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View Diary: Report Exposes DeVos Plot To Destroy Public Education (176 comments)

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  •  For $15k, a new 'school' will be started (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, elwior, Matt Z, Orinoco

    Someone will see the market demand, inflated by 'free' money, and cash in. He will be ready with glossy brochures full of smiling kindergarteners and proud graduating seniors. He'll have pages full of happy testimonials from parents at his company's one good campus out of many mediocre ones. He'll have a campus leased from the shrinking district, freshly painted and landscaped.

    And, he'll have this all ready on the day the voucher law passes, because his company will have written that law.

    Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

    by chimpy on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:36:45 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  This is not a market-demand situation. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy

      Here in NYC the best charters are run by non-profits. Some are run by one of the Teachers' Unions.

      If you believe that Charters are successful because of some kind of market-driven, business-focused magic, you are believing the right-wing hype.

      Charters are successful because they can offer a different education for different kids. Instead of one choice, families get two or three choices.

      •  Two meanings for 'successful charter shchool' (0+ / 0-)

        One, which I gather you've seen in NYC, is the school that successfully educates children of widely varying economic backgrounds, lifting each student's performance above generally-accepted expectations. We'd all like to see more of that, whatever business model a school operates under. Many long-established private schools do a fine job educating both their whole community and each individual student, with scholarships available for less advantaged families. As in the public system, these schools (and the staff running them) have invested decades of work to develop their philosophies and methods, each to leverage a neighborhood's assets to serve a neighborhood's families. Each school had different ideas, and over decades (or longer) the best thrived.

        Those private schools that survive today are the best-performing out of many other attempts. Some of their success may be due to the shortcut of choosing bright students to enroll. But, they all had that chance, and parents know other parents, so to some extent, they can see through this, and correct for school selectivity when choosing the best school for their child. Plus, with limited scholarship dollars, and the less-than-stellar offspring of some rich parents, merit-based scholarships may be their easiest way to get a mix of both classroom performance and economic class. So, whatever their philosophies, some schools have excelled and persisted.

        The start a charter successful in this first sense, one needs leaders with both a sound educational philosophy, and a developed bank of skills with which to apply it. It also helps to draw on local talent, who will know the culture and assets of the neighborhood. This usually means hiring teachers and administrators away from a mix of local public and private schools. Maybe it means converting a school intact from some other business model into a charter. In either case, it means drawing on local talent, and the local system might only develop enough of it for one charter every few years. Realistically, it means letting your personal finances and well-being suffer to invest in the community's future.

        If an influx of 'free money' can warp the market, to make opening a charter school attractive as a business proposition alone. If everyone in the neighborhood has $15k vouchers, plus a little cash of their own, they just might try a charter. They might even just try it for a year or two just to see what the buzz is all about. Even if their kid was doing great where he was.

        If there's so much money, that dozens of charters open up, the obviously can't all hire the superstar administrators and the veteran teachers from the other systems. They'll be kit-built on a model developed elsewhere, and staffed by teachers running from scripts written elsewhere. And, even if the enabling law has standards to safeguard performance? You can bet that those standards were written by lobbyists as both a stamp of approval on their bosses' business, and a barrier to entry for their competition. Months before the public or their competition hears a thing, the big players will know what the rules will be, what the budgets will be, and when the starting gun is set to fire.

        This is the second sense of 'successful charter school': the school that successfully soaks up tax dollars and sends them out of state to its parent corporation.

        Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

        by chimpy on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 10:15:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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