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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If Charter Schools Were Really About Flexibility in the Classroom, Charter School Advocates Would Back Garfield MAP Test Rebels

Posted by on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 4:15 PM

When it came to charter schools, our local ed board was all for flexibility in the classroom:

Public school students have different needs requiring different classroom techniques... Evidence continues to mount that students need creativity and flexibility in the classroom and the current system does not provide or encourage enough of it.

But when it comes to teachers demanding the flexibility in the classroom to, you know, teach, in lieu of administering MAP tests, not so much. Huh.

The history of education reform over the past couple decades has been one of steadily disempowering teachers through the imposition of ever more rigid curriculum and testing regimes, while simultaneously promoting charter schools as the the only alternative to the inflexibility inherent in ever more rigid curriculum and testing regimes. That the people who concomitantly advocate these twin "reforms" generally do so without a hint of cognitive dissonance, is truly remarkable.


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Daddy Love 1
Really? Today's Republicans pursue undermining public schools and empowering private ones without regard to academic achievement, and you think that's "cognitive dissonance?" It's called a feature, not a bug.
Posted by Daddy Love on January 29, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Yes, Goldy, it does seem that the Education Reformers want one set of rules for public schools, and the exact opposite set of rules for charter schools when it comes to teacher oversight.

In public schools they want close, rigid oversight of the teachers. In charter schools they want the teachers to be free to innovate.

But other than that, they are actually very consistent.

They are pushing for the de-professionalization of teaching in both public and charter schools.
They are pushing to bust the unions in both public and charter schools.
They are pushing to lower costs in both public and charter schools.
They are pushing to create profits in both public and charter schools.
They are looking to reduce children to widgets in both public and charter schools.
They are looking to create organizations with dictatorial leadership in both public and charter schools.

In truth, this isn't about policy for the Seattle Times. It's about personality. Lynne Varner adored Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Dr. Susan Enfield. For her, they could do no wrong. She also loved the corporatist board directors who rode a wave of money into office in 2007 - Peter Maier, Steve Sundquist, Harium Martin-Morris and Sherry Carr. Anything they did - no matter how bad - was right.

On the other hand, Lynne Varner loathes the populist board directors Marty McLaren, Sharon Peaslee, and Betty Patu, and she resents the new superintendent Mr. Banda because he was not their choice.

That's what this is really about. It's about her taking every opportunity to blame the superintendent and the Board (as if the Board had anything to do with it) for any sign of disorder or any dissent in the dictatorial rule.

This isn't about policy - it's personal. Which also means that it is petty.
Posted by Charlie Mas on January 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM · Report this
It seems to me that intentionally driving public schools into the ground so they can have an excuse to privatize them is fully consistent. Assuming that they have a conscience and underestimating their malice is an easy mistake to make.
Posted by tired and true on January 29, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Yes, one would think charter schools would rather avoid student tests:

Re-Calculated Results in Pennsylvania Show Charter Schools Fail Their Own Hype

The percentage of Pennsylvania charter schools that met academic benchmarks plummeted after the state Department of Education was forced to recalculate the performance rates.

Under a new and controversial method the department used last fall, 49 percent of 156 charter schools met benchmarks based on student tests scores in 2011-12.

The rate dropped to 28 percent after the department released a recalculation this week. In Philadelphia, the percentage of the 80 charter schools that met the standards declined from 54 percent to 29 percent.

None of the 12 cyber charter schools that provide online in-home instruction to students statewide met the benchmarks. Previously, one met the standard.…
Posted by anon1256 on January 29, 2013 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
@4 conservatives neither conserve nor believe in personal fiscal discipline, in practice.

Thus presuming that educational reform by them improves education or students, is likely to also fail.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 29, 2013 at 5:48 PM · Report this
And if Tom, Litzow and their buddies really cared about holding charter schools to high standards, they would have included charters in their dumb bill about giving schools letter grades. They don't give a rip about education, they just want to get rid of teachers unions!
Posted by 1971 on January 29, 2013 at 6:42 PM · Report this
Isn't it obvious, Goldy? These people are trying to take power and control over schools away from teachers and parents and take it for billionaires. Pointing out their self-serving lies isn't enough: we have to point out what their real agenda is.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on January 29, 2013 at 6:51 PM · Report this
Note: the bill has been amended to include charters. But the damage is there; protect charters at all costs. We were TOLD and SOLD that charters are public schools but yet the first bill out the gate to assess them and it's "no charters."

We have charters coming and they are doing to get their feet held to the fire exactly as traditionals. Sorry kids, it's our state and it will be our rules.
Posted by westello on January 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM · Report this
watchout5 10
I saw the special on Democracynow, I'm super impressed. I know for a fact 2-3 teachers who felt the same way as I was growing up and I'l really glad there was a safe enough space for these teachers to speak their mind. This is what democracy looks like. This is what America looks like. Charters would have never grown the balls to skirt this test, fucking suck it private sector.
Posted by watchout5 on January 30, 2013 at 1:50 AM · Report this
They do. See Washington Policy Center Liv Finne's (Washington's charter schools strongest advocate) blog:…
Posted by ashweddy on January 30, 2013 at 8:41 AM · Report this

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