I started refuting Anthony Cody’s post in this blog: You know what is on its last legs? Status quo education , Now I continue with his next claim…
Charter schools: We were told that charter schools were where innovation was happening. Freed from the dual constraints of district management and union contracts, these schools were going to show the laggards in public schools how it should be done. Some even claimed to have “figured out” how to overcome the effects of poverty on student achievement. So the billionaire geniuses of corporate reform insisted that all barriers and regulations on charters be removed or minimized. This requirement was written into Race to the Top and NCLB waivers. Want federal money? Better open the door for charter schools. Want special grants from the Gates Foundation? Open the doors to charters in your district.
But now charter proponents admit they have no secret sauce beyond excluding students who are difficult or expensive to educate. Their plan is to “serve the strivers,” and let the rest flounder in an ever-more-burdened public system. The states where regulations are weakest, like Ohio, have charters that perform worse than the public schools, and even the self-described fan of free-markets, Margaret Raymond, lead researcher at CREDO, recently concluded that using market choice to improve schools has failed. In the state of Washington, where Bill Gates and other reform titans spent millions to pass a law allowing charter schools there, the first charter school to open is struggling to stay afloat, having suffered massive staff turnover in its first year. How ironic that 13 years after the corporate reformers labeled their flagship of reform “No Child Left Behind,” that now their leaders are left defending leaving behind the very children they claimed their project would save.
This sounds like pontificating on your part….Can you source this exact language? “But now charter proponents admit they have no secret sauce beyond excluding students who are difficult or expensive to educate.” I’d like to see it. Just because you say it or wrote it does not make it so. (Thought wouldn’t you love it if you could be right for once?)
Yes, there are charters that don’t perform as well as their traditional public schools. Apparently, though I have not seen the evidence or proof myself, some charters expel or exclude some students. But that is NOT a characteristic nationwide. In fact they traditionally operate themselves in areas to serve low income underserved children. You want to talk about expulsions? Why don’t you check on the school discipline policies (or lack thereof) in all of your traditionally public schools and then come back and talk to be about charters expelling. Take a look at the movement happening in state legislatures nation-wide because of the school suspension issues in ALL schools. Instead of addressing the fact that status quo education policies, including the ineffective school discipline procedures, that are going on in traditional public schools you’re just trying to draw attention elsewhere. Why don’t you clean up your own house?
You‘ve mentioned Ohio and California. What about all the other charters? Were those the only ones you can find that were under performing? I wish I could point to only 2 states where traditional public schools were underperforming – unfortunately that’s not the case. What about KIPP school? Democracy Prep? Big Picture Learning Schools? We have some stellar charters here in GA – Drew Charter and Ivy Prep.
Also, I’ll have you know that I believed that charters were started to try new education strategies for public schools to learn from. Well, I was informed this fall by Howard Fuller himself, a father of charter schools in MN that charters were not started to test out new ideas for traditional public schools (though I still believe this is a goal we should strive for), but that they were created simply to offer parents and students an alternative to their only choice of a public school, which may not be meeting student needs.
But feel free to keep writing nonsense, because it gives me plenty of material to work with.