Submitted by teddyrooseveltp... on Mon, 11/04/2013 - 9:00am
Salon has a feature story on charter schools this morning that's worth a read - NC is highlighted extensively in the piece, which discusses many of the problems with these taxpayer-funded windfalls for private companies and religious institutions more interested in their own agenda than educating our kids.
Writing for NC Policy Watch, Lindsay Wagner recently reported, “For the first time in its history, North Carolina will allow taxpayer funds to go to largely unaccountable private schools, 70 percent of which are religious institutions.”
Submitted by Martha Brock on Tue, 05/07/2013 - 1:16pm
As North Carolinians join today to reflect on the hard work and dedication put forth by our teachers, Republicans in Raleigh are celebrating National Teacher Day with their much-anticipated crusade to privatize public education in North Carolina. Their Trojan Horse, S.B. 337, will come to the floor today as Phil Berger and Senate Republicans seek to upend accountability and educator standards for North Carolina’s charter schools.
The legislation, as stands, would simultaneously take funding and facility-space from public schools, end requirements to offer busing, or free or reduced-price lunch, which would disenfranchise children from low-income families. S.B. 337 also eliminates key requirements for Charter school teachers to have college degrees or teaching certificates and eliminate requirements for educators to have background checks...
Large portions of the 155-page Cameron Creek application, filed by Sylvia Cole in 2012, duplicate the 140-page application Stacey Rose filed in 2011 to open Charlotte Learning Academy, according to state officials and reports. For instance, the name of Charlotte Learning Academy appears eight times in the Cameron Creek application.
According to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting the Florida Department of Education is investigating K12 over evidence the Virginia-based company violated Florida State law by using uncertified teachers and then attempting to cover it up by asking certified teachers to sign the class rosters. In their report the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting quoted a certified teacher who said a K12 manager ordered her to sign records for about 100 students she never taught. The company has denied the allegations.
If Republicans in the General Assembly had an ounce of integrity they would be calling for a no-holds-barred investigation of this organization, before a single penny of taxpayer money flows into it.
The Cato Institute says charter schools are drawing students away from private schools, moving their educational costs from their families to taxpayers. In 2008, the latest year for which Cato found statistics, this shift cost taxpayers an additional $1.8 billion nationwide.
Which (I would imagine) represents a similar drop in private school revenue. Other questions should be: How many private school teachers have been drawn into charters? Does this shift of students represent "unfair" competition between public and private interests?
A Wake County judge ruled Friday that a controversial charter school that planned to offer only online classes cannot open in August. The decision could delay the launch of any similar programs for at least a couple of years.
Hopefully this will send a message to the education "reformers" in the Legislature; that they can't have their cake and eat it, too. They can't slash funding for traditional public education and still get their dubious alternatives as well. It's also a needed slap in the face to lawmakers who would dip their pen in too many conflicting inkwells:
Submitted by scharrison on Wed, 06/27/2012 - 12:06pm
And the drain on public education funding worsens:
NCVA would offer online instruction to children across the state. As a public charter school, it would receive state and local funding for each student. The money would come at the expense of the students’ home school districts. The academy expects more than $18 million in public funding its first year, with growth in following years.
Aside from the fact this has the potential of adversely impacting the budgets of numerous school districts statewide, it looks like K-12 is just one more tentacle of ALEC:
A shareholder in Virginia-based K12 Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the virtual-schools operator in federal court, alleging that the firm violated securities law by making false statements to investors about students’ poor performance on standardized tests. The class-action complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, also accuses K12 of boosting its enrollment and revenues through “deceptive recruiting” practices.
As a business strategist, I've seen the scenario many times. An entrenched monopoly defends its traditional business model, circling the wagons to stave off competitors. Meanwhile, nimble and aggressive organizations sense opportunity and exploit it. That's what's happening with charter schools today, and if leaders in the education establishment want to know who to blame, they should look in the mirror.
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