Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Charter School Updates

Besides the hilarious (and true) account of charter school mishaps across the country from John Oliver, there's this news:
  • The News Tribune reports that charter school supporters are fighting back against the latest charter lawsuit.
A dozen families, including three whose children attend charter schools in Tacoma, are named as interveners in the latest legal motion, which will be filed in King County Superior Court.
The Washington State Charter Schools Association, along with two of Tacoma’s three charter schools, are also part of the legal counter-action announced Tuesday.

State Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, said in a release supporting charters that he believes the new law addresses the court’s concerns. He called the lawsuit filed by charter opponents “a crass maneuver that puts students in the crosshairs of a battle we don’t need to have.”
I can certainly understand those parents' unhappiness but unless something changes in our state's constitution, the law does not appear to be constitutional.  See Article 3, Section 22 on the role of the state superintendent in overseeing all public schools.  Not a whisper of that role in the law.

As for Senator Mullet that's a fairly unstatesman-like comment from someone running for reelection especially with all the gun violence in our country.
  • a new study on charter school and labor market outcomes. 
We find that, at the mean, charter schools have no impact on test scores and a negative impact on earnings. No Excuses charter schools increase test scores and four-year college enrollment, but have a small and statistically insignificant impact on earnings, while other types of charter schools decrease test scores, four-year college enrollment, and earnings. Moving to school-level estimates, we find that charter schools that decrease test scores also tend to decrease earnings, while charter schools that increase test scores have no discernible impact on earnings. In contrast, high school graduation effects are predictive of earnings effects throughout the distribution of school quality. The paper concludes with a speculative discussion of what might explain our set of facts.
But there is also this study saying students who attend charter schools DO make more money. Hmm.
  • Two stories of note from California.  First, from the LA Times:
 Some California charter schools discriminate in admissions, ACLU report says 
State law requires charter schools to take in all students.ACLU and Public Advocates started investigating the schools’ admissions policies after hearing from parents that they might not be doing so. 

Researchers used a rubric to grade the schools’ policies, as expressed on their websites. They looked for different types of discrimination: bias against English language learners; requirements for essays, interviews, auditions or academic performance; mandates for parents; and practices that could drive away students who are in the U.S. illegally. 
As I pointed out in a previous thread, some local charters don't even allow you to look at their admissions forms unless you give them your e-mail address.  So much for being "public."

From the East Bay Times:

Livermore: Hundreds flee charter schools, district braces for influx 

And, yes, all those students have somewhere to go because real public schools are the ones who are there when charters fall apart.
On the first day of school, more than 500 new students swarmed into Livermore public schools, the vast majority fleeing the city's two embattled charter schools in light of a litany of accusations ranging from fiscal mismanagement to criminal wrongdoing. 
The company that runs the charter schools, the Tri-Valley Learning Corp., is facing allegations of financial mismanagement; illegally charging foreign exchange students tuition and transferring them to a school in Stockton against their will; an investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office for potential criminal charges; and, most recently, hiring a principal who made an online reference to empathizing with mass shooters. 
That last item, about the principal?  Parents Googled who their new principal was and were horrified at what he had to say about his previous jobs.

Stunned, parents forced TVLC to rescind the offer.
Lysko last week defended her company's hiring procedures, saying a typical background check may not catch everything on a candidate.
If a background check doesn't include Googling a candidate (in this day and age), someone isn't doing it right.

Can you imagine if 500 students suddenly showed up at Seattle Schools' doors?


Charlie Mas said...

I think it's a deceptive race-based screed filled with lies and half-truths tarted up as truth. Moreover, I think it is a bunch of people throwing around baseless accusations of racism to promote charter schools.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that lovely hit piece surfaces again. What a piece of hateful crap it was. Dude has some serious issues.


Catherine said...

Apparently John Oliver is getting blowback - Diane Ravitch suggests emails and tweets of support.

Melissa Westbrook said...

As if Oliver would care. The "blowback" is a bunch of people trying to protect turf, not kids.