Written and edited by Norm Scott:
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The Charter Pestilence Hits Beach Channel Campus: “School Choice” Runs Amuck
How many high schools can you fit on the head of a pin? or in 1 building?
To be published in March 17, 2017 edition of The WAVE.
The Charter Pestilence Hits Beach Channel Campus: “School
Choice” Runs Amuck
By Norm Scott
The WAVE had a front page report [Community Slams DOE Proposal for New Charter School] on the March 8 protest led
by Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato outside Beach Channel HS before the pre-determined
hearing to add another school to the campus, not even a public school, but a privately
managed charter school. Amato said, “The idea of wedging another school in here
is ridiculous. Co-location will create more competition and limit our resources
for the other existing schools.” Not just another school Stacey, but a charter
school. I wish our politicians would take a strong stand against the pestilence
of charters and single them out as not just another school, but a privately
managed school where teachers don’t have to be certified and discipline codes
don’t have to be followed.
Let’s see now.We
already have Channel View (grades 6-12, SE), Rockaway Park HS (Grades 9-12,
SE), Rockaway Collegiate HS (Grades 9-12, SE). All high schools. And across the
street we have Scholars (grades 6-12, SE). That’s 4 schools serving high school
students. The incoming charter, Humanities IV, will serve, guess what? 118-128
9th grade students and will add a grade a year so that by 2020-21 it
will serve grades 9-12 with 472-512 students. This will be in addition to in
addition to PS Q256, Alternate Learning Center, District 79 programs, LYFE,
Restart Academy and community based organizations, Millennium and Partnership
This is insanity - the idea of school choice run amuck. Why
would a charter want to go into an area with so many other options? Will they
market themselves as a competitor to Scholars, which often gets the
top-performing students and then pick off the spillover, leaving the other high
schools on BC campus to compete for what is left? We know that charters have
enormous marketing potential, with a lot of outside money to support them. We
know that there are certain kids charters don’t want. Low scoring, troubled,
ELLs, homeless. The very idea of a lottery means that many of the parents of
these kids have too many other issues to deal with and won’t even enter the
lottery.Public schools have to take all
This is not choice but competition for the desirable kids.
Someone tell me why we can’t have one high school with a
bunch of alternate sub-schools offering choices under the same management.
Imagine the cost to maintain all these schools with a principal, office staff, etc.
for each. Once again, school choice run amuck.
Humanities is a New Visions school and New Visions has been
a partner with the DOE for a long time. So expect the outcome of the hearing,
no matter how passionate the community, to be a done deal.
A DOE spokesperson told The Wave, as they tell everyone, “We
value community feedback and we’ll continue to work with families and school
staff to ensure the needs of every student in the building are met.”
Excuse me while I hold my sides laughing.
Norm shares his love for charters at ednotesonline.com