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(NPR)   Are Charter Schools the answer to the American education crisis? Short answer: no. Long answer: No   (npr.org) divider line 229
    More: Interesting, charter schools, Americans, American Federation of Teachers, Joe Nathan, private money, graphing calculators  
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9122 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Sep 2012 at 8:47 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-01 01:58:04 PM  
So other than the fact that they are private schools funded by public taxes, what is the difference?
Sounds like bullshiat to me.
 
2012-09-01 02:22:53 PM  
I don't know whether or not they are the solution to education everywhere, but we had a charter school boom in New Orleans after Katrina when virtually every public school under the Orleans Parish School Board was shut down. OPSB schools had been failing for years, riddled with incompetent teachers and administrators and steeped in corruption from low-level local politicos forming their own little fiefdoms. The state had no choice but to come in and start over from scratch. The OPSB used to oversee hundreds of schools, and now manages less than two dozen. The remainder of all public schools are either charter schools or fall under the state by way of the Recovery School District. There is no question the charter and RSD schools are superior to what we had before. I don't know if they will work everywhere, but public education here was so awful under the prior system that people will still spend every nickel they can rub together to put their kids in private schools and keep them out of the public system.
 
2012-09-01 02:47:12 PM  
Since "charter schools" aren't run by unions, NPR will, of course, find something wrong them. NPR should just change its name to Pravda and be done with it.
 
2012-09-01 03:11:42 PM  
Kids should not be getting an education without shareholders making some good money. That's the American way.
 
2012-09-01 03:23:28 PM  
As a teacher at one of the most successful charter schools in Nevada, I'm getting a kick...

Some charters are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

Some public schools are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

I don't see the problem.
 
2012-09-01 03:29:12 PM  
Most charter schools, though, are doing no better than traditional public schools, Kolderie says

Where this abstract says something completely different.

(not going to pony up $5 to read the whole study though)
 
2012-09-01 04:52:59 PM  

clancifer: Kids should not be getting an education without shareholders making some good money. That's the American way.


You'd send your kids to a public school in New Orleans to make a political point?
 
2012-09-01 05:06:23 PM  

Kimothy: As a teacher at one of the most successful charter schools in Nevada, I'm getting a kick...

Some charters are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

Some public schools are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

I don't see the problem.


The only real problem is that, in many places, schools are funded by property taxes, so the schools in low income neighborhoods are severely under-funded. As a result of poor funding, the schools have low rates of achievement. (Poor funding is not the only reason why some public schools under-perform, some well-funded schools under-perform as well, but in the poorest communities, lack of school funding is certainly a contributing factor.)

Parents are more likely to want their kids to go to the charter schools if the kids would otherwise be enrolled in the under-funded, low performing public schools. The result is that the schools that were already under-funded become even more under-funded as their students (and the corresponding funding) are diverted to the charter schools.

If the goal is improving the quality of education for everyone, then charter schools can sometimes have the exact opposite of the intended effect, by increasing the disparity between the well-funded, successful schools and the under-funded, unsuccessful public schools.
 
2012-09-01 06:44:03 PM  

Nabb1: clancifer: Kids should not be getting an education without shareholders making some good money. That's the American way.

You'd send your kids to a public school in New Orleans to make a political point?


I think a New Orleans public school education is doable, provided you properly arm your children.
 
2012-09-01 07:00:13 PM  

clancifer: Kids should not be getting an education without shareholders making some good money. That's the American way.


Shouldn't the quality of the education be the first priority, and whether or not someone is making money through private means instead of public means be... somewhere between the ply-level of toilet paper and the cheese to bread ratios of the fiestados?

Ah, who am I kidding, this is America. Kids deserve shiat for education so long as it's socialist.
 
2012-09-01 07:02:46 PM  
Are there any countries in the world that have fully privatized all their schools? It would be interesting to see how that worked out for them.
 
2012-09-01 07:19:35 PM  

Kimothy: As a teacher at one of the most successful charter schools in Nevada, I'm getting a kick...

Some charters are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

Some public schools are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

I don't see the problem.


This. It all depends on the school and how the community treats it. In my hometown, the charter school (at least when I subbed there about ten years ago) was a dumping ground for IEPs who got kicked out of public schools and couldn't get accommodated (read: no one would put up with their shiat) at parochial schools. Ergo, it's never going to be a very good one.
 
2012-09-01 07:24:26 PM  
The problem with charter schools is that they are often able to cherry pick or self select their pupils. They can take only the good students, leaving the special needs children (ie the more expensive students) to the already overburdened public schools, which cannot cherry pick.

Of course, when charter schools can pick their students, their performance looks "better" than their public counterparts. And when public schools are left to handle the special needs children with the model students picked away, their performance looks "worse."

And this is the charter school scam.
 
2012-09-01 07:54:10 PM  

RexTalionis: The problem with charter schools is that they are often able to cherry pick or self select their pupils. They can take only the good students, leaving the special needs children (ie the more expensive students) to the already overburdened public schools, which cannot cherry pick.

Of course, when charter schools can pick their students, their performance looks "better" than their public counterparts. And when public schools are left to handle the special needs children with the model students picked away, their performance looks "worse."

And this is the charter school scam.


Most states have rules against this in their charter school laws. I know Nevada does. We are required to take all comers. As a result, we have about a 35% special education population, which is a good 25% higher than the local schools. We also have quite a few kids who've been kicked out of other schools. We're not allowed to turn away kids until we reach capacity. Then we start a waiting list for openings at the semester. Those kids are selected lottery style, IF we have openings at the semester.
 
2012-09-01 08:00:12 PM  

FloydA: Kimothy: As a teacher at one of the most successful charter schools in Nevada, I'm getting a kick...

Some charters are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

Some public schools are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

I don't see the problem.

The only real problem is that, in many places, schools are funded by property taxes, so the schools in low income neighborhoods are severely under-funded. As a result of poor funding, the schools have low rates of achievement. (Poor funding is not the only reason why some public schools under-perform, some well-funded schools under-perform as well, but in the poorest communities, lack of school funding is certainly a contributing factor.)

Parents are more likely to want their kids to go to the charter schools if the kids would otherwise be enrolled in the under-funded, low performing public schools. The result is that the schools that were already under-funded become even more under-funded as their students (and the corresponding funding) are diverted to the charter schools.

If the goal is improving the quality of education for everyone, then charter schools can sometimes have the exact opposite of the intended effect, by increasing the disparity between the well-funded, successful schools and the under-funded, unsuccessful public schools.


Nevada's solution to this problem is to allow public schools to opt out of district control and allow them to become a site-based school (basically a school run by the principal and teachers). They don't have to follow all the rules of the district and can spend their budgets as they see fit. Some of our local schools have found quite a bit of success by opting out. I know one of our local elementary schools, which has a large homeless population, opted out three years ago. The principal has turned it into a model school - she created a school foundation that pays for things like meals, clothes, and healthcare for her students, and for after school programs. It's still a public school, has to take everyone in the enrollment area, but because of the local control it's successful despite the poverty of the area. (The school was featured on Ellen last year and the principal is just brilliant).

It's not necessarily a problem of public vs. charter education, it's more of how the money is being spent, who has oversight, and who should control schools. I'm a firm believer in local control and keeping schools run locally, and giving charter schools some competition.
 
2012-09-01 08:52:13 PM  
Short answer: yes, with an "if". Long answer: no, with a "but".
 
2012-09-01 08:52:53 PM  
Hmmm, the government radio station says their competition isn't up to their standards? I must, I will believe it, for I am Drew.
 
2012-09-01 08:54:00 PM  

LordZorch: Since "charter schools" aren't run by unions, NPR will, of course, find something wrong them. NPR should just change its name to Pravda and be done with it.


A reasonable attempt, but the Pravda dig was the tell. Not bad, though.
 
2012-09-01 08:56:39 PM  
it's not the schools. its all the dooshbags having kids. theres your problem.
 
2012-09-01 08:57:01 PM  
Leave everything the way it is except abolish the NEA.
 
2012-09-01 08:59:03 PM  
Charter schools are a specific solution to a specific problem. They are not a be-all-end-all. If your district is buttfarked by a bad union, bad administrators, or just bad policy, a charter might be applicable. I live in a district where the public schools have a good relationship with the union, don't waste money, and provide great educations and supply the state and federal government with great test scores for more money. There is no charter school in this district and there is no need for one. That said, if they tried to institute Everyday Math in this district I'd push for a charter right away. That shiat is the worst thing infecting curricula today.
 
2012-09-01 09:00:05 PM  

Skunkarific: Hmmm, the government radio station says their competition isn't up to their standards? I must, I will believe it, for I am Drew.


Let me guess: Glenn Beck managed to connect NPR to public schools on his derpy blackboard? Where does George Soros fit in?
 
2012-09-01 09:00:51 PM  

Mildot: Leave everything the way it is except abolish the NEA.


...and commerce, and uh, what's the third one? Let's see. Oops.
 
2012-09-01 09:01:03 PM  
Some charter schools specialize in problem kids.
 
2012-09-01 09:02:27 PM  
the wealthiest 2% of Americans (the ones who own this Nation and its "democratic" government), send their mice to private schools.
 
2012-09-01 09:02:37 PM  

RexTalionis: The problem with charter schools is that they are often able to cherry pick or self select their pupils. They can take only the good students, leaving the special needs children (ie the more expensive students) to the already overburdened public schools, which cannot cherry pick.


Do you have any non-anecdotal proof of this?
 
2012-09-01 09:02:47 PM  
I went to a Montessori as a little kid, and then private schools for middle school and high school. If I had a kid that's what I would want to do. Fark crappy public schools.
 
2012-09-01 09:03:04 PM  

clancifer: Kids should not be getting an education without shareholders making some good money. That's the American way.



i just could never imagine where that could go wrong............
 
2012-09-01 09:04:05 PM  
Kimothy, thanks for the insight (seriously).
 
2012-09-01 09:05:07 PM  

RexTalionis: The problem with charter schools is that they are often able to cherry pick or self select their pupils. They can take only the good students, leaving the special needs children (ie the more expensive students) to the already overburdened public schools, which cannot cherry pick.

Of course, when charter schools can pick their students, their performance looks "better" than their public counterparts. And when public schools are left to handle the special needs children with the model students picked away, their performance looks "worse."

And this is the charter school scam.


So you think the school administration's needs are more important than the student's needs? I think having a monopoly on education is a recipe for corruption and failure. I like the idea of students and parents having a choice, and that competition for students will result in higher standards for everyone.

My school days (long past, thankfully) were the darkest and most miserable days of my life. I'm immediately distrustful of anybody who cheers the status quo and insists that a public school monopoly is the best choice for education.
 
2012-09-01 09:05:21 PM  

fusillade762: Are there any countries in the world that have fully privatized all their schools? It would be interesting to see how that worked out for them.


Try Honduras. Or a lot of 3rd world countries. Only the rich get educated, and it works great for them. Not so much for the rest of the country, but the rich do awesome.
 
2012-09-01 09:06:06 PM  
Nononono, the long answer is "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"

Jesus subby, if you're going to use a tired old joke, at least tell it right.
 
2012-09-01 09:06:14 PM  

RexTalionis: The problem with charter schools is that they are often able to cherry pick or self select their pupils. They can take only the good students, leaving the special needs children (ie the more expensive students) to the already overburdened public schools, which cannot cherry pick.

Of course, when charter schools can pick their students, their performance looks "better" than their public counterparts. And when public schools are left to handle the special needs children with the model students picked away, their performance looks "worse."

And this is the charter school scam.


Essentially, yes. There are other psychological factors relating to 'buy-in' that affect motivation in kids (Ex: "I had to sit through a lottery to get into this school! I was so tense! But I won! [Elation]" "If I don't try hard, they're going to take that away from me! I have to try hard!" "I didn't make the lottery. I have to go to the crappy school where I'll be dumb. [depressed]" Others.)

Teachers can affect motivation, positively and negatively, but external factors can easily overwhelm anything a teacher might do. Where these universal factors are largely universal in a classroom, it can overwhelm everybody's learning.
 
2012-09-01 09:08:39 PM  
Anytime you can get rid of the bottom 10% of dumbass freeloaders who end up in government out of the picture you're doing good.
 
2012-09-01 09:09:33 PM  

cretinbob: So other than the fact that they are private schools funded by public taxes, what is the difference?
Sounds like bullshiat to me.



Crony capitalist "free market loving" americans who claim to be so fearful of "socialism" love the idea that they can use public tax money for their private interests/agendas/schools. as long as it benefits the Owners, its A-Ok! its not socialism unless public money is used to help public interests.

why should companies/owners/well-off folks spend their money on private schools when they can spend all that free public tax money instead???

sounds like a win win for them. not so good for the other 80/90% of the Nation, though.
 
2012-09-01 09:09:56 PM  
Private for profit Charter schools should not be receiving public funds...
 
2012-09-01 09:11:44 PM  
You want to improve the American education system? Abolish all private and religious education and ensure public schools all receive the same level of funding per student. A few people will send their kids to boarding schools in foreign countries, but most will be pretty well stuck. The American public school education will be world-class in no time, and that will never, ever happen if the children of the elites are exempt. Of course this will not even be considered, because it does not serve the selfish, short term interests of the owners of this countries, and American students will continue to fall behind indefinitely. Eventually America will be a third-rate nation intellectually incapable of developing state of the art military hardware and economically incapable of projecting serious military power abroad, and the present world order will end. The world will likely descend into a dark age, and resource scarcity may prevent any kind of renaissance from ever occurring; the world will fulfill Malthus's predictions at last and the survivors will envy the dead. But hey, maybe I'm just a pessimist.
 
2012-09-01 09:12:20 PM  

fusillade762: Are there any countries in the world that have fully privatized all their schools? It would be interesting to see how that worked out for them.


Finland has done the opposite (No private schools), to great success.

Link
 
2012-09-01 09:15:16 PM  
The answer to education is getting the farking parents to make their kids farking learn the farking material. Out.
 
2012-09-01 09:15:51 PM  

Linux_Yes: cretinbob: So other than the fact that they are private schools funded by public taxes, what is the difference?
Sounds like bullshiat to me.


Crony capitalist "free market loving" americans who claim to be so fearful of "socialism" love the idea that they can use public tax money for their private interests/agendas/schools. as long as it benefits the Owners, its A-Ok! its not socialism unless public money is used to help public interests.

why should companies/owners/well-off folks spend their money on private schools when they can spend all that free public tax money instead???

sounds like a win win for them. not so good for the other 80/90% of the Nation, though.


and charters allow the schools to work teachers unusually long hours, which is a win win for the Owners. not so good for the teachers, though.

charter schools don't have to worry about any kind of regulation, so they can f*ck over anyone they choose to. sounds like Freedom!

just like Wall Stroke f*cked over this Nation's tax payers when its regulations were taken away and they did as they damn well pleased.

and that turned out well..........
 
2012-09-01 09:16:07 PM  

skwerl: RexTalionis: The problem with charter schools is that they are often able to cherry pick or self select their pupils. They can take only the good students, leaving the special needs children (ie the more expensive students) to the already overburdened public schools, which cannot cherry pick.

Of course, when charter schools can pick their students, their performance looks "better" than their public counterparts. And when public schools are left to handle the special needs children with the model students picked away, their performance looks "worse."

And this is the charter school scam.

So you think the school administration's needs are more important than the student's needs? I think having a monopoly on education is a recipe for corruption and failure. I like the idea of students and parents having a choice, and that competition for students will result in higher standards for everyone.

My school days (long past, thankfully) were the darkest and most miserable days of my life. I'm immediately distrustful of anybody who cheers the status quo and insists that a public school monopoly is the best choice for education.


How much competition is there really going to be for poor folks (the ones who actually have the bad public schools) though?

Are ten buses going to visit every corner of Detroit?
 
2012-09-01 09:20:18 PM  
1%'er fo lyfe yo!
 
2012-09-01 09:21:16 PM  
As a teacher for a charter school, I say they are working. The key is the community support. Our board has the mayor of the town we are in as the President and the parents are very involved. The school is on the way to be a very good college preparatory school as the principal plans. We are changing to this from a "school for the troublemakers" in a few years. We do not cherry pick our students as was said upthread: we have a random lottery. One of the things about my school is discipline is quite strict, so the people who are expelled from public school tend not to try to pick the school or if they do, they transfer out really quickly.

It honestly depends on the school/administration. We had an administration where the goal was to have a basketball dynasty dominating a small conference. That means they let a lot of stuff slide that this administration does not. We have quite a few students with IEPs/504s that love the school. We do not turn away a student for any reason. We would be farked legally if we did so.

Our new principal is the best I have seen (though I am young and my view is skewed from him, student teaching, and principals I saw as a student). I know quite a few teachers at private and public schools that are amazed just at the fact that I say the principal is around the school more than in his office. His mantra that a lot of parents support is to remove the troublemaker from class to not hinder the 20 something other students. That is why some people support our school over the public schools.
 
2012-09-01 09:21:31 PM  

skwerl: RexTalionis: The problem with charter schools is that they are often able to cherry pick or self select their pupils. They can take only the good students, leaving the special needs children (ie the more expensive students) to the already overburdened public schools, which cannot cherry pick.

Of course, when charter schools can pick their students, their performance looks "better" than their public counterparts. And when public schools are left to handle the special needs children with the model students picked away, their performance looks "worse."

And this is the charter school scam.

So you think the school administration's needs are more important than the student's needs? I think having a monopoly on education is a recipe for corruption and failure. I like the idea of students and parents having a choice, and that competition for students will result in higher standards for everyone.

My school days (long past, thankfully) were the darkest and most miserable days of my life. I'm immediately distrustful of anybody who cheers the status quo and insists that a public school monopoly is the best choice for education.


Except we have to consider the issue in the quote from FloydA below.

How do failing schools get better if good students tend to leave and funding goes away with them? What do we do with the students who don't have the ability to "shop" for schools?

FloydA: The only real problem is that, in many places, schools are funded by property taxes, so the schools in low income neighborhoods are severely under-funded. As a result of poor funding, the schools have low rates of achievement. (Poor funding is not the only reason why some public schools under-perform, some well-funded schools under-perform as well, but in the poorest communities, lack of school funding is certainly a contributing factor.)

Parents are more likely to want their kids to go to the charter schools if the kids would otherwise be enrolled in the under-funded, low performing public schools. The result is that the schools that were already under-funded become even more under-funded as their students (and the corresponding funding) are diverted to the charter schools.

If the goal is improving the quality of education for everyone, then charter schools can sometimes have the exact opposite of the intended effect, by increasing the disparity between the well-funded, successful schools and the under-funded, unsuccessful public schools.

 
2012-09-01 09:21:53 PM  

cretinbob: So other than the fact that they are private schools funded by public taxes, what is the difference?


The difference is they get tax dollars to teach Jesus.
 
2012-09-01 09:23:16 PM  
anything the teachers union is against is good for students
 
2012-09-01 09:24:06 PM  

Kimothy: As a teacher at one of the most successful charter schools in Nevada, I'm getting a kick...

Some charters are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

Some public schools are wildly successful, some are adequate, some fail.

I don't see the problem.


Meanwhile, in reality, charter schools get to pick and choose students, pay their teachers less, and provide education no better than public schools. Thanks for defending your livelihood (even though it's on record you ARE getting paid less than your public school counterparts), but you've been tricked into supporting a failed system that is inferior to a good public education system. At least, when it isn't being cannibalized by people using bad statistics and underfunded school systems to funnel money into their for-profit schools.
 
2012-09-01 09:24:25 PM  
Private education works out about as well as private health insurance - the free market will quickly figure out very efficient ways of serving the people who can help them turn a profit. Which is to say, people with money. Of course, the government can do things to improve access within a private system by way of subsidies or regulation (for instance saying that people can't be turned away even by private companies in certain circumstances), but that's not necessarily more efficient than if you had a functioning public system that those people could turn to.

There will never be a purely (or even mostly) free market solution to problems like these - any good solution will involve substantial government expenditure and regulation - so you might as well do it right instead of half-assing it.
 
2012-09-01 09:24:55 PM  
Solution to the crisis? Homeschool. Failing that try a democratic school using the Sudberry Valley model, or even a free school. The crisis was caused by government standardizing the Prussian model across the US, and you aren't going to fix the problem using the same level of thinking that caused it. Of course as these Prussian model charter schools/private schools are finding out, why fix it when there's money to be made from prolonging the problem.
 
2012-09-01 09:27:11 PM  

Jonny Chimpo: We do not turn away a student for any reason. We would be farked legally if we did so.

...

His mantra that a lot of parents support is to remove the troublemaker from class to not hinder the 20 something other students.


Meanwhile, the public schools have no choice but to take the troublemaker you can turn away. So, basically, your first statement is an outright falsehood by your own admission, in the very same post.

Go fark yourself.
 
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