Saturday, January 14, 2006

Public vs. Charter Schools, is 20-20 Right? Wrong!

I watched Friday's 20/20 propoganda program how the public schools cheat our children and can only laugh how one-sided John Stossel's piece was. If you didn't know better, you would believe that our public schools are not educating our children and why would anybody want to go to a public school? However, there are some facts that were omitted by Stossel.

First, charter schools have not demostrated that they improve student achievement over the neighbourhood public school in the long term.

Second, charter schools usually emphizise academics at the expense of a well-rounded education such as physical education, arts, and music. Many charter schools have no gyms and studies have found that physical education is important for a child's development.

Third, charter schools have a longer day, and even saturday school. Teacher burnout is the dirty little secret in charter schools as the charter schools use young, enthusiastic, and usually uncertified teachers for a couple of years until they either leave the profession or go to the public school once they become certified.

Fourth, charter schools will throw out students who violate their discipline code. These students are usually associated with low test scores and failing grades.

Finally, many charter schools limit the size of their classes. One charter middle school looked like they had 12 students to a class in the 20/20 program.

I also found it interesting that many charter schools, to cut costs, have their students picking up garbage, serving meals, and during other clerical/janitorial jobs.

I do agree that the Kipps charter schools appear to have made significant gains over the public school. However, that is primarily due to their acceptance program that ensures that the parent contribute to their child's education by fundraising and volunteering their time at the school. Parent involvement is the key to a child's academic success.

If public schools can kick out discipline problems, have smaller class sizes, and select students, based upon parent involvement, the charter school has would disappear since they could not compete on a level playing field.

8 comments:

NYC Educator said...

Congratulations on getting your own blog, Chaz. I was going to suggest it, but I guess I'm too late.

I've added you to my blogroll.

Chaz said...

How do I add you to my Blog?

NYC Educator said...

I suggest you go to blogrolling.com and get a free blogroll. They'll give you instructions on how to add it to your blog.

Alternatively, you can go into the Blogger template, scroll down where it says "Edit me" and write

a. the blog address, and
b. the blog name

Blogger help can probably explain this better than I do.

I've tried both ways, and blogrolling is much easier.

reality-based educator said...

Some good points on why comparing charter schools to public school is like comparing apples to oranges.

the same could be said for Catholic schools too. Giuliani used to tout the success of parochial schools, but he never mentioned how those schools kick out any discipline problems or academic slackers. (I know, I attended Catholic schools!)

no_slapps said...

Chaz:

You wrote:

"If you didn't know better, you would believe that our public schools are not educating our children..."

Do the stunning percentage of students scoring in the lowest to quartiles of standardized tests know nothing, something, very little, or enough?

You wrote:

"First, charter schools have not demostrated that they improve student achievement over the neighbourhood public school in the long term."

Perhaps. But will they do worse? Not likely. Hence, the experiment poses no risk.

You stated:

"Second, charter schools usually emphizise academics at the expense of a well-rounded education such as physical education, arts, and music."

And some go full circle. Meanwhile, are you know suggesting there's a reason to de-emphasize adademics? Are you suggesting that even though a kid knows no math and has trouble reading and writing, he should spend more time shooting baskets than a charter school might offer?

You also stated:

"Many charter schools have no gyms and studies have found that physical education is important for a child's development."

Other studies have found that kids who lack basic reading, writing and mathematics skills are handicapped forever.

You noted:

"Third, charter schools have a longer day, and even saturday school."

So what? Maybe that's what it takes to make a difference.

You noted:

"Teacher burnout is the dirty little secret in charter schools as the charter schools use young, enthusiastic, and usually uncertified teachers for a couple of years until they either leave the profession or go to the public school once they become certified."

Again, so what? Now you're advocating against the idealism of teachers and their desire to work where opportunities exist. Career change is always an option. Meanwhile your view suggests you want total control of schooling to remain in the restrictive hands of the state.

You stated:

"Fourth, charter schools will throw out students who violate their discipline code."

They should be. No unruly student has the right to impair the educational process of more motivated students.

You said:

"These students are usually associated with low test scores and failing grades."

What a shock! Bad behavior -> bad grades. Astonishing!

You noted:

"Finally, many charter schools limit the size of their classes. One charter middle school looked like they had 12 students to a class in the 20/20 program."

Aren't small classes one of the most sought-after goals of teachers? Why would you cry foul when you see it exists?

You noted:

"I also found it interesting that many charter schools, to cut costs, have their students picking up garbage, serving meals, and during other clerical/janitorial jobs."

My kids have attended co-operative schools in their lives. At those times, I was the one cleaning and serving. Big deal. There's nothing wrong with kids having these roles as long as parents agree.

You observed:

"I do agree that the Kipps charter schools appear to have made significant gains over the public school. However, that is primarily due to their acceptance program that ensures that the parent contribute to their child's education by fundraising and volunteering their time at the school. Parent involvement is the key to a child's academic success."

So what's the problem? These parents are kicking in their time and effort. I guess they care.

You concluded:

"If public schools can kick out discipline problems, have smaller class sizes, and select students, based upon parent involvement, the charter school has would disappear since they could not compete on a level playing field."

I see. Because you believe Charter schools have an unfair advantage that might lead to greater academic success, you want to destroy the schools.

Explain to me how this benefits any, all, or even a single student.

Small classes and the power to remove problem students are chief reasons private schools are successful. But it seems the obvious solutions are off limits to anyone without enough money to buy their way out of a system even its employees know is deeply flawed. Brilliant.

no_slapps said...

Chaz:

You wrote:

"If you didn't know better, you would believe that our public schools are not educating our children..."

Do the stunning percentage of students scoring in the lowest to quartiles of standardized tests know nothing, something, very little, or enough?

You wrote:

"First, charter schools have not demostrated that they improve student achievement over the neighbourhood public school in the long term."

Perhaps. But will they do worse? Not likely. Hence, the experiment poses no risk.

You stated:

"Second, charter schools usually emphizise academics at the expense of a well-rounded education such as physical education, arts, and music."

And some go full circle. Meanwhile, are you know suggesting there's a reason to de-emphasize adademics? Are you suggesting that even though a kid knows no math and has trouble reading and writing, he should spend more time shooting baskets than a charter school might offer?

You also stated:

"Many charter schools have no gyms and studies have found that physical education is important for a child's development."

Other studies have found that kids who lack basic reading, writing and mathematics skills are handicapped forever.

You noted:

"Third, charter schools have a longer day, and even saturday school."

So what? Maybe that's what it takes to make a difference.

You noted:

"Teacher burnout is the dirty little secret in charter schools as the charter schools use young, enthusiastic, and usually uncertified teachers for a couple of years until they either leave the profession or go to the public school once they become certified."

Again, so what? Now you're advocating against the idealism of teachers and their desire to work where opportunities exist. Career change is always an option. Meanwhile your view suggests you want total control of schooling to remain in the restrictive hands of the state.

You stated:

"Fourth, charter schools will throw out students who violate their discipline code."

They should be. No unruly student has the right to impair the educational process of more motivated students.

You said:

"These students are usually associated with low test scores and failing grades."

What a shock! Bad behavior -> bad grades. Astonishing!

You noted:

"Finally, many charter schools limit the size of their classes. One charter middle school looked like they had 12 students to a class in the 20/20 program."

Aren't small classes one of the most sought-after goals of teachers? Why would you cry foul when you see it exists?

You noted:

"I also found it interesting that many charter schools, to cut costs, have their students picking up garbage, serving meals, and during other clerical/janitorial jobs."

My kids have attended co-operative schools in their lives. At those times, I was the one cleaning and serving. Big deal. There's nothing wrong with kids having these roles as long as parents agree.

You observed:

"I do agree that the Kipps charter schools appear to have made significant gains over the public school. However, that is primarily due to their acceptance program that ensures that the parent contribute to their child's education by fundraising and volunteering their time at the school. Parent involvement is the key to a child's academic success."

So what's the problem? These parents are kicking in their time and effort. I guess they care.

You concluded:

"If public schools can kick out discipline problems, have smaller class sizes, and select students, based upon parent involvement, the charter school has would disappear since they could not compete on a level playing field."

I see. Because you believe Charter schools have an unfair advantage that might lead to greater academic success, you want to destroy the schools.

Explain to me how this benefits any, all, or even a single student.

Small classes and the power to remove problem students are chief reasons private schools are successful. But it seems the obvious solutions are off limits to anyone without enough money to buy their way out of a system even its employees know is deeply flawed. Brilliant.

Chaz said...

no slappz:

I will repeat; If public schools have small class sizes, the ability to throw out discipline problems, and require parent involvement in their child's education. There will be no need for charter schools.

Anonymous said...

It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)