06 January 2009

Dump the Unions: Charter Schools Smoke Rest

Boston charter schools that operate independently of teachers' unions and other obstacles to quality education are outperforming traditional public schools. Charters are even outperforming the vaunted "pilot schools", which retain most of the unionised structure of conventional public schools. Union fat cats are furious, and Deval Patrick is secretly embarassed by this new reality that threatens his plans to suck up to the unions.
Charter schools were created as part of the 1993 Education Reform Act, as a way to develop new teaching strategies that could eventually be transferred to public schools. The approximately 60 schools operate under looser state regulations than traditional schools, have mostly nonunion teachers, and are run by independent boards that report directly to the state. They have been particularly popular in urban school districts among parents and students frustrated with traditional schools.

...Researchers at Harvard University and MIT, who conducted the study, said they do not know why a performance gap emerged, noting that the study was designed to merely uncover whether charter and pilot schools increased student achievement. _Boston.com
America's crumbling system of unionised education is destroying the future of millions of its children. It is past time to wake up and stand up against corrupt teachers' unions that are helping to bankrupt local governments and are killing the minds of children.


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Blogger SwampWoman said...

Any school that has supportive parents, interested students, and engaged faculty will succeed.

Unfortunately, most public schools are not overly endowed with a surfeit of those items.

When a child gets all unruly and is sent to the office, he usually just gets sent back to class because the administration doesn't want to deal with parents. If the parents are called, often the parents come down to the school to yell at the principal and teacher because they're picking on that child because (pick as many as apply):

He or she is white, black, Hispanic, mixed race, gay, a football player, a tennis player, has piercings and tattooes, is a musician, a skater, his name is Jihad, we're prejudiced because of the arrest record, we don't understand how to properly motivate the child with money/rewards, or the child needs further accommodations. (What the child REALLY needs is a kick in the ass, and so do the parents.)

There are children that are brought to school 2 hours late without having eaten any breakfast by a mother in her nightgown and robe. There are children that are supposed to be on medication but their parents take it.

Did I mention that it is supposed to be the teacher's job to look for signs of physical or sexual abuse? That the teachers try to buy gifts from a not very big salary because that may be the only Christmas gifts that the child will get? That teachers often pay for a kid's lunch and breakfast out of their own pocket? That if the parents don't pay for a field trip, the teacher usually ends up paying for it?

The teacher may have kids reading from the first through the 12th grade reading level in one class, and they're supposed to differentiate instruction for all 30-something kids in the class. In addition, some of the kids are special education kids with their own particular needs, behavioral outburts, and accommodations that must be met.

It would be nice if the administration would develop a backbone and do their jobs, if the parents would grow up and do theirs, and all the teachers had to do was teach.

Tuesday, 06 January, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

SW: No argument, a teacher's job is a tough one.

Why do you think the charter schools' students scored so much better than the pilot schools' and ordinary public schools' students?

Same student base, presumably same problems to deal with as you describe. Interesting.

Tuesday, 06 January, 2009  
Blogger SwampWoman said...

Hmmmm. Well, since the pilot schools were still supervised by the school board, I would still think that they had to accept the problem students along with the motivated students.

Charter schools, I would imagine, do not have to admit the behaviorally challenged or intellectually challenged. Just one misbehaving student can have a huge impact on the learning of the rest of the students.

Wednesday, 07 January, 2009  

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