Thursday, February 9, 2012

Brent McKim defends the status quo against charter schools...oh my!

Recently, proponents of charter schools have been spending remarkable sums of money on advertisements designed to make our public schools look worse and charter schools look better than they really are...

As opposed to a special interest group-- proponents of the monopolistic status quo-- that spends FAR, FAR MORE money to try to make public schools look better than they are-- and to try to make public charter schools worse than they really are. If money and power are your criteria, then you're throwing rocks in a glass house, mon ami.

Charters would divert critical funding from our public schools. At a time when the state repeatedly fails to fund textbooks for children, it would be terribly damaging to redirect crucial funding and resources away from our public schools to charter schools.

Brent shows that he's really bad at math or a reasonably effective demagogue. Charter schools only reduce most per-student variable cost spending-- and leave fixed costs untouched. So, per student, public non-charter schools would receive at least as much per student. 

It might be terribly damaging to the status quo to allow charters, but it would not be bad for public education-- or more importantly, for children.

Charters lack oversight. The only thing public about charter schools is their funding. They are often not subject to open records laws, open meetings laws, or other safeguards.

Not true. They are subject to less regulation of a sort (contradicting another claim he makes) but more regulation in the sense of an additional oversight body and market pressures (especially since they get less money than other public schools!). 

This lack of oversight has led to countless charter school scandals.

Compared to what? 

Charters claim to accept all students, but they intentionally screen out special-needs students. By requiring parents of special-needs students to sign waivers saying they understand that the charter school will not provide special education services for their child, charter schools effectively screen these students on the front end.

Often true, but other public schools get more money per special ed students that are not (as) available to charters. 

The turnover rate for students in charters is very high. A nationwide Western Michigan University study found the turnover at KIPP charter schools from grade 6 to grade 8 to be 40 percent, which is much higher than at regular public schools.

Compared to what? Schools dealing with a similar demographic? I don't think so.

Charters do not promote stable learning experiences for children. Charter proponents boast that ineffective charters will be shut down. However, most parents do not want their child to have to go to two or three elementary schools because one after another is being shut down. 

So, Brent, why do so many of these same parents want the option?

Charter schools are really an effort to undermine teacher unions. 

I thought it was that opposition to charter school were an effort to bolster the cartel...

Charter schools are segregating our schools and undermining democracy. 

Nah...Competition is good for democracy, bro!


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