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View Diary: Stealing Michigan Taxpayers’ Money The Charter School Way: The Story of Dr. Steve Ingersoll (61 comments)

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  •  By the way... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the status quo cannot be a "straw man".

    The status quo is, by definition, what actually exists in reality, right now. It's real. It's what my child gets in NYC every day when the school day starts.

    If you have a (politically feasible) better idea than Charters, let's hear it. But don't start with that rainbow-and-unicorn crap about "ending all child poverty" or doubling/tripling education funding.

    Don't tell me we can't improve education unless all kids have two-parent households or unless we get a 12-to-1 student/teacher ratio. That pie-in-the-sky stuff isn't going to happen. This is a reality-based community.

    But Charters can pass most state legislatures right now and start helping some kids in some neighborhoods right now. Plus, once more parents start feeling better about the school their child is in, we can get some political support for more tax dollars. I know we both would like to see that!

    •  The problem is, implementing more charter schools (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      P E Outlier

      is simply causing more damage to public education.

      Why do you want that so badly?

      And why have you advocated for it so strongly and for so long, despite the clear and mounting evidence of the damage that is being done?

      •  If you have a (politically feasible)... (0+ / 0-)

        ...better idea than Charters, let's hear it.

        I'm all ears.

        •  Magnet Schools, which we've come to forget about (0+ / 0-)

          as we've been convinced to turn to charters instead, even though some of the top ranking public middle and high schools are magnate schools.

          •  Magnet schools are great... (0+ / 0-)

            ...if you can get your school district to put one in your neighborhood. And if your kid can pass the standardized test to get in.

            Remember, Magnet school also "cherrypick". Here in NYC, we have a set of elite public schools that only accept kids with high test scores. Many of these schools are considered to be not just the best public schools in America but the best schools anywhere in America.

            Nobody complains about cherrypicking.

            But if a Charter has open admissions, and accepts kids based on freaking lottery, there are shrill "cherrypicking!" accusations.

            This double standard leads many parents to believe that anti-Charter advocates are not really interested in improving education for kids. They are interested in keeping funding under the control of the Education Bureaucracy for the benefit of certain adults.

            But, yeah...magnets are OK. Open one up in my neighborhood, please. But while you are filling out the paperwork and fighting the bureaucrats, is it OK if my kid attends a charter in the meantime? Just until you get your Magnet approved by the City Council, State Legislature, Teacher's Union, Dept. of Ed., Board of Regents, and the Mayor?

            Because otherwise, my grade-school kid will be in college waiting for the proposed Magnet to open...

            •  The cherrypicking comes into play mostly the day (0+ / 0-)

              after Count Day, when any student who might lower test scores for the school are "counseled out".

              All you have to do is look at the graduation rates for incoming students, and see which ones leave and which ones stay - and where the ones that leave go.

              I'll give you a hint: poor, minority, and/or developmentally disabled students leave charters quickly and go back to public schools, leaving behind the students most likely to score well on standardized tests.

              Is it only the parents of these students that don't love charters?

              Why, no. It's cherry picking.

              Public schools, on the other hand, have no such release mechanism. They educate everybody.

        •  It's called public education. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I contend that eliminating charters is feasible. (0+ / 0-)

      Your argument reminds me of creationists who define what should be observed in order to make a point that evolutionary histories do not satisfy their expectations.

      Eliminate public funding for these schools.  If they want to offer themselves as an alternative to public education they can do so as private academies.  The parents can then pay directly into a for-profit system.  It can be sold to taxpayers as eliminating waste.

      You exaggerate the status quo as being dystopian in order to argue for the abandonment of public institutions.

      •  How does this help? (0+ / 0-)

        If you close the charters, all the families must go back to the schools that they hated!

          1) This is bad politics because all those families will hate us.

          2) This is bad policy because all those kids will now be getting a worse education.

        I don't see any gain from this.

        •  They are still free to remain in charter schools. (0+ / 0-)

          Except they will have to pay the costs, not taxpayers.  It is good policy.

          And, making a blanket statement about public education being worse than charters is unsupportable.  It signals your bias.

          •  But... (0+ / 0-)

            ...these are usually poor families. They can't afford to pay for the Charters themselves. That's like saying we don't need Obamacare because all Americans are "free" to pay $100,000 for a knee replacement.

            Are the public schools worse? Well, obviously the families think so. That's why they put their kids in the charter.

            Maybe you think you know more about the particular needs of those particular kids than their families? If you are an education professional, you may even be correct. But how can we win elections by basically saying that parents are too uninformed to make choices and the Educational Establishment must make choices for them?

            Charters are a political and a policy winner. Stop standing in the schoolhouse door trying to stop inner-city kids from getting better schools! Do you think we don't see what you are doing?

            Instead of thinking up ways to say, "No, No, No" why not come up with some ways to improve Charter proposals so that they aren't as corrupt or dangerous to unions? This is something that is going to happen, I would rather that Progressives be driving the truck than getting run over by the truck.

            •  I'm not sure your view of the popularity of (0+ / 0-)

              charters stands up to scrutiny.

              There is an article (Jersey Jazzman? Some numbers wonk; I'll look it up, maybe, if you change your habits and actually respond on point) that looks at the numbers, and charters have a strong tendency to inflate their numbers.

              One popular ploy is to count every student on every waiting list as a unique individual, even though parents generally apply to more than one charter. Double-counting, triple-counting, or even more, right there. This serves the dual purpose of making themselves look more in demand than they really are for political purposes as well as providing a nice marketing touch to draw in more parents.

              Of course, once they get their per pupil funding, they can get rid of any "problem" students and focus on attracting more suckers -- er, parents.

              Before you blather on about NYC charters, remember: this is a national movement. People all over the country want a slice of this pie, and they don't care how many kids get hurt in the process.

            •  I would rather improve public schools. (0+ / 0-)

              Why don't you try it sometime.

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