@FredI spoke truth. Why not call up and visit a charter some time
and see for yourself. Our school gives weekly tours.Only one of
those statements needs to be clarified. The rest are available on state USOE
reports or have been reported in this newspaper. In regards to the
UEA, that statement comes from a series of conversations I had with UEA
leadership. The convention is the best thing they do for Charter school
educators, but most everything else they offer does not translate well to a
Charter model.For the economically diverse statement, its pretty
simple. Neighborhood schools only draw kids from the school boundaries which
most often are of the same economic background. I have taught politician's
kids, children of best-selling authors, and kids whose dad has his name on
ballparks. Our school also has a state reported 10% of ecomically disadvantaged
youth. You may get that diversity of a kid in a rust bucket getting out of one
car and another a BMW in High school, but that sort of thing is unheard of in
elementary. We have roughly the same special education and racially diversity
as the nearest schools.
Google Stanford, Charter School study or charter school 17%. You'll find the
As an alternative education I would say charter and private schools are the most
successful in educating its students, even with its underfunding and lack of
good facilities. Some of the best minds and people in history came from poor
eduction systems, Lincoln or Einstein ring any bells? Education is
not about funding or feeding students their daily bread, changing their diapers,
its about children being motivated to learn. Popularity, playing games, and non
worthy subjects like wasting a lot of time in the commons are not a worthwhile
item to put on a resume. Schools tend to think that they have to
make money in sports or other venues to educate the students, all that is is
window dressing. They are so fixated on per pupil spending it has consumed their
very essence and purpose. What good is a trillion dollars per school if they use
it all to water the grass?
Are charter schools a better alternative to public schools and at what costs?This is the title of the article. The article then gives no facts or
reasons to support an answer to the question either way. Poorly titled article
Mr. Jarvis,I would think since you request that others back their
statements up with statistics, you would choose to do the same. Number 5. UEA
doesn't know how to deal with charters, based on what? Number 7. What would be
your basis of proof that Charters are more diverse socially and economically?In terms of some of your other statements I think we could best classify
them as half truths. The lottery part is true but students who fail to
"comply" with the rules of charter schools are invited to seek their
education elsewhere, thus eliminating some students (not an option for
traditional public schools). Charters may be free, but often have rules
requiring extensive "volunteer hours" thus eliminating more students
whose parents must work. Transportation is also not provided thus eliminating
other students from applying. Although you produce no proof for Number 6, it is
correct, but isn't that what the charter school movement promised, better with
less? As far as Number 4, parents choose charters, that is true, but parents
also choose traditional schools. It would be nice one time to have
a discussion of the facts, and not all the hyperbole.
Charter schools talk big but can't back it up. My kids attended Northstar. The
faculty was ok at best. Great music teacher last year but most of the staff had
their own agenda. Can't attract good talent.
Jotab, Since those evaluations only are done yearly after gaining
tenure, it would take two years to get that requirement completed.BikeLehi,Nice invented stats. My favorite is the one linking
carrot consumption to death based on setting a study date in the 1800s. Since
everyone from the study is dead one must assume the carrots did them in. If you
are going to throw around stats as proof, back them up.Correcting
erroneous postings.1. Charters are FREE public schools2.
Charters take the same tests and report results to the state3. Charters
take ALL students based on lottery if demand is greater than seats available
(see the movie The Lottery)4. Parents choose Charters. 5. The UEA
doesn't know how to deal with Charter School educators since we don't use
contract negotiations, and we are insured anyhow.6. Charters are funded
less per pupil than Districts7. Charters have more social economic
diversity than neighborhood schools. Rich and poor are treated the same.
I have yet to see where the union determines class sizes in the local school,
but in charters they can determine class sizes and hold to those standards. In
public schools we must educate every student that comes through those doors and
we aren't allowed to kick them out. Our graduation rates are based on a
transient population. With charters I can guarantee you those students aren't
going to be in and out of the system like 25% of the public education system is.
Those parents are actively involved in the education of their students. The
typical parent teacher night at a local high school is lucky to get 15% parental
involvement. I say this: Give the local schools the funding to reduce class
sizes to anywhere near the national average and you will see test scores/grade
point averages improve because now that teacher gets to know that student
better. This is Utah, not CA or NY. The powers that be would rather use
statistics from other states in decrying public education rather than give real
reform a chance here.
This was a poorly written intro to the topic. All it did was enrage the
anti-union people as you can tell from the comments.Utah teachers
don't even belong to a union.If people would do a little research
you will find that charter schools aren't going better than the regular schools
here in Utah.In fact the dnews had an article a while back saying
that 37% of charters were performing "significantly worse" than the
regular schools.Test scores prove it to be true.Don't
believe the hype.
I find quite funny that there are still those on this board, and elsewhere, that
think that funding equates to achievement. What a laugh. Could those of you
who feel that Utah Public Ed schools are under funded please tell us what being
"fully funded" is?
The problem Independent with the money thing is with charters is that they often
want to use public education resources. Let's say Johnny wants to play football
but his charter doesn't have a football team. He gets to go back and play
football. He gets the equipment etc. everyone on the team gets. But his $$$
left the school system so he could attend the charter. Charters have their
place I do believe and we have one child in public schools and one in a charter
school. Indeed, many say charters can choose their students, this is true
because we won the lottery with one but not with the other. Public schools have
to educate everyone and provide services to everyone. This is the reality and
as a charter parent it is important to be fair.Anti-Government: I
think you grossly exaggerate the power of the unions. I mean let's get real.
Teachers are facing pay cuts, lost days of work, decreasing benefits and larger
class sizes. That sounds like a powerful union to me...Sign me right up if my
union can get me worse wages and benefits and lousier working conditions.
bikelehi hit it on the head. Charters can and do select students..... they just
boot out the undesireables and, back they come into public K-12.Most
charters are NOT a better choice for the above-mentioned reasons.YMMV.
"Charter schools might be great but where do the students go that can't
make the grade and can't get in?"So you want to hold back the
kids who can get in just to make it fair? It's not just about the smart kids.
Here in Nevada, we have magnet schools that cater to the different strengths of
the student body. We have schools for performing arts, math and science, and
vocational, career and technical acadamies. If a student has a particular
aptitude in something, he can go to a school that emphasizes it. If he can't get
into the school of his choice, he can keep going to the regular old school. Most
kids are good at at least something, so the more magnet schools the better.
Ideally, most schools would be magnet schools, so everyone would have somewhere
to go that matches their strengths. And I say if a kid's strengths match better
with being in the work force than with school in general, let him go.
@bikelehiYour first major difference is a crock. There is no tenure
in Utah. Public school teachers can be removed at any time when proper
procedures are followed.
Major differences of Charter vs. Public1. Year to year contracts for
teachers. No tenure.2. No big administration, school is in charge of
itself3. School population from a larger area4. Mostly smaller class
sizes5. Typically don't have extra-curricular activities, depending on the
school.6. Some specialize in a subject (science) or activity (movies,
music, etc).7. Parental involvementMajor Similarities...1. Curriculum expectations and testing2. Hiring certified teachersThis is for a reference for people who don't know. Again, charter
schools do not "typically" out perform public ed, in fact public ed.
typically outperforms charter schools.You have to know what you're
getting into with a charter school and if it is a good one, it may work for you
and your student, but chances are it's not going to change much.
Anti Government | 11:36 a.m. Jan. 18, 2011 Alpine, UT re: CHSI'm certainly not saying the school boards and administration are
blameless but the union rules and protections have made it far too difficult.===What "union" are you talking about? Utah is a
"right to work" state. There is no union in Utah, rather an
association.Other states have hardcore "union" factions,
but please don't place that label on the UEA.Please take your
argument to other states.===We can have an
"association" that encourages the employment of left handed people,
but it has no real power.If you see a teacher that is "Still
teaching the same ineffective way skirting the rules to stay employed", get
them "unemployed"...Too many parents whine, but lack the
fortitude to stand up for their kids, and get the teacher fired.Last
year, I stepped up for my daughter, and the teacher is no longer employed. I
provided the "evidence" that the classroom was not a place for
learning, and the district agreed...Stop posting on the Deseret News
page, and make a real change.
It is true that Charter Schools are not allowed to hand pick their students from
the beginning, but there are ways around it. Not saying that all charter schools
or even many do this, but it has and continues to be done. Once students are
enrolled, they can kick out a student for almost any reason, and then they can
fill that spot with someone one the waiting list.Again, not that all
do this, but it does happen and this is sort of a "hand picked" way to
In Utah a teacher needs 2 poor evaluations to be terminated. Is that horrible,
Anti? Also, name one deficit in Utah that unions have created. The
concept of charter schools is supported by NEA and UEA, especially if they are
held to the same accountability as the traditional public schools. When they
are we see no statistically significant difference in achievement.
Charter schools are another option. It is entirely probably that they are
better for some kids than are other options.Private secular schools
are a better option for some kids.Private religious schools are the
best option for kids.Home school is the best option for some
kids.Traditional neighborhood schools are the best option for some
kids.Transferring to a school across town is the best option for
some kids.The point is, kids are not all the same. It is silly to
think that ANY one option would or could be best for all or even most of
them.As for claims that charter or private schools are somehow very
selective about who gets in: not only is that not generally true, but even if it
is, maybe we need to look at whether we are imposing unreasonable requirements
on regular schools.Maybe they should not be required to deal with
kids who refuse to learn and even disrupt others. Everyone needs an education,
but for those who flat refuse, maybe some other accommodation should be made
rather than allowing a few problem children to rob their classmates of their
@Miss Piggie,If you know of a charter school "hand
selecting" their students, take it to the proper authority.The
big plus in my book for charter schools is that they can set a maximum class
size. They are governed directly by a governing board, usually made up of
parents, and while they must cover the core subjects, they can focus on specific
areas of instruction.Truthfully, the main reason for charter school
popularity in Davis County, where I live, is that charter schools are on a
traditional 9-month schedule. Every time you hear of an elementary switching to
year-round, there is a rush of applicants at the near-by charter school.
People seriously need to do some research. Only 17% of charter schools perform
better than traditional schools. Nearly 40% actually do worse! Charter schools
can fill a need for some students, but they are not an answer to cure America's
@Go Big Blue!!!: "The answer is increased parental involvement. Read with
your children, be involved with their assignments and spend more time helping
your children..."You've put your finger on the real solution...
parental involvement. That's what the Chinese do... and they are leaving us
behind in their dust.
@TallGuy1970:"The law states that they (charters) cannot pick
and choose their students. If there is more demand than seats, a lottery system
is to be used..."Then why have charter schools? What do they
provide that the public school does not?Regardless of what you say
and what the law says, students are hand-picked, in large measure, for charter
@Rebel vs UT GOP(UT's elitists) 11:29 a.m.:"I think private
schools are a much better idea."If you want a private school be
my guest... but use your own private money to fund it. Taxpayer money should
not be used to fund private education. The state provides a free education for
all. If that's not good enough and you want something better, pay for it.
I choose public schools over charter schools every time. Public schools prepare
individuals to live in the real world where there is diversity. Are your
children going to live in a charter world?Charter schools are taking
resources away from our elementary school by reducing student enrollment. This
doesn't result in smaller classes, it results in fewer classes with less funds
available throughout the school.The answer is increased parental
involvement. Read with your children, be involved with their assignments and
spend more time helping your children than time spent complaining about their
teachers and the school system.
Charter schools might be great but where do the students go that can't make the
grade and can't get in?If charter schools are better, then I say
close down all public schools and send the students to charter schools.Won't happen? Of course not. There aren't enough charter schools. So, alas,
the dummies have to remain in less desirable public schools with bad teachers
and equally bad curricula.Charter schools should all be shut down
because they provide an unequal opportunity for some students. Public money
should never be used to advantage one person over another.
A few facts for ill-informed posters to this board.In Utah, charter
schools are public schools. The law states that they cannot pick and choose
their students. If there is more demand than seats, a lottery system is to be
used to pick the students who will attend.Charter schools get more
than just the state WPU. The do get local tax dollars or the equivalent thereof.
They are called local replacement dollars, and by law public school districts
pay 25% of those local replacement dollars for student who leave their districts
and go to charter schools.
In California school educators feel that they know what's best for children and
that the parents should leave all the important decision making to them.They've banned dodge ball because it is too dangerous and because you
can't have a winner if you don't have a loser.
I think charter schools are great. Public school teachers like to complain about
them because they take resources away from public schools. Well excuse me: They
also take kids away from public schools, so wouldn't you need less resources?
What they are really complaining about is that all of the good smart kids leave,
and the trouble makers stay behind. I think we could solve this by requiring
students in public schools to adhere to a more strict code of conduct and higher
academic standards, and if they can't, they should be kicked out of school.
Perhaps we could start charter schools for those students who can't meet
reasonable academic and behavior standards, and we pay teachers more to work
there. And if they can't make it in these schools, we kick them out in the 8th
grade, and their parents will be responsible for educating them, or they can
start working in a vocation. If we have enough charter schools that teach kids
something they actually want to learn, very little of the students would reach
the point of having to be kicked out, and the ones that do were headed that way
Vouchers will solve the education problems we face from bloated administrative
corps to lazy teachers etc. The private schools do a better job of teaching at
a far lower cost per student. It is a simple solution that is being stopped by
Democrats and their cronies in the unions.
I think that parents have the right to choose what kind of education that their
child receives. To that end, I can't argue that the charter school and the
private school model is a good alternative to public education. However, one of
the reasons for the teacher's union that people are quick to judge as corrupted
is to create a checks and balances for the teachers. At this point there's no
control over who a charter school feels is qualified to teach children. Of
course it advantageous to hire a certified teacher, but I've known of a few
cases where people have been hired as teachers w/o prior experience or a related
educational background. This is extremely problematic.I think that
children have the right to as good of an education that is possible and that
begins with the proper support group, i.e. concerned parents and qualified
How can we compare charter schools to public schools, especially in Utah? Our
schools have never been funded in the same way that other states have funded
their schools and yet people want to compare "results" here with
results from states with lower class sizes. We get great "bang for the
buck" here from our schools. If you don't like the direction that your
school district is going run for the school board of that particular district.
Make your voices heard. But until then don't compare apples with oranges.
re: CHSExactly...because the rules "they agreed to" are
far too difficult and cumbersome to effectively remove a teacher...and it was
designed to be exactly that way. I'm certainly not saying the
school boards and administration are blameless but the union rules and
protections have made it far too difficult.Everyone here already has
several teachers in mind at schools their kids are at that should have been gone
long ago--where are they? Still teaching the same ineffective way skirting the
rules to stay employed.Kids suffer and the teachers stay negatively
impacting hundreds of kids year after year.I also might add it drags
down the good teachers as well and makes them look bad but for whatever reason
they let the union keep making their decisions for them that allows the
deadbeats teaching. The unions make it difficult to change anything once you
are in--once again designed that way for a purpose.Nobody wins but
the union bosses and the freeloading/coasting teachers.
To everyone on the message board: you don't have to hate charter schools to
support public schools, but you also don't have to hate public schools to like
charter schools. I live in Ohio, and the charter system actually works quite
well with the public schools. One thing our last governor did, however, was
simply require all charter schools to submit to the same quality-control testing
that public schools undergo. The result: about ten percent failed and were put
on one-year probation. If they got their numbers up, they were fine, if not,
their charters were revoked. In general, the biggest problem is
that charter schools seem to have little accountability--performance wise and
financially. Once they were put on equal footing with public schools, the
districts stopped fighting them.Seems like an obvious solution...so
why do so many charter schools fight it?
Granny, Charter schools typically do better for several reasons. First, they can
deny student entry. Second, parents that want their kids in charter schools are
typically involved parents. Third, students get to focus on a particular area of
study. Students are not put in classes that are irrelevant to them.For
what it is worth, I think charter schools are a bad idea. I think private
schools are a much better idea. That way public money is out of the system. The
funny thing about the voucher thing a few years back is that most private
institutions did not want to have anything to do with it. Once the money is in,
the government is in.
If public schools could "choose and select" which students they
accept, like charter schools, they would have a phenomenal success rate too.The beautiful thing about public schools is that they take anyone and
everyone, regardless of income or ability.To that end, how many
charter schools have a special education department? Close to zero. Public
schools do an incredible job catering to so many type of children.The argument between public and charter is apples and oranges.
In general, Utah schools are great. This might make a difference in areas where
there's a lot of unqualified teachers or violence in schools, but generally
speaking, Utah Public schools are very well run. If you take all the kids with
parents who spend their resources on their children's education and place them
into a different system, of course, they're going to appear to be better, but if
the same parents were to contribute to the public system just as rabidly, I
wouldn't be surprised if it made very little difference in the longterm.
@Anti GovernmentHow many teachers do unions employ? If school
districts are too lazy to follow the rules they agreed to in collective
bargaining to rid themselves of bad employees, why is that the fault of the
If charter schools are THAT good, and they appear in many cases to be so, why
can't all public schools be fitted with the charter model? This is a sincere
question. Help, someone....
Almost 10 years ago RAND issued a report saying the emprirical evidence
concerning school choice was scant at best and lacked much sophistication- here
we are 10 years later and not much has changed- lots of ideological positions
and plenty of the N=1 stories that populate articles like this but little
empirical evidence- in absence of evidence we will continue to play this game-
choice is a great thing and when it comes to education we have always enjoyed
that with local control- given what we spend on it though and our supposed
concern over its role in economic development we can do better in determining
useful models- my opinion- to many Ed.D's doing the research and they simply
lack the rigor to do good research and so we are stuck with uninformed ideology-
that always works so well historically.
Although the powerful UEA and NEA unions would like Charter schools to go away,
they are a wonderful alternative to the mismanagement and shell game from the
public school system. Charter Schools manage on the WPU without the additional
local taxes in their pots. It is difficult to know what the facts are in
another State, where Charter Schools received an increase and Public schools
received a decrease. This appears to be propaganda, because it was mentioned,
but no details. Perhaps the Charter Schools in that State have been underfunded
in the past, as is the case in Utah. Keep Charter Schools...don't pass
additional rules that will force them to be carbon copies of the traditional
public schools. Education is a socialist program, but allow for some
choice in Education!
Seriously how ridiculous.We allow unions to high-jack our public
schools preventing bad teachers from being fired. Nobody wants to vote for
increased education funding because most of that is just code for increased
salary and benefits for protected teachers some of which are poor performering
but nonetheless "untouchables" thanks to unions.The
teachers union knows all this of course but the protection they get is more
important than the education of kids.They, just like every other
union, will ride the gravy train as long as it lasts.It is no
coincidence that you are seeing all kinds of news articles over the last few
weeks about States trying to deal with the massive deficit-producing unions.Unions had their place back in the day. Now it is nothing but riding
the gravy train and bleeding every penny they can get until it collapses on
itself. They don't seem to care as long as "they get theirs".Unfortunately our public schools are the latest victim.Lots
of people now essentially have had to create Charter Schools to go around the
union-dominated disaster called public schools.Its not right but its