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  •  So, let me get this straight... (0+ / 0-)

    ...because I want to make sure I understand.

    1. My daughter is currently zoned into a Bad Urban School.

    2. You want to keep her (and all other kids) in that school because this will make the school look better.

    3. You want the school to look better because you are afraid that advocates for charter schools and privatization will point to the public schools and say, "look! Public schools are a failed experiment."

    I know that it would be better to increase funding, facilities, teacher/student ratios, etc. at the Bad Urban School. I know that it would be much better to eradicate the poverty in our Bad Urban Area. I hear that a lot, and I believe it. But those things are not going to happen this year. Nor next year.

    They may never happen. But is is currently politically possible for me to get Vouchers or Charter schools into our neighborhood. This will make things at least a little better and it is do-able. Why should I not support this?

    •  Because doing so destroys the fabric of our nation (31+ / 0-)

      And I don't mean that hyperbolically.

      Even the "worst" performing schools contain a mix of high achievement students and low achievement students.

      The scare tactics being used by the promoters of privatizing schooling are all premised on the idea that a school with a lot of poor kids (and thus where on average the students do less well on fraudulent standardized tests than at other schools) is one in which ALL students are thereby automatically "tainted" by failure - as if some students being poor, or not speaking English as their native language is somehow contagious, and automatically makes all the other students failures.

      If you play an active role in your child's education, she will be just fine, even if she attends a school with "those" children.

      The billionaire slimebags are not content with robbing the peasantry of their money, they want to rob us of our educations, too. Don't let their scare tactics fool you into helping them rob us all. They would like nothing better than a built-in slave class too ignorant to fight for their rights to a piece of the pie.

      Meanwhile, the easily manipulated theocratic "christians" are interested in becoming the only available source of indoctrination "education" for the masses.

      Neither of the avaricious "lords" nor the American Taliban wants what's best for your child, or any other child. And BTW - Charter schools don't perform any better than public schools, on average. So don't be fooled by the "it's like a private school for public kids" BS.

      •  Wonderful! (6+ / 0-)
        Charter schools don't perform any better than public schools, on average. So don't be fooled by the "it's like a private school for public kids" BS.

        What kind of thinking leads to where somehow a school that is designed to cut costs and raise profits using taxpayer dollars is going to be anything like a private school? Really? Run schools like a business. Really?
        Some folks I know that are businessmen aren't doing so well.

        People are always trying to get things on the cheap.

        You want a public school you get a public school you want private ..... pay for it.
        That is what PRIVATE means. You pay dearly for the opportunity to go to a particular school if they even admit you, if YOU the parent passes the muster.

        People must not know what a private school is like, when they get fooled by schools that have high teacher turnover, cheating on tests, high student turnover.  Fraud

        •  Here in NYC... (0+ / 0-)

          ...the Charter schools do perform better.

          They deliver this performance with less money than the public schools get.

          They are also not anti-union. In some cases they are actually run by the union.

          There is research that backs this up. But the best evidence is the huge crowd of parents trying to get their kids into Charter Schools.

          Do you think these parents are all stupid?

          •  So (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity, Troutfishing

            where's your link?

            Do you proof for that, or are you are just blowing chalk dust again on another education diary, MM?

            "won't you help to sing these songs of freedom?"

            by Sprinkles on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 05:10:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...I hit the "post" button without adding my links.

              NYC Charter schools perform better.

              "A new report issued today by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University found that charter schools in New York City are demonstrating significantly better results for their students in reading and in math than their traditional public school counterparts. These trends were consistent for students overall, as well as for several key groups, including Blacks and Hispanics in both subjects, for students who had not previously
              done well in traditional public schools, for students in poverty in reading, for students enrolled for at least two years or more in reading, and for all students in math regardless of how long they were enrolled."

              They do it with less money.

              Based on the 2008–09 school year, IBO found:
              • Per student general education spending at traditional public schools totaled $16,678.
              • While public support per student at charter schools was less than at traditional public schools, the size of that difference depended on whether the charter school was located in a public school building or in private space.
              • For charter schools located in public school buildings, public support was just $305 less per student than at traditional public schools and totaled $16,373.
              • For charter schools located in private space the shortfall was a more substantial $3,017 per student and public support totaled $13,661.

              Some of them are run  by unions.

              "Founded by the United Federation of Teachers, the UFT Charter School is committed to closing the achievement gap and creating a school “built on democratic principles of respect, tolerance, and liberty so that students will also become practitioners of democracy and civic responsibility.” The school exemplifies the original vision of a charter school model as conceived by Albert Shanker, former UFT and AFT President.
          •  SOME inner-city charter schools (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troutfishing, sfgb, Sharoney, alizard, wsexson

            Designed specifically to aid low-income students, have done better than average public schools. However, according to the studies done so far, it's likely that the key difference is a combination of teaching methodology and much smaller class sizes. If the public school were allowed to use those methods (rather than being saddled with the no-educated-child-left rubric), and were allowed much smaller class sizes, the students would do better there.  

            Charters catering to well-off communities and to middle-income and upper-income inner-city students do no better (and often do worse) than public schools.

            Regarding the inner-city schools catering to low-income students, starting entirely new schools just to offer a different methodology and smaller class size for a few kids is not an effective use of our tax dollars when the same changes could be implemented for all students.

            The opportunity cost of deserting the majority of poor kids is profound.

            If you really, really want to put your own kid in another school, feel free, but don't ask us to sacrifice the greater good by subsidizing your personal choice at the expense of all the other students.

            For the record, my family homeschools - but we are happy to pay our school taxes to ensure that other students in our area will be able to enjoy a decent education. We do not feel it would be appropriate or fair to rob other kids of the opportunity to learn just because we wanted to custom-tailor education for our own. Our personal version of private education is our personal choice, as are the related expenses.

            •  Public schools can't do the job. (0+ / 0-)
              "If the public school were allowed to use those methods (rather than being saddled with the no-educated-child-left rubric), and were allowed much smaller class sizes, the students would do better there."

              First, charter schools are subject to NCLB, also.

              Second, Public schools had plenty of time to try other methods during the 20 years before NCLB. They didn't.

              "Charters catering to well-off communities and to middle-income and upper-income inner-city students do no better (and often do worse) than public schools."

              I didn't click your link, but I'll take your word for it that this is true. My answer: <strong>Who Cares? The suburbs have great public schools already. There is no need for charters.

              "Regarding the inner-city schools...starting entirely new schools just to offer a different not an effective use of our tax dollars when the same changes could be implemented for all students."

              No, they can't be "implemented" for all students. It is politically impossible. Here in NYC it is politically impossible to fire the bureaucrats who weigh down the cost structure, to shift teachers around, to cancel the lucrative textbook contracts, to raise the taxes needed to shrink class size.

              Charter schools solve this problem by going around the mess. It is not an elegant solution, but it is the only one that we have.

              •  Yes, they can, if parents organize (0+ / 0-)

                First: Charter schools do NOT have to comply with NCLB. There is a suggestion (official term: regulatory guidance) which is NOT law that states should consider applying the NCLB rules to charters. There is no law requiring it, and most states don't require it. If they did, experimental schools (such as those that focus on engineering, or the arts, for example) simply could not exist.

                Second: charters do NOT have to accept all students - they have the privilege of cherry-picking.

                Third: Public schools have been decimated since Reagan took office and started screwing with public funding.

                These cutbacks had a disastrous effect on cities with high levels of poverty and limited property tax bases, many of which depended on federal aid. In 1980 federal dollars accounted for 22 percent of big city budgets. By the end of Reagan’s second term, federal aid was only 6 percent.

                The consequences were devastating to urban schools and libraries, municipal hospitals and clinics, and sanitation, police and fire departments – many of which had to shut their doors.

                You can't cut the budget every single year for more than 30 years, while simultaneously forcing "standards" that continuously reduce the avenues for flexibility, and still expect the schools to somehow rise above all that silly funding and regulation stuff. Tie their hands, and their hands will still be tied, no matter how much you yell at them.

                Fourth: Politics is decided by the people in the community who choose to fight. When enough parents make enough noise, things will change. Things become politically possible when the polity makes them so.

                Fifth: Once again, you are arguing for the false premise that the average school-wide score on a test that is scored via well-documented fraudulent means has ANY implications for the quality of education your child will receive.

                And finally: The one most consistent factor in predicting a child's educational attainment is the parents' active engagement in the child's education. Siphoning money away from the community to achieve a goal you can attain by simply being engaged is likely to make no difference at all to your child, while it promises to be devastating to an already reeling school system.

        •  links on cheating and poor performance (0+ / 0-)


          Cheating scandal March 3, 2011

          April 14, 2011
          Charter schools dump students

      •  Parents aren't usually interested in experimenting (3+ / 0-)

        with their kids education. I know that years ago when forced bussing was going on lots of parents pulled out and went to private schools. No one should have to stay at a shit school. The problem is schools should not be shit, and we have to fund them in realistic ways.

        Everyone in education is so beaten down even the dynamic teachers have to struggle. I would love to pay more money for schools in California, but I don't want to pay it so they can hire more administrators.

        "Pretty soon we're not going to be able to find reasonable decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serving public office." Sheriff Dupnik, AZ

        by voracious on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:19:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A specious argument. (8+ / 0-)

      Were it required by law that a school must accept, at no additional cost, any student presenting a voucher, then your assumption that any school would be able to afford a level of education beyond that of the general community would fall apart.

      Otherwise you are merely arguing for segregation by income level.

      Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

      by Fossil on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:07:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why shouldn't it be required... (0+ / 0-) law?

        Charter schools do this and they are very successful.

        Instead of getting triangulated and outflanked, we need to take the best aspects of the Voucher plan and add our own conditions onto it.

    •  Last I checked (3+ / 0-)

      (current, a grandson is in a charter he's been attending since kindergarten), charter schools ARE public schools.

      Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

      by Joieau on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:09:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Joieau (0+ / 0-)

        You have never spent much time in either place recently!  

        •  Now, what in the world (4+ / 0-)

          would make you say that? Granddaughter who attended the same charter since 2nd grade graduates high school (regular public, that's all there are here) this year. Already accepted to Duke with scholarship, medical research.

          Charters ARE public in my state. Maybe they aren't in yours, but that's no skin off my family's teeth. They serve a necessary purpose and do very well compared to the regular public schools, better in some measures. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The charter is smaller, can only take so many students per year. Do you also have a problem with smaller public schools as opposed to those with student bodies in the multi-thousands? Would you bus kids 4 hours a day to make sure the small schools are as crowded as the big ones? Would you pay for the bonds to build the bigger schools instead of maintaining the big schools you've already got?

          What would you be prepared to do to make sure every child gets exactly the same level of educational experience?

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:27:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They are and they have to accept everyone who (3+ / 0-)

        wants in as long as space allows. I don't know where this myth that there are no special education students in charter schools came from. In my town we have had charter schools for almost 15 years. Most of them started out with a high population of special needs students who were not being educated well in the public schools. I know many parents who feel that charter schools saved their special needs child. I realize this isn't exactly a scientific study, but not all charter schools are a good fit for a special needs child and parents aren't going to keep going to a school that isn't helping their child.

        "Pretty soon we're not going to be able to find reasonable decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serving public office." Sheriff Dupnik, AZ

        by voracious on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:22:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Apparently Bmeis (0+ / 0-)

          is laboring under the misapprehension that his own experience trumps everyone's experience, anywhere. His charters aren't public, so ours can't be. His charters are exclusive private schools, so ours must be. And if vouchers are ever educational policy, people will be allowed to send their kids to exclusive private charters and public education will die.

          I've begun to think maybe he doesn't know all that much about the subject as it applies nationally.

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:50:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The myth persists because... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...there are states where Charters can cherry-pick kids.

          Anti-Charter groups point out these programs in an attempt to smear the good Charter programs, where no cherry-picking is allowed.

    •  ManhattanMan I suspected you were a republican (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Sprinkles, Orinoco

      when I read many of your comments this past week, now I know it!

    •  Schools are neither good nor bad (0+ / 0-)

      and looks are irrelevant, unless you happen to be a person whose behavior is directed by superficial optics. There's a reason for the saying "appearances are deceiving."  It's because most things aren't what they appear to be.

      Some (many) people are not only directed by superficial optics (brown people look like they can't learn), but their preconceived notions (brown people can't learn) are reinforced or validated by what they see.  Such people are a disaster as teachers.  "The soft prejudice of low expectations" is a real phenomenon.

      How do we neutralize preconceived notions?  Not by looking at the results of our efforts.  Perhaps the advantage that religious instructors had was that they weren't tasked with "improving" the children, but with serving God.  So, the objective of their endeavor had nothing to do with the objects of their ministrations and they were able to be entirely objective in their work.

      by hannah on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 04:22:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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