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Rotten apple
If all you care about are test scores, one of the big advantages charter schools have over traditional public schools is that they don't have to take every kid who shows up. Charters can push out the weak students, leaving them for someone else to deal with. That certainly looks like what's happening in Nashville, Tennessee, where the eight schools with the highest net loss of students are all charter schools, WSMV's Dennis Ferrier reports. The only schools losing more than 10 percent of their students are charters, which are losing up to 33 percent.

The highly regarded national KIPP chain's Nashville school lost 18 percent of its students, a situation its principal says is unacceptable. Which it might be easier to believe he really meant if it wasn't such a common occurrence and if it didn't work out so well for his school:

[Metro Nashville Public Schools[ feels it's unacceptable as well, because not only are they getting kids from charter schools, but they are also getting troubled kids and then getting them right before testing time.

"That's also a frustration for the zoned-school principals. They are getting clearly challenging kids back in their schools just prior to accountability testing," said MNPS Chief Operating Officer Fred Carr.

Nineteen of the last 20 children to leave Kipp Academy had multiple out-of-school suspensions. Eleven of the 19 are classified as special needs, and all of them took their TCAPs at Metro zoned schools, so their scores won't count against Kipp.

Then those kids' test scores—the scores the charters didn't want to have on their records—get held against public schools. And we're told charters are such an amazing answer to all the problems our school systems supposedly have. If charters are so great, they should be great for all kids, not just the ones it's convenient for them to take.

(Via Diane Ravitch)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks, Daily Kos, and Teachers Lounge.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Do charter "schools" even have (13+ / 0-)

    Special Education classes?  

    Wonder if they have any autistic students...

    Oh wait.  They are a business.  Not a school.  

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:08:06 AM PDT

    •  In theory (11+ / 0-)

      charters are supposed to not be able to refuse students (like a regular public school), and allow kids in by lottery if they are oversubscribed. However, in reality it probably isn't too hard to get around the law, if you just tell the family that the school most likely won't be able to meet their child's needs.

      I've seen kids pushed out of our district's choice programs for pretty much exactly the same reason, and those aren't charter programs - i.e. "He/she is not succeeding in this program, so you would probably do better back at your neighborhood school." So they move. They weren't technically forced out, but of course parents don't want their child at a place that isn't working for them.

      •  You know, the idea that the teachers at charter (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley, hnichols

        schools are made to be a part of the 'make-the-low-scorers-leave, that the business model of school  seems to demand, is
        grossly unfair the students, the teachers and the parents.  They are being lied to.  Some of them will be hurt by these judgements.

           

        Time is a long river.

        by phonegery on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:00:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JVolvo

          It depends on how you look at it. If the administration is telling them, "Our model isn't a fit for every child. We want children to succeed. If the child isn't succeeding they probably aren't a good fit for this environment and they might do better back at their regular school," that is a fairly benign way of accomplishing the same goal. And it isn't necessarily wrong; kids should be where they can do well, and a given environment might not be a good fit for a particular child. (Take language immersion, for example. Some kids will do well in that, others won't.) However, either way the end result is that a selective school is able to end up picking certain kids, but the neighborhood school doesn't have that option.

      •  We see it constantly. (5+ / 0-)

        It is SOP for charters in our district. I've seen a constant stream of students coming back to our large, urban high school in the month before our state tests were administered.

        The charters follow the admission regulations to the letter, but then find every possible way to get rid of problematic students at the last possible moment before the tests. This gives them the double benefit of not having to include testing data on their lowest-performing students while maximizing the time they have to draw money from the district for that same student.

        It's basically a classic "double-dip" that gives them the best of both situations while it leaves the regular public schools and the students (not just the ones they shove out, but all the students at the public schools) drained of hope, cash, and support. Yet somehow, the charters can't manage to perform better than public schools with all this to their advantage.

        But don't hold your breath if you expect anyone in power to even acknowledge this; it's no fun to pass out from lack of oxygen.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:35:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In reality, charter schools are a cynical weapon (6+ / 0-)

        Charter schools are a cynical weapon invented by right-wing loons and deployed by profiteers to eat away at the public school system in the same way that termites eat away at wood-frame houses.

        Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:04:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, it's a lottery. My granddaughter was in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Azazello, Stwriley, Egalitare

        a charter for a while. Strangely, in that lottery 85% (aprox) of the "randomly selected" students came from the same, high income zip code. Also, there was an autistic student who attended for 1 year. The next summer his parents were told he could not return. They were also rather casual about state regs & best practices. And this was one of the "better" charters.

        Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

        by gelfling545 on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:25:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It depends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, Mostel26

      I worked at a charter school for a year (I was the 7th grade math and science teacher) and I did the IEPs for all the 7th grade students who needed them. Out of 60 7th graders,  I think we had a half dozen with an IEP, of which probably 3 were severely special needs. In my elective, I had one 8th grade student with aspergers. While the special ed students attended regular classes, we also had a special ed class.

      This particular school didn't kick out problem students, but we had one big advantage over the public schools (aside from much smaller class sizes): we required parents to volunteer a certain number of hours per year for each student. Students with more involved parents obviously tend to do better.

    •  and even at that, they are an abysmal failure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smartalek

      "Oh wait.  They are a business.  Not a school."  

      comparatively, charter schools do no better or worse than regular public schools. this means they are a failure, since they were promoted as being vastly superior to regular public schools. the money spent on charter schools may have just as well been burned or poured down the drain, it was a waste either way.

      •  Excellent point; but even more so, (0+ / 0-)

        ...if they can only maintain rough parity -- not the desired superiority -- with conventional, "mainstream" schools by, in effect, engaging in systematic cheating, it strongly suggests that, absent the cheating, in fair, apple/apple comparisons, they'd lose.
        That makes them at least double-failures.
        But wait, there's more!
        Since they're bleeding resources from the very same mainstream schools, they're also effectively robbing the taxpaying public, not to mention the charter schools' underpaid staffs, and their unions.
        Of course, since all of those are clearly the design intent of the whole charter-school "movement," it's not clear that that aspect can properly be termed a "failure."
        From their proponents' perspectives -- especially the shareholders of the contracting corporations -- they're working jes' fine.

  •  The KIPP schools... (9+ / 0-)

    ...in eastern Arkansas also did this...send 'problem' students back to public schools.

  •  seems like a typical charter situation (9+ / 0-)

    i wish we had a president who pushed back against the "Teacher Accountability And Standardized Test" fetish that was dumb when GWB started it, instead of continuing it.

    Republican governors are intentionally letting the public school system rot so they can say "see? public schools don't work. send your kids to a for-profit alternative!"

    or better yet, some school where they'll learn about Jesus riding dinosaurs on the taxpayer dime.

    Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

    by Boogalord on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:20:00 AM PDT

  •  If School funds in TN are done same as IN, money (9+ / 0-)

    to educated troubled and learning disabled students has already been collected by Charter Schools early in the year so won't follow the child when Charter kicks them out.  

  •  Rod Paige could tell you how this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Mostel26, JVolvo

    went down. That is, if, and I mean IF, you could get ahold of the former Sec. of Ed.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:48:25 AM PDT

  •  I wonder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3

    what happens to kids who get pushed out of school in Alabama now that the WOO is gone.

    http://blog.al.com/...

    You tried a charter because it seemed like a better choice and that didn't work out and you get pushed back into your old traditional high school and when that doesn't work out and you are pushed out. . . then what?

    •  They can't push you out of your local public (0+ / 0-)

      school unless there are severe disciplinary issues (suspension/expulsion). There is still an obligation to educate those kids, who are usually sent to some form of continuation high school or other alternate program. In some cases, they may be accepted to another comprehensive high school, depending upon the circumstances.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:01:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Baloney. (0+ / 0-)

        Kids can get pushed out in all sorts of ways. Make things miserable enough, they will leave.

        •  Well, that was a convincing argument... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Philby
          •  Are you saying (0+ / 0-)

            this doesn't happen? That kids don't get discouraged and shown the door? Come on.

            •  At a comprehensive public school? (0+ / 0-)

              In a word, "no".

              Most comprehensive public schools (that is, those without selective admission like charters and magnet schools) cannot afford to simply shove students out the door for several reasons. First, they must prevent drop-outs at all costs, since they will be blamed for them regardless of what they do and this is one of the criteria that can get a school closed down or penalized for "low performance". Second, they can't simply make the school environment that unfriendly or they will destroy their entire educational mission for all their students. Third, even difficult students keep the doors open, since if their enrollment falls too much they'll be closed as "underutilized" schools, even when that problem is created by charters poaching their students for most of the year and then sending them back when the numbers won't help their overall enrollment statistics. Finally, there's the point that, unlike many charters (especially the for-profit ones) the entire structure of these schools is filled with people who got into education to actually try to help everyone, not just the privileged or "smart" students. Throwing out students is anathema to that ideal.

              Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

              by Stwriley on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:24:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Nashville's Mayor is really pushing charter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26, George3

    schools.  I think they rob the public schools of money and leave most of them without enough funds to provide decent education.  

    I belong to the Honey Badger Wing of the Democratic Party. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore. Have you seen our videos?

    by Cassandra77 on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:11:33 AM PDT

  •  Charter schools (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, George3

    At least as currently configured, are nothing more than a corporate scam, and really no better than all the gold hawkers out there.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Tue May 21, 2013 at 03:36:33 PM PDT

  •  It was ever thus!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3

    The boyfriend of one of the girls in my campus unit back in the 1970's, in Australia, told me that his private school had refused to allow him to take our then end-Year12 exams as their student, due to his trial scores.  

    This was after 11 1/2 years of taking significant amounts of his parents' money.  And his folks had a little bit of clout; they were part of quite an influential extended family.

    So he went to the nearest public school for 6 months, and did well enough to get into a good University where he was getting through OK.  (I didn't know him well enough to ask whether he was achieving his full goals; heck, I wasn't myself but that's another story.)

    I know he was quite bitter about his treatment, while otherwise a VERY easy-going guy.  He swore to me that none of his sons would ever attend that private school, and he would always consider himself a graduate of the public school system.

  •  How convenient for them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:34:23 PM PDT

  •  How are they gonna steal that ed $ if they have to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, Cassandra77, Stwriley

    be honest and actually educate every student?  

    I mean, have you seen some of these 'lost' kids?  They're so bro... er, lost!  Its so much easier to find the public schools than cuase us not to present false test scores with which to defraud you of your education tax dollars.  What are you, a communist?

    Wankers.

  •  My husband always says, (5+ / 0-)

    Public schools don't get to hire the students.

  •  That's not how Ohio's accountability system works (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LollyBee, SC damn yankee, lgmcp, smartalek

    Students are included in a school or district's accountability sample if they are enrolled continuously from ADM count week (early October) through the end of the testing window (March for high school students, early May for grades 3-8).  So, the charter school in the diary will "lose" the student for accountability purposes, but he/she won't count against the public school either.

    Some Ohio school districts (most notably Columbus Public Schools) have found themselves in trouble for withdrawing and re-enrolling students when the student never withdrew, in order to break continuous enrollment and thus keep the student out of the accountability sample.  Oddly enough, this usually happens to low-scoring students.

    It's constitutional, bitches.

    by KTinOhio on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:48:00 PM PDT

  •  Though removing kids who don't want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nance

    to participate, certainly creates a better learning environment for the kids who do.  

    It's very frustrating forstudents as well as for teachers that such a disproportionate amount of time and energy must be spent on discipline as opposed to teaching and learning.  

    I hate feeling like a neanderthal when I say that, but it's TRUE.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:48:08 PM PDT

    •  Don't want to participate sounds like a catch all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluemeanies

      for a lot of things that might go on in a classroom. If the staff at the schools handle things right it shouldn't be that much of a problem.

      If someone is that much trouble they can ultimately be removed even in a public school.

      However if a student who needs more help that is another issue. Sure a teacher might need to spend more time there, but I've seen the kids help each other at times. Those are additional skills/experiences that you might not get at an "elite prep school".

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

      by CTMET on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:10:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you taught in a compulsory setting? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley

        Most of the time it's not that hard to tell the difference between a kid who's willing to try when the teacher begs them to, and a kid who's not willing.  

        Every colleague I ever had (though I only lasted about 5 years) was more than willing to give up their lunch hours and evenings to work with a kid who wanted to.  

        But spending three minutes out of every fifty-minute period filling out the tardy slip for the same girl who marched into class 10 minutes late every day?  Not so willing.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:25:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you ever dealt with someone with (0+ / 0-)

          disabilities? The constant embarrassment from not being able to do everything the same way everyone else does it can often look like someone who "isn't willing".

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

          by CTMET on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:43:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you choose to ignore that attitude issues (0+ / 0-)

            from a few, materially detract from the education of a great many, then you haven't been responsible for  180 students per day.  

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Thu May 23, 2013 at 08:54:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Getting to catch (0+ / 0-)

        another kid up? These are the additional skills and experiences you think my kid should have? If my child wants to go into teaching or volunteer to tutor other students, that's one thing. If not, my kid is not there to tutor the other students.

        •  No one said anyone has to do anything like (0+ / 0-)

          "tutoring". However maybe a kid in a setting with kids who aren't all cut throat geniuses may discover some things about themselves that they wouldn't have otherwise.

          Some of these kids in  private schools don't even know what someone who doesn't have all the advantages and intelligence they have are even like.

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

          by CTMET on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:47:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually elite private schools have quite a few (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nance

            students with impairments, whose families have chosen to place them in an expensive small-class setting.  It's true that kids at such schools are unlikely to understand low-income lives. But I found physical, mental, and emotional disabilities to be very well represented at a snooty private  Catholic school in San Francisco's poshest neighborhood.

            As far as "cut throat geniuses", kindness and friendliness  just about as equally distributed among those rich kids as among any random population.   On average their academic preparation was higher.  That doesn't mean their social skills were lower.  

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Thu May 23, 2013 at 09:04:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  When did we get (0+ / 0-)

            onto elite private schools full of cutthroat geniuses? We were discussing two different kinds of public school student and their school environments.

        •  Excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

          Will your child be working in a vacuum when they move to the real world? Your child needs to learn "team" skills, needs to be able to collaborate, needs to work with other people.

          Sometimes that is a skill we teach in a structured setting, other times it just happens. In either case, in my subject area it is a competency skill my students are supposed to have when they leave school.

          ...stepping on my soap box... the American education system is one of those rare places where we have supported and encouraged rugged individualism, then those same "we" whine and cry when students leave school unprepared for the "real world" where you wouldn't dream of doing just about anything alone.

          ...stepping down...

    •  This is one of the reasons (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp

      my daughter transferred to a small charter school on the local community college campus. The kids at the charter school want to be there and are generally serious about their studies and are not disruptive. Not the story at the big high school she was at for 9th grade.

      Not that this is the same sort of charter school that the KIPP chain is running.

  •  Sort of like the USPS. Cherry picking. Let's (8+ / 0-)

    see FedEx and UPS make a profit if they have to deliver local mail 5 days a week.

    These businesses want the government to do the hard and expensive work while they make the big, easy bucks.

  •  Maybe the charter schools should start the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CTMET, Cassandra77

    school year, collect their money and then lose ALL their students and shut the doors and lay off all the teachers.  If they want to make money, they should go for the gusto, right?

  •  I fing hate charter schools. I really hate private (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LollyBee, Cassandra77

    schools in general. K-12 should be the one place where you get exposed to everyone and everything. I like the whole "our town, our school" idea.

    If it were up to me not only would vouchers be outlawed, I would make parents who send their kids to private school pay extra taxes just for being douchebags and thinking their kids are too good for the local public school.

    I'm not running for office anytime soon.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:03:31 PM PDT

  •  This is very common (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    And a Lot of people know about it.  

    The symbol for the Republican party shouldn't be an elephant -- it should be a unicorn.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:14:58 PM PDT

  •  If you transfer in..... (0+ / 0-)

    your scores should count for the previous school.

  •  Free enterprise is always on the lookout (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, Stwriley, Leap Year

    for a captive market and a guaranteed steady stream of revenue. So, it's to be expected that would be what they are after in entering the field of primary education. Better service at lower cost is a sales pitch. Why legislators are falling for that is a puzzlement. Perhaps they didn't grow up buying used cars from fast-talking salesmen.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:18:03 PM PDT

    •  Too true! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leap Year, smartalek

      I've always wondered how people could buy the idea that a for-profit business could do exactly the same thing as a non-profit public institution but somehow provide better results while saving money and draining off their own profit at the same time.

      If you really stop to think about that, the inherently illogical nature of the idea becomes plain.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:36:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to anyone who operates on faith over data, nor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley

        to anyone whose only info inputs are the corporate media.
        Publican / corporate-funded promotion of "free-market fundamentalism" is powerful and pervasive propaganda, and tends to render its subjects immune to empirical data.
        And that describes a significant fraction of the US electorate, and substantial majorities in the reddest states.
        I deem it almost literally miraculous that Dem's have done as well as they have in this environment.

  •  The magic of Charter schools is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, Leap Year

    discrimination pure and simple.  Take the brightest kids and give them the best resources and of course they'll do better.  We really should be doing the opposite:  take the most disadvanteged and stupidest kids and give them the extra resources.

  •  The same happens here in NY. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, Stwriley, Leap Year

    Parents are told that if they just transfer the child who has problems quietly, there will be no disciplinary record & every class gets 4-5 new students just in time for testing - after the charter has collected the money, of course.

    Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

    by gelfling545 on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:19:59 PM PDT

  •  Public schools here had the same policy (0+ / 0-)

    At least in this province of Canada, when I went to school.  There was a school designated for disruptive teens that just couldn't fit in and that's where they went.  School administrators figured them out quick and put them on the bus and let everybody else learn in peace.  Their being there would have just made the learning environment substansially worse for everyone else and I'm glad that policy and infrastructure was in place.  

    This topic at hand is a bit different but I can't help but think there should be a seperate administration and schooling for these problem kids.

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Thu May 23, 2013 at 03:39:04 PM PDT

  •  in fairness, the home schools should get the test (0+ / 0-)

    scores of the kids incharter schools. that's the way it works with nonpublic special ed schools; the scores go back to the local school, even if they have never seen the kid. Sometimes disabled kids score a zero, and it is counted against the local school ( a parent sometimes insists the child take the state test ) so why not give them the credit if kids aredoing better? Oh, that wouldn't be fair to the charter? Then what is fair in the other situation? i'm tired of charters getting all the breaks.

  •  Who didn't see this coming? (0+ / 0-)

    Holy standard deviation, Batman!  Please tell me that this report is not shocking anyone. This kind of gaming the system has been around for years!  Anybody can win the test score contest by carefully selecting who gets in and/or whose scores you have to count. As an old man in Missouri told me, "Figures lie and liars figure."

  •  After 28 years as a (0+ / 0-)

    Special Education High School teacher I have see this for the last 3 years.  The charter schools take the SPED student as a freshman and the money for the next 3 years and voila.  

    For some reason the senior mysteriously goes back to the public school campus he/she was to attend 3 years earlier.

    All of a sudden I had to get these students to pass the State Mandated Tests to graduate.  

    One student took a freshman English class three times. Not to mention the kid had to attend summer school all three summers to make up credits.  The student came to us short of credits to be a senior.  The student said he just did not like that school anymore.

    After three years the kid does not want to graduate with the kids he was with for three years?  

    I don't think so.

    Psst!!!......Mittens you are more of a poor loser than I thought.

    by wbishop3 on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:56:05 PM PDT

  •  I'm a Nashville teacher... (0+ / 0-)

    and I got two of these students this year. One told me he was kicked out of the charter because of too many suspensions. I looked at his paperwork and the charter had his parents (non-English speakers) sign a statement saying that the school did not pressure them. Right!

    The good news is that I just got my TCAP scores and their scores count only for the percentage of the year they were in my classroom. I don't know if the charter gets the rest of the score, but I do know that I'm not accountable for scores for any kids that moved away from my school (but stayed within district), so I doubt it.

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

    by Libertina on Thu May 23, 2013 at 05:58:21 PM PDT

  •  This is what they do (0+ / 0-)

    I worked in a neighborhood school for 16 years. Yep, it was a tough one with plenty of issues that had nothing to do w KIPP. But they were allowed to set up shop right in our back yard, poach our best-achieving students, badmouthing us while recruiting (once in our very own auditorium!). Seriously, the director of that school was a DICK.
    I was in charge of discipline at my school, and this included keeping track of incoming students from other schools. In addition to "skimming the cream" in our boundary, these jerks just loved to "counsel" certain students out--to us. I'm not talking about something I read about: I lived it. This is exactly what they did. What they do.
    Eventually our school was shut down by the board, and KIPP moved right on in. Well played, KIPP. Now the kids in our neighborhood (yeah, I still live here) can go to your school if they're the right type (they enroll a couple hundred where we enrolled up to a thousand) while the rest get bussed out to other neighborhood schools, far from walking distance...
    I haven't read the comments on this thread yet, but I bet there's a lot of nice folks defending charters. They have had good experiences. Glad for you all, really. Glad your kid's education is going well. But there's no anecdote that erases the ugly, ugly truth about so many of these schools. Their ambitions are shallow and their directors are dishonest.

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