Tough Line On Education: Am I Wrong For That?
Arkansas House Majority Leader Steve Harrelson has an excellent blog for covering state issues called "Under the Dome". Occasionally I comment on it, but this time I got into such a dialogue that I found myself doing more writing there than here. Now that's not right!
So what I am going to do is transport the dialog over here. Let me do the set up first. Steve posted an article on education reform. Someone lauded the KIPP school, which is a charter school for children from educationally challenged backgrounds that has very high standards. I will start with the poster I will call "The Utopian", because it was their remarks I was responding to. The Uptopian was down on KIPP and was for the current educational model.
"One of the things that charter schools do is take students who want to succeed, work hard, and keep their noses to the grindstone and educate them without the distractions of the not-so-motivated students. Regular public schools do not have that luxury...they have to educate any and all comers. They really cannot send those less motivated students somewhere else...they MUST do their best with them.
What happens is that charter schools take those that can and leave those that don't really want to do much for the regular schools to deal with. For the students (usually lower income) who do not have parents who are willing (or, who are able) to transport their children to a charter school and who do not have parents who are able to provide the parental input and support usually required in charter environments, they are left to get along as best as possible with all of the rest of the less-desired students in a district. That is not fair.
Charter schools never tell how many dropouts they have who start the year and fail to finish...or how many are sent back to the public schools for not "abiding" by the contract they initially sign when they enroll.
If charter schools had to take all comers, not allow any to drop out, and deal with the same problems as regular public schools, you would see the same results.
They are perpetuating a hoax on everyone as to their success rate and how it is achieved.
If all the time, money, and effort that is being expended on charter schools (and yes, I'm talking about KIPP, too) were applied to making the local regular schools work, they would perform better, do better, and show better results. As for me, don't even talk about charter schools being the end all to our problems in educating our children, as I am a non-believer."
My response and the dialog is on the jump. Tell me folks, am I being unreasonable here.....click Monday below and scroll down.