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Monday, August 06, 2012

Charter School News

In Dehli, Lousiana, at the Dehli Charter School, female students who are pregnant or who refuse to take a pregnancy test are expelled - in violation of federal law.

From the ACLU:
Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant


Innovative! Free from restrictive regulation!   Aren't charter schools great!

50 comments:

seattle citizen said...

omg

Anonymous said...

Why don't you ask Charlene Bamford of McKenna's women's group about this? She thinks charters are wonderful and she knows SO much about them. I'm sure she'd be able to justify it in some convoluted way as she reiterates that charters are public schools.

CT

Anonymous said...

They must've seen that Seinfeld episode when George became a genius because he was master of his domain.

Newman

Anonymous said...

Just another minor skirmish in the war on women...

SolvayGirl

Charlie Mas said...

More Charter School News:

From the Wall Street Journal:
"The founder and former chief executive of a troubled charter-school network in Brooklyn was indicted Thursday on charges that he repeatedly failed to pay income taxes, embezzled money from his schools and created phony records."

Charlie Mas said...

More Charter School news:
In Philadelphia:

"Federal prosecutors unveiled a 62-count indictment against charter school mogul Dorothy June Brown and four codefendants last week, and said in court papers that additional charges could be lodged."

Charlie Mas said...

More Charter School news:
From Columbus, Ohio...
"A former treasurer for more than a dozen Ohio charter schools was charged Thursday with embezzling more than $470,000 in federal education funds over six years."

Charlie Mas said...

Thank goodness that charter schools are free from the restrictive bureaucratic rules that constrain public schools.

Anonymous said...

Substitute "if we find out you have a disability" and there are public schools right here in our own back yard who will take it for granted that downtown will get right to work with the eviction notices. This is a standard practice in Seattle. Kick the can!

I don't see how the charters could be worse in that regard.

Parent

Michael H said...

Extreme examples from an extremist writer.

Anonymous said...

Michael H

Glad you recogninze that that practice is "extreme." It is the norm in Seattle Schools.


Parent

uxolo said...

Do folks know that the US DOE supports charters through the Office of Innovation and Improvement- Charter Schools Program?
Here's the current grant announcement:
"To create incentives for high-quality charter schools to collaborate with non-chartered public schools and local educational agencies, the Department of Education (DOE) created the Charter School Exemplary Collaboration Awards. The awards are intended to promote strong partnerships with public schools and enable exemplary charter schools to share and transfer best educational and operational practices and to disseminate information about these practices. On July 30, 2012, the Department took two actions to start the application process:

Published final definitions, requirements, and selection criteria for Charter School Exemplary Collaboration Award competitions in fiscal year 2012 and beyond
Invited applications for new awards for fiscal year 2012. Applications are available as of July 30, 2012, and a pre-application webinar will be held on August 6 (2:30 to 4:30 PM). The deadline for transmittal of applications is August 29, 2012."

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

Parent - charters can be much worse in that regard. With public schools, you do still have rights; with charters, you don't.

Of course the DOE supports charters - Arne Duncan is the DOE. This is another example of how charters secretly cost more than public schools. Charters get funding via the district, and can also get money from the DOE. Some states also offer block grants to charters in addition to the district monies and the private donations. Usualy those extra dollars all go to administrative costs, not to teachers or students or transportation. In AZ there are charter school "administrators" who make $300-400K running one or 2 charter schools. How much will Banda make to run how many schools?

CT

Disgusted said...

It might be extreme, but it is true.

Anonymous said...

CT says charters can be much worse in that regard. With public schools, you do still have rights; with charters, you don't.

You know what SPS says to that bit about your rights? So sue me... if you want your rights that is, or if you want us to follow the law.

So great, we've got our rights, maybe, if we have 30 or 40 or 50 thousand bucks to go to court and prevail. In that case, why wouldn't you just opt out all together for something private and better?

-Another Parent

Anonymous said...

BTW. My plain old public high school didn't allow pregant students either, albeit we didn't have mass pregnancy testing police running around either. Guess things really aren't so different are they? I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that many public schools kicked out pregnant students.

-Another Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

No public school can kick out a pregnant student (not legally). A charter apparently thinks it can (and good luck with that).

In Seattle schools, you can be pregnant and go to school. We even have an alternative high school with a daycare (good luck finding a charter with that).

These aren't extreme examples; this is what charters have evolved to.

Anonymous said...

My plain old public high school in Phoenix did not kick students out if they were pregnant. They could choose to stay or they could choose the alternative campus for teen moms.
Utah did not kick them out either - they just made sure they got married very, very quickly.

As for sped rights - you still have far more avenues of recourse with public schools than with charters. In AZ, the charter board oversees charter schools, and most sped appeals are dismissed, and the judiciary is hesitant to rule against charters because they are the money players these days. Nothing in 1240 leads me to believe it will be any different in WA should this go through. I've heard far worse stories from sped parents in AZ in regards to charter schools than I have from those whose kids were in public, and they have to navigate the charter system on their own. At least WA has a sped ombudsman for public schools - and I've referred a few families there who have had difficulties getting services for their kids - all with good success.

Here's a sped parent perspective on charters from NOLA:
http://edutalknola.com/2011/03/18/a-parent-perspective-on-charter-schools-and-special-education-where-does-school-choice-meet-idea/

CT

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when 1 charter breaks the law, the nay-sayers come out in droves, deriding them? But when public schools break the law - well, it's just business as usual. Pregnancy rights are even protected under title 9. Overseeing sped rights? What kind of oversight to OSPI really provide to public schools? What remedies? Not very many. Actually, almost 0 oversight and it provides for no penalties. So really - charters are just public schools that also break laws, from time to time. Or very often, as the case may be.

-Another Parent

Anonymous said...

I think you should offer some examples of public schools breaking the law so can better evaluate your comment.

Yes, Pottergate. And our old friend the not-so-great financial guy, Olchefske. But this blog and countless others made highly public protestations.

These became really big deals. A plethora of small charters are much harder to audit adequately.

Keep it in perspective.

n...

Anonymous said...

Yup, Another Parent, I see your point. Accountability can be challenging, and bad stuff happens from time to time in the public school system. Choice one - try to deal with the accountability issues that exist within the current public system. Choice two - exponentially increase the challenges of dealing with accountability by opening the doors to charters. Please explain how allowing charters will increase overall accountability. Please explain the positive benefits of charters with respect to oversight.

Oompah

Jan said...

Another Parent: if your point is "public schools aren't perfect either, then I see what you are saying, and I agree." But it isn't just "one" charter school that is embezzling funds, breaking federal and state laws with respect to the provision of services, etc., etc. It is hundreds, if not thousands, of them. The disparities, nationwide, with respect to the provision of SPED services, ELL services, the dropout/suspension rates, etc. -- these are not minor issues with one or two charters.

Charters are private businesses, funded by tax dollars (along with some grants, donations from big donors, etc.). As such, they expect, and receive, the same relief from watchdogs and oversight that all private companies get. And to the extent that shady, or lazy, folks have figured out that there are tidy sums to be made in running "budget" charters-- because the dollars flow in with little or no oversight -- until years after the fact -- these outcomes are entirely predictable. The exact same thing occurred in the federal student loan consolidation business (another industry where tax dollars (or dollars that were federally guaranteed) flowed to unaccountable private businesses.

Charters differ from regular "private" schools in their ready access to huge amounts of public money. Go look at ANY private schools. Few, if ANY are places where the upper management can make 300K to 400K per year. As a result, you may get bungled mismanagement. And you may get the occasional treasurer taking some money -- but the big shady players aren't going to bother trying to embezzle from Bertschi, or Overlake, or Epiphany. There simply is neither the opportunity nor the money for them to bother.

In public charter management companies, the opportunity IS there. The dollar potentials are HUGE. The oversight doesn't exist -- and the shysters KNOW it.

Face it. If you want the "public side" proponents to own up to, and honestly discuss, the challenges and shortcomings of public schools, I think you need to be willing to honestly admit that charter school management presents an astonishing opportunity for misuse, mismanagement, and outright theft of taxpayer dollars.

And that is just the money -- the potential for abuse of students and teachers (also due to lack of oversight and the fact that such abuse can be profitable) is also far greater than it is in public schools.

Anonymous said...

The disparities, nationwide, with respect to the provision of SPED services, ELL services, the dropout/suspension rates, etc. -- these are not minor issues with one or two charters.

Jan, n... our public schools especially fail students with disabilities and routinely flaunt disability laws. Do we really need examples? Students with disabilities are entitled (by law)to EVERYTHING students without disabilities are afforded, WITH accommodation for their disabilities, AND THEN special services for disabilities. But in our district, it is one or the other. You can get special education OR you can have all the bennies of everybody else. For example: What was the "language immersion school" plan for students with disabilities? Oh yeah. None. Actually, the non-plan was: remove the students with disabilities from an entire region of the city. (You know, the popular one around Hamilton.) Back in the good ole days Lowell always had a Washington DC trip for students without disabilities. What was the plan to include students with disabilities in that annual school activity? The non-plan was: of course students with disabilities won't go on out of town trips in summer. They couldn't possibly benefit anyway. There are many other schools with similar field trips and camps. Then there's the school riser process (everyone else knows this as enrollment). It's completely different for students with disabilities, and completely different from any other district. It has improved a tiny bit, but only because the district has decided NOT to provide special education with it's new non-program: ICS. THen there's Seattle's own special suspension rate for students with disabilities: Just keep the kids in time out all day, and don't bother even reporting this as a suspension. Nobody will know the difference, right? When the district does this it avoids all sorts of reporting issues and bothersome "manifestation" hearings. It's also illegal. In-house supsension is still a suspension. That's just a few random items on a very long and serious list.

Anyway, the point is: WHere's the "outrage" when it comes to plain public school and these issues? The only "outrage" comes when a charter school is doing the exact same thing that our public schools do all the time. Suddenly people are really interested in SPED and ELL and any other thing. Suddenly, a million posts about those poor sped kids. Suddenly people care "oh so much" about exclusion, and sped student relocation. Both entities have the same obligation, and the same response to failure. That response is: so sue me. The outrage just sounds so false and support-status-quo-at-all-costs to me.

-AP

Sahila said...

@Uxulo... havent read whole thread, so dont know if anyone replied to your comment on DOE support of charters...

you need to know that the federal DOE is a writhing mass of GATES and BROAD people, all the way through senior management...

If I remember correctly, its own office supposed to investigate civil rights violations, is headed by a Broadie

I havent checked state DOEs for the affiliations of their senior staff...

Might pay for someone to do that...

Maureen said...

AP, I expect a large part of the reason charter opponents get upset about ELL and students with disabilities being excluded from charters is because that means the concentration of those students left in the public schools will be larger. That could lead to a 'tipping point' sort of problem where everyone understands that public schools are only there to serve the needs of ELL and students with disabilities and that everyone else goes to charters. Personally, I don't see how that would benefit any of our kids (though perhaps others do).

I have heard that charters exist that have a mission to serve all sorts of students all together. I can't see anything in I-1240 that makes it likely that schools like that will be established in WA. Do you? If so, please tell me where to look.

Anonymous said...

These same charter opponents LOVE the ever expanding "advanced learning" programs, and language immersion programs, and other boutiques - all of which do exactly the same thing: cluster students of color, students with disabilities, ELL students into a much more concentrated pool than would otherwise exist. Just like the claim against charters. And we have pretty high degrees of clustering and disproportionality now as a result of the expansion of these. But clearly, the charter opponents care little about the "tipping point" for these students when it comes to their pet programs which create the same striated environments.

-AP

Jan said...

"a writhing mass of GATES and BROAD people" -- I LOVE the imagery, Sahila!

Jan said...

AP -- I get it. I HAVE a SPED kid. He DIDN'T get to go to Hawaii with the other Marine Science kids (unclear whether it was really a "lottery" issue (I think not) or whether he was "culled" because someone thought he might need extra time/attention. I AM outraged. The words "status quo" make me want to reach through the computer and throttle someone!

But adding the expense, distraction, and deceit (with respect to inclusiveness or services to any child that costs any extra money to educate) of charter schools to a situation that already needs fixing will only make things worse.

You want to work with disproportionality issues in the current environment? Fine! I am with you. But I utterly fail to see how criticizing the problems of the current system is a reasonable defense of a new, worse, less accountable system. How does your argument in any possible way, shape or form constitute a basis for supporting the charter legislation that is currently on the ballot?

Is there ANY evidence out there that adding charter schools to a state's education system has been beneficial for the state's SPED kids? Or their ELL kids? I am not interested in "one hearwarming anecdote." I WOULD be interested in something that says that in X state, more SPED kids (or even a proportionate number) are in charters than in the public schools -- or that the ones who are there are graduating in proportionate (or greater) numbers -- or being expelled (or counselled out in fewer (or proportionate) numbers.
Am I missing some great study out there with this information? I would love for that to be the case. If I am not, because I AM aware of lots of literature to the opposite effect (that fewer SPED and ELL kids are admitted to charter schools, that they are expelled (or drop out) in higher numbers), then why are we continuing to pretend that the problems with SPED in ELL in any way support a move to charters?

Anonymous said...

Even my Catholic High School allowed pregnant girls to finish classes!

Two years to go

Anonymous said...

Jan, I feel your pain and am saddened and angered by the exclusion experienced by your son at our "flagship" (for some) high school. Unfortunately that sort of thing is very common, systematic actually, and people just don't get it.

I don't know that charters are a magic bullet. I gotta hope that some of these teachers and administrators might start caring more if they knew there were other options out there, ready to take on the challenge. Robin Lake of the CRPE claims to have data supporting charters for students with disabilities. If we had charters, at least there would be an OPPORTUNITY for people who actually cared about all students to make a difference. An opportunity isn't a guarantee of course.

-AP

Anonymous said...

AP -
If Robin Lake "claims to have data supporting charters for students with disabilities" it would benefit the cause of those in favor of charters to make this data available.

There is, however, a big difference between claiming to have data (that supports a particular position) and actually having data that is not a heartwarming collection of anecdotes.

If ya got it, show it.

Oompah

Jet City mom said...

My kid also didnt get picked to go to Hawaii, but I didn't think it was because she had a 504, I expected it was just the lottery/because we weren't part of the APP group.

My oldest just recieved her masters in teaching, after working for two years in a K-8, and I think she would say teaching is her OPPORTUNITY to make a difference, and the best place for that is a school with accountability for all.

Anonymous said...

AP - I watched the charter schools in AZ exclude kids with disabilities, ELL kids, poor kids, and kids who caused any kinds of problems. My once thriving, diverse, neighborhood elementary school became the dumping ground for the "brown" kids and the sped kids, and the kids who were "counseled out" of the charter. This is why I am opposed to charters.
Additionally, the charter school was all upper-middle class white kids, and the administrator raked in the cash while paying the "teachers" crap wages. His wife was supposedly in charge of the front office and she made more money than the unqualified teachers. It got great test scores despite the teachers because all of the kids were upper-middle class white kids with plenty of opportunities at home (music lessons, sports, homework assistance from college-educated parents). The administrator and his wife bought a house in a tony part of Scottsdale a few years after opening their charter. Meanwhile the successful neighborhood elementary, which was 1/2 gen Ed, 1/2 sp Ed at one time and had a fabulous blended program became a failing school based on NCLB measurements because the charter had stripped it of almost all of it's white kids.
You think there are problems in public schools now? Charters add a whole other layer of issues. 1240 is so poorly written that WA is guaranteed to repeat the same issues. I can also assure you that there are some very unscrupulous people just waiting for a fresh market where they can come in, open a charter school, then disappear after a few years along with a lot of money. These are people who have made it a habit to change states just as the authorities are catching up to them. Ben Chavis in California - accused of fraud in the millions with his Oakland Charter School - is in the middle of opening a school in Arizona. The authorities don't talk, so he'll get that school opened and reinfuse his bank accout with more cash, then after a couple of years, he'll move on to someplace else, like Florida. Think he gives a rip about kids? Nope - just money.

-CT

Charlie Mas said...

AP, I am troubled by your statements that "I gotta hope that some of these teachers and administrators might start caring more if they knew there were other options out there, ready to take on the challenge."

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

Do you mean that public school employees who care about students would seek employment at the charter schools where they could act on that care?

Or do you mean that, spurred by the competition from charter schools which appropriately serve students with disabilities, public school employees would start to care as well?

Either way, I think you presume things which are both not in evidence and which are not consistent with what we know.

If public school employees care, they can currently act on that care. They don't need new management for that. And many (probably even most) do. The suggestion that public school employees don't care isn't one that I can reconcile with the facts.

If you're suggesting that competition will spur the public schools to action, then I don't think you understand that there is no profit motive in the public sector and therefore no meaningful competition.

Robin Lake may well have data supporting charters for students with disabilities. Of course, we already know that charters, in general, serve many fewer students with IEPs than public schools and we already know that charters typically find ways to remove those students from their schools.

You write: "If we had charters, at least there would be an OPPORTUNITY for people who actually cared about all students to make a difference."

I assure you that they have that opportunity now, in our public schools. Your suggestion to the contrary is both false and insulting - insulting to your readers as well as education professionals.

Anonymous said...

If public school employees care, they can currently act on that care. They don't need new management for that. And many (probably even most) do. The suggestion that public school employees don't care isn't one that I can reconcile with the facts.

First of all: no, IF they care, they also need a system in which many others care too. They need administrators who care too. The idea that 1 white knight (caring) teacher can save some kid (or group of kids) is really exactly the charter image, isn't it? Now you're saying 1 really caring person can work in regular school too. Well, let's see it!


Secondly, your idea that most do care about ALL students - well, that's based on your experience, being who you are, and not data. Others have a different experience. If "most" public school employees actually did care about ALL students, I think you'd see much different results than are published everywhere you look. EG. You just posted the data on discipline. People who suspend students for being disabled (eg. for being who they are born as) obviously do not care about them. They know it will not help them, they know it will not make them un-disabled. And SPS is rife with that. Teachers ask for suspensions, administrators oblige.


-AP

Maureen said...

Here is a link to a brief overview of Robin Lake's 2010 book Unique Schools Serving Unique Students. The impression I get from skimming through the overview is that she located some charter schools that seem to be doing a good job with some kids with special needs and that others could learn from those practices.

She also wrote Chapter 4 of Hopes Fears and Realities (2011) which is called Making Choice Work for Students with Special Needs. It acknowledges all of the reasons charters might have not to serve students with special needs well and lays out ways charter regulation could encourage charters to serve those students. I didn't see any data or case studies there about charters that are currently doing that well. I don't know if I-1240 is written in a way that takes Ms. Lake's recommendations into account.

This is definitely an issue of interest for Ms. Lake. There may be useful data in the book. You can buy it here for $19.95.

Charlie Mas said...

Please do not put words into my mouth, AP. I can write for myself. You'll notice that I ask you what you mean; I don't tell you what you mean.

I did not write that "1 white knight (caring) teacher can save some kid (or group of kids)" and I would not write any such thing.

However, you seem to writing that there is not even one caring person in the district.

Secondly, let's look at the data. The very data you cite shows that students with IEPs are suspended at higher rates (16.0%) than non-disabled students (6.5%).

This means, of course, that 84% of students with IEPs are NOT suspended. We have certainly heard about a lot of actions that equate to suspension without appearing in the suspension statistics, but the statistic shows 84% - which I think you will agree qualifies as "most" - are not getting suspended for being disabled. So, yes, let's rely on data rather than personal experience.

There are very few people who go into teaching without caring about kids. They are the exception rather than the rule. To believe otherwise is absurd. To state otherwise is unsupportable.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, it's DELHI not "Dehli"...

-FYI

Anonymous said...

Reposting this from the Disproportionality thread:

Let's remember, nearly 3/4s of the students with disabilities in SPS have learning disabilities, not developmental disabilities. My guess is that 16% suspension rate (of REPORTED suspension) targets that remaining 1/4. So more than 1/2 of the students with development disabilities are being subjected to suspension and removals, v 6% of students without disabilites. What will Supt Banda and whatever new management team he puts into place do about this?

Our special needs kid has been subjected to countless "inhouse" suspensions and none enter into the formal discipline reporting for the district. This is a very common practice along with the "come get your kids" call.

Remains to be seen if Banda and his new management team --surely he is not going to keep these Ed Directors on the payroll?-- will do something to make change.

Parent

Anonymous said...

Gee. You're taking this a little personally. Aren't you telling me what I'm saying when you say:

However, you seem to writing that there is not even one caring person in the district.

No. I never said 100% of SPS staff cared nothing at all for 100% of the students. Of course I believe most educators and administrators care about some aspect of education, for some group of students, at a minimum.

But from my years and years in the system, a vast majority of our education professionals, especially at the secondary level, do not care very much at all for our students with disabilities. They may "accept" them in their classrooms, if they can somehow look and act non-disabled most of the time - but they feel no obligation to teach them anything. And, when you're willing to throw one group under the bus, inevitably you'll throw others there too, because, once there's a group you decided you don't have to serve it's easy to put others into that group. (Plenty of outcome data to show that lots of groups thrown under the bus. The achievement gap and all.) There are of course always exceptions.

Ok. You think educators mostly care. Is that based on "data" you claim to love so much? No. There is no "data" to prove that one way or the other. That opinion is based on your experience, and it is limited on this issue.

As you've read, students with disabilities are subjected to countless undocumented suspensions. And yet, even the suspension rate they acknowledge is likely 16X greater than the rate for your nice white daughters. That doesn't even speak to the small group within the special ed who is likely being suspended: those in general ed who refuse to "act" non-disabled. As others point out, the normal seeming disabled students - well, they aren't getting the suspensions because they aren't identifiable. And, those in self-contained settings aren't suspended either. It's OK to be disabled if normal people don't have to see it.

Ok. You don't want to hear any of that, nor consider it. Your business.

-AP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Given that charters underserve Special Ed students and have a higher teacher turnover rate than traditional schools, I'm not sure anyone can say bringing in charters will change anything for special Ed students.

As a parent of a special needs students, it's all very sad but charters have not driven the needle for change in any discernible way. And the suspension rate for Special Ed minority students in New Orleans? Almost off the charts.

If you want something different for difference's sake, that's one thing. You want better, that's another.

Jan said...

Eee. My perception here is that there are a lot of statements being made that "are true" in the sense that they have some truth to them, but that are not comprehensively true across the board.

AP writes: I don't know that charters are a magic bullet. I gotta hope that some of these teachers and administrators might start caring more if they knew there were other options out there, ready to take on the challenge."

Many, if not most, decisions made in the political arena result from applying what we know or hope to a set of future circumstances that are unknown. In this case, here is what we "know."
Our public schools are currently not adequately addressing the needs of many SPED kids (including many of "normal" or above average intelligence with significant learning disabilities). They are excluded from opportunities too often; they are suspended/expelled with far greater frequency than neurotypical kids, they pass classes and exams (WASL and HSPE) far less often, and they have much lower graduation rates. And none of this even begins to touch social inclusion, etc. -- which is largely unmeasured by districts nationwide.

We also know that charter schools, in the aggregate, accept even fewer of these kids, and suspend/expel them even more frequently. I do not have any data on graduation rates, course passage rates, etc. -- but since the "calling card" of many of these schools is statistics like passage of high stakes tests and graduation, I have no trouble hypothesizing that some percentage of their discrimination on the front end comes from their fear of what having these kids in their classes (if they fail to learn) might mean for their ever precious statistics on the back end. 1240 contains not a single word, anywhere, that gives me any reason to believe that it will, or even legally could, "discriminate" against potential charter operators by granting a preference to those that might be inclined to set up and operate charter schools that target the learning needs and styles of the various SPED groups. Given the paucity of such charter schools on a national basis, the statistical data that shows that charters in general do even worse than public schools at accepting and teaching SPED kids, and the fact that nothing in 1240 deals with the issue (or even permits regulators to write regulations that would favor schools that work with SPED kids), I cannot see what basis you have for this "hope." It is like hoping that if we allow banks to grow really big, they will aggregate so much expertise and knowledge that they will never screw up and fail; or like hoping that if we cut all income tax rates to 5% and reduce federal spending by 50%, somehow, growth will explode and economic benefits will trickle down on everyone, causing the middle class to flourish, the group now at or below the poverty line to shrivel, and the deficit to shrink -- even though the CBO numbers do not support this, and it has never happened at any time in history (either in the US or any other country).

In light of all known evidence AND the language of the charter initiative, I just cannot see how one can support the initiative based upon the hope that it will do anything good for SPED kids.

AP continues: "If we had charters, at least there would be an OPPORTUNITY for people who actually cared about all students to make a difference. An opportunity isn't a guarantee of course."

True. But if we had charters, there is (based on known history in 40 other states) and the language of the initiative (including the lottery provisions, etc.) a FAR GREATER opportunity for people who absolutely do NOT want to have SPED kids in their schools and in their classes to exclude them, so they can get on with the "easier" task of educating other students without having to understand, fund, or meet the special educational needs of SPED kids.

continued

Jan said...

And Charlie, when you say: "There are very few people who go into teaching without caring about kids. They are the exception rather than the rule." That is true -- but there are many teachers out there who don't care very much about SPED kids -- and in fact, their "caring" about the OTHER 25 or 30 kids in their class, whose learning may be negatively impacted when the aides are removed or are absent, and an autistic SPED kid has a meltdown, or an ADHD kid can't stay in his seat or stop fidgeting, or a tourettes kid blurts out something distracting, may make them wish that YOUR SPED kid wasn't in their class. As the disproportionality study suggests, many teachers and administrators see behavior as voluntary, willful, misbehavior -- not as a manifestation of a disability that is not being appropriately met. So, do they care about kids? Of course they do -- just not about mine, or not about mine at what they perceive as "the expense" of the others.

Nonetheless, I am totally confident that the solution to the current problems is NOT a badly written charter initiative that costs money that we can't afford to spend, and permits (de facto, if not de jure) weakly regulated charter schools to ignore what few laws and regulations do exist to protect kids like mine.

Send me a charter bill written so that the only schools that qualify are schools that agree that no fewer than 1/4 or 1/3 of their kids will be SPED kids who have IEPs or 504 plans, and who agree to suspension/expulsion targets that meet or are lower than those for neurotypical white and Asian kids -- and I would vote for it in a heartbeat! But funny -- the big money behind charter bills doesn't seem to be angling for that population.

And Melissa -- my apologies for consecutive posts. I know you have asked us to try not to.

Maureen said...

Jan, I read every word of all of your posts, carefully. Thank you.

Charlie Mas said...

The suspension rate for students with disabilities is 16%. The suspension rate for all students is 6.5%. AP wrote that disabled students are 16 times more likely to be suspended. That statement is false.

AP wrote that SPS is "rife" with teachers who suspend students and that suspensions are evidence of not caring. But 84% of disabled students were not suspended, so the claim that SPS is "rife" with teachers who suspend disabled students is false.

I do not claim to love data. That statement is false.

I sometimes envy people who feel such a strong sense of entitlement that they can presume so much, misstate things so badly, and invent their own facts. They must lead magical lives.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, what's the data for suspension on "nice white girls" like yours? It's way less than the average rate of suspension, 6%. You even commented on that. The average for the "all" category includes the data for ALL the students, including black disabled boys out there at a whopping 30something percent. My best guess, around 1% for nice white girls. I was comparing YOUR experience, to others. I was NOT comparing the "average" disabled student to the "ALL" category. Let's practice doing a little everyday math here! I was comparing YOUR experience, therefore YOUR perceived facts - with those of "average" disabled students. Not to mention that you are perfectly happy to discredit the known uncounted school exclusions of many, many disabled students. This simply doesn't happen to other people. But ok. There is much more evidence of lack of care - test scores, social inclusion, etc - but the discipline data was sitting right there. This isn't the topic of the thread.

I assure you, your deal is way better and it impacts your understanding in almost everything you write - which is also filled with entitlement.


-AP

Anonymous said...

PS. Charlie, why don't you bash Jan too. She essentially gives you the same account of special education in SPS. Her account is more respectable somehow. (and I do appreciate her comments) Language is probably nicer - (I thought you were "East Coast" tough) Oh yeah. The main reason - she comes to your same conclusion on charters.

Big deal.

-AP

Melissa Westbrook said...

"..since the "calling card" of many of these schools is statistics like passage of high stakes tests and graduation,..."

FYI, the overwhelming majority of charters are elementary, followed by middle and even fewer high schools. I would venture that looking at charter high school data would be hard to use as any gauge.

I don't think Charlie bashed Jan. She's a thoughtful commenter and I welcome her careful and clear writing.

AP, do NOT go after anyone's children. If I see that again, I will delete it. You are warned.

Charlie Mas said...

AP, my experience isn't relevant. I don't write much about my experience and I certainly wasn't writing about my experience here. It's not about my personal experience or my family's experience. I think it strange for you to focus on my experience.

I also think it strange that you presume my daughters are white.