters with "only if you live in the district!" is just... lame.

            I notice you haven't ever suggested forcing charters to accept and retain every student that applies, until graduation, which would be a much more realistic comparison since charters are not limited by district. You know perfectly well that the "success" of charters is generally accomplished by ridding themselves of anyone who doesn't score well. (If you don't know this, the phrase "willful ignorance" comes inexorably to mind.)

            •  I've always advocated... (0+ / 0-)

              ...the NYC charter system, where charters are required to accept any student who applies.

              (So many NYC families are desperate to escape the horrible public schools that they must hold lotteries to see who gets to go to the charter!)

              But it's important that we call out the Truth That Is Never Spoken about "public schools". It's the elephant-in-the-room.

              The best Public Schools are not public.
              The best public schools are actually private schools, and their privacy is protected by a high property taxes, high home prices, high rents, and our racially segregated housing market.

              Only the most hard-core Progressives are willing to demand equal funding across districts. The Teacher's Unions' give it lip service, but I have never seen them make it an actual negotiating demand.

              We live in NYC, and we can't afford a house in Scarsdale. Why would you want to stop our daughter from attending a charter school?

              •  You ignore attrition rates, predictably. (0+ / 0-)

                Your arguments always leave out the important details that negate your point. If it weren't so consistent, it might be accidental.

                Here's some info on NYC charter middle school attrition, found by using "NYC charter school attrition rate" on DDG. It was the top hit.

                We live in NYC, and we can't afford a house in Scarsdale. Why would you want to stop our daughter from attending a charter school?
                Because I want all schools to be equitable, and you want your daughter educated to the detriment of others.

                It's a wide gulf between us.

                •  OMG, you fell for it! (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, charters have attrition. But ALL NYC schools have attrition. Take it from that bastion of right-wing journalism, WNYC:

                  "Citywide, the attrition rate at elementary charter schools was 10.8 percent in 2010-11 compared to 14.3 in traditional public elementary schools. Middle school attrition rates for both types of schools were more similar: 10.2 percent at the charters and 9.6 percent at district schools."
                  The apologists who go around picking at charters schools with bad numbers are as intellectually dishonest as the anti-Obamacare wingnuts who cherrypick high-cost insurance plans.

                  What you refuse to understand is that Charter Schools in NYC serve a more difficult subsection of kids. Parents who are satisfied with their kid's progress do not stand in line for charter lotteries. The Charter school gets the kids who are having trouble in public school. Happy kids don't transfer.

                  I still want to know why you don't want my daughter to attend a charter school. I suspect because you (and the Teacher's Union) know that it is  easier to kick around an inner-city family like mine, than to take on the Power Structure in Scarsdale.

                  Stop picketing Charter Schools. Go picket wealthy suburban schools and demand that they accept inner-city kids. That's what someone who wants change would do.

                  But you don't want change. You want to stop change -- at least long enough for your pension to kick in. What happens to my daughter during that time is not something you care about.

                  •  You didn't even look at the link, did you? (0+ / 0-)
                    Eight of the thirteen schools have enough data to allow us to examine cohort size between 5th grade, when students enter, and 8th grade, when they graduate.[2] In four of these schools, more than 25% of the students vanished from the cohort. Of these four schools, three saw cohort declines of 30%, and one lost nearly 40%. All of these charters have been nationally or locally acclaimed as great schools that are in high demand. The average attrition for this group of eight is 23%. (charts follow.)
                    You really are all about narrow focus, personal affect, aren't you?

                    Even from your own link, the top ten highest attrition rates are charters, with between 20% and 32% attrition. These may be outliers (currently) in NYC, but I assure you that nation-wide they are not.

                    On the other hand, as long as your daughter gets her education, it really doesn't matter to you what happens to all the other kids, does it?

                    •  WNYC... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...found a 10% attrition rate because they looked at all charters. Your link picked 13 charters and generalized.

                      Also the WNYC story is about the 10 charter schools with the highest attrition. They did not bother to analyze public schools with high attrition or charters with low attrition.

                      Look, I know that charters in other states have a big problem with "counseling out" tough kids. But in NYC, a charter is as likely to attract difficult kids as not. This is because NYC charters are guaranteed admission by lottery.

                      But I'm still waiting to hear when you and your NEA buddies are going to rock-the-boat and speak-truth-to-power at Rich Suburban Schools! Let me know and I will be on that Westchester picket line!

                      I'm not holding my breath, though. All the teachers I know have no intention of messing with the cozy real-estate-based system that gives poor kids bad schools. In fact, they are all trying to get hired by the Rich Suburban Districts, so they can drink from the honey-trough themselves...not to mention send their kids to a good school.

          •  But if you do live in that district (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Old Sailor, Phoenix Woman, bear83

            (or have an inter-district transfer) they have to take you -- they can't kick you out for being a special needs student or needing free or reduced-price lunches, etc. Even the richest school districts still have their share of students in the lunch programs, depending on the part of town the school's in.

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 02:20:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That argument makes no sense (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            historys mysteries, bear83

            A public school in a rich suburb is probably not going to be feeding any charter schools. Those parents are SO hands-on, they demand and can afford to pay for what they want.

            In large cities and inner ring suburbs most targeted by charter schools, yes, the public schools DO have to accept whoever lives in their boundary neighborhood.

            I know you are a big charter advocate, ManhattanMan, often to the point of being  a little out of touch with what most charter school reality is like. But this is a REAL strawman argument that has nothing to do with the discussion.

            Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

            by anastasia p on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 04:22:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh yeah, not everyone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If you already have a college degree and show up, they probably don't have to educate you. Or if you're an escaped felon.

      •  You know, you're right. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That is a problem.

        I think the solution is to consolidate school districts regionally, so that the suburbs can't fund their schools more heavily than the cities they serve, and so that people with means can't just abandon low-income families in the cities when their kids reach school age.

        We should also, while setting a high floor for public school funding, paying teachers more, expanding school offerings, and reducing class sizes across the board, make additional funding for individual public schools inversely proportional to the income level of the families of the students who attend that school. That additional funding will be used to pay those who teach low-income students significantly more than those who teach students of higher incomes, and to improve facilities at low-income schools.

        If parents at the suburban high school wants to build a shiny new gym, they're going to pay enough in taxes to build two shiny new gyms for city high schools first. If parents at the suburban high school want veteran teachers, they're going to have to pay to hire 2-3 veteran teachers in the city along with it.

        Districtwide school choice will also be implemented, but in the style of a sports draft. Each school will have a certain number of student slots available per starting grade (K, 6th, and 9th), and each family will list in rank order from 1-20 their school preference for each student in their household. The district will then go through the list, in direct order from lowest-income family to highest-income family, and give each student their highest-ranked "draft pick" where slots are available (with some form of weighting to keep siblings together if possible).

        Once a student has been assigned, he or she will be expected to attend that school all year, and unless the student's family moves, he or she will be considered truant if he or she does not attend that school. Parents who sign their kids up for public school only to withdraw them to send them to private school pay a penalty of a certain percentage of their taxable household income.

        And, of course, with the exception of specialty charter and magnet schools, each and every charter school should be immediately closed, and admission to those specialty schools should be in order of family income, from lowest to highest, among those who apply, with application requiring only that one's parents write the student's name on a form and sign it.

        Somehow, I doubt that's what you had in mind...

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:08:26 AM PST

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      •  By picking and choosing their students, they (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery, viral

        send the special needs students and lower-test-score students to the private schools, but take the public $$$ for their own schools. Thus, the public schools are left with a greater concentration of special needs students and less $$$ to boot!

        Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

        by Floyd Blue on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:09:16 AM PST

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      •  Varies by State (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Some states have centralized funding for all public schools, which is doled out from the state capital and local governments are banned from separately raising funds to pay for education. This was the case in Oregon when I was growing up and I suspect this is still the case now.

        "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

        by bink on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:45:15 AM PST

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        •  Vermont does that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          All school taxes go into one fund, then are doled out equally, according to student headcount in each community.

        •  Pennsylvania (3+ / 0-)

          In Pennsylvania most education funding comes from local property taxes, and as a result the lowest income urban areas have underfunded public schools, and the highest income affluent suburban communities have public schools that are funded so well that they are de facto private schools.

          "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

          by Blue Silent Majority on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 02:53:33 PM PST

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        •  That's how Canadian provinces fund schools, (0+ / 0-)

          generally.  Certainly where I lived -- PEI used to operate on a district funding basis, but the Campbell Liberals centralized funding in the late 1960s, so every school gets a certain amount of money per student.

          Differences in regional wealth will still register in other ways (there's really nothing that can be done about that), but it makes a big difference.

        •  In Ohio, the system of funding schools (0+ / 0-)

          overwhelmingly by local property taxes was declared unconstitutional by our state supreme court for the first time in 1997. Then two more times. But the decisions contained no mandate for fixing it. So our legislature has ignored it for 16 years, while slashing state funding for public schools and holding endless hearings on abortion.

          And Ohio's charter schools are such an abomination that even charter school advocates are alarmed. They are overwhelmingly for-profit and overwhelmingly failing. But the operators are a major funder of the ohio Republican Party and its officeholders so ... kids? education? Who gives a shit?

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 04:31:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Charter schools are not usually accountable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral, JanL

        to the community. That is, they're not run by an elected board nor are they subject to the same public meeting laws.

        Just as an example, there is a new budgeting process in California that requires extensive public hearings and parent participation for public school districts. Charter schools have to produce the same plan but they do not have to have any public hearings.

        Some people will say that they're accountable by having people enroll their kids or not. However, a regular public school is accountable to the entire community, not just parents, and I also think that there's more to community-school communication than "I enroll my child here."

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

        by elfling on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 10:54:21 AM PST

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    •  you can't blame parents who just want their kids (0+ / 0-)

      to get an education...without getting beaten up.  Or languishing off to the side while the teacher spends half the class time teaching in a foreign language.

      I don't know what the answer is...just glad I went to school when I did and got a good education.  With a 55 cent lunch.  And wood shop and driver's ed.

      Never had any unruly kids in class, and if there had been one, his ass would have either been sent to the principle or sent home.  These days??? I guess the teacher just has to be more understanding and flexible, and the kids who are there to learn take a back seat.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 03:41:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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