Subtle and direct violations of law have been documented in charter admissions policies. Empty seats are supposed to be filled by lottery. Yet, which student applications make it into the lottery is frequently questioned. For example, some parents and/or students are required to submit essays. Or, parents may be required to certify they will contribute a certain number of hours or donate money to cover school fees. If all else fails, charters may counsel parents that their child may not fit ‘the mission of the school’ and practice constant suspension for trivial offenses to discourage unwanted children.
In this article released by the ACLU in California, and reported by Education Justice, an expose of wide spread civil rights violations is reported.
Resource center charter schools…what are they? In California, they are rooms with computers and maybe a tutor. There are 270 of these centers operating which are not authorized by local districts. Who is watching the store? Not Governor Brown!
Just when you think change is possible, you discover that the battle for testing reform continues unabated. California is piloting new science assessments based on the Next Generation Science Standards. The State wants to administer a pilot of the new assessments rather than the older version.
The U.S. Inspector General has recognized the serious nature of the charter management problems. The League of Women Voters has been calling for better transparency and management oversight for several years. Now, the federal government has joined us—-well, a part of the federal government.
It is one step toward better accountability for our tax dollars.
In charter schools, parents may have choice but no rights. What does this mean? In this brief from the American Bar Association, the rights that parents assume they have are valid for public schools but not charters. According to recent court decisions in a California Appeals Court and a U.S. District Court in Hawaii, charters have the right to dismiss students in a manner that would be unconstitutional in a regular public school.
As the number of charters grows, charter parents need to beware.
Charter schools represent 7% of New York City’s school population but 42% of all student suspensions. Of the top 50 schools with high suspension rates, 48 were charters. These schools are clustered in the heart of black communities in Harlem, Crown Heights, Brownsville and Brooklyn. The problem extends far beyond New York. Parents are pushing back.
Why do you suppose that school buildings owned by Academica, Florida’s largest for-profit charter management firm are more expensive than at schools it only manages? Are they bigger and nicer or just more profitable?
What are these anti tenure cases really about? Are reformers convinced the workforce has more than its share of ineffective teachers? Or, are they concerned many teachers prefer to work in traditional schools where they can earn higher salaries and benefits? Thus, charters and private schools struggle to compete for high quality teachers.
There is a general anti union undercurrent, but I am continually surprised how few Floridians seem to know that tenure in Florida is a thing of the past. Why are other states filing law suits?