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Comments about ‘Study: Majority of U.S. charter schools perform equal or worse than traditional schools’

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Published: Monday, June 24 2013 10:00 p.m. MDT

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2cents_EM
Eagle Mountain, UT

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.

Allen#2
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Charter schools are a fancy name for legalized class distinction and racism.

EJM
Herriman, UT

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.

politicalcents
West Jordan, UT

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.

steverb
LEHI, UT

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.

Allen#2
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

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.

Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

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.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

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 guzzle it.

Utah Teacher
Orem, UT

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.

politicalcents
West Jordan, UT

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.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

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 drastic.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

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."

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