Thursday, June 5, 2014

Exposing the Charter School BS About Demographics

I saw this a few weeks ago and it reinforces the case that hook or crook, charters skim the cream despite claims all the kids in public and charters come from the same demographic and socio-economic status. Any teacher who works(ed) in public schools in certain neighborhoods, like I did in East Williamsburg (old-style) for 35 years saw how different kids from the same projects could be. Since classes were set up based on reading scores, the top class had more kids with two parents, a parent that worked (parents with school lunchroom jobs were like aristocracy), parents who came up open school night, kids that didn't move, etc. I was lucky to have two of these out of the 17 self-contained classes I taught and the difference between top and bottom - and even middle - was astounding. The kids in both classes had mostly been together since Pre-K (another thing we saw -- parents who put kids in pre-k made a difference).

Some teachers would kill for those classes and the principal faves were able to manipulate their way into getting them year after year despite the contract's call for rotation.

What happened under BloomKleinCott was that the classes were mixed and those protected kids were thrown into the general pool with all kinds of kids -- violent, unstable, etc. Charters here we come. Yes, those policies drove the top kids out of the public schools into the arms of charters.

The article below by Andrea Gabor confirms what we've known from the beginning.

But first see this charter scandals from Chicago:
Phillip Cantor posted this message on Basecamp.

More Charter Corruption in Chicago

Just for those keeping score concerning Charter Chain Corruption in Chicago... Uno was charged by the SEC with defrauding investors.

Fred Klonsky's post about it calling it the Enron-ing of education and wondering what Rahm, Governor Quinn and gubernatorial candidate Rauner have to do with it.

Why do schools have investors?

A Demographic Divide In Harlem: The Neediest Kids Go to Public Schools, Not Charters

Last month I published an OpEd in The New York Times, “Charter School Refugees,” which asked: “Is there a point at which fostering charter schools undermines traditional public schools and the children they serve?”
The OpEd looked at Harlem, where nearly a quarter of students are enrolled in charter schools, and the sizable demographic disparities between the students who attend  public schools and charter schools in that neighborhood. I argued that while “high-quality charters can be very effective at improving test scores and graduation rates…they often serve fewer poorer students and children with special needs.”
The OpEd focused on the reasons why “public open-enrollment elementary and middle schools have double, and several have triple, the proportion of special-needs kids of nearby charter schools.”
With the help of my research assistant Emma Kazaryan, I have now compiled the 2012/2013 data, published by the New York City Department of Education,** on each elementary and middle school in East Harlem into easy-to-read charts. (The city’s school map divides the neighborhood into North and South. So, we have done the same, showing the percentages of kids in poverty, with special needs and English language learners with separate charters for East Harlem North and East Harlem South.)
The data shows that the demographic disparities cut across the board. East Harlem public schools not only have disproportionate numbers of special needs kids compared to nearby charter schools…
 Link to rest of article with the charts.

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