May
22nd 2014
Arizona, Florida ESAs Show How Colorado Could Help Kids Like Nathan

Posted under Courts & Journalism & learning & Parents & Research & School Choice

A couple months ago I was going wild and crazy (in a good way) with the news that the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the fabulous and liberating Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs).

We remember a very important reason why a cutting-edge program like this one is so great when we hear directly from the families who benefit. Thanks to the Foundation for Excellence in Education, I came across a terrific letter by Arizona mom Amanda Howard. Her autistic son Nathan struggled in a regular kindergarten classroom, and still wasn’t talking at age 6, when they received an ESA:

I don’t fault the public school, and I hope that one day Nathan would be prepared for a traditional classroom, but he’s not there now. Using an education savings account has been a tremendous improvement for us. Since he’s been using an account, I’ve found a one-on-one tutor for him and a new school that helps students with autism. Today, Nathan has learned to talk and he loves learning to spell and even reading books.

For a family like ours that struggled for years to see progress like this, it’s amazing to watch my little boy smile and we relish the little things, like having conversations together. Imagine having to wait six years — or more — to get to enjoy these things.

Speaking as a kid who sometimes has too much to say, my mom can hardly imagine that scenario. We little tykes can be very different. About two-thirds of the first 316 Arizona families receiving ESAs used them kind of like a regular voucher, to pay for private tuition, but the rest customized them to purchase different services that helped serve their children’s unique needs.

Not every story is exactly like Nathan’s, but I think any warm-blooded parent has to nod and recognize what a good program this has been for a growing number of youngsters in the Grand Canyon State. And now we can look forward to more stories from Florida, which followed in Arizona’s footsteps to create a similar Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts program.

Little old me can only dream and hope that Colorado might be next.

21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Arizona, Florida ESAs Show How Colorado Could Help Kids Like Nathan”

  1. Diane hanfmann on 24 May 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Increased use of parental rights seems to negate the need for such public school destroying actions. Calling a jump to an unfounded conclusion a jump to an unfounded conclusion. Not everyone is decieved by what Ed sees through his privatization binoculars.

  2. Ben DeGrow on 27 May 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Ms. Hanfmann:

    Where is the evidence of public schools being destroyed? If you want to call it privatization rather than parent empowerment, that is certainly your prerogative. But I have to call a jump to an unfounded conclusion what it is.

    Still, it is encouraging to know not everyone agrees with the ideas and conclusions on the blog. In the absence of any compelling evidence, having a different view does not constitute being “decieved” (sic). Appreciated your comments in 2008 and 2011. Look forward to you commenting on another post in 2017.

  3. Ed is Watching » Florida Doubles Number of States with Cutting-Edge Choice through ESAs on 23 Jun 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    [...] the gun and pretty much assumed that Governor Scott would make the measure official so it could help kids like Nathan. Guess what? That assumption proved [...]

  4. Diane hanfmann on 24 Jun 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    I had hoped Ed’s eyes would see more clearly and his words be less deceiving as he aged over the years….unless he remains five eternally. As for evidence of the destruction of public schools, one would have to leave this fantasy world of a kindergartener. As you find me gullible enough to believe you have no inkling about the destruction of public education, I will play that role and refer you to the Save Our Schools movement, the article Tom Luna’s Ed Reforms A Long Time in the Making, Got Dough: How Billionaires are Buying our Schools(may be worded incorrectly) , Ravitch’s books, Rhee’s connections to big bucks and failed policies, the zillion FB groups trying to preserve public schools, the ALEC business interest and influence, The paper Proficiency is Not Enough, Cashing in on Kids about the profits of charter schools, and the horrid failure of Students First as they linger at 70 some thousand followers after all these years whan the expectation was a million after year one. ( Consider there are 50 some million public school students) To me, the most unethical of the many questionable ethics issues raised by your stances is the omission of the US child poverty rate, which shames our nation and often kills achievement. This would lie at the hands of our populace and legislators . Just call your position what it is..mining the public schools for profit and transforming a child into a commodity. I am honored you found me of sufficient interest to look at past posts. Perhaps you saw as well my leadership and honor of advocacy efforts at the state and local level. While Eddie seems to show no growth in thinking despite his advancing years, I hope he is not retained as that will increase the likelihood of him dropping out.

  5. Diane hanfmann on 24 Jun 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    I now support why I wrote that one has jumped to an infounded conclusion and speak to alternatives available in my state, which is not Arizona. Nathan reached a higher level of functioning at the time of the new service. It cannot be proven that such would not have occurred in the publlic school setting since he was not there. What if the higher functioning was a result of neurological maturation? Could it have been related to a medication change? This I have provided two examples which support my stance that this was an unfounded conclusion. I do see how a five year old could have missed it.
    A parent unhappy with ESE service has a TON of rights via federal regs. The plan could be reviewed, revised, challenged, or rewritten.
    What happens to all the rights when services are not provided via federal finds? What criteria is put in place as to certification of service providers? A wise parent becomes versed in law and rights and effectively uses them.

  6. Eddie on 24 Jun 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Diane, I wanted to say Thanks for the comment. But really it’s a tremendous hardship taking time away from my giant heated waterbed, personal video arcade / massage parlor, and private bowling alley at the Koch Brothers Luxury Condo Suites to take a moment and reply. [Warning: Satire Complete]

    Nothing in your lengthy appeal to authority provides any authentic evidence that the ESA policy is harming students. You cover a vast territory of issues at a very surface level, but I don’t find that terribly productive conversation. We could go ’round and ’round about social and economic policies related to poverty, including trillions spent on Great Society programs. The results have not been great, and maybe we could agree that the federal government is not the best place to solve those problems. Meanwhile, how about a specific point to discuss?

    Because poverty rate and parental education levels aside, our schools by and large are not doing the job. A study that compares American students internationally based on quartiles of family income (http://www.americaachieves.org/docs/OECD/Middle-Class-Or-Middle-Of-Pack.pdf) and one that similarly makes international comparisons based on levels of parent education (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/PEPG14-01_NotJust.pdf). Is this just a bunch of bunk? Did they cook the books, or what?

    I will close by saying. Are you expanding your attack beyond ESAs (which are relatively new and small, and for which little hard evidence exists) to public charter schools (for which an abundance of evidence exists showing cities and states with high-quality laws and policies are driving real improvements, and that the sector as a whole is outperforming traditional schools)? The problem isn’t with the results that KIPP, Rocketship, et al., are getting. It’s with the fact that capacity issues are limiting their growth? Not that it matters, you know, but these aren’t for-profit entities.

  7. Diane hanfmann on 29 Jun 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Ed,
    Your time is better spent playing videogames via the Koch brothers. May I suggest you take on that rather than post bullpucky? I had to chuckle when you posted a pepg paper…isn’t Jeb Bush the chair of that privatization group?? Jeb..with no course in education who chose for ed policy adviser also someone with no education courses, I attended those pepg summits a few times before I decided I can waste my time elsewhere.Why not call them ALEC planning? KIPP has been torn apart in studies as you know, as per their attrition rate, similar to the fallacy of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Yes, books do get cooked via the Donald Campbell’s Law which speaks to the corruption invited when a social indicator is attached to too much emphasis. Alas, we have the misuse of tests…or perhaps you have not come across that in Kindergarten. As you are a Kindergartener, I ask you to recall the Golden Rule…do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Take one of the zillion children living in the US, where the child poverty rates put the nation to shame, and ask them what they need. Will it be food, shelter, adult attention, a mentor…….or a new teacher? I await your disproving the correlation between SES and static test scores, maternal education and test scores. How totally disingenuous of you to omit the massive amounts of cash to be made in charter schools. Ask the hedge fund managers!! Speaking of bunk, as you did, I would say your folks hold the champion in that. Consider Mr. Ladner, a member of ALEC, as well as a few awards from actual education researchers at the NEPC. In closing..I note that you forego the astounding allowance of 23% child poverty rate in our country by stating iy is hard to tackle. I say to you in response to your deflection away from this atrocity..Go stand in the corner.
    When you grow a conscience, come back and read that I am not saying all is well in public education. Perhaps your young mind has a hard time realizing that politicians set foolhardy policies that public schools must follow,,NCLB, bullpucky accountability systems,
    ridiculous merit pay, and outrageous testing matches. Actually, I was an outspoken critic of many of these things as a teacher. Compared to the hiseous non-research backed standes from your side, perhaps called cashing in on kids, public education shines brighter than the sun. How about the latest foolish buzz idea….more standardized testing cures disabiities. Evan a five year old can smell that stench..take a sniff. Does it smell like Pearson? What have their profits been??? Tell ALEC I want to attend their next secret meeting. Would that make me the only one there who has a background in education? They know about MONEY. Back to your videogames…will you be playing the one called Sold My Soul and America’s Kids??

  8. Diane hanfmann on 29 Jun 2014 at 8:23 am #

    Just an aside..I noted you mentioned the Foundation for Excellence in education but forgot to tie Jeb Bush to it. Have you tied Jay Greene to WalMart? Who in your blog has not been a fan of ALEC?

  9. Diane Hanfmann on 30 Jun 2014 at 3:43 am #

    OOPS1 While you posted about Governor Scott passing this ESA stuff so it would help kids like Nathan (LOL), I think you may have meant to teaken the publis schools and allow private contractors to profit WHILE NO ACCOUNTABILITY IS NEEDED. Perhaps you forgot Scott was and may still be the least popular Governor in the country and his association with the biggest Welafre fraud case and his deposition full of inabiliies to recall.

  10. Eddie on 30 Jun 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Ms. Hanfmann, I am sorry for your confusion. Briefly:
    1. PEPG is a Harvard research program (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/pepg/people.htm). Qualified academics doing peer-reviewed research. Jeb Bush is the chair of their advisory board. Do you understand what the role of the advisory board is? Or do you just blithely dismiss studies from groups with which you can find an ideological opponent. You imply that people without education degrees aren’t qualified to opine intelligently about education policy. Does it also qualify you to dismiss the research put out by PEPG?
    2. KIPP has been found by the respected national research firm Mathematica to have significant positive impacts on students (http://www.kipp.org/results/mathematica-study/mathematica-2013-report). Is this an example of what you refer to as “hiseous non-research backed standes from your side”? What is your critique of their methodology and findings? Which studies have torn it apart?
    3. Who said there wasn’t a correlation between SES and static test scores? That’s patently obvious on a macro scale. But it’s not determinative on a case-by-case basis. So why would you bash schools like KIPP that are bucking the trend for low-income kids, rather see what can be learned from them? And why should it matter if a school is totally non-profit or includes for-profit investment, as long as it’s delivering good results for kids? I welcome an “all of the above” approach to help students learn. What would you do to a successful school that has for-profit investment?
    4. Speaking of “all of the above,” why is it either school reform OR anti-poverty programs? What successful anti-poverty strategies and programs do you believe are not getting proper attention because of education reform efforts? What metrics and studies do you recommend to determine their success?
    5. Hey, guess what, not all education reform efforts and programs are created equal. Believe it or not, there are free-thinking individuals out here. Do you suggest that I’m an unapologetic fan of NCLB? Choice and charters are about moving decisions closer to the student (i.e., the parent). Or have I ever written here cheering for “more standardized tests” to cure disabilities? That’s a lot different approach than ESAs.

    Thanks for the dialogue.

  11. Diane Hanfmann on 01 Jul 2014 at 5:16 am #

    I have been to some Harvard PEPG conferences, the kind limited to 100 and by iinvitation, often from the office of Petersen. I saw there Hanushek, Barber of Pearson, a rep from Finland, Shanghai, Wilmot, David Gurgen, Pastorek, Jay Greene, Bennett, Lindsay Burke, Petersen, a lovely woman I actually respected from the McKenzie Institute perhaps someone from ACHIEVE. and Wilmot. I recall one year Jeb Bush was to be part of it but his daughter had given birth or some medical reason kept him from attending. I remember hearing the Finnish ed rep and the Shanghai ed rep speaking carefully as to the intense care and prep they take into teacher development and the honor of the profession in their respective countries. I recall an Asian man asking how American teachers have lost the respect of their country. My favorite moments were all the remaining ones when the PEPG folks were silent on theor adoration for TFA, where no background in education is needed and only 5 weeks of training. Did their silence mean they were ashamed or did they suffer from collective amnesia? i am in no way implying I am a big name. only thst I have been there a few times until I vowed no more.. What did the sign saY as one entered the building …sponsored by the Bradley Foundation or the Broad Foundation???? Political stances can be assumed by looking at funders.
    I also was able to attend some Jeb Bush summits in DC. There I was a parent paying for all while politicians and state directors of ed were able to get free registration and costs covered. There I saw Matt Ladner, snippets from Waiting for Superman, the spokesperson for the Walton Family Foundation (Imagine that), Chris Cristie(Isn’t he under grand jury investigation?), Geradl Robinson (Didn’t he leave Florida within a year only to be followed by Tony Bennett who left as quickly as he came after being defeated in his prior state by a low budgeted teacher.
    I think people without a background in education can speak but it woooould behhove the listener if they would explain their qualifications or lack thereof. It is amusing to be asked this question when politicians are the ones who pass the legislation..clueless as they may be. Isn’t Scott walker a realtor? Yes, and a friend of ALEC. Would you like me to be onanadvisory board for nuclear power use? I would have far too much integrity to assume a role where I don’t have appropriate knowledge. Do you ask your mailman for advice as to care for a very sick child? Let’s be real. I will take it a step further anyway and opine it might be thought that ed reform of the Rhee variety has much less to do with educational soundness and much more to do with $$$$$$.

  12. Diane Hanfmann on 01 Jul 2014 at 5:17 am #

    Am borrowing someoneese’s computer. I will address your other points later.

  13. Diane Hanfmann on 01 Jul 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    You can google and find KIPP attrition rates http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/04/06/27kipp_ep-2.h30.html and criticisms of their studies on attrition.
    As for my thoughts on a successful school that is for profit, I cannot answer. A successful school is not defined by the crappy application of test scores, as in misaligned with taker. Thus my idea of a successful schoool likely differs from yours dramatically. However, the oir profit part does not…look at the phrase for profit. It is not for students and it also goes directly to the motive..profit. How is profit made? Could it be cutting costs, supplyingand paying an inferior group of employees? reducing services? escaping legal statutes? Why ignore the fact that Florida kids can opt for a school with no accountability???
    I do associate you with what I call deform efforts, including the typical $tudent$ Fir$t bullpucky. Rhee herself downplays the devestating role of poverty. certainly such a stance is needed to decievingly justify and/or portray the disaster of public education while ignoring the hideous NCLB policy alll public schools were mandated by feds to follow.WHY ARE WHAT POLITICALLY GETS LABELLED A FAILING SCHOOL SERVING HIGH NUMBERS OF STUDENTS OF POVERTY? I am happy that you did not write about the cure for disabilities being standardized tests and high hopes. That sounds like a recanning of NCLB insanity to me.

  14. Diane Hanfmann on 03 Jul 2014 at 7:44 am #

    ALEC odors seem confirmed.http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Independence_Institute

  15. Eddie on 03 Jul 2014 at 10:09 am #

    You’re so quick! Congratulations on playing the ad hominem trump card. On the bright side, at least we avoided demonstrating Godwin’s Law. Seems you are inclined to discount anything I say because you have determined my motives to be unsavory at best, evil at worst. Seems you also are inclined not to use spell check for whatever reason. Both just happen to be what they are.

    Thanks for sharing a link on KIPP to confirm my understanding that the program isn’t perfect. For some reason, though, you chose to completely ignore the chance to put those findings in the context of the Mathematica 2013 report (http://www.kipp.org/results/mathematica-study/mathematica-2013-report). Is Mathematica also part of the Vast Conspiracy of Creepy Vague For-Profit Sinister Bogeymen?

    Thanks also for allowing me the opportunity to clarify the “for-profit” question. (Bottom line: profit is made by attracting customers.) Because the accountability should be the same for both for-profit and non-profit entities involved in a publicly funded education program. Whether those are textbook and curriculum providers, or some other kind of contractor, the point is that for-profit and non-profit elements are found in all spheres of K-12 education today. The policy question that you continue to sidestep is whether it’s better to put the choices in the hands of students and parents rather than a quasi-monopolistic command-and-control model of system governance? Given your healthy skepticism of a one-size-fits-all standardized testing regime, one might wonder why you don’t find this approach appealing as part of a broader strategy to improve educational outcomes, at least for students in lower socioeconomic groups.

    But hey, I’m just part of that Big Spooky Conspiracy. So never mind me….

  16. Diane Hanfmann on 05 Jul 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    I would not use the word spooky as you did. Deceptive would be better. I got some chuckles out of your response..so thanks for that. Your avoidance of the ALEC connection to the Independence Institute is a simple back up for my preference for the word deceptive. My biggest guffaw came when you offer the idea that a one size fits all standardized testing regime may be something I find helpful in improving the educational outcomes, at least for students in the lower socioeconomic groups. I can only guess you suffered a head injury prior to guessing I might support such junk. Call me crazy but I support appropriate use of tests. If someone is equated to reading at grade level 2 as a student in grade 5, imagine my audacity to find tests at the grade 2 or 3 level to be appropriate. I could save money and not provide largely useless info to parents and teachers while failing to administer a grade 5 test to that student. Rarely and proudly, I don’t buy size 11 shoes for my chlid whose feet fit nicely into 7. Nor do I find it useful to make a child with severe cognitive disabilities take a one size fits all standardized test that the gifted student also takes. In fact, I would
    opt out. I opine it is horrendous practice to overlook tests beautifully aligned to the child with severe cognitive disabilities and instead administer the state test taken by children without such a situation. Not only is the test choice a decision of concern, it impacts the instruction the student will receive. When the goal is actually increased independence and access to reinforcers for such a child, standardized test items are irrelevant to that child’s needs. I have opted one of my gifted children out of the state test years ago, only to have the district ask me to have my child take that same test of years ago a few years later. No was again my response and the test was never taken. The administration of a test years below my child’s functioning level is useless to all so why would I allow this bologna occur to help a school look good under Florida’s farcical accountability system? As for the lower SES group and standardized testing, I direct you to the school to prison pipeline research and then try your line on one more foolish than myself. Neither of my children attended their SAC school. I fought like heck for one and the other was less of a difficult task. Your use of school choice differs from mine. I am in no way a supporter of the privatization movement. I have my doubts about for profits, which may include some charters. A small chuckle resulted following my reading of your text about profit coming from attracting folks. Let’s say I give you that out of kindness, but then I add to it that providing the cheapest service possible would the fllow to maximize profit. Cashing in on kids isn’t a phrase that escapes reality. Would you like the series? it is about the ties to $$$ and deform efforts in Florida.
    In closing, I am part of the empowered parent crew who apparently feels less comfortable about shortchanging our nation’s kids than do the privatizers. Perhaps they are a powerful deceiptful group. Let’s hear bout ALEC. Aren’t they about business, profits, free market?

  17. Ben DeGrow on 08 Jul 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I served one year on ALEC’s Education Task Force. The highlight was the committee adopting my proposed amendments to the model open enrollment legislation, modeled after Colorado’s law, to give parents more power, choice, and access. Others at the Independence Institute have participated in ALEC. Is that the “deceiptful”-ness you’re talking about?

    You demonstrate a shallow and misguided understanding of what constitutes free market thinking and the role of business, which I don’t have the time or inclination to remedy here. I will only ask: What about the power of parental choice and competition in education do you fear or otherwise reject? I keep waiting for you to issue a defense of top-down, government-controlled systems to produce results. Instead, you caricature views you don’t seem to grasp.

    If you were interested in a serious conversation about standardized testing, rather than trying to pigeon hole our work into your preconceived conspiratorial box, you might be surprised. It’s impossible to tell what you’re responding to, when you write: “My biggest guffaw came when you offer the idea that a one size fits all standardized testing regime may be something I find helpful in improving the educational outcomes, at least for students in the lower socioeconomic groups. I can only guess you suffered a head injury prior to guessing I might support such junk.” Who wrote that, and where?

    And why does someone who so eloquently disclaims the need to eschew one-size-fits-all testing regimes have such a hard time with parent-empowering ESAs and school choice in general? Even if you have an issue with families choosing to spend money on for-profit entities, most charters and many private schools and education service providers are not for-profit.

  18. Diane Hanfmann on 09 Jul 2014 at 2:24 am #

    Mr. DeGrow, I note your background in history and political science. Glaringly missing is education. My background is education and school psychology. I am certain you are better versed in free market issus than am I and I suspect that I am superior in educational/testing issues. Your guess as to my affinities are inaccurate. First, among all else, I am a parent who expected no more than my child(ren) to learn in a place called school. I eventually challenged my child’s district by victoriously filing a formal complaint against them and what I opine was the miseducation they provided to my child. A few years later, I filed my second victorious complaint on behalf of 7500 students. I created data as a non-statistician which paved my path to sitting on the first Gifted Advisory Committee of FLDOE. I mined data to do this a nd used it in a way which does not coincide with the illusory Florida boasts. I have largely stopped my efforts after following the bologna of Jeb Bush for more than twelve years.i wasinvited to speak before the legislators nany years ago in support of an ction which was only passed a few years ago. Sadly and honestly, I debated Levesque long ago, with me pushing VAM while she supported the use of the largely worthless school grades, amusingly titled the A+ Plan. I also complied data as a non statistician on that political too called an accountability system by those who fail to heed the words of Robert Linn. He said an accountability system should be reliable, fair, and valid. I hate to admit that I brought VAM to the table long ago. My intentions were good buT I now consider that my only regret. I now am uncertain as to where the fault lies..in a VAM model or in misaligned testing being inserted into a VAM model. I look neither into your history, nor political science background to help me decipher this. You, on the other hand, have your strengths in areas where I do not,,history and political science.
    You asked who wrote about the possibility that I would like a one size fits all standardized testing program..it would be Eddie on July 8 or 9 ( old eyes can’t tell) at 10:09.
    You also ask about why I do not support school choice when I told you I had both of my children attend schools not in their assigned area. I support parental empowerment.
    Early in my years of discontent, I looked beyond what I identified as the problem to why the problem existed. Poverty, NCLB, and the perverse incentives created by the A+ Plan (choking) came to mind. I did my own investigations. It is when your side omits poverty from the picture that politics, your strength, comes into play. I opine it is also scientifically indefensible.
    It is odd that you suggest I am against parent empowerment when I held free parent advocacy trainings in my communities and was briefly on the board of a state advocacy network. I also served as the Gifted Advocacy Chairperson for a very large district, and not as the cheerleader as the role came after my first victory aginst the district.
    Instead, I oppose turning students into $ and data points. I oppose the cloaking of a privatization movement by using buzzwords. Charter schools are very profitable..just ask the hedge fund managers. Read Cashing in on Kids.
    Last for this post..please secure me permission to attend ALEC education meetings. What will that take? Why so secret??????
    By the way, I read Tony Bennett is coming to terms with his ethics violations. OOPS!

  19. Eddie on 09 Jul 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Clearly, there was a miscommunication. The “this approach” you read as referring to a “one-size-fits-all standardized testing regime” actually was referring to “putting choices in the hands of students and parents” from the sentence before. An easy mistake to make. But with all the disagreement afoot, better to clear up any unnecessary confusion.

  20. Ben DeGrow on 09 Jul 2014 at 10:00 am #

    ALEC is a private organization, not a public entity. But I think if you want to join and pay the fees (which is partly why I haven’t participated there in quite sometime now), there may be an opportunity for you. But they may refuse for the same reason that the NEA policy-making committee doesn’t let me at the table. I can’t speak for them, though.

    I’m glad you are opposed to “turning students into $.” That’s what all existing school finance formulas do, assign money to schools based on student enrollment.

    Your caricature of charter schools needs some revision (maybe a history or political science background would help, in the same way that these skills enable me to read and understand the research on education policies). My own children attend a public charter school that neither receives corporate investment nor is profitable. And there are many, many others in Colorado with the same characteristics.

    Good day.

  21. Diane Hanfmann on 09 Jul 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Good day to you as well. The NEA convention is all over the media. This is not so, with ALEC.
    I am aware that school finance involves the provision of dollars per student. At this time, I apologize for being unclear in my statement as to opposing turning students into $. I will try to clarify that now.
    Merit pay and high stakes bullpucky involving bonus money or career longevity place the child in a position which pollutes the child teacher relationship from the start. A simple example would be the bubble kids who serve as targets of instruction while others are deemed less necessary as their data seems less likely to aid the stats. A second example would be the hijacking of individual learning profiles as they are subverted and transformed to teaching to the test. Curricular decisions are effected. The goal becomes looking good rather than doing good. It is quite easy to create an illusion of achievement gains without learning being the reason for the data. The provision of services may be reduced or delivered by less qualified folks as cost cutting measures in an environment which has as much freedom as those outside the public school arena. The use of folks willing to work without unions and health benefits also behooves the profiteer. The hiring of folks without the education level required by the public schools also saves money.
    Call me logical but I have no clue how history would help me understand charter schools. In fact, this past year, I taught World History, US History, and Civics at the middle school level and that content did not aid me at all with any charter school question I had.
    The ties of our legislators to charter schools and their passing of pro charter legislation has been interesting. ALEC is well known to those who follow the Florida education scene. Privatization is not a well kept secret. Hedge fund managers find them a great investment..as in delivering profits to investors, not students. Children are not commodities.Someone should tell that to ALEC.

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