Charter schools are done with poor black kids, now they want white middle class ones.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and the cover of
the latest report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools speaks
that and more.

You see the cover features six well-dressed apparently
middle classes white kids and a Hispanic boy waiting in line. The subtext is
hundreds of thousands of children across the nation are waiting for room in
charter schools. The reality however is the picture reveals just what today’s
charter schools are going for, middle class white kids.

No longer are charter schools here to save poor and mostly
minority children from failing schools, nope, you see that’s too hard. If the
professionals in public schools are struggling the novices, mercenaries and charlatans
in charter schools are failing in a staggering fashion.

In Ohio charter schools are doing dreadful when compared
with their peers and in my home state of Florida over 280 charter schools have opened
taken public money and failed through a combination of poor fiscal management
and performance.

The charter school industry has gotten the word too. Now
they routinely set up shop in affluent neighborhoods hoping to draw middle
class white kids from the successful schools they would have otherwise gone
too. These parents have fallen for slick advertising campaigns, ironically funded
by public dollars, or the constant and erroneous drum beat that public schools
have failed often orchestrated by charter school supporters and investors.

In my hometown of Jacksonville Florida on May the fifth, the
school board, most of who have taken thousands of dollars from charter schools
approved a charter school on the wealthier side of town just as they announced
a charter on the poorer side of town would be closing some five weeks before
the end of the year.      

The four public schools closest to where the new charter
school operated by the for profit Charter Schools USA will open next year have historically
been some of the best schools in Jacksonville and three of them were less than
90 percent of capacity.  I know this
because it is in the report prepared by the school board yet despite this they
approved it anyways.

The owner of the new school has learned his lesson two
because CUSA’s attempt to open charter schools in the poor parts of
Jacksonville have met with very poor results.

There can no longer really be any pretense that charter
schools are here to improve the educational outcomes. The truth is most of the
ones that do well either poor extra resources into their schools like the KIPP
schools who spend about a third more per child, longer school days, smaller
classes and don’t back-fill when a child leaves and the ones that set up in affluent
neighborhoods where they can steal resources from the public schools there
undoubtedly hurting their effectiveness.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and the Alliance’s
picture of their report showing the type of kid they are going after should really
tell you all that you need to know.   

Sadly I am not techno savvy enough to capture a screen shot but if you click the link you will see exactly what I am talking about.

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