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View Diary: Cashing in on the Charter School Movement - a rant this carpenter can understand (13 comments)

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  •  Don't show financials? Good luck in California. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know where Greene is from, but that's not the reality in California, which has more charter schools than any other state. I clicked off and found audited financials for the first five charter schools that came to my mind -- easily, and I'm not in the field.

    And the implication that having fundraisers distinguishes charters from traditional public schools is risible. Traditional public schools here are constantly raising money -- through the kids, through their parents, by way of endowments and foundations, door to door solicitation, and every trick they can think of. The wealthy traditional districts are the biggest players in the game. So yeah, let's shame the teachers and administrators with 80% poor kids in their charter schools for trying to scrape up some bucks for the occasional music or art class. Nice.

    •  the courts have ruled they do not have to show (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      financials as they ARE NOT public schools. Do you think people like Ravitch and Greene are making shit up? Yes, let's shame the hedge fund owners of charter schools for having the unmitigated gall to pay half a million to a school director, pay their inexperienced nonunion non certified staff shit, and then ask the community for donations. ON TOP of all the freebies the cities are already giving them....public schools have fundraisers because they don't have enough money. Budgets are tight even in the best of districts as politicians drain the well and give the money away to the wealthy in the form of subsidies and tax cuts. Wake the fuck up.

      •  Apparently, California didn't get the memo (0+ / 0-)

        from "the courts." California law requires regular, independent financial reporting. In California -- the subject of my comment -- charter schools are public schools. You can adopt your own advocacy-based definition of public, or you can adopt the definition of some court in some other state if you like, but I wouldn't recommend to a California charter school that it adopt your pet definition and fail to file the reports, because it would lose its charter.

        Your description of a charter school applies to many charter schools in some states, and some charter schools in CA, but is far from universally true. Here's a more comprehensive comment from a teacher.  

        The tax-cut damage to California public schools began in the late 70s with Prop. 13, and they've just recently dug out of a recession-based disastrous several years of underfunding. True for both traditional and charter public schools. Both underfunded and wealthy schools here engage in extensive fundraising. It's pretty to think it's just the impoverished schools, but it's not. The wealthier communities are determined to keep the gap firmly in place. Here's one fundraising arm for the traditional public schools in an extremely wealthy area in CA. It gave nearly 6 million dollars out to its seven schools in one year, and that was not an aberration. These groups are common.

        Ravitch knows her stuff. When asked, she will acknowledge there is considerable interstate variation on charter school regulation and operation. Greene shows no evidence of knowing anything beyond his own experience, perhaps his own state. I'm perfectly willing to accept that things are different in your state. I don't understand why you would be so invested in believing that your local experience or knowledge about school funding, regulation, and operation is universal.

      •  No, not making stuff up (0+ / 0-)

        No, not making stuff up, they are however skewing information and presentation to fit a bias. Just as there is no single public system of education, but rather hundreds, singular events only illustrate a point of view without evidence to back up an argument of causation. That's the kind of thing you learn in school. Mine was public, and as long as charter schools don't dilute the funding of a public system, and as long as they support the effort to educate the general population, then it doesn't matter how they get "there".
        Regarding teacher unions, I think they are bashed too much, but everyone knows they put themselves in the public relations bind they are in. Its the same thing many police guilds are doing around the country. There are many teacher unions that are working with administrations and parent groups to help educate kids, but some still believe they are above the fray. That has to change. There are better tools for accountability, and they need to be used, and teachers need to embrace that culturally. The idea that pedagogy is some mystical art no one can understand is baloney.
        Finally, there is no fix to education, only improvement. How or when people are paid to participate in the system is irrelevant. Its about outcomes. And the outcomes that matter is do people get an education, do they learn how to learn, and can they be productive members of society.

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