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View Diary: Public Education's 'Shock Doctrine Summer' Rolls Out (171 comments)

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  •  I'm starting to think the word "charter" (18+ / 0-)

    is meaningless because it covers too broad a range of institutions.  It seems to make discussions on the topic of school reform even harder because everyone means something different when they say it.

    •  KIPP, Green Dot, White Hat, etc. (5+ / 0-)

      are "franchise schools."

      •  for profit education is a bad idea (9+ / 0-)

        no matter where it pops up. I remember hearing about the first years of Edison at San Francisco public schools, and how they "encouraged" black kids to leave their school...

        But non-profit charters can be problematic too. As many found out reading the various responses to Waiting for Superman, it's relatively easy to manipulate enrollment at a charter school, but over time even those manipulations generally don't hold up. The sheer proliferation of charter schools and the huge turnover of their staff - and in many cases, students - make it even harder to get the media to track them for accountability.

        In other words, the big public high school in the middle of town screws up, everyone hears about it. But 5 charter schools off on the margins screw up, will the local paper cover it? Probably not as well.

      •  I like this terminology... (0+ / 0-)

        I will start using the phrase franchise schools more often.

        Now we need to get more of us at DailyKos using the term Charter School as a positive - notice the comments above.

        My last diary on charter schools had a small poll asking if people thought charter schools were part of the diverse education program, if they need to be declared illegal, or if they needed more info to come to a decision. 25% of the respondees said that charter schools needed to be declared illegal. We have a problem, Houston.

        •  There are more than just (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          franchise schools and charter schools (with charter used as a positive).

          I'd like us to abandon the term charter altogether, as it's meaningless when used to discuss schools on a national level.

          In fact, I had a whole long discussion with someone in one of your dairies , and at the end of it, found out that he was using "charter school" as a synonym for "neighborhood school", which told me that I'd been wasting my time with half the comments I made.

    •  You know, you're so right (6+ / 0-)

      because  I know many people in public education who like the idea of charter schools because to them, it represents freedom and reform.  But this article so demonstrates the underside of so much of the movement toward charter schools.  

      And if these schools fail?  Well, we've always got Rupert Murdoch's "School of One" which essentially involves one kid sitting in front of one computer, the "customized" lessons spit out one at a time.  

      As a high school teacher, I start breaking out in hives if I let myself think too much about these things.  But we have to.  And I'm convinced that parents, if educated about where this is all going, may not stand for it.  Maybe some of it.  But do parents want their kids sitting in front of computers all day long?  Won't parents demand results from Charter Schools (franchise schools) as well?  

      •  We need to clarify between charter schools (1+ / 0-)
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        started by local community members and charter schools were local communities hire a for-profit company to come in and run the charter. There is a huge difference, but many Democrats refuse to acknowledge it. They just see all charter schools as part of the problem.

        I know many a charter school that began to help children in their local communities - they didn't start to undermine the local public school, they started because parents and teachers in the local community saw potential solutions that the local public school couldn't or wouldn't try.

        Many for profit companies are talking advantage of a very progressive school model. We shouldn't hand it over without a fight.

        •  Isn't the American public school system... (1+ / 0-)
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          "outsourcing" much of its curriculum, learning methodology and testing practice to the big businesses that develop and sell the textbooks, scripted curricula (like "Open Court") and the testing mechanisms to conventional public schools.  Is that evidence that, essentially, we are slowly but surely privatizing our conventional public schools already?

          I think that is a question for another diary?

          Cooper Zale Los Angeles

          by leftyparent on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 03:01:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We know parents that homeschool that way. (0+ / 0-)

        I feel sorry for the kids. But the mom is happy with the system and she is paying out of pocket for it. I think it's crazy. But, there may actually be demand for it.

        I'm the opposite extreme. I would rather see kids in more relaxed education climate for elementary education and then get more serious at about 13 years old. Throw out the computers and let them play (and learn through play). I think we can teach an awful lot to kids who haven't had to deal with homework and standardized tests for years on end... nowadays by the time a lot of kids get to high school, they are jaded. They don't see learning as important, they just it as something that needs to be done to get to the next part of their life. That is incredibly sad.

        •  I originally thought that computers (0+ / 0-)

          did not have as much educational value among younger kids, but I've been surprised by how much my daughter has benefitted even from such simple tasks as writing a story or essay on a computer.

          My daughter's 5th grade teacher has used Google Docs for collaborative projects that knocked my socks off.

          And she learned the art of managing a budget better from Roller Coaster Tycoon than she did from me.

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

          by elfling on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 06:57:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Comuters definitely have there place. (0+ / 0-)

            But it is a shame when computers replace teachers completely.

            Of course, teachers and students can have great interactions using computers... if online education takes that route, I might have less problems with it.

            And I absolutely love Google Docs!

            If she liked Roller Coaster Tycoon and likes history, you may want to take a peek at Civilizations. Very cool stuff. Both of my boys loved that game and learned tons from it - history, civics, economics, political science. It's a neat program.

            •  My son Eric loved playing Civilization... (1+ / 0-)
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              learned so much and was best of all inspired to really get into real history as well, once the game had taught him that history can be a compelling narrative as interesting to read as any fiction.

              Cooper Zale Los Angeles

              by leftyparent on Sat Jun 25, 2011 at 09:41:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I think we have let Republicans take the word (0+ / 0-)

      charter just like we let them own the word liberal.

      It's time to take it back. Let's call out bad schools as bad schools but reclaim the word charter for all it is worth. Democrats need to know that when they bad mouth all charters that they are also kicking many progressive schools in the teeth.

      •  I think we've assumed that if Republicans... (1+ / 0-)
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        support parents having educational choices including charters, then we progressives have to oppose all educational choices and oppose the very concept of charter schools.  And when the facts get in the way of that strategy, we manage to ignore those facts!

        Cooper Zale Los Angeles

        by leftyparent on Fri Jun 24, 2011 at 03:03:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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