Posts tagged: charter schools

Random Tweet of the Day (@KIPPLASchools)

By , March 30, 2012 1:19 pm

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KIPP LA Schools: Closing #KIPPLA4v0 with inspirational messages from two #KIPP alumni! They are why we do this work.

See, this is what happens when you commit to a truly random “Tweet of the Day” – you wind up with tweets you feel conflicted about.

On the one hand, I can definitively say that I’m in full support of the original idea behind the concept of charter schools – Given certain freedoms from larger bureaucracy and mandates, schools can innovate, lead, and make a greater impact on the kids they serve, then take those incubated ideas that worked, and share them with the larger educational community.

On the other hand, what I don’t support about charter schools is that what was designed to thrive on a collaborative process with district schools has largely mutated into a competitive process. Whether or not this is actually the fault of charters themselves or of certain district policies that have literally pitted district schools and charter schools against each other is a debate that is largely irrelevant.

The reality is simply this. While some tout charter schools as the best option for closing the achievement gap and others accuse charter schools of essentially destroying the American public education system, this rhetorical gap is not simply going to miraculously close. What it will take is hard, honest conversations between teachers, families, and leaders to (1) honestly and accurately assess the reality of this divide, and (b) committing to find ways to not merely co-exist, but to mutually benefit each other.

Want a starting point? Try here and here.

#3 *GASP* District/Charter Collaboration – All I Want for Christmas: My 2011 Education Wish List

By , December 19, 2011 2:18 pm

Aimee Mann – Calling on Mary

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Dear Santa,

First, I hope you appreciate the format change of this blog post. Rather than embedding links, I’ve referenced all the links at the bottom of this post. Hopefully easier reading, and more knowing what you’d like to explore. Thanks and happy reading!

Waiting For Superman director Davis Guggenheim characterized charter schools as incubators. “We can take those ideas and pull them into mainstream schools,” he explains in a 2010 NPR interview [1].

To a certain extent, we’re seeing some of that right now. LAUSD and our union, UTLA, recently came to an agreement (you can view both LAUSD’s take [2] and UTLA’s take [3] on this agreement). That this agreement is characterized by some as giving charter-like autonomies [4] to campuses speaks to the fact that some do actually believe in the charters-as-idea-incubators descriptor. It is to this end that the original charter schools were created and it is to this end that I am actually in support of charter schools.

Yet, while the original intent was likely noble, the surrounding policies have created incentives that, more often than not, result in competition rather than collaboration. Again, while initially noble in nature, policies like California State Prop 39 [5] and LAUSD’s Public School Choice [6] devolved into systems that incentivized both District schools and Charter schools to not collaborate, but rather act in their own self-interests when it came to things like enrollment, data, and rhetoric.

Fast forward to 2011: We’re in a state of being in which, as a firmly committed LAUSD teacher, my mere mention of anything but vilification of charter schools will cause some to question just how firm my commitment to the district actually is.

So Santa, for this Christmas, what I’d really like is forums and opportunities to actually work with charters to explore actual strategies that might help kids. Everything from how to best serve all kids [7], to school culture [8]. Everything should be on the table as we work together to teach our kids!

Links:

  1. Davis Guggenheim’s NPR Interview
  2. LAUSD’s take on Tentative Agreement
  3. UTLA’s take on Tentative Agreement
  4. Deasy’s Twitter account regarding charter-like autonomies
  5. Daily News: Charters See Win in Court Ruling (Prop 39)
  6. Youtube: Deasy on Public School Choice
  7. Miami Herald: South Florida charter schools admit few special needs children
  8. Hechinger Report: A look inside a successful charter school culture
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