CURMUDGUCATION: A Charter Is a Public School

The slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.

A charter school is a public school

If

If it is owned and operated by the local community and their duly elected representatives. If you can call the people who run your school to talk about your school, and it’s not a long distance call, that might be a public school. If your school is run by a board of directors who must all stand for election by the taxpayers who foot the bill for your school, you are probably a public school.

If it is operated with financial transparency. If any taxpayer can walk into the main district office and request a copy of the budget and receive a copy, that’s a public school system. If you have the opportunity to call or meet with those local elected board members t argue about how your tax dollars are being spent, it’s probably a public school.

If it cannot turn down a single student from your community. Your school system may sort students into specialized schools, or it may pay the cost of sending Very Special Need students to Highly Specialized schools, but it cannot ever deny unilaterally responsibility for students just because they cost a lot of money or require specialized programs or just fail to behave compliantly. If your school system can’t wave a student off and say, “She’s not our problem,” your system is probably a public school system.

If it provides students and staff the full amount of  appropriate legal protections, it could be a public school.

If it operates in a building owned by the taxpayers, it could well be a public school.

If it operates under the assumption that it will stay in operation for as long as the community wants it there, and plans to be there for generations irregardless of how well the “business” is doing, it is probably a public school.

And if your school does not make budgeting choices based on the notion that the less money spent on the students, the more money some private individual gets to pocket, that’s a healthy sign of a public school.

If it meets all these standards, then your charter school is indeed a public school. If not– well, it may be a lovely, delightful, popular school, but it is not a public school. A private school that collects public tax dollars is still a private school.

And if your public school system no longer meets these standards (if, for instance, your elected local board has been replaced with state or mayoral control, that’s a sign that somebody is trying to privatize it, and may have partially succeeded.

You can say that a pig is a cow. You can dress it up in a cow suit and just keep insisting over and over that it’s a cow, correcting everyone who says differently. But at the end of the day, when you butcher it, you still get pork.

Source: CURMUDGUCATION: A Charter Is a Public School

“Parents Aren’t Talking to Teens About Consent, Study Finds”

The Catalysts for Change

“There’s a LOT more to cover than sex.

When you’re heading off to college, there’s obviously a lot on your mind. What your roommate will be like, how hard your classes will be, where you’ll hang out on the weekends — and sex. Many people associate college with hookups and sex, but we’ve known for a while that people aren’t having quite as much sex as we might think. But it turns out many of us aren’t exactly prepared for the reality of sex on campus. According to a new study, our parents may play a pretty big part in that.

A study from Making Caring Common, a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, found that parents aren’t having the kind of conversations with kids about sex and relationships that maybe they should be. The study found parents aren’t having conversations with their kids that…

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Betsy DeVos Watch: Protests continue to follow the Secretary of Education across the country

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

On Friday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke in Seattle, Washington at a forum hosted by the Washington Policy Center.

Her speech was not unlike many of the other speeches she has given since becoming Secretary of Education, especially at forums hosted by organizations that have similar a ideological framework as DeVos. 

There were a couple of things during her speech that are worth noting. First, DeVos once again used the mantra of states rights to push her education agenda, commenting that states, “are best equipped to solve the unique problems they face.” Second, DeVos argues that public money is really the taxpayers money and therefore, shouldn’t parents be able to spend that money how they want in terms of education? I wonder if Betsy feels the same way about tax dollars that subsidize large corporations, like Amway. Does she think the public should be able…

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Some of New York’s Powerful Charter School Networks Win Right to Certify Their Own Teachers

janresseger

The NY Times reports that on Wednesday, “The charter schools committee of SUNY’s Board of Trustees voted to approve regulations that will allow some (charter) schools to design their own teacher-training programs and certify their own teachers.”  This is, of course, the story of a charter-school-authorizing body in one state—a committee of the State University of New York’s Board of Trustees—that has been appointed to sponsor and oversee the operation and quality of charter schools.  But it is also a much bigger story about a nationwide problem: the influence of money and power on non-elected and unaccountable bodies that states have appointed to sponsor charter schools.

CHALKBEAT NY describes what the new rule will mean for the New York charter schools sponsored by SUNY’s Board of Trustees: “Dozens of charter schools across New York can now apply to certify their own teachers after the State University of New York’s charter…

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