Counseling out...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Apr 23, 2010
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    Oct 12, 2020

    I know that one of the criticisms of charters is that while the school can't often just expel or not accept a student, "counseling out" seems to be a thing: Where the school doesn't explicitly say they don't want Student, but give a whole lot of reasons why the school experience isn't working out. This seems to be often directed towards students with behavior problems, special needs, cultural differences, etc.

    When I heard of this, I was always what I hope was properly aghast. After all, charter schools are public schools, they should be accepting and working with all students!

    But now I find myself on the other side of the fence, watching a family (2 of the students are mine) struggle with my school, and it's dawning on me that they are slowly but surely being counseled out.

    And I kind of agree it's not a good fit.

    I'm teaching at an online charter, and the family is just not doing well. They have an entire log of issues to themselves. To just touch on a few issues, Dad is the parent at home attempting to help with school and he's functionally computer illiterate, which has made it very difficult to work with him (I don't mean "not understanding the finer points of Google suite" illiterate, but how to open files, use hyperlinks, etc.). There are claims of a bunch of IEPs, but only one produced. We've had incidents where assessment integrity has been compromised because of Dad blatantly trying to help in the wrong way. One of the teenagers is working just below full-time hours a week, with school sadly becoming secondary.

    My suspicion is that they're trying to hide from the requirements of a district school, and it's just turning into a mess. They're truly nice, hard-working people, but they also as a family unit don't seem to know which way's up in this school situation. In conclusion, I have found myself thinking that this school might not be the best fit for them.

    And that makes me feel bad because "counseling out" is such a dirty term.
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  3. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

    Feb 21, 2012
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    Oct 13, 2020

    First of all, charters are not public.

    They are not accountable to voters and their account books are largely private. Many charters took Covid relief funds targeted to small business despite having no need. Public schools had no way to access these funds, nor should they have.

    Public schools can not counsel out students. Instead, they must adapt the child's educational program to fit the needs of the student.

    Second, I applaud the concern you show for your students and their families. This kind of concern is a key component of a strong teacher. Best wishes to your students and their families.
    Backroads and CaliforniaRPCV like this.
  4. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Oct 25, 2016
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    Oct 16, 2020

    I've had kind of the opposite experience, where the public district "counsels in" their difficult cases to the charter I was in. That's why my classes were 1/3 IEP kids. I only know of one we "counseled out", and that was probably best for everyone because the child was the Regina George of 6th grade. She had no chance at changing her ways when most of the kids hated her for being a mean girl. We had to pay to send two that I know of to residential alternative school because we don't have and can't provide the highly restrictive environment they needed. I don't know if that counts.

    So long as it's genuinely the needs of the child/family that are being considered above convenience, I wouldn't feel bad. If there's reason to believe a different environment would yield better results and that happens to benefit you, so be it.
    Backroads likes this.
  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

    Jul 31, 2019
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    Oct 18, 2020

    Charter schools here are public too. The public schools are becoming the schools for sped kids. Most of the charter schools here have very different philosophies and ways of doing things. The one thing most have in common is that they allow and encourage the kids to grow freely, like a flower, to blossom when they grow. ( It reminds me of aunts I had who were 60's hippies. :) ( Except for the back to basic one) Not all kids do well in this environment and it sounds like the kids you mention are not successful in the environment they are in, so I wouldn't feel bad. They may do better in another environment.

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