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View Diary: My Experience with an Alternative Charter School (137 comments)

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  •  This may seem (8+ / 0-)

    a naive question but how was the school funded?

    •  By the State of California... (10+ / 0-)

      on their standard per-student formula for charter schools (which I believe is less than what CA public schools spend per student), plus extra money Brenda was able to wrangle from the state/feds for her special ed students.  One of her best skills was finding financing wherever she could.

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles

      by leftyparent on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 06:33:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think I recently read 2/3rds ADA for charter (0+ / 0-)

        school students.

      •  therein lies the problem (0+ / 0-)

        If you want to send your child to a highly alternative school, then there are places for that - they're called private schools.  This school's existence, which by standard evaluation, failed, and took thousands of dollars away from other students in California.   Not saying that the concept isn't perfectly fine, but it shouldn't have been publicly funded.

        •  Public school money comes with the student... (0+ / 0-)

          Any public school (at least in California) gets its funding based on its student count.  Since charters get less per student than conventional schools, the more kids that are in charters, the more public education money is available to direct to conventional schools.

          To fill in the rest of the story, the charter school did not have its charter renewed, but by the concerted effort of the staff, parents (and kids) the school was able to negotiate with the school district to "re-charter" and better tie their curriculum to state standards.  The school exists today (under its new name) and has actually won awards for achievement (of course based on the suspect standardized tests criteria).  It still follows the Dewey social studies core curriculum and teaches conflict resolution but I'm not so aware of the details.

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles

          by leftyparent on Sat Jun 18, 2011 at 11:03:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Many paths (0+ / 0-)

          I disagree that

          If you want to send your child to a highly alternative school, then there are places for that - they're called private schools.

          The public school system came out of the 19th century with one of it's primary goals being to produce obedient, compliant workers for the new factories, using curriculum methodologies from the times (efficiency, breaking things down into parts).  I don't think it is random that students are still treated as widgets today.

          We are in different times today, our youth are growing up in a different world and I think our education system needs to reinvent itself to respond, as many other institutions have had to do.  I think we need lots of different approaches to truly meet the needs of unique human beings and I want my tax dollars to support that.

          My children are young adults now and having learned the hard way from their experience, I want to see the idea of "many paths" realized so that we stop losing the talent and creativity of thousands of our youth.  It's my experience that blaming individuals, whether students, teachers, parents, is not helpful because this is a systemic issue at heart.

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