Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pennsylvania Auditors Report On ASD

Lehigh Valley Live: Pa. charter school law is nation's worst, state auditor says-- "The Allentown School District was in a "no-win situation" as it fought the opening of a new charter school that had hired Mike Fleck as a headhunter to enroll students... "The appalling part of this is that under Pennsylvania's charter school law this is entirely legal," the auditor general said."

I don't know about that. I read lots of horror stories elsewhere as well.

Until several months ago I was adamantly against government having monopoly control over education. Since then I've had complete change of mind.* NY Success Academy charter school probed over alleged bias against disabled kids
* LA charter school under review after principal charges $100K
* Utah: Charter-school profiteers
* Pensacola: Prosecutors claim theft and money laundering..”
* Charter Schools: The Next Nationwide Scandal
* Oahu: Attorney general files charges against charter school principal, employee
* Florida grand jury indicts charter school management company
* Yucca Valley : Fraud investigation targets former Hope charter school director
* North Carolina: Attorney General Sues Charter Operator for Fraud
* LAPD investigating apparent grade tampering at West L.A. charter school
* Turkey claims Texas charter school network is funding plot to overthrow the government

Those were a few I came across on a search of Google for this past month alone!

Talking point #1: A number of these charter schools are affiliated with religious organizations benefiting from taxpayers dollars. This violates the spirit of the constitution defining the separation of church and government.

Talking Point #2: School leaders are either appointed or elected. The public has little say who runs or how these private charter schools operate.

Talking Point #3: Ultimately the public schools are on the hook when these schools suddenly fold up dumping kids back into the public system.

Talking Point #4: There is the matter of charter schools being able to cherry pick the least troublesome and from among those most academic in their performances.

Talking Point #5: It defies common logic a for profit (even if they claim to be non profit) can survive financially without cutting corners in some way.

Talking Point #6: It's one thing being forced to pay for government run educational services. It's entirely another matter being forced to pay redirected taxes towards some private institution (for profit or not).

For these reasons I'm no longer in favor. In years past if someone could afford to send their children outside the system that was a choice they made. These charter schools are no longer a choice being they are forced upon us. We can spin this anyway someone would like, but fact of the matter is taxpayer money is being used and redirected in a way it was never meant to be used.

At the end of the day, putting all financial considerations aside...
     Are kids actually getting a better education?
     Are kids able to attend the same schools as their neighbors they grow up with?
     Are kids parents able to influence the schools they attend (PTA)?
     Are kids mixed in with the social and economic levels they will have to contend with later in life?
     Are kids receiving uneven levels of education?
     Are kids being separated by different cultural, ethnicities and religious beliefs that differ from their own?

These are the things that concern me. I don't believe charter schools offer these same opportunities. This is why I've changed my mind regarding private education. Government run education may have it's shortcomings but it appears to be the lesser of two evils.

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