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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:41 PM

One in Five Charter Schools Is Bad Enough to Close

Source: Bloomberg News

As many as one in five U.S. charter schools should be shut down because of poor academic performance, according to a group representing states, districts and universities that grant them permission to operate.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers said 900 to 1,300 of the privately run, publicly financed schools should close because they are in the bottom 15 percent of public schools in their states. The Chicago-based groupís members -- such as the Los Angeles Unified School District and the State University of New York -- oversee more than half of the nationís 5,600 charter schools.

... The call for closing poor-performers carries special weight because it comes from an organization funded by charter-school advocates such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.

... Todayís announcement follows debate about whether charter schools are weakening the finances of traditional districts, siphoning off students from the most committed families, promoting racial and economic segregation in public education and failing to provide equal access to students with disabilities.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-28/one-in-five-charter-schools-should-close-on-performance.html

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply One in Five Charter Schools Is Bad Enough to Close (Original post)
Newsjock Nov 2012 OP
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #1
Squinch Nov 2012 #3
iemitsu Nov 2012 #10
Fearless Nov 2012 #29
NYC_SKP Nov 2012 #2
Squinch Nov 2012 #22
sulphurdunn Nov 2012 #4
Pterodactyl Nov 2012 #5
wildeyed Nov 2012 #14
Squinch Nov 2012 #23
wildeyed Nov 2012 #30
Squinch Nov 2012 #31
wildeyed Nov 2012 #32
Pterodactyl Nov 2012 #35
robinlynne Nov 2012 #6
hack89 Nov 2012 #18
Squinch Nov 2012 #24
hack89 Nov 2012 #26
Squinch Nov 2012 #27
hack89 Nov 2012 #28
NickP Nov 2012 #7
USMCMustang Nov 2012 #8
USMCMustang Nov 2012 #9
Ash_F Nov 2012 #11
byeya Nov 2012 #12
Ash_F Nov 2012 #13
byeya Nov 2012 #16
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #19
ChazII Nov 2012 #20
Archae Nov 2012 #15
olddad56 Nov 2012 #17
slackmaster Nov 2012 #21
Squinch Nov 2012 #25
wildeyed Nov 2012 #33
RebelOne Nov 2012 #34
Pterodactyl Nov 2012 #36

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:49 PM

1. Surprise, surprise, surprise

The only surprising element in this is that it is seeing the light of day.

Just another reminder of what a cock-up the Bush Bunch was.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:04 PM

3. I love Obama on most issues, but not on this one. He supports and pushes charters and seems

oblivious to the fact that overall they underperform public schools, and corporatize education dollars. He's as bad as Bush on this, and to me he's worse because it's so disappointing coming from him.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:45 AM

10. I'm with you on this one Squinch.

I so looked forward to the end of NCLB when Bush finally left office and then, Obama had to outdo the republicans and introduce Race to the Top. This was the policy that made me wary of Obama's real commitment to average Americans and what makes me worry about his need to keep us from going over the "fiscal cliff".
While I respect Obama's desire to be inclusive I can't agree that its a good idea to include those who would stab you in the back.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:45 PM

29. +10000!

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:49 PM

2. In Florida, 89% of public schools reported failure to meet AYP in 2010-2011

Per NCLB.

All of it is bullshit, of course: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2011/08/are_82_of_schools_failing_unde.html

There are a lot of bad and a lot of good schools out there.

Also a lot of myths and misinformation and propaganda.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:10 PM

22. According to that link, Alabama is vastly outperforming New Jersey. Uhhhh....yeah, right.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:26 PM

4. The entire education reform scam

is about money. Fill in the bubble tests are the norm (pun intended) because they are profitable, quick to score and amass mountains of useless data quickly with which political judgements can be justified as educational decisions. Also, the curriculum for the test can be revised every few years to make it "more rigorous" and so justifies buying new books and tests to reflect them. It's nothing but a goddamn racket that tells you nothing of value about any school.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:26 PM

5. And about one in six non-charter schools are in the bottom 15%, too!

Assuming traditional schools are ranked from 100% to 0%, and assuming that traditional schools outnumber charters significantly, about one out of six schools would also be in the bottom 15%.

I wish the author had discussed how charters fare versus non-charters.

Also, there is the issue of geography. If you live in an area where the default school is in the bottom 5%, then a school in the bottom 15% might be a better option.

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Response to Pterodactyl (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:44 AM

14. Yep. People don't seem to understand statistics very well.

It's a bell curve. By definition, half the schools will be above average and half will be below. But we like to mindlessly bash charter schools here, so whatever.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:21 PM

23. It's not mindless bashing.

By the vast majority of studies done so far, the charters average lower achievement than the public schools.

But charters are allowed to cherry pick their students. Where I live and in most other places charters don't accept, or quickly get rid of, any students who have learning issues, behavioral issues, or physical issues. With those children out of the averages, they ought to be blowing the doors off the public schools. But they are not. They are underperforming in the aggregate.

The problem, too, is that charters are sold very hard to the parents and neighborhoods. It is only after the corporation takes over the neighborhood school that the parents learn that their learning disabled kids are now not going to be accepted by the charter, and are going to have to be bussed to another neighborhood. Or, if their child is accepted, the charter school does not have to comply with the same standards as the public school, and they have no recourse if they don't like how their children are treated or taught.

Education should not be a corporate enterprise. We've seen what that has done in higher education. Why would we think it should be different at younger levels?

This is a bill of goods.

You seem to think it is a possibly nice alternative to public school. Please look VERY VERY carefully before you submit your child to a charter school.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:46 PM

30. Hahaha! Too late.

Both my children go to charter schools already. As a result, I know quite a bit about them.

Rules vary from state to state, but charter schools in my state are NOT allowed to cherry pick. Some probably do find ways around the rules, but plenty of high scoring regular publics do the same. I know this for a fact because my oldest kid went to one that would hold back any 2nd grader child who was in danger of doing poorly on EOGs the next year. Didn't matter if retention wasn't in the child's best interest or if the family did not want it. That is what happened in order to protect the school's high standardized test scores. This was the local PUBLIC elementary school, not some dastardly charter school bent on robbing the public coffers and destroying public education one young mind at a time.

Nobody sold me on charter schools. The local elementary was a bad fit for my oldest, so I went looking for options. We homeschooled for a bit, but the charters have worked out better for us. I sent my youngest to a different charter specifically because he is learning disabled and I saw what the regular public did to those kids. The charter he attends is much smaller and the curriculum is geared toward visual/spatial learners. I told them straight up that he had issues when we enrolled and they said "Great! We specialize in quirky kids!" He has blossomed.

Neither charter school my children attend are for profit. I don't know where this idea on DU that ALL charter schools are money grubbing corporate entities comes from. There are a few I guess, but most in my city are small, not for profit and started by parents and educators.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #30)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:55 PM

31. How long have your children been attending their charters?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #31)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:57 PM

32. Oldest for four years, youngest for three. n/t

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #30)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:10 PM

35. My kids go to a charter school and we're very happy with it.

It's a nonprofit, so there is no money grubbing. And we do have an unfair advantage over the default schools. All the best teachers in town want to work at the charter! I'm continually amazed at the dedication of the teachers and adminstrators.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:45 PM

6. good. close them. Public schools were one of the best things about this country. Remember?

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Response to robinlynne (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:05 AM

18. What about the good charter schools?

if they meet state standards then they should stay open.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:22 PM

24. In most places they don't have to meet the standards, so how would you know?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:27 PM

26. Because my state has a model charter school law and excellent charter schools

In Rhode Island they are considered public schools and held to the same standard as all other charter schools. There is plenty of government oversight to ensure it is hard to get a charter while the state does not hesitate to revoke charters for poor performance.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:30 PM

27. That must be very nice. It's also pretty rare.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #27)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:33 PM

28. I agree more states need to be like RI. nt

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:20 PM

7. Good

No school or university should be private. All of them should be public and government funded and regulated, not at the whim of corporations.

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Response to NickP (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:20 PM

8. Like France

 

Where education is not a business?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:29 PM

9. What Is Never Discussed Regarding Education

 

Is the distractions that kids are facing. Social media, smart phone addiction, reality tv, etc. I paid attention in school and loved learning even though we were on welfare. I spent a few years working with juveniles and they wanted the good life, but never considered working for it. Getting a job was not one of their options. Not all youngsters think that way, but too many do.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:51 AM

11. Hey guys I have a great idea!

Lets improve the system by eliminating all standards!

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:14 AM

12. Arne Duncan is that you? Hi Arne!

 

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Response to byeya (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:16 AM

13. The smiley does have similar teeth.


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Response to Ash_F (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:51 AM

16. LOL

 

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:08 AM

19. There weren't any "standards" when I went to school.

Last edited Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:28 PM - Edit history (1)

And there were even fewer when my mother went to her one-room country school.

People educate themselves if challenged by their parents and teachers with interesting problems to solve, good books to read and exciting stories and facts.

Testing, testing, testing, testing, testing is boring.

I would have flunked out of high school with today's curriculum.

You know what turned me on to school: a three-dimensional miniature of the Parthenon made by my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Stahl, out of some strange concoction of flour, sugar, salt and whatever.

I was in sixth grade. I saw that model. We read a little about Greece and the birth of the idea of democracy, and at 10 years old, I decided that I was going to go and see the real thing one day.

It took a lot of work because my family had no money. I had to study hard, get good SAT scores, go to college, and finally, I found a way to go and see the Parthenon.

I had a goal, a goal I did not think I could ever attain. It was a childish goal, but I never lost sight of it.

When my husband and I actually reached Greece, visited Athens and saw the Parthenon, we spent days just sitting on the grounds, just contemplating the beauty of it, the idealism, the life, the history that has taken place there.

Tests do not turn kids on to learning. Ideas they can use in their lives, beauty they can enjoy and links to the past and future are the things that cause people to learn.

When I look at the buildings of my local schools, the little temporary classrooms -- dismal places with teachers who have no time for making models of the Parthenon or staying late to teach just that one talented, but poor kid how to play the violin, I think what a waste it is to spend money on tests and worry about scores. The tests and the scores have nothing to do with the real learning.

Oh, and because I was such a fan of the Parthenon so early on, I eventually went to the library and found a few books -- some story about Sisyphus, some about Oedipus Rex, great stories that I just picked up at random from the shelf because they had something to do with Greece, and I cared about Greece because my teacher, Mrs. Stahl, had cared about Greece.

Tests are useless. Scores are useless.

By the way, the grade school I attended has been turned into some sort of school for special education or something. It's great that all children are getting an education, but I wonder to what extent children end up in special ed quite simply because teachers are so busy teaching to the tests that they don't have time to make miniature Parthenons and the like.

Success is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, but without that 10% inspiration, there is no success.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:27 AM

20. Your post is awesome, JD.

When I first began my teaching career I had my student make models and many of them did become more motivated to learn on their own. In my last years of teaching there was no time for those models.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:11 AM

15. Every year I read about charter schools that close up without notice.

Including notice to the actual teachers.

The company declares bankruptcy, and the teachers, even those who are good ones, are literally locked out, and the big guys at the top have siphoned off lots of that juicy government money and are nowhere to be found.

Don't forget the charter schools in some states that are allowed to teach revisionist history and creationism.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:31 AM

17. where I live, there are plenty of public schools that should be closed for the same reason.

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Response to olddad56 (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:36 AM

21. The people who are opposed to charter schools know that. They just hate charter schools.

 

Their agenda is transparent.

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Response to olddad56 (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:26 PM

25. Where I live, when a public school does not perform for three years, the school is "closed," the

administration is changed and the school is reopened, possibly re-named, and the oversight from the central administration is hugely increased. It seems to often work.

If you have a charter school that is failing, there is no oversight to make such a process happen.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #25)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:10 PM

33. It varies from state to state.

In my state, under-performing charters face tougher consequences than regular public schools. They are also funded at a considerably lower rate.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:21 PM

34. My daughter is a teacher in a charter school in South Florida.

She had been teaching in public school and switched to a charter school. The public school where she formerly taught was in a ghetto neighborhood. She is now in a better environment with a boost in pay. So that is why I support charter schools.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #34)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:11 PM

36. The country is catching on to how good charters can be. Someday DU-ers will, too!

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