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Detroit Free Press blows apart charter-school movement

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by LongTimeListener, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    This is outstanding. This is old-school sinking your journalistic teeth into a subject and just killing it. There is a weeklong series including articles devoted to all of the subjects in their bullet list. (It's also fantastic Web design BTW.)


    What the Free Press found

    A yearlong Free Press investigation of Michigan’s charter schools found wasteful spending, conflicts of interest, poor performing schools and a failure to close the worst of the worst. Among the findings:

    Charter schools spend $1billion per year in state taxpayer money, often with little transparency.

    Some charter schools are innovative and have excellent academic outcomes — but those that don’t are allowed to stay open year after year.

    A majority of the worst-ranked charter schools in Michigan have been open 10 years or more.

    Charter schools as a whole fare no better than traditional schools in educating students in poverty.

    Michigan has substantially more for-profit companies running schools than any other state.

    Some charter school board members were forced out after demanding financial details from management companies.

    State law does not prevent insider dealing and self-enrichment by those who operate schools.

    Those last two are what the charter school movement is all about -- flim-flam men running a scam on the public. The article focused on Michigan, but it's the same story all over, particularly since many of the charter school companies are nationwide.

    The impact is landing immediately. The charter schools bought all the ad space on the front of the Freep and the News, I guess to make it look more "balanced." And they've also issued a response to things that either weren't in the article in the first place or didn't actually say what the schools' response indicates.


    I think, or maybe I just hope, the jig is up on this scam.
  2. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    There's freakout going on in Indiana as well, with reports that the school voucher program is costing the state money.


    If your voucher program isn't making education better, and it's losing money, then what's the point? Other than lining people's pockets... oh yeah.

    Interesting that in Indiana's case the losses occurred because people were using vouchers to attend public schools outside their district -- and the state calculates savings happens only when they are used for private schools. By the way, vouchers have come into vogue as private school enrollment is falling, and you can't underestimate the interest in vouchers coming from people trying to save their religious schools.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Charter schools seem to be a polarizing topic in every state.
    I've never really understood the concept or purpose of charter

    Anyone care to explain?
  4. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

  5. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    In theory, charter schools -- which are privately run though still technically public schools -- are free from many state rules in hope of encouraging more innovative teaching and administrative structures.

    In practice, many are a money-sink for profiteers, encouraged by legislators who hope to put the squeeze on teachers unions, and they're sold to parents as a private-ish alternative in hope they won't sell their homes.

    I know of some parents who love their charters, but it turns out on the whole they're no magic bullet. Like public schools, some are very good, some are OK, and some are pretty bad.
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member


    1, above and beyond everything else, to strip and divert public tax money away from public schools and into the pockets of charter-school profiteers.

    and 2, to quit spending public tax money on kids with funny-sounding names or funny-looking skin, who probably aren't interested in, or capable of, learning anyway.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    That, and the rich kids can get a better education because they're not sitting in class next to a poor kid and they're not being taught by those unionized teachers.
  8. If you look around some of the urban charter schools, what you'll find is the pastor of some charismatic church with a ridiculous name also happens to be operating a charter school along with his "foundation" ... and of course, all of these things -- the church, the school, the foundation -- have friends and relatives on the payroll making good money for doing who-knows-what.

    There are absolutely some good -- even great -- charter schools. The 'business' also tends to draw the hucksters and charlatans.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    I've previously posted this New Yorker examination of the Chris Christie-Cory Booker-Mark Zuckerberg debacle in Newark. It's worth (the kind of long) read.


  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Like everything else. Money.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Also, Google "Deion Sanders" and "Prime Prep."
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