Disqus

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Washington State PTA Considers Support for Charter Schools

I received a copy of the PTA's "toolkit" with information and paper handouts on issues.  One of them was for charters.

Upfront I'll say this is for local units to print out and give out to their members.   Apparently, it's still up for discussion and I hope each and every one of you that belongs to a PTA gets it on the agenda at your school.  This issue needs the fullest airing possible. 

What is quite strange about the position paper is that it doesn't answer one simple question: why charters?  It has no information about how they have performed or why they would work better.  You'd think if you were advocating something, you'd say why it's needed.

Instead it's a lot of talk about how families of at-risk kids don't have choices and alternatives.   Throwing more choices at people is not going to solve the opportunity gap.

They also vaguely say, "Charters would not require new funding, but they would divert funding to new programs."  Oh, you mean, existing schools lose money and those that serve high-needs kids will get even worse.

They also say "Districts are under no obligation to create, expand or support innovative programs."  That's true but it's not the same as saying they can't do it.  It's not the same as saying that a united front of legislators, parents, teachers and principals couldn't do it.  It just hasn't happened. 

This proposal comes from several PTA members, none from Seattle. 

6 comments:

Po3 said...

I don't read this as they are considering supporting charter schools, but rather actively persuing legislation for charter schools.

Most upsetting is how they point to KIPP and Green Dot; the two corporations with a monopoly on charter schools currently.

Anonymous said...

I would look to LEV as the main proponent of charters and this is just one part of their agenda to get charters here in washington.
I have read some of the LEV site and one of their bullets is pointing to charter corps that are the darlings of the reform movement (KIPP and Green dot). so this is not a surprise. i expect LEV will try and get this on the Ballot in the next big election of 2012.

dan dempsey said...

Instead it's a lot of talk about how families of at-risk kids don't have choices and alternatives. ......

Vaguely say, "Charters would not require new funding, but they would divert funding to new programs." Oh, you mean, existing schools lose money and those that serve high-needs kids will get even worse.

They also say "Districts are under no obligation to create, expand or support innovative programs." That's true but it's not the same as saying they can't do it.


Well.... no supportive data ... that is no surprise ... just look at the SPS for a model on that format.

In the SPS whenever some bizarre idea needs to be passed ... count on the achievement gap (since the achievement gap was a persisted problem .. it has been renamed the opportunity gap).

New Student Assignment Plan ==> it will make ever school a quality school .. (no data and no showing as to how that would happen) .... where are those transportation savings? How much is being to diverted to particular schools to make them quality schools? (Oh yes the model for this was already in evidence => the Southeast Education Initiative and it produced no positive results ; so let us make believe it worked as pass NSAP)

{{ Geez, what am I thinking!! In reality the NSAP was never about making every school a quality school .. that was just admin BS to get NSAP passed --- increasingly separate and unequal, would just not do it.}}

High School Math adoption ... Sealth supported with but my kids can only learn the way emphasized by the "Discovering Series".

Elementary School Adoption of Everyday math... Carla Santorno states that EDM will eliminate the achievement Gap in 5 - years (Despite lots of evidence to the contrary) RESULT -- score for low-income and Black students continued to decline in grades 3, 4, 5 relative to the state scores and were worse at all three grade than last year.

TfA it is a tool to close the achievement gap ... (complete BS) ... despite the evidence that TfA has never close any gap in a situation in which an adequate supply of fully credentialed highly qualified teachers was available.

NOPE an argument that makes sense is not required when big money is driving the bus ..... but the achievement gap is always used as a tear jerker (and always without evidence that the proposal will do anything about closing the achievement gap)

So how did this Charter School proposal originate in the PTSA?

Luckily 4 directors that spent $500,000 to get elected will not be voting on the PTSA charter School proposal .... but it will likely make no difference as the BIG Money agendas always get pushed through .... we have become a mini- WA DC.

==========
Just once I would like to see the existing data used to select a plan to close the achievement gaps in mathematics ... Gaps can be closed but not without a plan to do so. Every GAP closing suggestion has been to push some other piece of trash that someone is trying to push through, which has nothing to do with closing the achievement gaps.

Line them up:
TfA
NSAP
Everyday Math
Discovering series
Southeast Education Initiative

The core problems in society are going to exist but the schools should use materials and practices known to work.... guess there are NO big Money folks interested in pushing that.

====
Whenever LEV is mentioned just think of where the LEV funding comes from .... Charters are on the way ... 'cause big money dictates education direction ... unless the populace awakens.

========
On the other hand if the $500,000 four are reelected and Dr. Enfield continues as Superintendent ... charters may be looking like the only alternative ... YUCK.

CT said...

Considering how WSPTA thinks the Common Core is the greatest thing ever, this is hardly surprising. No critical thought, blindly accepting of what these supposed education advocacy groups recommend even when it is not in the best interests of kids - this would be why some of my parents are no longer supporting the state PTA. As one of my room moms said, "they sold out to the rich guys".

KG said...

The PTA has not listened to the voters of this state. Just like the criminal Republicans.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.