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Friday, August 24, 2012

Times Keeps Up Its Desperate Efforts to Look Logical

More inane arguments from the Times over charter schools.

They try to play the civil rights card and they might want to watch that because there are those in minority groups who do NOT follow that argument.

They also say it is "divisive" to talk about loss of funds to schools if we have charters.

That's misleading because (1) the charter system WILL cost more money to taxpayers and since we know we have NO new money, that comes out the system, (2) the charter supporters consistently try to make it sound like it's one student transferring from one school to another - it's not, it's a student transferring from an existing school to a NEW school and (3) taxpayers lose money if cash-strapped districts are forced to sell/lease buildings to charters at a loss (as the initiative requires).  Note: districts don't have to sell or lease anything if they don't want to.  But if you are a district and you have available space and let that be known, the district HAS to sell/lease to the charter.

But even so, the it-works-in-other-states argument has been co-opted by opponents to mean that outsiders are pushing the charters effort here. 

Well, they are.  Look up the PDC reports - it's the Walmart heiress in Arkansas and the head of  Netflicks in LA.  I have no problem with people giving input on how charters work in their state.  I note that California and Arkansas are not famous for great results in K-12 education but maybe I misunderstand their interest.  But when they give money to a campaign that has nothing to do with their state, I wonder why.

Initiative 1240, Washington's experimental toe dip into charter schools, promises to be serious heavy lifting.

Once again, there's that little lie.  It's not an "experiment", it's not a pilot program - it will be law.  And, once enacted, hard to undo.  Take from someone who has worked on closing schools, no one wants their school closed and will fight to the death to stop it.  The feds report that more than half their charter authorizers complain about the difficult of closing low-performing charters.  (And that may explain why there ARE so many charters in the U.S. - if you closed the low-performers, those numbers would be much lower.)

She also calls anyone who disagrees "close-minded."  Frankly, if it's anyone who is close-minded it is the ed reform crowd who won't believe there is anything else that could possibly work (and, in the face, of real efforts out there that ARE working.)  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just read Lynne Varner's column:
"It's never easy to dismantle entrenched power structures."

I am really tired of this specious argument that the push for charter schools is equivalent to the Civil Rights movement.

As far as the power structure goes, doesn't the Seattle Times play a role in the "power structure"?
I am looking forward to reading investigative journalism on those charter school scandals elsewhere. Even reprints of those articles from other papers are absent from the Seattle Times.

We keep hearing about Teachers United in the editorial section. Most of teachers I ask have never heard of them.


It is not that I never read editorials or articles with which I disagree; it's just that I prefer them much more thoughtful and better-researched rather than what Varner provides.

Although the Stranger provides substantive coverage on various issues, I miss having a two daily newspaper town. I am grateful to the role that this forum plays in informing us and contributing to our local civic discourse.

--Old School Music

seattle citizen said...

What Lynne was trying to say was that "It's never easy to dismantle entrenched power structures, your elected school boards."

"The public is asking for equal and full access to a high-quality education."

A) what is "equal" access in public education, and B) the public has access through their elected board - Varner and the Times and the I-1240 billionaires would like to deny me access to schools they would create by making them more distant from my board.

They are asking me, the taxpayer, to give them money for schools THEY like, their own personal boutique schools separate from my board.

Varner is bought and paid for by the I-1240 billionaires. It's a shame. It's a shame she invoked the civil rights battles and compared dismantling racism with dismantling our school boards. Those damn entrenched board members....there HAS to be a way to dismantle that deomcratic institution and get money from the taxpayers without it...