Charter Schools in Action

EPUB EBook by Chester E. Finn Jr.

EBook Description

This is not the book for me. Charter Schools in Action EPUB EBook It is a very biased against teacher's unions and government, and very pro- EPUBmarket solutions (applauding Milton Friedman). I want an account that gives both sides. This book cherry picks data that supports charters and doesn't show any of the negative studies (there are lots). It uses emotionally charged language (when speaking of programs for kids with special needs, it talked about "government-imposed" services, and "cumbersome" programs). Instead of data, the authors use words like "similar to" and "about the same" when in fact differences may be statistically significant. It uses anecdotes in place of data - touchy-feely stories of charter school founders and students.

I'd like to respond to the four ways the authors propose charter schools are able to "do more with less" on page 95:

1) "First, they are better than most district schools at using parental 'sweat equity' and leveraging other non-monetary resources to supplement their budgets. Many parents are happy to lend a hand, and many charter starters take an entrepreneurial view toward community partnerships and fundraising."

To this, I say, why not take that entrepreneurial spirit and those parent volunteers and direct that energy towards your local community school?

2) "Second, many charter schools pare their administrative personnel to a bare minimum. Often they accomplish this by having teachers perform 'double duty' - perhaps serving as a coach as well as an English teacher, or counselor as well as a math teacher. Sometimes board members shoulder administrative functions."

Well, this is simply not true. According to reliable and rigorous studies, charter schools actually spend 2-5x as much on administration than do their traditional school counterparts because they can't take advantage of economies of scale. And relying on teachers to shoulder more than their fair share of work is asking for burnout and attrition, which is in fact what happens in charter schools.

3) "Third, charter schools tend to eschew the extras that regular schools normally offer. Many get by without non-academic programs like sports and drama. (Parents looking for lots of alternatives and amenities for their children will, in general, be better off turning elsewhere."

Isn't this, in fact, doing less with less? Traditional public schools are expected to be all things to all people. They must provide transportation, lunches, special education services, social workers, psychologists, and a well-rounded education. Charter schools don't really have to do any of these things. I would also like to point out from personal experience that charter schools sometimes don't even provide textbooks or school supplies and that's how they save money. Just sayin'.

4) "Fourth, many charter schools 'outsource' some of the schools functions to external providers. According to the federal study, 41 percent of charter schools contract out for payroll, 48 percent for insurance, 50 percent for legal services, and 41 percent for social services."

I think it goes hand-in-hand that charter schools spend 2-5x as much on administrative costs and they outsource to for-profit companies for services.
Like this book? Read online this: Charter School Outcomes, TBD Devastator in Action (Aircraft in Action, #1097).

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