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View Diary: Superman Is Fantasy, Teaching Is Reality (66 comments)

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  •  What planet do you live on? (0+ / 0-)
    "You do right by your kids before they get to school and you'll have no need to complain about 'failing schools'..."

    How does "doing right by your kid" protect them when the public schools aren't safe? Here in NYC, they have started a new program to stop violent assaults in schools...assaults against cops:

    "Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly joined with Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and Local 237 Teamsters President Gregory Floyd May 25 to announce the creation of the Assault on School Safety Officers Program.  The initiative, the first of its kind in NYC, is designed to ensure that assaults on school safety officers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. "

    Yeah, that's right. It's so bad in some schools that the cops are getting their asses kicked! (For those unfamiliar with NYC, our "School Safety Officers" are actual cops, authorized to use deadly force. This isn't Suburbia.)

    Why do you hate my daughter so much that you want to force her to go to such a school?

    Safety aside, it is easy for me to "do right" because I am highly educated, married, and have a job with lots of free time.

    If I were a single mom working two minimum-wage jobs who didn't speak English, how much do you think I'd be able to help the kid with homework? Yet those are the people who need schools the most.

    •  Violence, the need for two minimum wage jobs ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lilypew, elfling

      These are symptoms of poverty, the results of a 30-year, top-down, class war. But you want to blame the schools ? Think about that.

      ¡Viva Baja Libre!

      by Azazello on Fri May 06, 2011 at 06:40:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let me rephrase. (0+ / 0-)

        You said all I need to do is "do right" by my kid.

        I'm pointing out that this strategy works only for educated, well-adjusted, parents who are wealthy enough to not have to work long hours.

        If you are poor and uneducated , you must rely on the school to help your kids. You have no other choice. But if the people at the school are like you, they will throw up their hands and say, "There's nothing we can do! You're poor, and because Poverty Is The Real ProblemTM, we're just gonna give up on you until we get more funding..."

        Now the research says that Poverty is the biggest problem, and I believe the research is right. But Charter Schools don't let that stop them. They still go into poor neighborhoods and try.

        When parents are offered a choice between the attitude of Charters and the (burned out, fatalistic) attitude of some Public Schools they line up for the Charter.

        •  Plenty of neighborhood schools (0+ / 0-)

          don't let that stop them either. There are many schools where they work very hard and do the best they can. Knowing that the problem is poverty isn't an excuse to give up, but it is a reason to change and modify your strategy, to focus perhaps on different solutions than you'd choose for a low performing middle class school.

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

          by elfling on Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:23:10 AM PDT

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        •  You don't know me. (0+ / 0-)

          I do not believe that schools should "throw up their hands". I know a lot of teachers and none of them have that attitude, none. I am trying to help you understand that the problem is with the society, not the schools. Scapegoating the schools, and those who teach in them, for the results of brutal "free-market" economic policies is a low-down thing to do. Charters do no better than traditional public schools. This has been demonstrated over and over again. Why do people still cling to their faith in these institutions ? There's a not-so-hidden agenda behind the education "reform" movement, privatization. If you think our for-profit health care system serves the people well, you're going to love for-profit education. Whose side are you on ?

          ¡Viva Baja Libre!

          by Azazello on Sat May 07, 2011 at 10:11:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know that... (0+ / 0-)

            ..."the problem is with the society, not the schools".  But we do not have the political power to solve Society's Big Problems, so we must make incremental improvements on the schools.

            Charters do do better than traditional public schools. If you do not believe me, ask the parents standing in line for the lotteries. These parents know their kids better than any "Researcher" does. Do you think these parents are dumb?

            (Even if you think we are dumb, do you think that we are so immensely dumb that we should be deprived of the right to make a choice? If you think parents are Too Dumb To Choose A School, why do you not attack the power of rich families to choose pricey private schools? Why kick the poor?)

            I am glad you mentioned healthcare. During the healthcare debate the most progressive proposals called for "single-payer". You choose your doctor, but the Government pays. This is exactly the model Charter advocates want for education. Each family chooses a school and the government writes a check.

            •  charters do NOT trump public (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              In fact, charters do not do better than public. . .and private schools do NOT either; please see the extensive resources here:



              •  Charters are better. (0+ / 0-)

                The research and studies are ambiguous. Some say one thing, some say other things. All have (unavoidable) imperfections in their methods.

                What trumps the "studies" is the Taste Test. When given a choice, families choose Charter Schools.

                Are charters better? The research says "maybe". The families say "HELL YEAH!"

                Whose voice is more important?

                •  Some families are deluded. (0+ / 0-)

                  ¡Viva Baja Libre!

                  by Azazello on Sun May 08, 2011 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Michael Marder... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...makes a big mistake.

                    He confuses correlation with causation. It is a typical mistake for a physicist to make. Social sciences are not the same as natural sciences.

                    Of course kids in Charter Schools will test worse. If your kid is doing GREAT, why would you send her to a Charter School???

                    In addition, Marder's data only covers Texas. In New York, where the charter program is better-designed, kids in charters test better.

                    Lastly, be careful whom you refer to as "deluded". We parents have always suspected that the Educational Establishment thinks they know our kids better than we do. Even if this is true, it is still an offensive, anti-American idea. Parents are the first source of authority on how their kids should be raised.

                    If you intend to spend Mother's Day posting that the Government knows better than Mom & Dad, please (for God's sake) don't tell anyone you are a Democrat.

                    •  The destruction of public education (0+ / 0-)

                      and its replacement with privatized, for-profit model is a Republican idea. It's been on their agenda for years. The high profile Potemkin charters that get all the publicity, and gobs of outside funding, are not typical of charters in general. When the Right gets its wish, chains of for-profit McSchools, it will be too late to go back to the public model. Whose side are you on ?

                      ¡Viva Baja Libre!

                      by Azazello on Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:46:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  I can appreciate *a* school that is not safe (0+ / 0-)

      but it is not the case that all public schools are not safe.

      I hear that it's a problem in your area. The solution has to be about the root cause of the violence and isolating ALL the violent kids away from the ones who want to learn. It's independent of the issue of charter schools or not... because if charters have to take all comers, they'll get some of the violent kids anyway.

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

      by elfling on Fri May 06, 2011 at 09:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know that... (0+ / 0-)

        ..."it is not the case that all public schools are not safe.".

        It seems that some are so "psychologically invested" in the status quo that they take criticism of any school as an attack on all schools.

        Charter advocates know that most public schools work very well. Charters are a choice that should be offered to specific neighborhoods where things are very bad.

        Charters should have to take all comers. They will get some violent students. They will get some stupid and lazy ones also. But they will have the flexibility to try different approaches to dealing with them.

        •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

          Then where does all the "The system is broken!" talk come from?  And why don't charter schools have to take all comers?

          The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

          by Panurge on Sat May 07, 2011 at 07:37:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The system IS broken. (0+ / 0-)

            Most public schools work very well. But those that serve the poorest among us don't.

            As a Progressive, I consider a system that fails poor people to be "broken".

            •  Let's see. (0+ / 0-)

              "Most public schools work very well", but a few don't, so the entire system should be replaced by an entirely different system that leaves the few broken schools broken?  This makes no sense.  

              The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

              by Panurge on Sat May 07, 2011 at 07:16:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nobody has called... (0+ / 0-)

                ...for replacing the "entire system".

                Nobody is trying to open Charter Schools in leafy rich suburbs. The goal is for Charter Schools to offer options to the families where the public schools are very bad.

                Alarmists wail that this threatens the Whole System Of Public Education. It doesn't . It just threatens a few lazy principals at a few sorry schools.

        •  But when you write (0+ / 0-)

          you routinely write as if you are implicating all public schools, which blunts and even neutralizes the argument that you are trying to make for your area.

          I am very happy to help work with you to build better solutions for your area, but it's important to me that we not tear down the schools that are working to do so.

          To me, the point of charters is to try different curricula and structures - not to provide an escape. All schools need to be safe. All kids need to have enough to eat and a place to study.

          I also advocate for choice within and among public schools, which is independent of charters.

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

          by elfling on Sat May 07, 2011 at 09:09:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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