I have several objections to charter schools. I don’t like diverting public tax dollars from neighborhoods schools to schools full of uncertified teachers whose tack record is worse than the public schools they bill themselves as an alternative too. As a tax payer, I frankly hate the lack of transparency in charter schools. Public money gets poured in and we hope it gets to the students. However, in case after case from Green Dot, to Imagine, to UNO we find malfeasance that would never be acceptable in a public school.
The city of Chicago is relying on the smoke and mirrors of charter school budgeting to confuse its critics who believe that charters got a diamond mine and neighborhood schools got the shaft. However, a look at their own budget shows that while neighborhood schools lost millions, charters got an $80,000,000 increase in the new budget.
The newest snake to be exposed to sunlight is Aspira whose Philadelphia actions give a good picture of the people behind the charters.
“Aspira Inc. of Pennsylvania owed large sums of money to four Philadelphia charter schools it runs, according to an independent audit of the organization’s finances as of June 30, 2012, that was obtained by City Paper. According to the report, which was produced for Aspira and completed in April, the nonprofit was running a deficit of $722,949 as of last June and owed the publicly financed schools $3.3 million. That’s in addition to millions of dollars in lease payments and administrative fees filtered to Aspira and entities it controls with no oversight. ”
“Increases aside, charter schools are getting, on average, $600 for elementary schools to $900 for high schools more per student in their total allocation than district-run schools get, the Catalyst analysis shows.”
“Chicago’s record on charter performance is parallel to the poor national one. Educational policy research shows that charter schools in Chicago and nationally result in lower student test scores, higher teacher turnover, worse rates of uncertified teachers, lower teacher pay and higher administrator pay, and increased racial segregation.”
I dream of a time when the voice of the people is heard and respected, understood not to be a mob but a thoughtful citizenry, and given some small heed when it comes to policy-making about our own children.
““Half the schools in the district fell into Level 3,” he said. “A school might be progressing in Level 3 and never get out of that level,” said Josserand, who was part of many focus groups. “Having five levels allows us to be more focused in our interventions [and] allows us to be even sharper in our focus to make sure we’re working with schools most intently with those supports.”
“Chicago’s Board of Education passed a $5.6 million budget Wednesday and also approved a new way to rate the district’s schools. Outside, protesters called for board members’ ouster. WBEZ education reporter Linda Lutton discusses those issues and charges that the district turned people away from the meeting in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.”