January 23, 2016

"Pick and choose. Pick and choose. I am so tired of charter schools being compared to true 'public' schools."

"I have taught in a crowded urban public school for 20 years now. We have to take 'em all, Eva. We take them all. We can't boost our performance numbers by pushing out those on IEP's, English Language Learners, emotionally disturbed, or generally disruptive students. Charter schools are a means of destroying public schools. Just finally admit it. Once you destroy the public schools, Eva, where, exactly, do you expect all of those children you reject to go to?"

A highly rated comment from one Mark S on a NYT article that begins: "Eva S. Moskowitz defended her Success Academy charter schools on Friday, two days after a group of parents filed a federal complaint accusing the network of discriminating against students with disabilities."
On Friday, speaking at a public policy breakfast at New York Law School, Ms. Moskowitz, the network’s founder, offered a vigorous defense of her schools. She said that while Success had room to improve how it served students with disabilities, she had a “fundamental disagreement” with her critics about student discipline. “Safety is the No. 1 reason parents want out of the district schools,” she said. She said the network’s discipline policies, including suspension for violent behavior, were necessary to ensure a safe and orderly environment in which children could learn.
There's a lot of anti-charter-school sentiment in the comments, but I note that one answer to Mark S's question is to adjust the performance demands to account for the public school's accommodation of so many "IEP's, English Language Learners, emotionally disturbed, or generally disruptive students." Is is so wrong for the public schools to have to specialize in educating those who are not prepared from "Success Academy"-type places? 

106 comments:

halojones-fan said...

The point is not "destroy public school", the point is to *not* force parents of smart kids to either A: do the teacher's job for them by supplementing the kids' education on their own, or B: give up and hope that their kid stays both motivated and smart all the way through grade school.

Original Mike said...

All your children are belong to us.

AJ Lynch said...

Amazing when we consider how many problems have been exacerbated/ created by unchecked immigration from 3rd world. Imagine our schools without that influx.

Imagine how much more money unskilled Americans might be paid if there was less competition from illegal immigrants.

Imagine if the drug problem in our communities might be less of a problem if unskilled Americans had better paying jobs.

Imagine if we would even have charter schools if the big city public schools hadnt been crushed by non-English speaking illegal immigrants.

traditionalguy said...

Let's see. On one hand , you have some real schools using using discipline and good teachers educating motivated children with helpful parents.

On the other hand you have dumping ground school buildings used to wharehouse illterate delinquents being supervised by burned out time server teachers for hateful parents.

So the answer is we should destroy the first group to make the second group a proud monopoly again.

JAORE said...

I'd be more receptive to this argument if the school administrators and the teachers unions appeared to give a damn about actually educating our kids.

My DIL is a fine, public school teacher. Her soul is being crushed by layer upon layer of bureaucratic crap and political correctness.



JAORE said...

Traditional guy, I often disagree with you. But your post is spot on. And the logic applies to oh so many issues that the left controls.

chickelit said...

One answer is to sequester "problem" students into special ed. That's what they used to do. As a child, I still remember a fellow fifth grader's emotional outbursts during class. That was ca. 1970 in the Middleton-Cross Plains district. The student was "disappeared" and we never saw him again.

cubanbob said...

"I have taught in a crowded urban public school for 20 years now. We have to take 'em all, Eva. We take them all. We can't boost our performance numbers by pushing out those on IEP's, English Language Learners, emotionally disturbed, or generally disruptive students. Charter schools are a means of destroying public schools. Just finally admit it. Once you destroy the public schools, Eva, where, exactly, do you expect all of those children you reject to go to?"

So parents are supposed to sacrifice their kids for the sake of the screwups.

Sebastian said...

"Charter schools are a means of destroying public schools." Taking charter schools as a variation on Friedman's old voucher proposal, the claim is false at least with regard to the rationale behind reform: the idea was and is to make public schools compete and therefore operate better. If students with disabilities aren't well-served in any current school, their advocates should be free to set up special-purpose schools to serve them. Of course, the benefits of learning and the beauty of competition are not uppermost on the minds of some key political actors here.

traditionalguy said...

@JAORE...I am conservative when Conservative means to deal well with reality. But there are many Wolves in that category working for various special interests and feeding Conservative sheep high principle sounding words that eliminate traditional, needed Government functions.



PB said...

We hear the same whines wherever charter schools are formed, but they don't make the same claims about parochial schools. Both charter schools and parochial schools do the same or better for their students for much less money than public schools. That's the big, unassailable point. Oh, by the way, most teachers in parochial schools AREN'T nuns.

Unknown said...

Sanctuary cities get what they deserve. Public schools should all be abolished for vouchers and be done with it. There has never been such a failure as our modern public schools.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

"Smaller classroom size!" they said. "If we only had fewer kids in each classroom..."

Well... now you do.

"Let's destroy charter schools with lawsuits!" they now yell. "If we destroy the charter schools..."

Disintermediation. Home-schooling. Distance learning. Destabilization. Burn down the education schools at all but a handful of colleges and universities. Dewey and "progressive education" has had a nice, long run. It's over.

traditionalguy said...

The argument to end good Charter schools to assist a bad Public School System sounds noble.

It reminds me of a noble argument that we should have let 4 million Japanese and 1 million American Navy, Marines and Army personnel die in battle and another 2 million occupied Asian civilians starve and imprisoned US soldiers be murdered and starved to avoid responsibility for Truman's deciding to allow the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings.

mccullough said...

We need to have realistic expectations for kids in public schools. Kids who are disruptive (behaviorally disturbed or emotionally disturbed) or have serious learning disabilities or are of low intelligence need to be educated differently and the expectations need to be different.

The second issue is getting rid of shitty teachers easily. Educating children is crucial function of government (mostly local and state; federal should only be involved in funding poorer school districts). We don't unionize our military and its not a long-term career for most. Education should be the same. We need flexibility and energy -- mostly young bodies willing to commit for 4 years before moving on.

Anglelyne said...

"I have taught in a crowded urban public school for 20 years now. We have to take 'em all, Eva. We take them all. We can't boost our performance numbers by pushing out those on IEP's, English Language Learners, emotionally disturbed, or generally disruptive students.

Hmmmm. Have "crowded urban public schools" that "took 'em all" always been sinks of chaos and disruption, that send out students barely more literate or numerate than when they came in?

Anecdotally, my dad, in the early years of the last century, was educated in the neighborhood public schools of what was pretty much your stereotypical over-crowded urban immigrant slum. And by "educated", I mean educated. I saw his papers and textbooks and requirements, and it's apparent he left high school the beneficiary of an education more rigorous than that available at many (most) four-year colleges today.

And yet it was packed to the gills with "English Language Learners", and marked by a lot of friction among the various ethnic groups. Dad got pretty handy with his fists pretty young, from the sound of it. All those belligerent little monkeys managed to keep it out of class hours, somehow, and nobody actually killed or maimed anyone else, despite the non-existent gun-control in that time and place. And I don't know what the funding level was, but I'd bet it was far from lavish, with little, if any, in the way of special programs addressing the needs of the poor, immigrant population.

Wonder what's changed?

Michael K said...

This is the latest chapter in the war on smart children. When my kids were little, the schools tested kids for "gifted" classes. Now gifted kids are expected to get along on their own while "handicapped" kids get all the money and attention.

The IEPs are often the dead end for boys judged to be ADHD by teachers who want all girl classes. Being in an IEP will keep a boy out of the military.

What ever happened to "Reform Schools?"

Roughcoat said...

So parents are supposed to sacrifice their kids for the sake of the screwups.

This.

The worst thing you can do to normal kids -- reasonably intelligent, reasonably motivated, "average" kids in the best sense of the term -- is put them in classes with disruptive kids and dumb kids. Oh, is the term "dumb kids" offensive? But they exist. They deserve special and intensive attention. But they shouldn't be mixed in with smarter kids (and by smarter, I mean kids of average intelligence and above). The culture of every classroom conforms to the lowest behavioral and intelligence denominator. I'm not revealing any profound truth here.

cyrus83 said...

If anything, the way charters operate in New York, which is where Moskowitz's schools are, having charters should increase the amount of money available to the regular public school district.

Charters generally receive 50% of the per-student revenue of each student's home district, with the home district keeping the other 50%. So even if 20% of a district's student base left for charters, they'd still keep 90% of their funding to educate only 80% of the students that money was intended to educate, which should in theory be better for the 80% that remain if increased dollars lead to better results. The main class of losers with this arrangement happens to be public district teachers and administrators, which the public district needs less of with the lower enrollment.

Also of note - charters take a financial hit any time they dismiss a student, with the hit being more substantial the earlier in the year the dismissal occurs. If a student is let go halfway through the year, the school forfeits half the aid that student's home district was supposed to pay the charter. They can make up for this in part by adding enrollment mid-year, but on the whole, if the trend is that they end the year with less than they began, they will pay for it financially (a good rule of thumb is $1000 per month per student let go).

As far as special needs go, I worked with charters in New York for many years. All provided special education services as based on the IEPs via either in-house staff, outside contractors, or contracted with the public district to provide those services. It was not uncommon to have both special education teachers on the payroll and have outside contractors besides.

Roughcoat said...

I was a dumb kid in math, an average kid in science, and a gifted kid in writing and history. Accordingly, I was in dumbbell math classes, average-kid science classes, and honors/college level history and English lit classes. I thought then and think now that these categorizations were right and proper.

PB said...

traditionalguy: to be fair, the really bad pubic school problems exist in states/cities where Democrats dominate politically. It's those areas where charter schools are such a contentious issue because parents are so unhappy with the public schools.

robinintn said...

I have an idea. Teach your kids to cheat on competency tests so you can continue to rake in your hefty bonuses, a la the urban public schools in Atlanta. When you're caught, whine racism. Then find a single scapegoat and retire with your hefty pension. It's not possible to underestimate the lack of respect I have for public school teachers after a twelve year reality check, and one of their most repulsive qualities, shining through in that woman's comment, is their completely unwarranted demand that they be treated as if they're doing something noble and difficult at great sacrifice. That ship sailed with the onset of unionized teachers.

gadfly said...

The public school unionists use any and all excuses to account for incompetence and that incompetence begins with poor design of the public school education. When I was growing up, it was explained to me that houses are built with seven foot doorways and people taller than seven foot have to duck.

The liberal idea that schools must accommodate and mainline mentally and physically handicapped children or even children unable to understand and communicate in the English language is a bridge too far. It is far more efficient, cheaper and just better to teach these children in smaller schools under the direction of specially educated faculty in order to properly deal with their handicaps.

Methinks we need a new paradigm to overcome institutional blindness. Sometimes a revisiting of past practices is helpful. As for charter schools, they are a crutch to permit conducting schooling outside the reach of the bureaucrats but the bureaucracy remains in control. Hello?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Yeah! If we gotta deal with problem kids, your kid's gotta deal with 'em too! No fair trying to separate yourself from the dysfunction for the good of your own kid, you get back here and live with the problems we have. Of course, since we have those problems it's only fair that we also pile on some really terrible management, hiring, retention, and work rules practices (often created, supported, and enforced by strong unions who make sure our priority is what's best for teachers and not kids/the school itself), but damn it that's just part of the deal!

Hey, where are you going, don't you know it's your DUTY to put the needs of everyone except your child first? Ooh, I know, let's support political candidates who think importing large numbers of uneducated non-English speakers is a great idea--that'll probably help things!

Mark said...

The fundamental error of Mark S. and all the public school sycophants is that education systems and public funding exist for the benefit of the children, not for the benefit of "public schools" (and public school teachers, unions, etc.). Since the actual education of students is the priority, it is their fundamental right to go where they can get the best education. If they want to go to the government schools, they should be free to. If they want to go to a non-government operated school, their freedom to do so should be respected.

CatherineM said...

Special Ed in 70s/80s for slow or disturbed kids (I think 1 class I volunteered in 80's for child development course had 5 teachers) not disciplinary issues. The kid who had such bad epilepsy his development was slow or the severely autistic (so smart, but moaned and rocked incessantly) or Down's.

I seem to recall the kids who had disciplinary problems and fights were expelled and then the parents had to send them to parochial or private schools. THEN the kid shaped up because the parents knew they had to. One guy was the son of my baseball coach. He was a hot head fighter and I think he took a swing at a male teacher and that was it. Expelled. I remember thinking it was his punishment that he was at the tough Catholic high school. It straightened him out. His parents were good parents (and good coaches!) though. They cared and perhaps being expelled was a wake up call for the son too.

Does anyone remember that? Is the reason they don't expel the violent problem kids is the state won't pay? Wasn't it the same state payment in the 70s and 80s yet kids were expelled?

gadfly said...

@chickelit said...

One answer is to sequester "problem" students into special ed. That's what they used to do. As a child, I still remember a fellow fifth grader's emotional outbursts during class. That was ca. 1970 in the Middleton-Cross Plains district. The student was "disappeared" and we never saw him again.

My kids went through Middleton-Cross Plains in the '70s as well. A fine school district that cared about challenging the gifted and helping the slow learners. Parents participated and teachers put in the needed extra time. When my kids misbehaved, I had to show up for a conference with the principal. Too bad that school systems are not like that anymore.

Mark said...

For generations we have been told -- We are improving the government schools. Give us more money and we'll make them even better. Give us a couple of years and the government schools will provide a quality education to all.

Meanwhile, over all this time, we have had generations of dropouts and "graduates" who have little more knowledge than a dropout. And this is what we get for the mountain of money spent on these failing schools -- The federal government alone spends $70 Billion per year. Billions more are spent by states and localities.

Today's kids can't wait. Their future is at stake now.

Fernandinande said...

discriminating against students with disabilities.

"Disabled" usually means extra-stupid or half-crazy, not kids in wheelchairs. They should discriminate, and not drag everyone else down to the lowest-common-stupid-crazy-denominator.

Michael K said...

My wife taught in an east LA school in the 60s where the kids were a mixture of Hispanic and blacks. The black kids were the smartest but the Hispanic parents, many of whom did not speak English, were the toughest disciplinarians. She had to be careful about saying anything to the parents at "Back to school nights" because the kid would come to school the next day black and blue.

All ancient history.

J. Farmer said...

Charter school, public school, private school, magnet school, blah blah blah/. What really matters is the kid, his genes, and his family environment. The public school system is basically warehousing so that parents can go out and work.

Real American said...

If charter schools are a means to destroy public schools, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the destruction of public schools caused by teachers unions, the "war on poverty" and unchecked unskilled immigration.

PB said...

People who disdain charter schools fail to realize that charter, parochial and private schools are merely a response to the failings of the public schools and the things that have caused them to fail. These same people excuse the particularly bad public schools by saying that it's not indicative of the system, but anchor on an under-performing charter school as an indictment of the whole class of such schools.

If you didn't have double standards, you wouldn't have any at all.

cubanbob said...

A better idea would be to have funding following the student.

robinintn said...

Michael K, your wife deserves all the respect the current worthless teachers constantly demand. In fact, it is her respect they are stealing.

n.n said...

So, the goal is to follow a progressive path to normalize the least common denominator?

It is possible to serve all Americans, planned and unplanned, viable and cannibalized, without sabotaging the economy, establishing a progressive religion/morality, denigrating individual dignity, excising Posterity, and generally debasing human life.

SteveR said...

Its not like getting rid of charter schools will help public schools. A bucket added to the ocean doesn't raise it much. That bucket given to the thirsty can save a life.

Do we just accept that everyone should have to be given the same crappy situation?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Pound down those nails that are trying to escape!!

David Begley said...

PB @12:10

In Omaha, the Catholic schools are one-half the fully loaded cost than the public schools, K-12.

And, of course, that's never emough.

Paying a premium for failure.

n.n said...

The most expensive public education system in the world, with outcomes not even in the top 10 globally. This could be evidence that a massive misalignment exists between words, actions, and principles. While treating symptoms has been a lucrative scheme, ignoring comprehensive causes has assured progressive corruption. Ignoring individual aptitude and bias has created obstacles for people to realize their personal development and obstructed them from becoming stable, productive members of society. The class diversity standard has assured a violation of civil and human rights, degraded achievement, and a progressive deterioration of civilization.

RigelDog said...

The existence of (publically-funded) charter schools should have nothing to do with the existence of other types of public schools. Reasonable people know that it may take more resources to deal with the children who have disabilities or disciplinary problems. Fine! Allocate the per pupil spending accordingly to the public schools---charter schools may very well spend less per pupil in any case. And who is to say that we cant have charter schools for special needs kids? Finally, there is no logical reason why student achievement can't be weighted to reflect the percentage of the student body that requires special interventions.

Dr Weevil said...

I've taught in public, charter, and private schools in various states, and the latter two invariably had a much higher percentage of 'Aspies' and high-functioning Autistics than the former. Of course, they had a much lower percentage of plain old-fashioned juvenile delinquents, though I've known one or two who flourished in private school after getting kicked out of public school for drugs. And the fact that the private schools could kick students out meant that some kids who would have liked to be delinquents toed the line so they wouldn't get in trouble for wasting their parents' tuition money.
There are also some states that send their most severely handicapped students to private schools at state expense. I believe North Carolina is one. The schools specialize in difficult cases and charge very high tuition, and the states pay them to take kids the public schools can't handle.
In short, it is a gross oversimplification to say that private or charter schools skim off the best-behaved and most talented students and never have to deal with difficult cases.

Fernandinande said...

n.n said...
The most expensive public education system in the world, with outcomes not even in the top 10 globally. This could be evidence that a massive misalignment exists between words, actions, and principles.


It's evidence that we're short on Asians.

(#s are: Reading Science Math Mean - sorry if they don't line up in nice columns)
Shanghai-China 570 580 613 587
Singapore 542 551 573 556
Hong Kong-China 545 555 561 554
Asian Americans 550 546 549 548
Korea, Republic 536 538 554 542
Japan 538 547 536 540

Reading scores

Race is the best predictor of academic performance.

Eric said...

One answer is to sequester "problem" students into special ed. That's what they used to do. As a child, I still remember a fellow fifth grader's emotional outbursts during class. That was ca. 1970 in the Middleton-Cross Plains district. The student was "disappeared" and we never saw him again.

You write very well for a child :)

I agree. It's certainly in the state's interest to educate the difficult students, but not at the expense of the kids that will be tomorrow's physicists and doctors. "Tracking" is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, as is special ed and reform schools.

jeff said...

Chicklit is on the right track, time to have Welcome Back Kotter classes again with the Sweathogs. Besides all the loose girls like Rosalie "Hotsie" Totsie were in special ed classes.

JCC said...

True story, Palm Beach Florida, last year, a female relative in her first job out of college, teaching history in a local high school. She gets assigned an extra class called Maintaining a Body Temperature in the 21st Century (or something vaguely civics-like)), is told "Do nothing, say nothing, take the roll and then sit there for an hour. Everyone passes." The students are 10th or 11th grade, but the boys all have beards, the girls tattoos and babies...you can picture this. Her only instruction is "Here's the emergency button. Push this and the police will come in a hurry." Huh? The second week, there's a riot - 2 females get in a fight - and soon, the entire classroom is destroyed, broken furniture, whiteboards pulled off the walls, etc. She pushed the button, 10 cops show up, etc etc. She's a nervous mess. No students are disciplined. WHAT? Because then, they'd get suspended, and the school would have to deal with them for even longer. The enitre point is to graduate them out and get rid of them. See?

And yes, they all happen to be ethnic minorities. The next day at lunch, another teacher (also a minority) accuses my young relative of being a racist, for not properly handing the situation and for calling the cops.

Yeah, thise charter school have this all wrong.

Jupiter said...

J. Farmer said...
"Charter school, public school, private school, magnet school, blah blah blah/. What really matters is the kid, his genes, and his family environment. The public school system is basically warehousing so that parents can go out and work."

The Memoirs of Jessie James

I remember all those thousands of hours
I spent in grade school watching the clock
waiting for recess or lunch or to go home.
Waiting: for anything but school.
My teachers could easily have ridden with Jessie James
for all the time they stole from me.

Richard Brautigan:

Michael K said...

"your wife deserves all the respect the current worthless teachers constantly demand. In fact, it is her respect they are stealing."

She's my ex-wife now and a few years ago, she lost her bank VP job in a merger. That was when Pete Wilson was trying to implement a teachers' union initiative to reduce class size so the state hired a bunch of teachers. There are a whole lot of funny stories about it. One was requiring teachers to pass a test called CBEST. She said it was basic 8th grade math but the blacks called it "racist" and howled about it.

She also found that teachers had changed radically since she taught. One they didn't like the kids and would make fun of them in the teachers' break room. Also good teaching was not appreciated anymore. She complemented a second grade teacher on how well she got kids prepared for third grade reading. The woman burst into tears. No one had ever complimented her.

Lots of stories. She had been out of teaching for 30 years but the principal tried talk her into a permanent job. He told her she was his best teacher. She went back to her bank job after 6 months as a sub.

Matt said...

I think that Charter schools represent a range of organization types. There are undoubtedly some that goose numbers by keeping enrollment small and selective. But not all are like this: that's the point of them, they are environments where different methods and teaching practices can be tried.

My wife works at what i would consider a model charter school. It's run more or less by teaching faculty from the University of Central Florida, located in Sanford Florida (You may remember the city from the Traevon Martin death/trial).

The school is called Galileo School for the Gifted, but the name has more to do with the teaching style, which is based around using methods normally used for "gifted" learners on the general population.

The school scores HIGHLY on testing, and I can tell you it is not because they remove unruly/poor performers. My wife has MANY students who are grade levels behind in math and science (which she teaches), and she is able to spend extra time working intensively with these students in a way not feasible in public schools here.

Charter schools are not "the cure" for public education. They are the clinical trial that will DISCOVER the cure for public education.

Jupiter said...

Stop Degrading Yourself

If you find your comments never go up
You are one of a small handful of
Commenters
Who are always rejected
And
You should stop trying.

You will never be allowed back in.
Don't waste your time.
Stop degrading yourself.

Ann Althouse (or maybe Meade)

Apologies for the extra line break.

iowan2 said...

Education has to be primarily the resposibility of the parents. Lacking motivation, I dont know how to do that.

Before govt became the end all be all, Parents educated (or saw to)their childs education and required them to be able to earn a good living. Motivation? The parents end of life was improved geometrically as their children's earning power increased. Today Families are not responsible for each other, because Bernie and Clintons wife keep promising to tax the achievers to support the non productive.

Oso Negro said...

Accept that half the children in the country will be below average. Beat the disruptive minority students into submission.

AReasonableMan said...

iowan2 said...
Education has to be primarily the resposibility of the parents.


Can I get an Amen?

And standardized testing is the way to keep score.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is is so wrong for the public schools to have to specialize in educating those who are not prepared from "Success Academy"-type places?

No, it's not. Further, how could one place truly specialize in serving both populations? It seems like specialization might result in better service for everyone.

n.n said...

Fernandinande:

Race is observed to correlate to academic performance. However, unless the determinant factor is a biological trait, then there are other factors that need to be considered and evaluated. It could be a process. It could be a culture. It could be a misalignment (e.g. theory vs practice, delegation vs development). Money is only obliquely a determinant factor, especially in early human development.

Michael K said...

"And standardized testing is the way to keep score."

Even standardized tests that keep be "renormed?"

The SAT I took in 1956 was nothing like the SAT given now or even ten years ago.

Read an 1896 grammar school textbook sometime.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Read an 1896 grammar school textbook sometime.


Good luck finding a 1896 biology or computing text. Obviously things change as we accumulate more knowledge. As wonderful as good grammar may be there are only so many hours in a day and I would like some of that time spent learning to code and build a robot. Something has to give.

Laslo Spatula said...

We have reached the point where the only teachers that love their students are the ones who REALLY love their students.

That is a joke about teachers banging their students.

Like the Thirties-ish High School English Class instructor having little Jenny bent over a desk after class, her skirt lifted over her hips, her skimpy panties around her ankles, perspiring at the very idea of what he is doing and how he could lose his career but Jenny, though under-age, is HOT.

Or the Twenty-five-year-old Social Studies teacher having his cock sucked by Jenny, until he ejaculates carefully into a tissue because you can't be too careful with your sperm when you are having relations with a student.

Or the twenties-ish Gym Class Instructor who bangs Jenny in his Office in the Locker Room, rubbing his cock between her pert ample underage breasts until he ejaculates on her face, because if you're going to bang a student then you should just bang the hell out of the student, Good Times.

Still, it is hard to be a good teacher. Especially when hot underage sluts like Jenny are always around.

It is NEVER Jenny;s fault.

I am Laslo.

chuck said...

> Read an 1896 grammar school textbook sometime.

My grandfather, born 1868, had to work his way through high school. High school then must have been something like college today, with most people having an eighth grade education at best. Life started earlier, moved faster, and required work.

Birches said...

My kids go to a charter school and I'm not ashamed of it at all. There are kids at their school who need IEPs and are a disruptive influence. As Matt said, our charter scores very well on testing, but it's not because they have stolen all the best and brightest from the neighborhood schools, it's because they have buy in from the teachers and the parents that their method for learning will bring results. Thus, there's no pushback.

As a counter example, our school board just elected three "Pro teacher" (read, Pro union) candidates after four years without any. Their big claim to positive change? They let all the parents and teachers complain to their hearts content at the latest School Board meeting. It lasted till 1AM. Pathetic.

Birkel said...

Too far, Laslo.

"AReasonableMan" must truly wonder how all these new sciences were discovered, since none of them were taught in public schools before they were discovered. Conundrum!!

Leftism may truly be a form of retardation.

Jupiter said...

Michael K said...
"And standardized testing is the way to keep score."

Even standardized tests that keep be "renormed?"

Actually, the IQ test is renormed fairly regularly because people are doing better. If the tests were not renormed, the average American IQ would now be about an SD above 100. This is referred to as the "Flynn Effect". No one is really sure what to make of this.

PB said...

Didn't Hillary recently declare that if she were president, then the below average schools would be closed down? That would be about half the schools. Let's get her to repeat that.

Fernandinande said...

Blogger n.n said...
Fernandinande:
Race is observed to correlate to academic performance.


And the best performance predictor (except for tests).

However, unless the determinant factor is a biological trait, then there are other factors that need to be considered and evaluated.

They've already been considered and evaluated (and mostly ignored in the MSM). For example:

"The Results showing higher grades for the Asian adoptees is particularly interesting, becuase[sic] of the control of white adoptees unique to this study. If Asian academic success was really due to some special set of academic values inculcated by Asian parents (something not demonstrated by the data to begin with), then why do Asians do better academically than whites even when they are raised by white parents?
...
The gaps are surprisingly similar! Contrary to "culture" theory, the ethnic academic gaps are almost identical for transracially adopted children, and to the extent they are different they go in the opposite direction predicted by culture theory.
...
This is consistent with the Sue and Okazaki paper above which showed that contrary to popular anecdotes, the values that lead to higher academic grades are actually found more often in white homes. In other words Asian-Americans perform highly despite their Asian home cultural environment not because of it."

See also here.

Race is entirely genetic, and cognition and all aspects of personality are mostly genetic, as is school performance: there's not much of a mystery, or at least there wouldn't be if not for so many peoples' desire for "schmaltz":
"Yet when it comes to the science of human beings, this same [sophisticated] audience says: Give us schmaltz!"

Bruce Hayden said...

ARM, that was humor right? You're not dumb enough to [teach] that grammar schools means that they only talk grammar. Right?

I think a good part of the problem is that public schools don't teach grammar, or, really the 3 Rs either.

Roger Sweeny said...

Modern-day public schools are run with two beliefs:

1) We must educate everyone, preferably in the same room with the same teacher.

2) Education means imparting a college prep curriculum.

Alas, it is simply impossible to do both.

Anglelyne, what has changed is that in your father's day "in the early years of the last century", it was expected (and accepted) that half the student body would drop out without graduating high school. Or wouldn't even start. The behavior problems, the disruptive, the don't care, the stupid, were pushed out or allowed to leave. Nowadays, the catechism is, "Every student can learn", meaning every student can learn a rigorous, college prep curriculum. And since they all can, they all must be kept in school until they do--or until the state legislature allows them to go.

Bruce Hayden said...

What must inevitably be kept in mind is that the fundamental reason that Dem politicians and the public school establishment dislike charter schools revolve around power and money. It is money that they mostly don't control any more, and for the most part, charter schools show how poorly public schools are doing in educating our children. The average public school system today has as its primary goal is bettering the employees financially and making them even more secure in their jobs and their retirements, and their pupils come in a distant second. Still, there would be plenty of time and money if so much of it wasn't squandered on politically correct causes.

Roger Zimmerman said...

I don't give one rat's ass if Charter Schools have this alleged advantage. Inner city public schooling in this country has been in crisis going on about 40 years now, and nothing that the politicians have done has worked to fix this. As such, millions of mostly poor, mostly black kids have grown up with a useless (at best) education.

This has been one of the key drivers of the "inequality" that the left has been whining about lately. Their favorite political pressure group - the public teachers has unions - has done everything possible to perpetuate this, out of non-enlightened "self-interest". Their legacy has been millions of people without the skills to live fruitful, happy lives.

Even if only 1% of such kids can be saved from such a fate going forward by some kind of competitive innovation (perhaps coupled with selection bias, as alleged), then I say - what are we waiting for? I admire any parent that seeks - through whatever means available to them - to remove their child from the hellhole of the local public school, to give them a chance to succeed at place like those Ms. Moskowitz has built.

Ms. Moskowitz, but the way, is a true hero.

JAORE said...

"Didn't Hillary recently declare that if she were president, then the below average schools would be closed down?"

Yes, yes she did.

And should have been mocked mercilessly for it. Smartest woman in the world-wise, she's a dolt.

n.n said...

Fernandinande:

Let me state it another way, that is race-agnostic. Whether the performance discrepancy arises from nature or nurture, unless we are prepared to judge and evaluate people by the "color of their skin", then it would be prudent to consider a comprehensive approach.

Also, focusing on isolated characteristics increases the likelihood of missing the forest for the trees and vice versa. The gold standard is still the individual, who cannot be reduced to an assembly of parts, clump of cells, or packet of DNA strands.

Life is a chaotic process that cannot be predicted, only marginally forecast with decreasing accuracy. The scientific standard is clinical trials and reproducibility that requires accountability. The human standard is moral axioms predicated on an assumption that life, especially human, has exceptional value, and, its corollary, environmental stability through reconciliation.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
"AReasonableMan" must truly wonder how all these new sciences were discovered, since none of them were taught in public schools before they were discovered. Conundrum!!

Leftism may truly be a form of retardation.


Why do you bother posting? You are just a moron.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

A niece of mine worked for 4-5 years in the reknowned Harlem charter schools and just one year in a Philadelphia ghetto area public school. When asked what she would say schools need most she replied "better parents".

AReasonableMan said...

Bruce Hayden said...
ARM, that was humor right? You're not dumb enough to [teach] that grammar schools means that they only talk grammar. Right?


Not sure who wrote this but they are also a moron. Try to make at least some effort to understand other points of view.

TosaGuy said...

anti school choice progs won't acknowledge their educational privilege for them nd their children when they want to condemn the poor to a crappy public school.

Sam P said...

It doesn't look like the Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academies are actively pushing out students with disabilities.

n.n said...

There is a false equivalence being drawn between public schools and publicly funded and accessible education.

H said...

Here's what I looked for in a school for my kids (I'm not going to try to prioritize this list)

1. Parental Engagement. I wanted the parents of other students to be engaged in the educational process of the children. (I didn't want to be the only one paying attention).
2. High Ability students. I did not want my children to be the smartest or most able (or at least not best by a substantial margin) because I know that any teacher will teach to the class -- and will probably not teach "slow" enough for the worst student or "fast" enough for the best student.
3. Smart teachers. Assuming that a teacher wants to challenge the top students, I want the teacher to be smart enough and well-educated enough to actually do that challenging.
4. Social attitudes. Students who share my social values and ambitions. I want my children to value education for itself, and I want them to have an ambition to go to college and to a "good" academic-type college.
5. All of 1-4 being achieved, I would probably have a slight preference for a school for reasons of "diversity" or "social equality". But I am unlikely to send my child to a school that is clearly inferior on points 1-4 just because I "support public education" or think that it is wrong for my children to get a better education than the children of poor or minority households.

Private schools allow me to choose for all of these (1-4). The fact that a private school is so expensive means that I automatically have chosen for Parental Engagement, and almost certainly for Social Attitudes. By picking the "right"private school for my child I can choose for High Ability Students. And because of the threat that I will change private schools is a credible threat I have gone a considerable way down the road of choosing for smart teachers.

Charter schools also allow me to choose for 1-4. But the most affluent parents will have sent some of their children to private schools that best accommodate my desires 1, 2, and 4, and indirectly have put more pressure on schools to hire the best qualified teachers (point 3). So, in this context, charter schools are an alternative to private schools for parents who can't really afford private schools.

So (if anyone is still with me up to here). we could categorized parents into three groups: (1) parents who share my criteria (1-4) and who are rich (private schools) (2) parents who share my criteria (1-4) and who are poor (charter schools, and maybe a small number of households that get scholarships to private schools). and (3) parents who do not share my criteria (public schools).

The question about charter schools is the question of how we as a society want to deal with group 2. No matter what we do, group 1 can and will send their children to private schools. No matter what we do, group 3 will send their children to public schools. But with charter schools, group 2 will go "quasi private" or charter, and without charter schools, group 2 will have to go public (because they can't afford the private schools they might prefer).

Forcing group 2 into public schools is probably good for group 3, but is bad for group 2.

Laslo Spatula said...

Birkel said...
Too far, Laslo.

Why? Nothing there is plausible?

Who we choose to blame?

Female Teachers do it too?

Or just uncomfortable?


I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

True story.

I was in Advanced English as a sophomore. with mostly Seniors.

One of the Senior Girls in the class had the locker above mine.

Great legs, from my daily vantage point.

Advanced English Teacher Mr. R___ spent a LOT of time in class with questions directed to her, and what he probably thought were sly smiles.

At my locker, I heard her tell, repeatedly, how she was fucking Mr. R___. Oh you didn't etc etc etc.

No one died.

But -- five or six years later -- I was in line for a College Class where Mr. R___ was in the same line, going for his Masters.

He recognized me, and awkward small talk.

He then brought up this girl, looked me in the eye, nodded, and said she was a "Wild One."

Then a shrug.

I will not extrapolate on the rest, cause that WOULD be Fiction.

Side note: senior boys offered me cash to trade lockers for my spoy next to her thighs.


Never enough money for that when you are Sixteen: as I said -- great thighs.


I am Laslo.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I would like some of that time spent learning to code and build a robot. Something has to give."

They didn't get to sophisticated grammar texts because they're all now able to code and build robots? I think not. And the ones who can code and build robots are probably far more likely to have gotten to sophisticated texts than the average students.

AReasonableMan said...

Freeman Hunt said...
And the ones who can code and build robots are probably far more likely to have gotten to sophisticated texts than the average students.


Have you ever met people good at programming or building robots? Grammar is generally not their thing. My point, which seems spectacularly uncontroversial, is that priorities for learning change over time. People who like grammar, think it is important or were good at it, might miss grammar. The world, as a whole, seems to cope without quite the same focus. Nostalgia for the 'good ole days' is not necessarily a great guide to what we should be teaching to cope with tomorrow.

Henry said...

An IEP should improve a student's performance. If it does not, then it is not the student that has failed the school. It is the school that has failed the student. When the public school fails the student, where would Mark S. Have the student go?

Deirdre Mundy said...

ARM-- disagree-- actually, people who code and build robots (the smart ones) ARE good at Grammar. Because the skills it takes to learn a programming language are the same skills it takes to learn grammar.

Actually, there's a lot of overlap between great programmers and people who are good at Ancient languages. It's the same procedure, just with different end-goals (read Plato vs. write a program)

Henry said...

BTW, IEP is not a synonym for stupidity, or code for "disruptive in class". IEPs are generated for students with well-documented learning disabilities such as dyslexia (to name one), often with well documented interventions. Yet it can be incredibly difficult to get a public school to issue an IEP. To do so makes them legally obligated to provide instruction. It is cheaper to let such students flounder than to be accountable for teaching them. It is because public schools are hostile to their own students that parents look elsewhere.

Henry said...

As for the programming question, which grammar? English grammar? Programming languages have their own grammar.

AReasonableMan said...

Deirdre Mundy said...
ARM-- disagree-- actually, people who code and build robots (the smart ones) ARE good at Grammar. Because the skills it takes to learn a programming language are the same skills it takes to learn grammar.


It is true that detail oriented people could be drawn to both grammar and programming. Not all intelligent people are detail orientated, nor are detail oriented people necessarily especially intelligent. As products of human intelligence natural languages and programming languages will obviously have some common roots but programming languages have their primary roots in formal logic and math not grammar. Every introductory computing class covers Boolean logic, none touch on the conjugation of verbs. Programming languages are very simple grammatically, are very consistent and are complete. Natural languages are ambiguous, complex and incomplete. I am not saying someone cannot be good at both but you can be a very good mathematician, logician or programmer and not particularly skilled at grammar or find such flawed and inconsistent systems to be of much interest.

Birkel said...

"AReasonableMan" called me a moron. How ever shall I come to grips with his estimable opinion? Oh, right. Now I remember.

You are mock worthy and nothing more, "AReasonableMan". I have been quite explicit about that for some long while. Your arrogance and middling intelligence are delightful. You are a standard-issue Leftist and a bore.

Birkel said...

The word vomit @ 10:27pm inspires.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
I have been quite explicit about that for some long while.


I stand corrected, you are a pompous moron, not just a moron.

Terry said...

This quote should make parents do whatever they have to do to get their kids out of the public school system.
"I have taught in a crowded urban public school for 20 years now. We have to take 'em all, Eva. We take them all. We can't boost our performance numbers by pushing out those on IEP's, English Language Learners, emotionally disturbed, or generally disruptive students. Charter schools are a means of destroying public schools. Just finally admit it. Once you destroy the public schools, Eva, where, exactly, do you expect all of those children you reject to go to?"
Your job, as a parent, is not to fix a broken world. It isn't to fix the problems of other people's children. It is to do the best you can for your children. Just like virtually all politicians and liberal journalists, you should send your kid to private school.
In my state, public school teachers send their kids to private school at rate about 30% higher than non public school teachers.

mtrobertslaw said...

One of the things that went on in those "primitive" one-room schoolhouses of yore was "gifted" students were assigned to work with slow learners. This was usually done during the last hour of school or during a quiet reading time. Maybe this practice should be revisited for todays public schools. But then again, the teachers unions might object.

Gahrie said...

One of the things that went on in those "primitive" one-room schoolhouses of yore was "gifted" students were assigned to work with slow learners.

Oh this is still happening, but you aren't allowed to identify anyone as "slow", so they just call it "group work".

Querty said...

It might be worth a look at math texts from the same period. Though some of the topics may see dated by our current existence of calculators, I would not claim that math was neglected for grammar.

Birkel said...

Oh, no! Somebody who self-identifies as "AReasonableMan" has now called me pompous. I know not how to deal with such elegance. The man is a fount of rhetorical genius and I have been deemed unworthy. Some day I will pull myself up from this miasma of guilt.

Meanwhile, in reality, the standard-issue Leftist has devolved to maladroit name calling. Perhaps a hissy fit will achieve your desired rhetorical victory. Push the envelope. You can do it.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
I know not how to deal


You don't, but by handing you a shovel that is now clear to everyone.

But, surprise me, give us a quick summary of the thoughts you have expressed in this thread.

Birkel said...

Correction:
"...devolved to..." is giving too much credit.

"...once again revealed himself with..." is more appropriate.

Amanda said...

How odd. Birkel, do you realize that you most often comment about other commenters rather than commenting about the subject matter of the blogpost? Why is that? Don't you find the subject matter interesting or are you using this forum to express your Anger toward those who have different opinions from yours? No other commenter here does this to the extent that you do. I must agree with ARM that you are a pompous moron, more even more so an odd one.

As for educating one's children, one must make the best choice for their children. If the schools are subpar in the neighborhood you live in you either must homeschool, send them to a charter school, or a parochial school, or move. It's difficult to improve a school in which parents are not engaged enough to demand an improvement and stick with it long enough to see improvements. Public schools in the suburbs are excellent in the state I live in, because the children are blessed with parents who care. I don't know how teachers can be blamed entirely for the failings of the parents of the children they teach.

RichardJohnson said...

AJ Lynch
Amazing when we consider how many problems have been exacerbated/ created by unchecked immigration from 3rd world. Imagine our schools without that influx.

I am not a fan of unchecked immigration. However, my experience in the classroom has been that children of immigrants- documented or otherwise- are better behaved and more interested in learning than their peers of a similar class background who were born in America.

However, their presence does increase the tax burden.

furious_a said...

Good luck finding a 1896 biology or computing text.

The actual mathematics in current elementary or middle school isn't more difficult now than it was back in, oh, 1975, but showing the work is and now the kids get to use calculators. We didn't get to use calculators until trig/analytics, jr year in high school.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I guess Mark S is also aganst advanced placement, honors classes and anything that doesn't take all comers. If what he was saying was right (it is denied, at least the way it is put) he's arguing it is unfair competition, but he's not arguing that it is a bad thing.

It is simply not true that Success Academy's results are merely the results of including the best students or even avoiding the worst, and the remaining s=tudents would do just as well in a regular public school.

Sammy Finkelman said...

However, their presence does increase the tax burden.

No, what increases the tax burden is low income housing.

MadisonMan said...

My kids benefited from going to a great school in Madison, Madison West. But West is really two schools -- one full of highly motivated students with very active and involved parents, and one that warehouses students. The divide is an economic and racial one. It works for now. Madison might spend more for those students who don't have the family support, but White Bikers in town need good bike paths that are well-lit after midnight.

damikesc said...

Yet they love feeling superior to schools in the South while ignoring the issues we have down here.

ken in tx said...

IEPs never improve a student's performance. They are an additional paperwork burden on the teacher and an excuse for the student not to do regular classwork. I had one IEP that required me to give one student's tests and handouts in lavender colored paper.

Peter said...

Perhaps we should just admit that public schools are somewhat like public bathrooms: a facility one uses only when nothing better is available.

Perhaps it would be different if teachers were still allowed to remove disruptive students from their classrooms, or if schools of education didn't tend to attract the least academically capable and states didn't all but require an ed. degree for certification, etc., etc.

But as it is they are little more than a public convenience, a place to put your kids so you don't have to look after them all day yourself. Any education acquired within is mostly fortuitious.