Why do politicians love charter schools?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Tyler B., Feb 29, 2012.

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  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    A recent CNN report pointed out that only 20% of charter schools can outscore the schools they were designed to replace, yet it seems to be the first go-to idea when the topic of school reform comes up.

    Some of these 20% get that way because they have a talented and committed staff, but don't most of them do it by skimming off the high kids from the public schools?
     
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  3. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    They love them because deep down they realize that schools should be run by parents and local entities and not unions and federal bureacracies.
     
  4. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    They love them because public schools are godless, socialist and have hidden agendas designed to indoctrinate our children in things that lead them away from God. I heard it on the radio. Yes, we need those parents that wish to have all children pray to Jesus, learn about intelligent (cough) design, and rush to ban certain books running the schools. What do teachers know?
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    :2up:
     
  6. Bear Knuckles

    Bear Knuckles Rookie

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    Agreed.

    My sister works at a charter school, and the practices they use are great from an administrative stand point. Teachers are given salary contracts that are incentive based. In addition, schools will not waste time with ineffective teachers. The principals have the ability to actually create the team they want to create and really pull off their vision.

    That's not to say that all charter schools are better than all public schools. But, all things being equal, the concept of a school being driven by accountability and competition is a better choice in my humble opinion.
     
  7. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I think charter schools are how regular public schools should run.
    Instead of someone miles away in the big white buildings making a one size fits all policy for schools from 100 kids to 1000 kids it should be more locally decided. It kills me how they micro manage the piddling funds they send us and ALL THE NEW AND IMPROVED unfunded mandates that wash down on us year after year. Stupid politicians do more to ruin schools than any other group.

    Which is great if the principal has a clue/ Sometimes they do not.
    I think schools can be run much better if the staff is all on board and has a say in the way it is run.
     
  8. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    They support them to help people get away from arrogant, unreflective ideological dimwittery like the above.
     
  9. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Amen (if I may say that here), brother. (How in the world do you survive in California? Are you one of those marrano conservatives, like me?)
     
  10. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Well, this I agree with (Is the irony getting confusing in here?). I see charter schools as a solution to these problems, along with a fully-implemented voucher system.
     
  11. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Oh, along with implementation of right-to-work laws, abolition of the federal Department of Education, abolition of all state departments of ed, and abolition of teacher certification. Departments of ed in colleges should be incorporated into the Physiognomy Department.

    (Somebody said "politician," and everything went poof.)
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Have you ever listened to talk radio? Everything I wrote has been proposed more than a few times by more than a few people.
    Politicians just use the debate on education for votes. Most of them
    anyway. Or maybe I misunderstood your reply. Would not be the first time.
     
  13. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Shouldn't we embrace charters if they do what they're intended to do? Right now they are vastly underperforming the public schools. Why would we want to have more of them? Isn't this just throwing away money that could be used to improve public schools?
     
  14. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Not all- but many charter schools also do not bother to waste their time with special education students or students who are "behavior problems."
     
  15. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Charters are vastly under performing in my area as well.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Charters in my area have excellent test scores. However, as was mentioned earlier, they essentially skimmed the "top" students from the public schools. My public school has about 60% hispanic students, most of whom are ELL's and low SES. The other 40% are white students, most of whom are high SES. A charter was built just a few years ago basically down the street, and it was essentially a group of parents who wanted an all white school. They felt that the ELL students were taking away form their children's learning because the teachers would spend too much time with the ELL's who were behind. The charter is 100% white, with the great majority being extremely wealthy. Their test scores are well into the 90s for percent proficient, but their student population does not mirror that of the public schools. Last year we actually had about 90% ELL/low SES, but when we built a new school this year we actually got a lot of the charter kids back which evened out the ratio a bit. You can actually see if you look at the history of my school's scores that in the years before this school was built (2007), my school's scores were mostly in the 80's for percent of students proficient. As soon as the school was up and running and all of those high-achieving students left, my school's scores dropped significantly.
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I hope the gator comes and chomps you :hugs:

    Charter schools in my area are vastly under performing.

    I do have a question TeachOn...how do you feel people should be trained to be teachers?
     
  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This entire thread is rather inflammatory and could alienate those forum members who have chosen or were chosen to teach at a charter school.
     
  19. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I only have knowledge of one charter school performance, and that is the one in my former district. I'm not sure how they did on their test scores, but I DO know the public school teachers had a low opinion of the charter school, saying students that transferred from the charter to the public school were generally behind the public school students on content knowledge and ability. The charter school was also accused of basically cheating on some EOG testing (such as reading the LA tests out loud to ALL students, not just the ones with an IEP for read-aloud intervention).

    I also know our State GOP Representatives are strongly pushing a Bill that is horribly UN-fair to public schools. The basic content of the bill states that ANY funds received by any and all public schools in a district MUST be split equally with any charter schools in the district. In other words, for every dollar any public school receives in funding (from state, public or private funding), .50c of that dollar MUST go to the local charter school. Even if a former alum makes a private donation to his/her former high school, half of that donation would have to go to the local charter school. Charter schools, on the other hand, do not have to share ANY funding they receive. So charters would still receive 100% of their current funding and another 50% of ALL funding received by all public schools in the district.

    Also, while public school funds are often marked for specific purposes (such as transportation funds used for diesel and wages for busses, nutrition funding being used by the cafeteria, etc), charter schools are entitled to half of that funding, but DO NOT have to comply with the designation of the funding. So they would be entitled to half of the transportation funds received by public schools, but have no obligation to provide transporation to/from school for their students. They would receive half of the nutrition funding, but would not be required to offer any meals to the kids, etc.

    I have nothing against charter schools themselves, but I have a BIG problem with our politicians determination to slant the playing field so blatantly in favor of the charter schools. If they want to improve funding, I'm all for it. If they want to promote more charter schools across the state, that's fine, BUT the playing field should remain LEVEL for both charter and public schools, because the majority of students will still be in the public school system.
     
  20. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I would say this thread is attempting to be inflammatory to the public school teachers, charter school teachers, and union members and could alienate any of those people who are forum members.
     
  21. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    They love charter schools because it plays well with the masses.

    They need SOMEONE to blame (and certainly NOT themselves!).

    It's red meat to throw to the crowd.
     
  22. Bear Knuckles

    Bear Knuckles Rookie

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    It's dangerous to start the, "sometimes" stories. You can insert it in any setting.
     
  23. Bear Knuckles

    Bear Knuckles Rookie

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    It only takes one law suit to fix that. It's illegal for them to discriminate against students with special needs.

    It can also be argued that some public schools don't bother with special needs students either even when they are enrolled.
     
  24. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Charter schools can discriminate by drumming out students they view as weak. The highly touted KIPP schools have a 40% turnover rate with Black students between 6th and 8th grade. It's all legal and they take public money to educate the surviving students.
     
  25. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    There is no reason for the thread to be inflammatory. There are many factors that contribute to the popularity of charter schools and the fact remains that politicians in charge of providing (or approving) funding for ALL schools DO seem to have growing favoritism towards charter schools, so that makes it a topic worthy of discussion.

    So far, I think Reality Check has come closest to the actual reason politicians like charter schools so much - because they play well to the masses, which translates into increased votes. Whether they follow through on that or not is questionable, but - as the bill proposed in my own state illustrates - some pols certainly seem to pushing for ALL schools to become charter schools and to basically do away with public schools (one of the GOP leaders lobbying hardest for the NC bill has openly said he would like to eliminate public schools altogether and have only charter schools).

    Also, many politicians went to charter schools themselves, so it is natural they would think them better. As others pointed out, though, the "results" of charter schools are often falsely inflated due to the fact they sometimes draw (and only accept) the top-performing students from other schools.
     
  26. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Frankly, stephen, I see nothing wrong with charter schools providing a curriculum that includes daily prayers or at least mentions the possibility of Intelligent Design. It is often an extension of the lessons or values parents are teaching their kids at home. Since children spend more of their daily time with teachers (during the school year) than their parents, it is only natural parents would like their kids to attend a school that reinforces and/or promotes the same values they teach at home. That isn't the same as asking the schools to teach their kids about religion or morals, rather it is asking that the school reinforce the ideals being taught at home. That is no different than teachers wanting parents to reinforce the importance of school (and sometimes the importance of specific classes) at home.

    When parents tell their kids that school or certain classes aren't important, that makes the teacher's job that much harder. By the same token, when teachers don't reinforce the same "lessons" being taught at home - or send the message that those lessons aren't important - that makes the job of the parent more difficult as well.

    When we hear parents or politicians promoting the idea of allowing prayer in school or at least offering the possibility of Intelligent Design in the curriculum, the usual response is "If parents want THAT, they need to send their kids to private school". Now you seem to be criticizing private schools for offering that alternative.
     
  27. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Same here! The few that are performing okay/well work their teachers like dogs for very little pay. There have been numerous law suits brought against the biggest one (a national charter program) for unfair labor practices. And this is in a state that has no union, so it's not like they were trying to work around union issues to begin with.

    It's also easier to meet school accountability standards when it can remove any student who is a disruption, or whose parent doesn't conform to the agreed upon terms (Saturday classes, etc.), or when they flat out refuse to admit any student with a learning disability.
     
  28. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    The problem is that charter schools are funded with public money. They are, essentially, public schools, they just operate outside of the mandates of the local district. They do not, however, operate outside the mandates of the law. I am glad that private schools exist that allow the option for students and parents that desire a religious education. I just don't want my tax dollars to pay for it, nor would I ever teach that way. It's one of the main things that bothers me about the voucher programs, though at least then it is a choice to attend and the school is not entirely publicly funded, so I can accept public money being used for that.
     
  29. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Cerek, I am in no way criticizing private schools. If they want to teach children that the world is 3000 years old and that ally oop rode on dinosaurs that is fine with me. But charter schools operate on public money. I think they are a good idea for many kids but they should not discriminate or promote non academic
    ideology. I wish one day that public schools could operate without all that micromanagement and nonsensical rules we are
    crushed under now. I know I was a little flippant with my first comment there but I do believe private schools are good for many folks. I know of some great ones and some really bad ones.
     
  30. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    The Establishment Clause was intended to prevent the federal government from establishing a state religion; it does not justify, let alone require, the sort of antireligious demagoguery and intrusive law we see coming from the left these days. I am not, by the way, very religious at all, but I do have vastly more respect for those who have the courage to believe in something than I have for those whose intellectual cowardice leaves them with nothing beyond a programmatic cynicism concerning anything exceeding the measly grasp of the social so-called sciences. These are the people for whom hearing an SNL script read aloud on MSNBC by that dreamy Anderson Cooper would be the acme intellectual experience.

    With isolated exceptions - fortuitous accidents of community or leadership - the American educational system is in a state of failure. Increasingly complex fixes result only in increasing complexities that fix nothing. In the words of Chairman Mao (that should please the liberals out there.), "let a hundred flowers bloom." Try this and try that. If a school works, I don't care if it is run by rastafarians, by nuns, by flat-earthers, by Pythagoreans, by animists, or (even) by people who pray to Emile Durkheim each and every morning.

    Its over: "Let a thousand schools of thought contend." (Also Mao)
     
  31. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Some who believe that public money should be spent promoting religious beliefs might sing a different tune if the school were run by Jewish, Moslem or Mormon leaders. Families should have an expert in their own faith teach their children about faith. Publicly funded schools should not teach religion. I'm with MissCeliaB on this issue.
     
  32. chixsngr

    chixsngr Rookie

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    Oh, for Pete's Sake.

    They love them because they realize they only have to educate the kids they CHOOSE to educate.

    The rush toward privatizing schools is all based on one thing: MONEY. It's all about the Benjamins.

    They want schools that are unaccredited, un-tested, un-supervised and owned by private entities. They can't compare private to public because private schools don't have to pass standardized tests. They have no measure to compare them. BUT If they can use charter schools to prove that public schools suck, they're gonna use it to justify turning schools over to the corporations. And that's all they want, really.

    Then they can pay teachers as poorly as they do in private schools. And they can teach their children all the "fake science" they want to.
     
  33. chixsngr

    chixsngr Rookie

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    I certainly hope it is inflammatory. Because it seems the only people who are heard are those who are speaking the loudest. We should ALL be talking about this.
     
  34. chixsngr

    chixsngr Rookie

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    You teach Ayn Rand in your English or Philosophy classes, do you?

    I'd sure like to see an example of your political philosophy that has worked somewhere...anywhere....

    Before we gamble our republic on it, could we please see some case studies?
     
  35. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I think you may go farther than I do. Two of my favorite classes at my (public) high school were world religions and sacred literature. I learned so much and grew to appreciate different faiths, despite the fact that I have no particular faith of my own. I have no problem with student led Bible study, prayer, or religious organizations, as long as all religions that want to are given an equal opportunity, and no student or faculty member is compelled to participate.
     
  36. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    A comparative religions class is part of a good philosophy department. I would encourage it.

    If an organization wants to use the school for religious purposes, they should apply for a building use permit. Allowing religions to practice openly on campus puts social pressure on students to join in. This amounts to tax payer support of religion.

    Christians need to picture a Moslem prayer club on campus to see if they approve of allowing religious ceremonies (like group prayers) in a public school.



    _______________________________________________
    favorite blogs: http://ed-is-life.blogspot.com/ and http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/
     
  37. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Most Christians would rather have a club for a different religion than get rid of FCA or other similar groups.
     
  38. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    This is one area that I think charters schools are completely justified in. Why shouldn't you be able to kick a kid out of your school who is a disruption?
     
  39. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That is a slippery slope. What do you do about a student who is unintentionally causing a disruption, perhaps through lots of vocal and motor tics. Does that child deserve to be kicked out of school for something over which he has very little or no control?
     
  40. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    There would be medical documentation on such a thing. I'm talking about behavior problems, not disabilities.
     
  41. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So what happens to the kids with behavior problems? We just don't have to educate them? Everyone can kick them out all the time?
     
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