Interesting Take on the Floe Decision From the Weekly

Over at the Seattle Weekly, Nina Shapiro took a big picture look at what it all means.  She zeros in on some key points.  It makes good points to ponder and mull over. 


Josh Hayes said…
A heartfelt "Yeah!" to her third point - District management really does seem to regard families, both parents and children, as "the enemy" somehow. How else to explain the disdain in which they seem to hold us?

Perhaps it's just hubris. They believe themselves to be the best and brightest, and we should just shut up and do what they say, like the helpless, ignorant children we are.

And then they go out and make dopey decisions like this one. How are we supposed to take them seriously when they botch decision after decision?
Chris S. said…
I'd say Nina is 3 for 3 here.
Jan said…
Maybe this is too picky, Chris, but I will go with 2.5 out of 3. Nina says:
This is a rather paradoxical comment from Hill, who is a big supporter of charter schools, which is all about parent empowerment. But it does indicate an all-too-prevalent attitude that reform has to be forced down the throats of the people who are actually in the schools everyday.

Charter schools SHOULD be about parent empowerment, but in many cases, big charter orgs come in with "their program," cut a deal to get tax dollars and district assets (school buildings, etc.), and then just tell parents what they "get," like it or not. Parents don't choose the curriculum, the principals; they have no input into suspension/expulsion policies, etc. And -- there is no one to "vote out" if they don't like it. "Parent choice" is just the sugar coating on the bitter pill - to get people to swallow it.

Charters COULD be community based and/or parent governed, but that is certainly not what a lot of ed reform seems to have in mind.
Anonymous said…
We do have Charter Schools, the real ones that are community based and controlled: Alternative Schools.
What is scary is that a few states are starting to include for-profit companies as possible managers for charter schools. This is a big leap towards privatization which is very troubling.
Anonymous said…
Starting? Melissa, private EMO's (Educational Management Companies) have been in the charter biz for over a decade, and continue to sprout up all over. That's what I've been screaming warnings about "privatization" for over the past couple of years. That's exactly the "privatizing" I'm talking about. And most of the so-called "non-profit" charters are only "non-profit" in that they don't pay dividends. But they take very good care of their CEO's and officers, by paying them multiple six figure salaries. Oh yes; non-profit? Indeed.

I also know that the man credited with inventing the Charter Schools idea (Shanker, I think?) is firmly against today's hijacked version of his original ideas. There are many authors and critics today who were original charter supporters who have also abandoned the movement as it was hijacked and torn away from the, and turned into for-profit ventures to launder public tax dollars through, usually into the deep pockets of charter owners and CEO's. I can't stop it in Ohio or Pennsylvania. But I'll do everything I can to stop it in Washington.

Charlie Mas said…
I think Ms Shapiro's analysis is right on target. She got the big picture on all three points.

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