Monday, January 13, 2014

Charter Applicant Forums

Updates from the Charter Commission:


1.      Each applicant will be given 10 minutes of presentation time, followed by 30 minutes of public comment. Individuals will be provided up to 2 minutes for comments. We are hopeful that 15 people will be able to provide comment.
2.      Individuals who wish to provide public comment are asked to sign up at the meeting. If there are more than 15 people that signup to provide comment, a lottery will be held to determine the 15 individuals. If an individual wishes to provide public comment on more than one school, myself or a volunteer will enter that individual into the lotteries for the schools of their choice.
3.      The January 11 deadline pertains to comments concerning re-nomination of commissioners with expiring terms. We’ve, in fact, not named a deadline for written comments on potential schools.

Also, a new story online said that at one of the first Charter Applicant forums in Eastern Washington that all three commissioners were in favor of that applicant.  I was quite surprised to read this as it certainly would have seemed wrong for any Commissioner to express favortism for any applicant.  Below is the answer to that question:

4.      Thank you for bringing the story to our attention, and we will look into this matter. Chair Sundquist and all commissioners have not made public comment regarding the approval or denial status of any charter school application the commission has received. As for the second part of your question, the commissioners in attendance were Stephen Sundquist, Kevin Jacka, and Larry Wright.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's old news but still a good reminder:

The Failure of Charter Schools in Ohio, $7 Billion Later ...

This is an important summary of the failure of the charter school movement in Ohio, from the Ohio Coalition for Education and Adequacy: A "noble" experiment to force the improvement of the public common school: Fifteen years and $7 billion dollars later the charter school gamble has ...

dianeravitch.net/2013/09/24/the-failure-of-charter-schoo...

-schoolWatcher

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, more on the failure of charters in Ohio - 17 charters closed in Cincinnati ...in one year. Some just opened for mere months.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/01/12/charter-failure.html

Anonymous said...

Another day, another TFA story.
And another day, another Charter story.

After reading about the Charter story, ask yourselves why the Obama administration and Arne Duncan take aim at the disparaties in discipline rates in public schools, yet remain deafeningly silent about charters....

Hmmm....are they saying Charter students don't get civil rights protections, because "private non-profits" run the schools? If so, what a convenient end-run by Duncan, Obama and Holder.

On the other hand, what's left to argue about? It's abundantly clear what's happening to the public school system in this country, which is simply an extension of the war on the middle class. "Turn a profit on every head" is being said loudly and proudly in Wall Street boardrooms as I type. No doubt about it. How could there be when Ed Reformers speak of Teachers as "Human Capital." Jesus! Could they be any creepier? Seriously. I thought Soylent Green was part of science "fiction," not a metaphor for public ed.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

While I'm in the mood, a little background on KIPP, the darling of all Charters. KIPP Study Finds High Student Attrition Amid Big Learning Gains

WSDWG

Thomas said...

Diane Ravitch's posts indicate that a lot of charter schools are closing.

Nothing like signing onto failed ed. reform initiatives.

Mary Griffin said...

WSDWG,

You are attempting to draw a parallel between discipline practices and racial disproportionality AND charter schools?

If your argument has an legs whatsoever, they are just nubs.

The racial disproportionality issues in discipline have existed since before charter schools were even a glimmer in the Koch brothers' eyes. See this article about the issue in Seattle in 2002: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Blacks-are-disciplined-at-far-higher-rates-than-1082691.php.

The glacial pace of the federal government's response to decades of civil rights abuses in public school is far from unwarranted, and frankly, still rather anemic.

You and I probably agree on a lot of issues surrounding charter schools, and it certainly seems that there is the potential to document civil rights abuses as far as students with disabilities, students who are poor and other classes of students, there just isn't a lot of history.

Parents of kids who are guilty of learning while black or disabled can tell you that discipline disproportionality is real, it is ingrained, it is pernicious and it is systemic. Some sort of federal guidance is way past due.

Anonymous said...

No, Mary, I'm not drawing that parallel. I'm calling out the administrations double standard, asking why Charters are exempt from the same investigations and scrutiny, and I think we both know why: Too much money at stake for the administrations billionaire buddies in the private charter industry.

Charters have existed for 23 years now. That's plenty of history for the Feds to look at, if they cared to. (Did you read the article I linked?)

The point is the obvious politics at play here. Anything to make traditional schools look bad - justified or not - gets press and scrutiny. Charters? Just the opposite, and it's obvious why: They don't want to hurt their image with the public during an explosive period of expansion for Charters nationwide.

Even though many Charters are failing, their proponents are doubling-down right now.

WSDWG

Mary Griffin said...

WSDWG,

Yes, I read your articles.

I don't like charter schools or TFA for the same reasons you don't.

The fact of the matter is that charter schools are not held to the same standards as public schools and they discriminate against kids with disabilities in both admissions and provision of services. And they do this with impunity with tax dollars. And the fact of the matter is that when TFAers are put in front of children who have disabilities or are disadvantaged in other ways, they are putting the least qualified teachers in front of the students who need the most qualified teachers.

I don't know if you have ever tried to get any help with civil rights matters, but providing the feds with isolated incidents or even statistics isn't going to bag you any help from the Office of Civil Rights or any feds.

Warning: RANT
In one of your Salon articles, the use of a padded cell is mentioned for a kid with disabilties. The fact of the matter is that this happens in public schools as well as charter schools. Kids with disabilites have been thrown in locked closets in the State of Washington in public schools for hours at a time for behaviors that would be expected from children with autism or other disabilities:Use of Seclusion Room Violates Constitutional Rights,Longview Isolation Box, and Autistic Girl Locked in Closet. My own son was put into a restraint wherein an SPS teacher laid on top of him inside a "quiet room" several times a week. Bill Would Require Schools to Notify Parents of Use of Isolation, Restraints". There are no federal laws which currently provide any protection or consequences for such behavior by districts and teachers whether they attend charter or public school. Period. Society would be more outraged if they treated beagles this way. And yes, I know I'm ranting.

My point is, that I am with you, but don't hold your breath for the feds to come marching in. They're not going to until, as you say, political winds shift.

Anonymous said...

Mary: I think we're in total agreement. I'm merely positing how politics seems to trump everything, not just with education, but war and peace, life and death, etc. That Charters get nary a mention in these investigations, given their well-known and trumpeted "no excuses" (degrading, militant and humiliating) practices, is revealing of the powers at work behind the curtain to keep them free of scrutiny, thus given a leg up in the propaganda wars surrounding public ed. That's all, and that's it. Not excusing or minimizing anything wrong with traditional public schools. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Mary: I think we're in total agreement. I'm merely positing how politics seems to trump everything, not just with education, but war and peace, life and death, etc. That Charters get nary a mention in these investigations, given their well-known and trumpeted "no excuses" (degrading, militant and humiliating) practices, is revealing of the powers at work behind the curtain to keep them free of scrutiny, thus given a leg up in the propaganda wars surrounding public ed. That's all, and that's it. Not excusing or minimizing anything wrong with traditional public schools. WSDWG