Wednesday, April 3, 2013

State of TN turns low achieving schools over to charter operators

From the NYT:


Questioner said...

It will be interesting to see what happens if scores remain low under a charter operator- do they just keep changing charters?

Anonymous said...

What makes you think scores will remain low?

Questioner said...

The post just asks about what will happen IF they remain low- a possibility that must be considered given the track record of charters to date.

Anonymous said...

The track record of charters is what suggests they stay low. Less than 20% of charters outperform their comparable, neighboring public schools. More than 30% underperform.

The more of them you try to open at once, the more likely that you haven't been choosing that selectively.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Sadly, reading on an iPad, I can not get Chrome browser to click in a link. The copy URL also get the start of the text block with added words. Having a hyper link in the text with code in the blog is much better interface with readers.

Anonymous said...

Has pps done a good job fully vetting its charter applicants? I think they are now being more attentive to the new applications and that may be due to feeling we have reached the saturation point.

The comments on the article are what are where we need to pay attention. Pretty shocking, sometimes eye witness accounts of the principles in action.

Anonymous said...

The Charters in Pittsburgh are outperforming the majority of PPS schools with some far outperforming PPS schools in Homewood, the Hill, and the Northside. Some are even "Blue Ribbon" schools. (Probably that is why the point being made here previously was missed.)

Anonymous said...

The lack of experienced leadership in a district is what leads to all of this turmoil for parents, teachers and students in districts that are "failing."

Put the right people in place and children will soar academically, artistically and athletically!

It is not any "test" that causes "failing schools" (especially a basic, minimal competency test like the PSSA). Its a lack of leadership, a lack of people in positions that can and do create successfully learning environments for kids.

At the very least, charters, have the opportunity to hire such people and create such environments, individually and independently.

"Failing" public schools are chasing anyone and everyone away with wrong-headed programs, policies, and curricula (one-size-fits-all).

Its pure craziness and incompetence, so people run away looking for something even a little bit better.

Questioner said...

Re charters outperforming PPS- the question is, whether students who are simply assigned to a charter will do as well as students whose parents seek out a charter, submit an application and meet any additional requirements (such as attending mandatory meetings). It will be interesting to see what happens in Memphis.

Anonymous said...

It truly, truly is NOT about parents and students!

It IS about the "competence" in multiple capacities of the school's people.

It is just NOT RIGHT to keep on blaming parents and children! ALL parents and students will respond to folks doing the "right thing" educationally! Truly, truly, truly . . .

Questioner said...

Of course they will respond, but will achievement be exactly the same in a school composed entirely of students whose families seek out the best options and attend meetings, as in a school with a cross section of everyone? If so, why worry about parent engagement or ask families to attend meetings at all?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:40 "ALL" is unattainable. We may need to have a list of those currently doing the wrong thing educationally right now in order to begin chipping away at their resolve and move then to the "right thing." Do you agree it begins with Duncan? Should we start locally? It is definitely not the teachers whose hands seem to be tied and whose creativity is stifled. Plenty of blame to distribute too.

Anonymous said...

11:39 - No, it does not begin or end with Duncan. It begins and ends with the knowledgeable, committed, caring, "educators" in each District.

Nor, does it begin and end with Corbett or Lane or anyone else who is not IN SCHOOLS working on behalf of children (as opposed to themselves).

It also does NOT take money; but, like minds committed to the task at hand. (Knowledge is free and we certainly have the opportunity to access it all and share what's important with children/students.)

Questioner said...

Well that's the issue, to what extent are teachers free to share what they believe is important; or are they pretty much told what to say, when and how to say it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Questioner, you are 100% correct.

Teachers have ALLOWED their professionalism to be stripped away from them in one fell swoop!

They have ALLOWED non-educators to take over the reins and are profiting enormously in schools and out!

When you read all of the blogs here and in the PG, you see all of the blame is placed on the tests. Tests are just pieces of paper. Tests have not stripped classes and schools of time, and energy, and exciting or creative classes---adults in key positions have done that and
teachers have ALLOWED it to happen.

Today's PG comments/lists by Jessie Ramey are all dead on accurate with ONE critical exception, the TESTS are not responsible, people are responsible. (The tests are minimal competency assessments of the bare basics that must be taught in all contents, not just reading and math.)

Isn't READING text required in every class? Science, Technology, History, Social Studies,Health,Art, Music, Math, Psychology, etc.???

So, what happens if kids can't read at basic, minimal levels?

Jessie Ramey · Top Commenter · Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
We are opting our children out of high-stakes-testing because of the damage they are doing to our kids, our schools, our teachers, and public education. The high-stakes attached to these high-stakes-tests have:
-- dramatically narrowed the curriculum.
-- created a teach to the test mentality, with districts mandating scripted lesson plans.
-- reduced real learning time with the large expansion of testing dates.
-- turned our schools into barren landscapes for nearly two full months each year.
-- fostered a plague of cheating scandals (confirmed cases in 37 states and D.C. now)
-- taught students how to take tests but actually reduced learning of content.
-- cost taxpayers millions of dollars benefiting private testing companies while our schools suffer.
-- provided no real feedback to students and teachers (results are not reported until the next year).
-- been used to label schools as "failures" and justify massive waves of school closures.
-- harmed our poorest students and students of color the most.
Reply · 12 ·
· 4 hours ago

Questioner said...

Given the environment we have - politics, venture philanthropists, divisions in union membership (some the result of divide and conquer politics), tests may be a problem.

Anonymous said...

Explain how and why a basic, minimal competency test given once a year, and taking an hour or two each, are the problem UNLESS kids are NOT able to meet the bare, minimal skills, and competencies required for kids who go to school?

This is not high-level stuff! Why can't kids in PPS meet proficiency levels that ALL but six other districts in PA are meeting?

Why is that too much to expect?

Anonymous said...

1:38, are you advocating a coup of some sort to reverse what has been "ALLOWED" to happen?

Anonymous said...

The advocacy here is for teaching kids so that they learn positively and productively (at minimum) the basic skills that are being assessed WITHOUT eliminating critical areas for a good education (Ex: art, music, tech, library, etc.)or perpetuating nonsense (scripting, labeling, cheating, eliminating, reducing, costing, harming, barren ladscapes, no formative feedback, etc.).

District Administrators cannot and will not stand up against an INFORMED population of teachers (first), students & parents (2nd), and community (3rd).

The "information" here, in the PG, with Yinzercation, throughout CMU Kathy's PG blog responses, and from the PPS central office is so mis-informed, ill-informed, excuse-ridden, and so often flatly false.

That needs to be corrected post haste. Knowledge is available (abundantly) to absolutely "reverse" the situation that now exists.

What will it take to get that done?

An openness to listen and learn before taking outrageous "next steps" or just doing "something" or anything (for-profit consultants) even though there is no real analysis or understanding of the problems and the solutions.

A "coup"? Perhaps, but the possibility exists to refuse to "ALLOW" and turn this around almost overnight.

Questioner said...

If statements are believed to be incorrect it would help to have a specific, concise explanation of what statement is thought to be incorrect and why.

Anonymous said...

This is part one of two written last year by Kelleigh Nelson regarding TN. "The Deliberate Destruction of Education in Tennessee". It can and will happen here. Broad/Gates are major players in TN.

Act fast.

Anonymous said...

Of course it is happening here. That is the plan. They can't think of anything else.