Did Publius just school Transparent Christina’s blog master?

John,

As for whether or not charter school capital ” screws” the “public school system”, consider this: charter schools ARE public schools under the law. It s official. You need to check you ideology at the door, the decision is a matter of law. If charter schools now seek to claim a reasonable share of public funds dedicated to school capital, that is a logical consequence of the fact that they ARE public schools first and foremost. Get over it. Traditional school governance has many failures, and the alternatives (charters) have legal standing. And wide public support. Your brand of school governance is not the only game in town, charters are a viable and attractive alternative deserving of commensurate public support.

Publius

The counter attack:

Charter schools are public schools, under the law!

They are also CORPORATIONS, under that same law. They are public in one way only: we finance them because a group of misguided legislators wrote a horrific law in 1995 and have walked away from it.

Hence the current morass. Witness PCHS, et al.

Get over it yourself there, Publius.

54 responses to “Did Publius just school Transparent Christina’s blog master?

  1. John Young

    All he did was make his raison d’etre obvious for those not sure. This is why he is here.

    Always has been.

    Like

  2. tell Publius that Charters are public schools, indeed, as far as getting tax base funding for operational needs but they are corporations when it comes to capital needs. Therein lies a great difference.

    Like

  3. John Young

    Publius: 8% of DE students attend charter schools = “wide public support”

    Like

  4. Charter school are public schools! But, I am really tired of hearing charter school parents and leaders describe their schools as a “private charter school.” There is a desire to create a special distinction between public and charter on the charters part, yet they also want to be one and same with traditional public when they want capital dollars. They can’t have it both ways.

    Under the current law this scenerio explains why charters did not receive the mechanism for capital fundings:

    Pretend that PCHS was a traditional public school. It failed and was closed. Tax dollars were used to make the schools capital improvements. B/c the school facility was owned by the state, the public will eventually see a return on the funds expended to improve the buildings either through sale or repurpose.

    Now, the reality: PCHS is not owned by the state. It’s buildings are leased. The corporation made improvements to the buildings with funds generated outside of our tax dollars. The only person enhanced by the improvements is the owner and they may not see this as an enhancement as they try to find new tenants. The corporation is out these particular funds, not the tax payer. And for that, we should all be grateful!

    Like

    • John Young

      Whoa! Charters CAN use operational funds FLEXIBLY for capital improvements. This is called part of the grand trade Kendall Massett blathers about: more autonomy for more accountability otherwise known as the joke of the century.

      Like

    • Pencadermom

      Are you kidding? the only people I hear calling charter schools private are the people who bash them

      Like

    • Pencadermom

      Elizabeth, you hear parents calling their kids school ‘private charter school’?? Sorry, that’s just not true. I would guess you never heard anyone say that, ever

      Like

    • Pencadermom

      “. And for that, we should all be grateful!” – so if so many should be grateful, why is it that they kept sending their kids there, year after year, all while on shaky ground. why are they going to send them to Moyer?

      Like

    • PM –
      1. I have absolutely seen and heard charter subscribers describe their child’s school as “a private charter school.” In fact, I listened to a BoD president, Not PCHS, describe his/her/its school as that exactly when correcting a parent about what a public school is during public comment of a charter school BoD meeting. This language is precisely how the charter movement differentiates charter from traditional. It’s propagandizing and misleading. And I’ve been biting my tongue about it for ages.

      2. My statement -for that we should all be grateful – was meant to generalize why, at this moment in time, we should all be grateful that charter schools do not receive capital funding and when they close the debt belongs to the corporation and not the tax payer. Charters may be 20 years old, however, how many of them own their facilities? Most rent/lease. The tax payers have the right to expect that their tax dollars set aside for capital projects will not be funneled into rented and often times temporary facilities – as charters grow we are seeing more and more relocate for various reasons including a landlord that wants to repurpose his property (Dover). Unless and until a charter school owns its property or inhabits state/district excess property, capital funds should not be expended on their behalf. And we should be grateful that at this time, the law prevents such earmarked dollars from being wasted.

      John,
      Yes, charter schools have the flexibility to use operational dollars for capital projects. Districts do not. This was intentional. The makers of the charter movement believed they could provide a better education for less if they could decide how to spend all of their fewer dollars. The legislators obliged.

      What they do not have access to is funding earmarked as capital by the state. And I think I’ve already covered my theory on what changes I would accept to make capital funds available – capital funds to those who own collateral (such as excess state and district buildings) and the rest can be creative with the flexibility they requested and have been granted.

      Like

    • just trying to show that some of those improvements to PCHS may have been 100% with STATE TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

      Like

    • oh yeah, I get that. I’m just glad that facility didn’t turn into a toilet flushing tax payer capital $$$ down the drain. Thank goodness for their donors, contributers, and foundations who covered many of their capital expenses. In the end, we know they PCHS owned practically nothing, there would be absolutely no ROI for the tax payer on this one. Were it any different, the tax payer would be given a golden ticket and told to get at the end of the creditors line.

      Like

    • John Young

      Elizabeth, how do you know the capital improvements were funded with NON-tax dollars? Again, they were allowed to so I would tend think they did use our tax monies for said improvements.

      Like

    • Actually, John, I do know that at least some major projects, capital in nature, were funded with dollars from outside the tax base. Longwood Foundation was involved early on in acquiring and fitting out the buildings through their grant process. Donors also contributed to the construction cost including a construction company that provided much of the labor/work for free.

      Yes, I am certain that some tax dollars went into minor caps, but major caps were not funded with designated major cap dollars. The distinction I am making is the difference between flexibility with operation funds vs designated major capital funding.

      Like

    • alsonewarkmom

      PM- Private and Charter High Schools rated TOGETHER in Delaware Today….TPS rated in a completely separate issue. Hmmmm

      http://www.delawaretoday.com/Delaware-Today/January-2013/Grading-Delawares-Private-and-Charter-High-Schools/

      Like

    • John Young

      Elizabeth,

      Are you aware or unaware of state funding being used for caps of both minor and major nature?

      If aware and answer is no, they did not us public tax dollars for any major capital project, then what is the source of that answer?

      Like

  5. PCMom, I personally called DOE to notify them a certain new charter school springing up about 10-12 years ago stated “private school atmosphere” in their printmedia. Yes, that was stated in their newspaper ads, AND their pamphlets when they started. Elitism as pathetically illustrated, whether blatant or beguiled.

    I always wondered if that atmosphere meant public but pretending:(.

    Like

    • “Atmosphere” is a euphemism for what? I don’t suppose Brookside, Shue, Gauger, Glasgow, etc. could ever aspire to a “private school atmosphere.” Yikes.

      Someone recently referred (in conversation) to early NCS ads targeted at private school parents, esp. those at Independence–essentially advertising that one could now save $10K (or whatever the going tuition was c. 2000) while receiving effectively the same product at public expense. Is this for real, and can those ads be dredged up somewhere? Hard to believe, for those of us who weren’t here.

      Like

    • News Journal Archive

      Like

    • Thanks, Eliz.–will check, once time permits!

      Like

    • Sincere we’re talking the NJ, here. It may be faster and cheaper to hit the microfiche in Morris Library at UD.

      Like

  6. If Charter Schools are public schools, then some distinction must remain to separate them from traditional public schools. They are not traditional public schools. Just receiving public funds does not make one a public school. Words are pliable and can be bent at will, as long as the recipients receiving them have nothing with which to compare….

    I must say, calling charters a public school, sounds like a cry of desperation by a charter school supporter. When one is completely beaten by an enemy, one tries to disguise himself to fit in with that enemy for his own self preservation….

    Like

  7. Kavips, herein lies the problem:

    § 504. Corporate status.

    (a) A charter school shall be organized and managed under the Delaware General Corporation Law.

    (b) The board of directors of a charter school shall be deemed public agents authorized by a public school district or the Department with the approval of the State Board to control the charter school. No person shall serve as a member of a charter school board of directors who is an elected member of a local school board of education.

    (c) A charter school shall be considered a public school for all purposes.

    (d) A charter school may sue or be sued to the same extent and on the same conditions as a public school district, and its employees, directors and officers shall enjoy the same immunities as employees, directors and officers of public school districts and other public schools. The approving authority of a charter school shall have no liability for the actions or inaction of a charter school.

    Is this not one of the most insidiously worded, oxymoronic, bad pieces of legislation in all of DE code? Thanks Senator Carper! Thanks Senator Sokola!

    Like

  8. FYI: Pike Creek Charter meeting tomorrow, Tuesday May 21. 7:00 pm at the Delaware Swim and Fitness Club.

    Like

  9. So if a charter school as defined by dictionary.com:

    charter school

    noun
    an autonomous public school created by a contract between a sponsor, as a local school district or corporation, and an organizer, as a group of teachers or a community group, often with a curriculum or focus that is not traditional.

    is insidious then I guess the definition by the same source

    public school

    noun
    1.
    (in the U.S.) a school that is maintained at public expense for the education of the children of a community or district and that constitutes a part of a system of free public education commonly including primary and secondary schools.

    is just as insidious and oxymoronic since community school is a dirty word a and any identifiable community demographic is deemed segregational and discriminatory. Doesn’t help matters that the TPS’s, aren’t providing anything free since the only ones who get stuff free are those who repeatedly have made poor career and educational choices.

    Like

    • “Doesn’t help matters that the TPS’s, aren’t providing anything free since the only ones who get stuff free are those who repeatedly have made poor career and educational choices.”

      What does that mean?

      Like

    • to whom is “community school” a dirty word (or phrase)? That’s new to me. I thought most of the “anti-charter” crowd (myself included) were advocating for genuinely community schools, i.e. non-discriminatory ones–no?

      Like

    • JMP, one can debate whether & why schools are responsible for feeding low-income kids. But the current reality is that they are, across the U.S., and have been for decades. So a school that eliminates those food programs, available only through schools, also eliminates the children who depend on them and cannot obtain sufficient nutrition without them.

      This is the mechanism for discrimination against poor children used by NCS & Odyssey–perhaps other area public schools as well, I don’t know (not the TPSs that I’ve looked at, though–none in CSD). They do not require a law formally barring poor kids (in response to your earlier post). It is a mechanism that could easily be made illegal, if our legislators stepped up to the plate (or if a judge required it).

      Like

  10. Publius e decere

    So many misinformed, so little time.

    Charter schools are public schools with a different governing structure than district-managed TPSs. TPSs are governed by a board overseeing multiple schools with such boards typically elected in low-turnout union-dominated “public” elections. DE charter schools typically have one board per school with such board members being variously elected or appointed by founders, community leaders, teachers at the school and parents at the school. The biggest difference comes in accountability — the TPS can literally fail for 10-20 years running and keeping getting funding whereas a charter school actually has a charter (a contract) it must live by or be closed. keep in mind another public aspect of charters — they are overseen by an elected Governor’s DOE or an elected school board.

    Charters are public schools. They are organized differently than TPSs, but they are very public nonetheless. They use almost (but not quite) as much money as a TPS and they have to divide this limited baby further for operations AND capital and then they STILL typically get results and attract far more families than the DOE or districts will allow them to have. They seem to be onto something than the public wants.

    Only the vested interests in the TPS’ “monopoly” seem to revile charters. We’ve seen several charters closed and the student moved to TPSs. Lets try closing a TPS and moving its students to a charter. cSd under John has some failing TPSs, let’s start at the source and act.

    Publius

    Like

    • good one.

      GOLD!

      Like

    • The public wants not to have their children in classrooms with high-needs kids (poor, special ed.), and several charters in DE satisfy that demand. Private schools have always offered this option to those who could afford their tuitions (while leaving their property tax payments in the general pool for public ed.). The question for the public–esp. community taxpayers who don’t have schoolage kids or don’t choose public schools of any kind–is whether satisfying that parental demand is in the public interest, i.e. something public funds should be used for. Does it make a community better, stronger, more desirable to incoming households (many of whom, as things are currently configured in DE, will have access only to TPSs–that is the publicly funded schools serving disproportionately poor and otherwise high-needs kids)? These are perfectly valid questions for taxpayers to ask. There’s no question that there is parental demand for publicly funded schools that offer private school-like conditions (incl. demographics) and, therefore, outcomes. If we were offering to pay people’s mortgages, or buy them new cars out of tax dollars, there would be significant demand for that, too–but such demand does not make such policies advisable.

      Like

    • James M. Parks

      The taxpayers have spoken overwhelmingly on this one. They want choice in their children’s education and choice in how their tax dollars are spent. Charter schools are answering these needs.

      Like

    • Many taxpaying parents have certainly spoken in favor of charters. The question is whether other taxpayers (including parents whose families are not benefiting from our dual public school system) understand the zero-sum nature of this arrangement, and whether they would support it if they did. Currently, DE’s charters harm more area taxpayers than they help–this is something that more area residents should understand. Policy changes could remedy this, such as by requiring charters to fully serve low-income and special needs kids, and addressing the “counseling out” dynamic that returns troublesome kids to TPSs. I don’t think there’s an inherent problem with charter schools (in fact, I supported them until moving to DE), but there are serious flaws in DE law and enforcement of the laws that exist. This is the core issue, about which area taxpayers should demand change.

      Note that today’s NJ reports a steady rise in child poverty in this state (as in many others, obviously). This is our current reality, and funding public schools that do not have to serve such children, while concentrating those children in district schools, is foolish–it reduces the attractiveness of this area for new families, among other issues.

      BTW, I note that you and I have signed up to volunteer side by side for our children’s summer swim team, so we’ll have to agree to get along in June & July. The joys of parenting in a deeply divided community.

      Like

    • James M. Parks

      “funding public schools that do not have to serve such children”

      That’s odd. Did someone pass a law that prohibits the children of poor families from attending charter schools? Do any charter schools have rules that prohibit poor children from applying?

      Because as far as I understand no such rules or regulations exist.

      Agree we will have to declare a truce while on the pool apron :). Onwards and upwards to B division 🙂

      Like

    • There’s no law. The core issue is food! Low-income families, esp. the poorest, cannot attend schools that do not offer both breakfast and lunch, M-F, to their children (as nearly all pubic schools in this country have done, for decades, as part of our patchwork welfare system). Therefore, they are dramatically underrepresented at schools that do not fully participate in the federal supplemental nutrition programs. NCS, for example, has 300 fewer low-income children than the demographics of its five-mile radius should yield. It takes in ~16% low income kids but should be serving ~35%. Why this difference? Presumably b/c the upper-tier low-income families can afford to forego their children’s reduced-price meals. But the lower-tier low-income families (low income = up to 1.8 times the federal poverty level–so let’s say the families that are roughly at or below the poverty level), cannot afford this sacrifice. Effectively such “public” schools are not free to them, as public schools are supposed to be. They are free to those of us who wouldn’t receive such meals anyway, but not to children who would.

      There are separate issues for special needs kids, and I haven’t followed those as closely (I understand that issue less well)–others have.

      If parents whose kids attend publicly funded schools that are not fully serving low-income kids could band together and insist that their schools do this, they could deflect some of the rising criticism, and possibly deflect legal action as well. I mentioned this issue to the ACLU’s legal advisor during their meeting about related concerns last week, and they’re still very interested in this problem. He was under the mistaken impression, for ex., that NCS had instituted a full federal meal program (lunch & b’fast) starting this year–he was also unaware that in K-12 charter schools with rollover admissions, changes in benefits offered to low-income kids can’t take effect across the school for at least a dozen years, since most new admissions are in K. We’ll be talking more about those matters next week; it’s still a live issue.

      But yes, in the summer we’re on the same team ;). Ideally at some point these imbalances can be remedied, and local families paying into the same tax pool can be more or less on the same team much of the time.

      Like

    • James M. Parks

      “The core issue is food”

      Oh, I’m sorry. I thought we were talking about education.

      Isn’t there already a program in place through the Federal goverment to ensure that the nutritional needs of poor families are met via direct cash subsidies?

      Like

    • lastDEconservative

      Careful now, JMP, you’re dangerously close to wondering aloud why government schools (that we pay for) are feeding kids (99.99999% not ours) in the first place.

      Couldn’t be to create, foster, and perpetuate the dependency society, could it? Couldn’t be to keep any negative sentiment vis a vis dismal results tamped down,could it? Couldn’t be to redistribute income from those managing to still work and pay to those that cannot due to the same govt having run the economy in the ground, could it?

      Nah. No way.

      Like

    • James M. Parks

      LDC – Yes, heresy on my part to suggest some measure of personal responsibility, I know :).

      Like

    • JMP, as far as I know, there is no cash substitute for the nutritional assistance offered to children through their schools–it is assumed that they will have access to the school nutrition programs, and their family’s cash and other assistance is calculated accordingly. If you know of a way that families of children in a non-participating school can apply for cash supplements to make up for their lost welfare benefit, please let us know. If that is true, then schools like NCS & Odyssey should advertise this prominently in their outreach efforts to poor communities.

      On responsibility, how can we hold poor children responsible for their hunger? We can debate their parents’ responsibility, and I’d say that varies–but the kids? 5 year olds? I assume we distribute their food thru schools precisely to ensure that they actually get it, vs. having food credits or cash exchanged for something else or directed to other members of a household. Did you see the NewsJrnl today on the steep recent rise in DE child poverty? It’s not a trivial problem here.

      Like

    • James M. Parks

      On the road but did look at the Snooze Journal this AM.

      Agree it is not a trivial problem but it should not be the responsibility of the school districts to feed children.

      What’s the logical next step?

      School districts housing children? Making sure they get to bed on time? Making sure they don’t watch too much TV? Making sure they have shoes and clothes to wear?

      Like

    • Publius e decere

      Offering free/reduced meals is not a universal TPS-yes and charter-no situation. Aren’t there examples of charter schools who offer this? I think so. To pick on NCS and Odyssey is to let your charter-envy show.

      The debate over feeding kids in need is pretty much over, the nation decided it was a priority and the Feds help fund it. Yes, OCS and NCS need to offer something. BUT it does not have to follow the TPS formula in doctrinaire fashion.

      Honestly, the charter/TPS debate is not about free/reduced meals. It is about reasonable autonomy in local governance and control versus district/political control. With a not-small-dose of union self interest thrown in to muddy the waters and rile up the TPS zealots.

      Here is the defining difference: TPS zealots (DSEA unions; John Young) seek to close charter schools in the face of compelling public support for charter schools. Arguably a public “disservice”. In contrast, charter school “zealots” simply seek the right to operate with a level playing field and compete for students. TPS people spend their time trying to deny charter people their right to operate, whereas charter people spend their time defending (against TPS attacks) their right to operate — without seeking to infringe the rights of TPS people. Please understand that the self-perceived “entitlement rights” of TPS people are not at stake here nor even relevant, since TPSs are not entitled to anything other than the right to operate if people choose to attend a TPS. If you want people to go to your school, said more simply, make it safe for students, focus on the causative reason for truancy, and focus on (have expectations for) tested student outcomes. Asian “Tiger Moms” have this formula down cold, it is all about results. The rest of the constructive world is fast following. In even shorter parlance: show up, be safe, study. The same formula used by Abraham Lincoln, by the way.

      This distinction is at the crux of the debate. TPS zealots attack charters, whereas charter “zealots” defend charter schools against TPS-zealot attackes (and charter supporters do not materially attack TPSs — disagree? name a few, please). I am among the few people who have laid out a case (based in equity versus charter schools) to have TPSs be closed down when they are underperforming. Especially in John Young’s 33% AYP high school dystopia. Most charter people are not so assertive with their logic, they merely wish to assert their right to operate a public charter school.

      Publius

      Like

    • Reading quickly this morning–but yes, there are charters that offer f/r lunch & breakfast. And they have little trouble attracting low-income students. Aspira, in Newark (a few miles from NCS) opened two years ago with a full nutritional supplement program and 50% low-income kids. The charter schools that do NOT participate fully in these programs do not attract low-income kids in any significant numbers (last time I checked, Odyssey–currently located in downtown Wilm, with surrounding public schools that are 80%+ low-income and heavily African American–had 6% low-income students!). This is my point. Charters that do not participate in full meal programs effectively bar low-income kids from their rosters. To end such discrimination by publicly funded schools, we should legislate against this practice: all publicly funded schools must participate fully in the federal nutritional supplement programs as a condition of their public funding, period.

      This would go a long way toward ending the demographic disparities between charter & TPS schools, and quieting some of the opposition. The fact that schools like NCS resist these changes communicates to their funding public that they intend to block the poor–hence the growing public anger at them. Why in the world do parents with children at those schools not step up to the plate and demand that this embarrassing issue be fixed? They should be ashamed, honestly.

      No charter envy here. We stopped applying when we learned about these loathsome policies (and came to understand them for what they are–an attempt to siphon resources away from the poor and toward the more advantaged, in a state where property taxes are amazingly low to begin with). My goal is to end the burden charters impose on TPSs, the public schools to which I’ll send my children (one next year and others in the future)–and the public schools serving this state’s least advantaged kids (those most in need of decent, publicly funded education–b/c they’re not going to get an education any other way!).

      “charter school “zealots” simply seek the right to operate with a level playing field and compete for students.” No, they don’t. They operate in a playing field biased toward themselves. My goal is to level that field, by requiring them to serve the socio-economic spectrum of kids that DE actually has (heavily poor). Then, sure, let the games begin.

      Like

    • sorry, posted this in the wrong spot:

      JMP, one can debate whether & why schools are responsible for feeding low-income kids. But the current reality is that they are, across the U.S., and have been for decades. So a school that eliminates those food programs, available only through schools, also eliminates the children who depend on them and cannot obtain sufficient nutrition without them.

      This is the mechanism for discrimination against poor children used by NCS & Odyssey–perhaps other area public schools as well, I don’t know (not the TPSs that I’ve looked at, though–none in CSD). They do not require a law formally barring poor kids (in response to your earlier post). It is a mechanism that could easily be made illegal, if our legislators stepped up to the plate (or if a judge required it).

      Like

    • Okay, let’s try and break Publius’ comment down”

      “Offering free/reduced meals is not a universal TPS-yes and charter-no situation. Aren’t there examples of charter schools who offer this? I think so.”

      Of course there are certain charter schools that off FRL, but that wasn’t the point. I’m reading this sentence and it sounds like you’re saying… since some charters off FRL there’s no issue – if certain kids need to access FRL then they can go to one of those other charters.

      “To pick on NCS and Odyssey is to let your charter-envy show.”

      Charter-envy? Seriously?

      “The debate over feeding kids in need is pretty much over, the nation decided it was a priority and the Feds help fund it. Yes, OCS and NCS need to offer something. BUT it does not have to follow the TPS formula in doctrinaire fashion.”

      Yet another example of charters wanting to be considered public schools only when it suits them.

      “Honestly, the charter/TPS debate is not about free/reduced meals. It is about reasonable autonomy in local governance and control versus district/political control. With a not-small-dose of union self interest thrown in to muddy the waters and rile up the TPS zealots.”

      Yep, all about autonomy and local control until they need a government bail-out. This is one of my main problems with charters – they want it both ways. They want the benefits of a public school when it suits them; they want autonomy when it doesn’t.

      “Here is the defining difference: TPS zealots (DSEA unions; John Young) seek to close charter schools in the face of compelling public support for charter schools. Arguably a public “disservice”.”

      Prove that statement. Go on and show me (with a link) where DSEA or John Young sought to close charter schools.

      “In contrast, charter school “zealots” simply seek the right to operate with a level playing field and compete for students.”

      Level playing field? Like… Entrance exams? “Special” interest? Counseling out students? Applications that ask for IEPs, discipline incidents, Special Ed? Is that really a level playing field?

      “TPS people spend their time trying to deny charter people their right to operate, whereas charter people spend their time defending (against TPS attacks) their right to operate — without seeking to infringe the rights of TPS people.”

      You have a very active imagination. Who has tried to deny charter people the right to operate? I have heard people asking for that level playing field you cited above. I have heard people saying that accepting public tax dollars for a public school means you should have to serve the public, but I have never heard anyone say that charters don’t have a right to operate – it’s more about how they operate on the tax payer dime.

      “Please understand that the self-perceived “entitlement rights” of TPS people are not at stake here nor even relevant, since TPSs are not entitled to anything other than the right to operate if people choose to attend a TPS. If you want people to go to your school, said more simply, make it safe for students, focus on the causative reason for truancy, and focus on (have expectations for) tested student outcomes.”

      I can’t even begin to make sense of that paragraph. What are you saying? For someone who never misses an opportunity to point out that charters are public school you sure spend a lot of time separating them from that label.

      Here’s the thing… charter schools have an impact on public schools – financially and the ability to control their student population. Why do you keep ignoring that fact? I would hope that these issues could be addressed (as well as the issues facing public schools) for the betterment of all schools and students.

      Unless… you don’t want to create great schools for all kids? Is this really some sort of competition for you? Is your view of educating kids more akin to the Hunger Games model? Sure sounds like it. Kids are hungry? Too bad. Kids are in high poverty, struggling schools. Sucks to be them. That is really the way you come across. But I’m coming to the conclusion that your real, and only, agenda is busting the teachers’ union.

      Altho… you might want to pay attention to what’s going on in Louisiana and Michigan, and how these programs will affect charter/public schools. By the looks of things we might reach a point where TPS and charters join forces – because the new education reformer on the block is so over TPS and charters. But I’m sure you’re up to speed on this.

      “Asian “Tiger Moms” have this formula down cold, it is all about results. The rest of the constructive world is fast following. In even shorter parlance: show up, be safe, study. The same formula used by Abraham Lincoln, by the way.”

      Tiger Moms are what you aspire to? Bwhahaha!

      “This distinction is at the crux of the debate. TPS zealots attack charters, whereas charter “zealots” defend charter schools against TPS-zealot attackes (and charter supporters do not materially attack TPSs — disagree? name a few, please).”

      No one is “attacking” you. Goodness, you are very dramatic. People have pointed out how Charter Law gives entitlements (see, I can use that word too) to charter schools – entitlements that don’t create a level playing field. That’s not an attack, it’s a fact. Creaming affluent students, the ability to 86 kids that have disciplinary or educational problems, not offering FRL are all ways charters are not public schools.

      And charters were built on attacking public schools through their advertising and educational promises – promises that turned out to be mostly propaganda given the less than stellar charter school performances. Charters marketed themselves by claiming they were better than public schools, and while there’s no denying that CSW achieves good test scores, the biggest charter lie has been that all charters (Hello? Moyer? Pencader?) are superior to those scary public schools.

      Charter schools are on the defensive because people (tax payers) have started to point out their entitlements. Charter proponents are merely defending their advantages. If they lose any of their advantages they will switch from defense to offense. They will also label themselves as parent advocates. Those who disagree with them will be zealots who hate children.

      “I am among the few people who have laid out a case (based in equity versus charter schools) to have TPSs be closed down when they are underperforming. Especially in John Young’s 33% AYP high school dystopia. Most charter people are not so assertive with their logic, they merely wish to assert their right to operate a public charter school.”

      Publius

      Do you really view yourself as a logical person? Because I’m not seeing it. Let’s follow your logic… If we close down under-performing public schools, where will the students go? Will charters take ALL of them? I just cracked myself up. Of course they won’t. Didn’t see any charters rushing to help Pencader, did we? What we did see were public schools preparing to take those kids. Yet another example of charter school entitlement. All charters are great until one gets in trouble, then, suddenly, charters are individual schools and they couldn’t possibly step in and help another charter – especially one they consider inferior.

      And charters don’t “merely wish to assert their right to operate a public charter school.” They want to be considered a public school when it suits them, and then opt out of that status when it doesn’t. Did you really use the word equity? That was almost as amazing as your use of the term level playing field. Both those words work for me, but I’m wondering how you define them.

      Like

    • James M. Parks

      OK Citizen, let’s say your ACLU-sponsored dreams come true and all charter schools are forced to serve breakfast and lunch.

      But let’s suppose, somehow, a year or two later, significant socioeconomic disparities still exist between the student population of Newark Charter and the student population of the Charter 5-mile radius.

      What will your response be at that point?

      Will you continue to insist on “ending the demographic disparities”?

      Like

    • lastDEconservative

      JMP,
      My goodness. Haven’t you learned YET that an argument such as the one you have challenged can not be confronted by logical progression of thought? Pffft on you!

      Like

    • JMP, if f/r lunch & breakfast are instituted at all charter schools, and any charters that have thrived on demographic disparities until now (b/c of failure to provide those meals) undergo a demographic correction (e.g. one-time lotteries at middle & high schools to make their demographics more representative), that should solve a good deal of the active discrimination at those schools against low-income kids (and the consequent burden that those schools place on TPSs which serve more than their share of high-needs children in order to accommodate charters’ admissions preferences). If significant demographic disparities persist, say three years after that (it takes time for the public to learn of these changes), I’d certainly want public authorities to examine whether there are any other significant discriminatory factors at work in a public school’s policies or culture. But if a thoughtful body of this type concludes that these reformed charter schools are fully welcoming of & provide full services to poor & special needs children, and that the demographic disparity is simply a matter of parental preference, I don’t see a significant issue there.

      I don’t think this would happen, though. Poor families are quite interested in having their children access good public schools, whatever they can manage–they flock to a number of DE’s charters (advisedly or no!), the ones that are heavily low-income and minority and provide the services required by those populations.

      I would also like to see charters brought under boards elected by taxpayers, whether identical to or separate from district school boards. That’s a separate issue, but I think important for addressing imbalances between charter & district schools. Why send tax money to unelected authorities whenever that can be avoided?

      Like

  11. Joanne Christian

    I have no dog in this fight, but twist when inaccuracies get spewed. Capital funding was intentionally denied charters from the get-go. Lots of reasons: 1) Communities or districts vote to raise taxes to build TPS, when it has been decided there is an occupancy need. Local share is paid by local district, and state share paid by state. Charters arise out of “niche” desire not occupancy need.

    2) The planning timeline of a TPS is YEARS with demographics, projections, a dozen state agencies approving/disapproving a site for everything from road access to unclaimed archeological finds.

    3) The charter proponents did not want all the hassle
    that goes into a TPS, knowing full well fingers are crossed to the hope of sustainability. The trade-off became, charters could identify buildings etc., they felt suitable to occupy to fast-track their niche charter school. They do not even have to build out to the same code a TPS must comply, because of the expense and lability of the charter experiment or experience. All know it’s a gamble of success–either to the demise of a charter, or the viability of one. Regardless, the state is willing to take the risk and direct curricular funding per student with every earnest hope students are learning in an environment parents feel is more compatible. Charters are asked to take the risk, by raising their own capital funding, because the state can’t go around underwriting every good intention, to loosely seated boards of directors, minimal management due to enrollment, and inexperienced if any facilities management presence. The state is letting you take curriculum dollars with you–but the blasted capital dollars need to stay put–or we’d be in a whole lot more building mess than just the IR Bridge. It’s a give and take. Charters can be fast-tracked to operate–but the state can’t give you a building to see how it all works out. Remember–charters aren’t built for occupancy need–they arise out of some other unmet need. That’s the charter’s “skin in the game”, when the state has already agreed to deviate from a TPS.

    Like

  12. John Kowalko

    Joanne,
    Superbly accurate comment. This is the reality of the capital funding situation that is often intentionally glossed over in the world of uninformed and disinterested politicians who seem to have an agenda limited to being seen as a “mover and shaker” without moving or shaking. There are rarely simple solutions to complex problems and it requires an inordinate amount of hard work to compose those complex and meaningful solutions. The bane of successful lawmaking is the inherent instinct of people to become comfortably lazy.

    Like

    • lastDEconservative

      Well, my day is made. Rather than attempt a comment, I shall simply print the above and post it on my wall, next to my abstract still life of a pot and a black kettle.

      Like

  13. Joanne Christian

    Why thank you Rep. Kowalko,

    I wrote that days ago, but as you can see from replied commentary other people want to get bogged down into dogwhistle topics, that distract from the grassroots intent of legislation, that was brokered to dissatisfied parents. Essentially, fine—you have enough interest to open a charter school–go ahead, we’ll let local and state dollars follow to educate–but we cannot put the citizens of Delaware on the hook with capital funding, when it’s a want and not a need. And no guarantee of sustainability. As I’ve said before–it could be high risk for Fisker Charter(s) :).

    Like

  14. John Kowalko

    Joanne,
    I would suggest that your comment, concisely and accurately expressing a reality should be submitted as a stand alone topic to be posted on Kavips, Delawareway, Transparent Christina and this site. Please consider that and a letter to the News Journal. High time to enlighten the under and uninformed with facts.
    Regards,
    John Kowalko

    Like

    • Joanne Christian

      Rep. Kowalko,
      You are kind. But unfortunately my Jane Curtain approach pales to the Rosanna Rosannabadanna approach the public seems to thrive on these days—and perpetuate. And that gets attention. But, feel free to cut and paste to wherever you want! It will be scrolled out fast :), to allow for the drama and accusations!

      Best,
      Joanne C.

      Like