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4 Replies to “Cleveland Rocks”
It is not difficult to predict how all this will end:
Soon all the poor urban districts will have charter schools staffed by at-will teachers who will stay until they get a better job. The charter operators will make six figure salaries made possible by lowering the salaries and benefits of the teachers as well as resources for the students. These schools will get significantly less tax money than the schools that serve advantaged children. The salaries for teachers will be much less.
In the meantime, the 75% of American children not in poverty will continue to attend excellent public and private schools and their test scores will continue to be the highest in the world.
Thankfully the press is beginning to ask questions and it’s only a matter of time before the universities begin to ask, “Is this data accurate?”
It’s time to stop the status quo of education by zip code. Please join educators in demanding educational equity for all children. We can do it.
The Cleveland charters — like charters everywhere — apparently enroll via application. Therefore, the charters will inevitably enroll a stronger student body than the neighborhood public schools — all the charter students will come from familes where the parents were sufficiently concerned about their child’s education to pursue a charter application + sufficiently functional to complete the application process (and perhaps to provide daily transportation to a non-local school). By contrast, many of the neighborhood public school students will come from families where the parents were unconcerned about their child’s education and/or too dysfunctional to complete the application process.
Although it was likely the intent of many corporate “reformers” to achieve this goal of privatizing public education (e.g. Wal-Mart heirs), I believe Bill and Melinda Gates are truly interested in improving education for our poorest children. For this reason, once the unintended consequences of this “reform” movement become clear (poor kids segregated into test prep academies, more dropouts, rampant fraud, wider achievement gap, marginalization of the neediest children, public humiliation of teachers, fewer qualified teachers in urban schools etc.) I think they will move to the side of the people who truly put children first: parents and teachers.
Once education leaders take the data seriously, we’ll begin to move forward as a country. We know that our children not in poverty (about 75% of the population) have the highest test scores in the world. Once we ask, “What can we do to bring educational equity to the other 25%” we’ll begin the journey toward equal educational opportunities for all children.
Both LaborLawyer and Linda/RT make good points. Why the general public doesn’t understand these things, I really don’t know (maybe due to the PR campaign by the edu-reformers?).