Here's we go.
I don't know how anyone missed this one - a 1st grader in a big-chain charter school in NYC getting bullied by her teacher. Before the teacher says anything, you should look at the posture and body language of those students. It's caught on video by another teacher who was very concerned for this class. Horrific. The mother of was beyond upset and yet felt marginalized and ignored by the head of the charter system. She pulled her daughter out.
Big news out of San Diego where "a charter school king" gets charged with a felony.
A former San Diego County superintendent who approved charter schools that later hired his consulting firm was arraigned Friday in San Diego Superior Court on one felony count of conflict of interest, according to the San Diego district attorney’s office.This next paragraph reminds me a lot of Mary Walker School District which is, basically, a "host" for the current Washington charter schools.
Van Zant, 53, has been a controversial figure among San Diego County educators. Long before he faced legal troubles, Van Zant stirred animosity among school districts for years as he brokered deals with charter schools to operate in their districts — often without providing the notice required by law.
Officials from small and cash-strapped districts approved charters to operate outside of their boundaries in part for financial reasons. The authorizing districts don’t stand to lose students — or the state attendance funds that accompany them — and they receive up to 3 percent of the charter’s revenue in exchange for varying degrees of oversight and often administrative services.From Boston, where public school students walked out of class last week in huge numbers,to protest charter schools taking money from their schools, is this guy, Rick Holmes, comparing the concerns to a "school rivalry." Like a Beach Boys song.
He makes fun of testimony from a public school student at a competitive high school (and who makes fun of kids?), and, wait for it - here's the secret to charter schools:
If you work longer and harder at something, you get better at it. An orderly classroom is especially helpful to children from disorderly homes.Then there's ALEC which we all knew was coming our way soon. From Diane Ravitch:
The commentary to ALEC’s original 1984 voucher bill states that its purpose is “to introduce normal market forces” into education, and to “dismantle the control and power of” teachers’ unions by directing money from public institutions to private ones that were less likely to be unionized.Thoughtful commentary is from the Education Opportunity Network:
Friedman was more explicit when addressing ALEC’s 2006 meeting. He explained that vouchers are really a step towards “abolishing the public school system.”
“How do we get from where we are to where we want to be?” Friedman asked the ALEC crowd.
The parade of toxic stories about charter schools prompted former PBS education correspondent John Merrow to recently suggest a “Wall of Shame” for the industry, as an attempt to come clean about the “harm that has befallen many students and the millions taken from public treasuries by some charter school operators.”
The rapid expansion of the charter school industry across the country continues to be dogged by high-profile scandals, lurid news reports, and studies showing widespread corruption and fraud.Within this story is a study about charters and money that leaves public schools. Charters love to say this doesn't happen.
According to a recent study conducted by the Florida-based research firm MGT of America, growth of charters in Nashville have had significant adverse effects on that community’s existing public schools, as money allotted to the local school is transferred out of that school when the student leaves for a newly opened charter.From almost a year ago, great research report by The Center for Popular Democracy and The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools: The Tip of the Iceberg; Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
“The loss of even a single student will reduce the revenue received,” the report states, because “the reduction of a single student in a classroom will not alleviate the need to have a teacher in that classroom … In fact, the per-pupil cost for that classroom or school would increase because the fixed expenses would remain, but the revenue to support them would be decreased.”
Nevertheless, it concludes, “New charter schools will, with nearly 100 percent certainty, have a negative fiscal impact” on the school district.” (emphasis added)
From California and EduResearch - Rocketship Pushes Expansion Despite Denials and Strong Community Opposition. Rocketship is a chain of charters, mostly in Northern California.
Since corporate and tech-billionaire led foundations fund the proliferation and marketing of the schools, it’s rare for the public to hear voices expressing ground-level concerns (unless one happens to follow stoprocketship.com).From a letter in support of denial of a new Rocketship school:
“I am a physician at a Family Medicine clinic in a low income neighborhood in San Jose, near Rocketship schools. I see children and adults, many of whom live in this community.From Diane Ravitch about Arizona charters.
I take care of many kids who are enrolled in both traditional district school and in Rocketship charter schools. I have been impressed with the number of children who attend Rocketship elementary schools who have presented with physical signs of extreme stress. Some come with headaches, some with abdominal pain, two have urinary problems. The stories are similar. They often involve bullying with an inadequate school response or frequent punishments for inadequate performance (incomplete homework packets resulting in detention, missing lunch and recess because of academic failures, etc.).
I have recommended that some patients seek testing for learning disabilities, but parents have told me that the school tells them they can’t have thorough testing there and they don’t have many services for children with LD so they should try a different school if they need those kinds of services.
To sum it up: “They Recruit, They Skim, They Flunk Out The Weak … They are Arizona’s Top Charter Schools”From Diane Ravitch, ACLU in New Jersey sues over charters and segregation.
From PressOhio, a chronology of Ohio's charter school scandal.
From Diane Ravitch, Texas and the "long" waiting lists for charter schools.
Charters claim they must expand because 100,000 students are on waiting lists. Woods says that recent hearings before the state senate education committee demonstrated the falsity of that claim, based on data presented by the Texas Education Agency.Shades of Washington State:
Some charters have waiting lusts, but most don’t. Charters actually have at least 108,000 vacant seats in the state. There are 250,000 charter students in the state, which is 5% of public school enrollment. About 30% of charter seats are empty. Why open more charters?
By the way, if you open the link, you will see a picture of charter children demonstrating for more charters and more money. Using children and staff as foot soldiers at political rallies is now common practice for the charter lobby. Public schools are not allowed to use students as props.My folder of charter stories? Still full. I'll have some the more thoughtful commentaries to come.