The main attraction of charter schools is the appeal to vanity of parents and
re-segregation. Case in point, dumprake at 4:48 a.m.:"The whole
point of the charter school was to get the students away from the "poor"
and "poverty" thing and teach students to excel instead of being dumbed
down to the poorest students."
politicalcents:Teachers would work more days I'm sure if pay
was available. Many do a lot in the summer to compensate for their incomes so I
doubt all are just sitting around. I'm sure many teachers would work over
Christmas break but that was created so parents could have time off with their
children not so teachers could have two weeks of unpaid vacation. Also, private
sector jobs have time off and vacations. If not, this probably doesn't say
much about our capitalistic system if all people have to look forward to is
working 365 days a year with no vacation. But in reality most people get
certain holidays off, two days a week off and if you add those up, the
"gap" between what teachers supposedly work, because many teachers work
on their own unpaid time for the betterment of their students, isn't as
Overworked and underpaid? Not likely. Jordan School District teachers are
required to work 181 days. That is less than HALF the calendar year. With Summer
vacation, 2 weeks at Christmas, every holiday off, other days just because they
have been working so much, all weekends, and even have sick leave and vacation.
On top of that, the insurance coverage for teachers is INCREDIBLE more than
compensating for their "lack of pay". So, as college graduates, if they
are required to work half the year, they should make HALF the pay, which is
about right for what they do. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate teachers,
and I know they work hard, and some even deserve more money. However, to say
that they are overworked and underpaid is more than a stretch.
Procurador that isn't true. The secondary ed dept at many schools is
dying. I know at BYU their secondary education science majors often have less
than 10 students graduating in a given year. I have sat in on interviews for
science teaching openings at a local school where only 4 applicants applied. 3
of those applicants didn't even have teaching credentials but said they
would take the job if we couldn't find anyone else. It is a myth to think
that there is a long line of people waiting for the jobs. Yes in a down economy
those numbers go up because people see it as a secure job but most years are
lean in the teacher applications.
Re: "If [teachers were paid too much], we would see a LONG line of people
lining up to become teachers."We DO see a long line of people
lining up to become teachers. Education is one of the largest colleges at many
universities, often with the highest graduation rates.Then,
there's the federal Department of Education. Secretary Duncan has a plan to
provide $60 billion for education, in the form of "jobs for educators and
upgrades to schools and community colleges."Yeah, that's
unlikely. Most of that $60B won't go to teachers, but it won't go
begging, either.But there'll be plenty of people lining up to
Having taught in both, there is good and bad in both. Testing only math and
English doesn't tell the whole story. My charter school taught a lot more
history from Core Knowledge and more science. Many in the district schools were
dropping history/geography to spend more time on the tested subjects, which is
tragic. We can't build this nation's next generation without teaching
history.Most charters start out opposing the "feel-good,"
constructivist methods, which don't work well, but since that's all
teachers are trained in at college, even they gradually move to being quite a
bit like the district schools in the "feel-good" things that are mostly
empty of value.However I could never make a career with a charter
school. There is no security - for the GOOD teachers. A change of
administration can wipe you out very quickly. I've heard too many horror
stories from charter school teachers themselves and watched this happen.
Teachers need some protections, and they need a decent salary.
Education is in trouble because teachers are overworked and underpaid. The
actual teaching time is restricted because there are too many tests, reports,
and paperwork for teachers to complete that the actual teaching time is
compromised. I taught school ONE year many years ago and admire
teachers who put up with the interferring parents, top heavy administration, and
pay so low it is insulting to college graduates.
The standardized test scores simply don't show what is really happening in
a school. Its a narrow measure of education. Also, these studies do not
account for the varied situations in which charters are created. For instance,
a charter school could be achieving less than average test scores, but be
achieving better scores in relationship to the neighboring schools, or the
charter could cater to struggling students, who, while improving, would still
likely score worse on the tests. This study is broad, doesn't tell the
whole story, yet many of you want to make hay from it, one way or another. THAT
is why education is in trouble.
There is a fact that many are not considering here when defending Charter
Schools. Most parents send their children to Charter schools for improved
education and higher results. Standardized testing is the constant. However,
there is a broad spectrum of students in Public Education which drags down test
scores because they either don't care, or are not getting support from
home, etc. That is why internationally comparing test scores has always bothered
me. For example, in Germany, only their elite students are sent to their version
of high school (the others, to trade schools) So when comparing the US high
school students, and we are close in our scores-we are comparing ALL of our
students to their elite. I am not saying that there is not work to be done in
the system-many improvements are needed. But if the Charter schools attempt to
be elite education is only a little better at best.....well, we can see that it
may not be working as it should.
Allen#2 hit it on the nose. Now with that said, I have a suggestion for our
public schools. You have policies in place that deal with student attendance.
Enforce those policies. Enforce your policies that deal with student discipline.
Expect your educators to come to school looking like professionals, not like
they just crawled out of bed. Those 3 items are a good place to start if you
want to begin to make changes in the education model. Oh, BTW, I am speaking as
a 28 year veteran of the public school system.
Charter schools are a fancy name for legalized class distinction and racism.
I have taught elementary school for 12 years and have taught in both public and
charter schools. From my experience there can be very effective schools in both
sectors and there are also some very badly performing schools in both sectors.
It does frustrate me a little bit when parents, or the public in general, assume
that the local charter school must be better than the public school. It may be,
but that is not a given. Parents need to carefully do their research when
deciding to place their children in a charter school. Some of them are really
great, but some of them are horrible. My own experience teaching at a charter
school was not great. I worked with wonderful students and parents but the
organization of the school was terrible. I have also worked at several public
schools in different school districts. Some were wonderful, others weren't.
All have room to improve. Parents do your homework when you're making
choices about your child's education.
I love how the Dnews has buried this story so quickly. It doesn't fit
their pro-charter, pro-voucher, anti-public ed editorials so to the back of the
line goes this story.procurador, you lost all credibility when you
claim public schools are paying too much. If that were the case, we would see a
LONG line of people lining up to become teachers. That just isn't
happening. There are a few that think it will be an easy job, just rake in the
money while babysitting a bunch of kids. Then they start working and realize it
is much more than anyone realizes. Those are the teachers that usually leave
the profession in 3 years or less. I think it is now around 50% that leave
within the first 3 years.I've seen some good charter schools
and some bad ones. Parents need to do their research to see what they are
getting their kids into before making the leap.
Since charter schools provide choice, charter schools are important. How much
better can they be, though, than public schools otherwise? Only as much as
their having to deal with the same problems as public schools do will allow them
to be. If their teachers are overburdened (class size, mixed student abilities,
and total daily student load), undercompensated (as are all of Utah's K-12
teachers by ANY measure applied), underappreciated as true professionals who
must continually improve themselves through additional coursework and seminars,
how much better can charter schools really be? If the playing field is truly
level for public and charter schools, there can be no significant differences in
outcomes. The subject is a big one and deserves a series of
investigative articles incorporating on-line learning, home-schooling, themed
schools ("collegiate" high, "tech") where self-selection is by
interest, school populations affected by non-native speakers, and so on.Also there's a lot of evidence from economists who have as much as
predicted the current "crisis" in America's K-12 education due to
failure to plan for the long-term financially and in the training, recruitment,
and retention of teachers. The record in America has been abysmal.
Re: "There are a few good ones out there but there are even more bad ones
showing up all the time."Which flies in the face of the study
being reported.It specifically found that there wasn't much
difference in performance, that charter schools are getting better all the time,
and that they are meeting the needs of those most at risk.And, if
teachers leave charter schools the first chance they get, it only illustrates
the fact that public schools are paying too much.
What an unfortunate headline. The bias of either Mr. Wood or the paper's
editors is clearly on display and is disappointing. While the headline the story
runs under is true:- "Majority of U.S. charter schools perform
equal or worse than traditional schools"even a cursory look at
the data shows an that opposite headline is also true:-
"Majority of U.S. charter schools perform equal or BETTER than traditional
schools"When both headlines are accurate, calling out the poor
performance of some schools in the headline clearly reflects a conscious choice
to focus on the negative instead of the positive when it comes to charter
schools.When you remove the schools whose performance is not
significantly different, what does a direct comparison of schools reveal? 1713
of the charter schools in the study were significantly worse than other public
schools in their local market, while 1827 of the charter schools in the study
were significantly better than other public schools in their local market. In
other words:- Among charter schools whose performance differs
significantly from other public schools in their local market, the majority of
charter schools are significantly better than the other public schools in their
Charter Schools have a "elected" governing board of directors made up of
parents - some of whom are educators. This board selects the principal of the
school, not the district. The principal selects the teachers, not the district.
From what I've seen there is a greater accountability for teaching in
charter schools than what I've seen in regular public schools. Principals
and teachers who don't perform and educate don't last very long in the
charter environment. No education assosciation contracts that bind schools to
reward nonproducting teachers or administrators.Give me
administrators and teachers who are committed to really educating our youth
anytime over those how just put in their time.
Judi Clark's statements in the article are little worrisome. She
completely denies the statistics and facts and throws out the "thousands of
families are on waiting lists". This seems to be the favorite line of the
pro charter crowd. I frankly don't believe it. The charter by me sends
out flyers advertising their school. They can't get enough students.
Their teachers leave the first chance they get to move into a normal school.
Parents should have choice but parents need to do their homework.
Don't just follow a fad. If a charter school is the right answer for your
family, do your research and make sure you know what you are getting into. As
the report and data show, charter definitely doesn't mean better. There
are a few good ones out there but there are even more bad ones showing up all
It is hilarious to read the comments from the people with their head buried in
the sand. This is just one of many studies saying the same thing. Charter
school generally perform worse than regular schools. The people that are
usually touting how great they are usually have some kind of financial interest
in saying so. What it comes down to is who is teaching at the
school. I don't want to make too big of a generalization but many of the
teachers at charter schools are the ones that couldn't get hired at a
regular school for whatever reason. I don't know of a single teacher that
dreams of one day working at a charter. It is less stable and that is a huge
factor in the teaching profession.Of course ask your local charter
parent how their school compares to the local public school and they will tell
you the charter is light years ahead of the other school. I hear it from my own
neighbors. Then I ask if they have compared test scores. The charter is on
average 7-10% lower in ever category. The truth hurts but that
doesn't change it.
Re: "Charters have failed. Vouchers clearly don't work."Yeah, yeah. Same old UEA/NEA party line.Note that this study also
found, ". . . the charter school sector is getting better on average and . .
. charter schools are benefiting low-income, disadvantaged and special education
students . . . ."Which certainly is NOT true of mainstream,
trade-union-controlled public education.It's not surprising
that charter schools would be pronounced a failure by "educator"
trade-union activists, since their "judgment" is more informed by
personal, pecuniary interests, than by concern for students.Since
non-union charter schools do as much or more for students, at lower public cost,
than union-controlled public schools, only disingenuous union bosses could call
Charter school processes are to have a business manager run a school, usually
not an educator. They look for efficiencies but that doesn't necessarily
include educational background. Parents are lured to the "other" school
process and then come 1 October the parents want to change their children back
to the public school for one reason or another, and then the normal
"public" school district cannot get the money for the school the
children will be attending, "again". The charter schools use
enticement, marketing, and other PR tools to get their "students"
through normal business methods. Normal "public" schools
teach the children that the charter schools don't want that would lower
their scores such as challenged children of various backgrounds and status. Though charter schools may say they are public schools due to receiving
funding, they are a form of private schools in the thought and educational
processes. Parents in some environments use the "huge"
school as a rationale for moving children. They sometimes don't want to
have to be involved in the normal public school process as that lowers their
status symbol that their children are just normal kids.Normal public
schools provide for everyone under the law.
I think we're all missing something obvious here. Look at the infographic
and then ask yourself what you think about the headline. Here's a hint:81% of charter schools are significantly better or not significantly
different in reading69% of charter schools are significantly better or not
significantly different in mathThis is not, of course, what the
headline focused on. It is, of course, factually accurate, since75%
of charter schools are significantly worse or not significantly different in
reading71% of charter schools are significantly worse or not significantly
different in mathBy any reasonable standard, the data are
inconclusive at best, but if you had to choose a direction you should probably
add up the "better or not different" and get 150% and add up the
"worse or not different" and get 146% and conclude that the "better
or not different" would win and focus on that. The data doesn't suggest
a strong conclusion either way. An unbiased author would probably conclude that
"Data suggest that most charter schools are not significantly different from
their traditional public counterparts in English and Math." It's
frustrating to have people drawing conclusions about this story without
understanding the data.
I wonder how environment fits into all of this.
Chuck, you hit on something there. Little kids (even high school kids) get lost
in huge schools.
Oh, How Informative. A totally unbiased study by a major university about
charter schools. If charter schools struggle, it is because they are trying too
hard to emulate public schools.
The important part of the study is in regard to "low income, disadvantaged,
special education". These groups showed definite improvement with charter
schools. Whites and Asians appeared to regress. As someone who is a retired
urban high school teacher, I would say that the charter schools offer discipline
for students who have none in their home life. The parallel public schools
offer an education plan modeled on John Dewey which emphasizes freedom of
development. School children are begging for guidance and the charter schools
appear to give that to them. Charter schools would lean toward the model of
education stressed by Hyman Rickover who was a heavy critic of Mr. Dewey and who
also was the father of the modern American Navy.
I guess if you disagree with the results of the study it's easy to merely
shrug it off and call the study, "bogus."The truth is, the
gig is up. We aren't drinking the charter school Kool-aid. Nor the voucher
nonsense. The pro-voucher folks were just hit hard. Instead of dealing with it
they prefer to put their heads in the sand and call this study,
"bogus."It's pretty obvious how silly some folks are
This is bogus. Charter schools are light years ahead of regular public schools
in the quality of education. The study reveals its bias when it let slip that
"poverty" and "poor students" was the real driving thesis. The
whole point of the charter school was to get the students away from the
"poor" and "poverty" thing and teach students to excel instead
of being dumbed down to the poorest students. I am personally aware of several
charter schools, and all of them are far superior to the regular public schools,
there is just no comparison.
Our charter school here in Saratoga Springs (Lakeview Academy) is much better
than the public schools in the surrounding areas. The discipline is better, the
learning atmosphere is better, morality is better, etc. Our kids feel safe at
the charter school where at the big middle school it was like a jungle.
Hahaha!And the pro voucher crowd wants more of this?No
thanks. Charters have failed. Vouchers clearly don't work. Back
to the drawing board folks!
Some trust parents to choose what is best for their children, and to compare
between the servvices and learning at a Charter School and traditional public
schools. They have a vested interest in THEIR child's success for a
lifetime.Others trust the "village" and the "government
skools" to warehouse kids and indoctrinate them in the tenants of political
correctness, and sometimes old-fashioned stuff like reading, writing and math.
The teachers unions love to keep the numbers enrolled as high as possible so
they can demand more money and more teacher [union] jobs. Many teachers are
wonderful and truly care, but too many are not, and they are a far greater
danger than any possible gap between what takes place in public schools and what
takes place in Charter Schools.Two more questions for the CREDO
folks at Stanford-- 1- How do home schooled children compare with their
peers in public schools.2- What is the ultimate failure to graduate rate
for public and charter schools? Are your results skewed by eliminating those
who are totally failed by the schools? (Although a large portion of the blame
for failure belongs to the student and their parents.)
If the traditional districts would make their schools the same size as the
charter schools, they would smoke the charters. That is a charter school's
biggest advantage.If we divided our big districts into
community-sized districts, we would be more likely to get this size of school
and a more supportive public as well.