Wednesday, April 22, 2009

School's Out Forever

One of New Orleans' charter schools' independent board cites trouble with the for-profit management team and packs it in.

(I bet its some teacher's fault.)

While this exposes a lot of problems many local charters are having (and that the news doesn't seem to want to cover), it is being touted as a reinforcement of the strength of market-based schooling.

Now, it is one thing to phase out ideas that aren't working. But high turnover, especially in leadership positions, will hamstring schools whether they are public or charters. You can't make gains if you are constantly reinventing the wheel, but we never talk about how to address that concern.

It does talk about how difficult it will be for the 200 students to find new schools, since the best public and charter options available for parents have filled up already.

I guess this is what it feels like to have an invisible hand slap you in the face.


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6 comments:

mominem said...

Its interesting the pre-K no school closed as a result of similar disputes, regardless of the apparent failure to educate any children.

Dante said...

Pre-K is a lowest common denominator program. If your kid goes in knowing anything at all, pre-K is a waste of time. I don't know about New Orleans, but in Georgia the pre-K program spends most of its time teaching non-core softball topics like culture and diversity. Those are good topics to learn early, but that's not exactly why I'm sending my kids to school. I pulled my daughter out of pre-K and put her in a preschool where they mostly teach the basics letters, numbers, basic sight words, and simple arithmetic.

As far as this charter situation goes, the correct thing happened in the long term but the process needs work. This is the first charter school to close. I'm not surprised the process still has a few flaws. There needs to be a clear exit plan for the kids and possibly an earlier date to decide something as important as whether or not a school continues to operate the next year.

Other than the above concerns, it looks like capitalism has taken care of Pat's accreditation dilemma. What happens to a school that is not meeting the academic needs of the students? It closes.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

First of all, this school was not accredited, as accreditation requires being around a little bit longer than this.

As to the school meeting the academic needs, I'm curious as to how this is supposed to work. This school does not address academic needs for three years due to high turnover and mismanagment from the for-profit management firm (shocker, that some for-profit business couldn't get its act together).

Now the students have to find another school. If that's a charter school or a public school, do they go to that one for three years before they figure out they aren't making academic progress? That's six years of school - and the formative ones teaching them how to read and basic math.

It is any wonder, then, that so many students come out of the system illiterate?

Dante said...

No it wasn't accredited. That's my point. A few months back you bemoaned how these charter school could possibly get by without accreditation. It's simple: they educate or they disappear. The biggest difference is that instead of the government deciding whether or not a school educates the kids, the parents are responsible for that.

As far as the three year nonsense, if the school isn't doing it's job are you really going to leave your kids in for 3 years?! Screw that. But once again that goes back to a parent being responsible enough to know what their kids are learning (or not learning).

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

The biggest difference is that instead of the government deciding whether or not a school educates the kids, the parents are responsible for that.So I guess that means kids whose parents when to shitty schools, whose parents went to shitty schools, and so on, well, those folks are just shit out of luck. I mean, maybe they can just figure out what a good education is all on their own?

if the school isn't doing it's job are you really going to leave your kids in for 3 years

Parents may not have a choice where to send their kids, as there are plenty of obstacles in the way. And education takes place over time, as does educational tracking.

That's why it takes five years of records before a school can even apply for accreditation.

Dante said...

"I mean, maybe they can just figure out what a good education is all on their own?"

Just because you're responsible for something doesn't mean you have to go it alone. If you don't know enough about a subject to make your own informed opinion, then you need to help. Anyone even halfway interested in their children's education future WILL find that help one way or another.