NC charter schools

"Judge" Junior Berger already in ethical quagmire

Failed charter school leader to preside over charter school case:

PACE Academy will fight for its future Tuesday, July 7 when the public charter school goes before an administrative law judge to contest a state panel’s recommendation that it be closed permanently.

Attorney Philip Adkins, who represents the school, said the case will be heard in Raleigh by Administrative Law Judge Phil Berger Jr., who is with the state Office of Administrative Hearings and is the son of State Senate leader Phil Berger Sr. “We think we might and hope to get a favorable decision,” said Adkins, noting that three days have been set aside for the hearing.

We've been accused from time to time of being too harsh in criticizing news outlets for their coverage, and sometimes we do go a little overboard. But there's not one word in this article about Phil Berger Jr. helping to create a charter school, only to watch it fail before it could get off the ground:

Report details massive fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars by the charter school industry

Enough to buy a shitload of public school textbooks:

The 2015 report cites $203 million, including the 2014 total plus $23 million in new cases, and $44 million in earlier cases not included in last year’s report.

It notes that these figures only represent fraud and waste in the charter sector uncovered so far, and that the total that federal, state and local governments “stand to lose” in 2015 is probably more than $1.4 billion. It says, “The vast majority of the fraud perpetrated by charter officials will go undetected because the federal government, the states, and local charter authorizers lack the oversight necessary to detect the fraud.”

The lack of oversight wasn't an oversight on the part of Republicans, they're counting on it. In the absence of that needed fraud detection, they can continue to expand the program until the private sector gains a controlling interest in public education. And some of them probably genuinely believe that fraud and abuse in the private sector is still better than efficiency and good results from government entities. Which is reason #27 why they need to be booted out of the Legislature.

More proof that charters are resegregating NC classrooms

And more embarrassing national media exposure:

The most recent cautionary tale comes from North Carolina, where professors at Duke have traced a troubling trend of resegregation since the first charters opened in 1997. They contend that North Carolina’s charter schools have become a way for white parents to secede from the public school system, as they once did to escape racial integration orders.

“They appear pretty clearly to be a way for white students to get out of more racially integrated schools,” said economics professor Helen Ladd, one of the authors of the draft report released Monday.

The sad and frustrating thing is, Republicans in the General Assembly probably think that's a legitimate desire for white parents to have, and the government should actually help them to achieve it.

Charters and the resegregation of NC students

The dark side of parental choice:

One reason is that as charters have grown, they haven’t met the needs of low-income and special needs populations. By law they are expected to serve minority populations, but they are not required, like traditional schools, to offer transportation and subsidized meals. In practicality, that’s a deterrent to non-white families. “There is no doubt that the charter school system in this state is contributing to racial segregation,” Ladd says.

She said white parents, in picking out charter schools, are concerned as much about minority enrollment – they prefer less than 20 percent – as about quality. Satisfaction surveys and re-enrollment trends, she said, show higher satisfaction with charters among white families than minorities.

And I'm sure more than a few of them would prefer zero percent, whether they would admit to it or not. And their children, more than any of their peers, would benefit from engaging in a diverse school population. It's the best (only?) way to break the cycle of generational prejudice. An observation which I'm sure would have the Puppets grasping for their smelling salts:

Supply-sider approach to opening charter schools in NC

Build it and they might come. Or not:

Only one of the nine charters that opened in the Charlotte region this year met enrollment projections, and the total enrollment for the nine new schools was only about half of what was projected. Two others approved for 2014 openings delayed a year.

Eddie Goodall, executive director of the N.C. Public Charter Schools Association, an industry group that supports charters and advocates for them, rejected the idea that any region of the state has a charter-school surplus. “Not even close,” he said. A signal that an area may have enough charters is “when parents quit demanding them,” Goodall said, and that hasn’t happened yet.

Right, because anecdotal evidence supplied by a lobbyist is much more accurate than statistics derived from actual enrollment numbers. ;)

Arrogant defiance earns charter school sub-contractor probation

When it should have closed them down:

Multiple media outlets reported that Charter Day School Inc. was placed on probationary status Thursday for failing to turn over salary information about employees from a private management company who work at its schools.

At issue is whether salaries of Roger Bacon Academy employees should be public or private information. Charter Day hired Roger Bacon Academy to operate the schools. Charter Day says it doesn't have the salary information on the employees, including school headmasters and assistant headmasters.

Possibly a stupid question, but I'm going to ask it anyway: How does a charter school get awarded its "charter" if they don't even have any staff to run the school(s)? If DPI granted said charters on a lick and a promise the schools would deal with staffing later, DPI might as well just hand out the charters like lollipops at the doctor's office.

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