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How do you feel about charter schools? - Page 6

post #101 of 124

Well despite all the opposition from the district superintendent, the local school board, the NAACP, and the members of the public that signed petitions and wrote letters, today the state board of education approved the for-profit charter school to open this August. Eight more across the state that were fast tracked after the cap was lifted last year were also approved. I can only imagine what next year will bring. Seems there will be plenty of choices soon. 


Edited by AbbyGrant - 3/1/12 at 9:32pm
post #102 of 124
Thread Starter 

Yes, I saw that Abby. I will be interested to see what kind of enrollment they get. I'm not sure who is interested in going to that school. I have only heard from the opposition which seems to come from a variety of sectors. Not sure who the interested kids/parents are.

post #103 of 124

They've said they estimate an initial enrollment of 480 students. I'm not sure where they are going to find space by August for that many. They expect enrollment to increase to 700. The school district says that will take 4.5 million out of their budget initially and will rise to 7 million if full enrollment is met.  

post #104 of 124

We have a Charter Schools USA charter school opening this August that we were entertaining for kindergarten.  However, after going to 3 information sessions, we realized that it just seems like 'another' school.  It feels rushed.  They are still in the hiring process so the speakers for the session were employees of their other schools.  IMO, that tells me nothing about what this school will be like.  I asked some challenging questions and the speaker, who happens to be a vice principal at another one of their schools, finally said to me that this might not be the school for my child and that's it's my choice but this is how they do things.  It just really put me off.  Plus, the speaker actually stated that 'teaching to the test is a good thing' and that is not mine or my Dh's philosophy at all.  With that being said, there can be really good charter schools.  There is another one here that is hands-on, project based but my DD did not get into as it receives many applications each year.  We decided to leave DD in her current private school that is excellent!

post #105 of 124
Quote:
They've said they estimate an initial enrollment of 480 students. I'm not sure where they are going to find space by August for that many. They expect enrollment to increase to 700. The school district says that will take 4.5 million out of their budget initially and will rise to 7 million if full enrollment is met.  

hope it works for you- I have a friend south of the Charlotte district and they are facing massive teacher cut, not to mention overall budget cuts- stuff I hear about your states education really make me wonder what the overall goal for education really is

post #106 of 124
Thread Starter 

Isn't south of Charlotte, South Carolina and not North Carolina? or do you mean somewhere SE like Monroe?

 

I'm pretty sure that charter school that AbbyS and I were chatting about will not be successful in our district. It faced wide opposition and not much support, but the State BOE approved it anyway. They can't find a site right now and have submitted an application to open 2013 now, but the charter approval they received for this August was contingent on them opening in Aug 2012 so they will have to go through the whole approval process again. Charter schools that were approved on the "fast track" plan were supposed to be "shovel ready" so not sure what that portends for them trying to get approval for 2013. 

 

In other news, we're going to try out the charter in the next county over for dd1. I'm hopeful it will be a good fit. She has quite a bit of anxiety over her traditional public elementary—complained of another stomach ache this morning—and I can't see that getting a whole lot better in traditional middle school.

post #107 of 124
Quote:
or do you mean somewhere SE like Monroe?

 

I mean Monroe- was referring to Charlotte as north of

post #108 of 124
Thread Starter 

A lot of people who work in Charlotte live pretty much directly south of the city in Fort Mill, SC or Rock Hill, SC.  I'd think of Monroe as more east of Charlotte although it is a bit south, too. 

post #109 of 124

the DH works in Charlotte and everything thing seems to be referred to as "up-town" meaning north-a lot of their neighbors work in Charlotte as well 

 

they picked Monroe for the special needs child they have and doesn't look like their program is being cut but other cuts seem to be on the way-their superintendent seems to lobby for special needs kids-mostly their problem is the year round schooling and the disruption the long breaks cause (not to mention my friend had to quit working so much in part to child care for breaks)

 

I was shocked to hear what superintendents make in that area- are there any figures on what they plan to pay them in the charters or will the local superintendent do duel jobs?

post #110 of 124
Thread Starter 

"Uptown" is Charlotte's downtown area. I don't know why Charlotteans call it that, but they do. http://wikitravel.org/en/Charlotte/Uptown#b

 

Year round schools work really well for some families. I have friends who love them, but I love having the summers free, myself. I think childcare for school vacation times (whether summer or year round tracks) can be a struggle for any families with working parents. In the Triangle area there are a lot of "track-out" camps for year round students just like in the summer there are lots of summer camps. For a special needs child I can imagine it could be more difficult.

 

The charters don't have superintendents. They do have a school board, but since it is just the one school and they aren't part of a system they don't have to pay a superintendent at all. The school board for the charter we're looking at is all volunteers who don't receive any payment either. That may vary by charter. 

post #111 of 124

year round seems to work better for non-special needs-it's really a catch 22 type of thing- year round (routine) is great but the breaks and finding care sucks! most who my friends know (with special needs) can't work because of it

 

my friend is dealing with a sever autistic child and now finding (she is near the end of "schooling") that the area is not offering much in adult programs for her type of child for when school ends for good- she works with special needs families and your state has had a influx of special needs coming to the Charlotte area just for schools in recent years- she recently worked with a family from FL that moved without jobs just for the schools

 

to hear the cuts purposed for her district and reading this thread about the wealth (comes off as that) of other area- shame the whole state doesn't work more together in someway-eliminating teachers never seems to be the best-IMO

 

I know what my friend thinks but curious to hear what others think of the "penny-tax"

 

 

 

Quote:
The school board for the charter we're looking at is all volunteers who don't receive any payment either.

hope that works for you-tends not to in my area- too much burn out, we don't have it now, we now "vote" them in and that is still pay-free but is a stepping stone that most want when they really want to move on to a paying office

post #112 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

to hear the cuts purposed for her district and reading this thread about the wealth (comes off as that) of other area- shame the whole state doesn't work more together in someway-eliminating teachers never seems to be the best-IMO

 

 

The state does work together. The majority of school funding is from the state (about 64% state, 13% federal, and 23% local) unlike many other areas. Our state like many other places is in the midst of a budget crisis.

post #113 of 124

My husband the school teacher tells me that the concept of charter schools is great. Unfortunately the experience we have had in Albany NY is horrendous.  The charter schools are sucking the funds out of the public school system and are not showing better results. In addition, local charter school proponents worked to defeat the school budget last year through some flashy mailings.  The budget passed in spite of their efforts.  It makes you wonder what their goals are. It can't be the children.  It seems that they are trying to decimate the local school system. They want to make money. When they were in danger of closing a charter school due to low test scores, the director said that the senior citizens who invested in the school would lose their money.  The kids ought to be more important.  I doubt that these "senior citizens" would be eating cat food if they lost their investments.  Maybe no new yacht this year.

 

My kids' teachers tell me that charter school students who don't make the grade suddenly appear in their classrooms just before the NYS tests. Charter schools can offload kids who they don't want, for poor academic performance, behavioral issues or any reason. Public schools take everyone. In Albany, test scores are higher at public schools in spite of the influx of students that charter schools don't want.

 

I wouldn't send my kids to a charter school in Albany. I hope it works other places, but its purely for profit here.

post #114 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

Quote:
The school board for the charter we're looking at is all volunteers who don't receive any payment either.

hope that works for you-tends not to in my area- too much burn out, we don't have it now, we now "vote" them in and that is still pay-free but is a stepping stone that most want when they really want to move on to a paying office

 

 

We vote in municipal elections for county and city school boards (we have two separate systems), but the charter schools are unto themselves. Each charter school has it's own separate board, just like private schools have their own boards. Many times board members are from the local universities including the schools of education. The charter school my dd1 will go to has 5 board members, three with doctorates, one the recent professor of the year in NC, with a specialization in middle school education.

post #115 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelly202 View Post
My kids' teachers tell me that charter school students who don't make the grade suddenly appear in their classrooms just before the NYS tests. Charter schools can offload kids who they don't want, for poor academic performance, behavioral issues or any reason. Public schools take everyone. In Albany, test scores are higher at public schools in spite of the influx of students that charter schools don't want.

 

I wouldn't send my kids to a charter school in Albany. I hope it works other places, but its purely for profit here.

 

Charter schools are public schools and are subject to IDEA and the ADA; you can read the law regarding charter schools in NY via the state dept. of education site  My dcn's charter had a couple of incidents of "inviting" a couple of children to leave when they couldn't pass the state tests; one of the parents reported it to the state education agency and the principle was removed. That was before my time; the school seems to have cleaned up their act since and are building a good special education program which has benefited my ds.

post #116 of 124

      Quote:

Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

Charter schools are public schools and are subject to IDEA and the ADA;

 

While they can't ask children to leave because they can't pass a test, and they are supposed to comply with the IDEA, they do not have to comply with other regulations, and there are ways they can get around serving special needs children.

post #117 of 124
I'm a huge fan of the charter school movement. They offer many families an innovative alternative to standardized Ed, which is sorely needed in my opinion. In our county in CA we had many charters to choose from: Waldorf Ed charters, classical Ed charters, language-immersion charters, and charters that served homeschoolers.

In CA, the districts grant the charter, so they receive funding for children who may not be otherwise enrolled in the public system. The granting district then receives 20% of the funds from the state per child enrolled in the charter, which means the charter operates with less funds than the traditional public schools in that district, and the local public schools receive additional funds they would not otherwise receive if those families chose to not enroll in the charter program.

Even with fewer funds per student and the ability to offer a more creative approach to education than standardized curriculum and testing, charter school students still score at least as well as their standardized Ed public school student counterparts. Thiis means that while kids in a traditional, standards-based program are spending their days with textbooks, testing, worksheets, and homework, children in the Waldorf charter can be working in the garden and working artisitically from a literature-rich curriculum and still score just as well on standardized tests at the end of the year.

The charters that served homeschoolers provided many families with enrichment classes and creative curriculum using less funds per child than kids in school. Parents were able to choose how their child's educational dollars were spent, and often maximized quality for every dollar, resulting in a high quality education that simply cannot be matched in a standard classroom trying to accommodate 33 children.

Charters offer an alternative to the choice of standardized Ed, where teachers are forced to teach to the test, and paying for private Ed, which is obviously not an option for many dissatisfied with traditional schooling.
post #118 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyGrant View Post

    While they can't ask children to leave because they can't pass a test, and they are supposed to comply with the IDEA, they do not have to comply with other regulations, and there are ways they can get around serving special needs children.

 

Yes -- a couple of the charters in my city that love to brag about their test scores have a reputation for running families out whose children lower their average. No, it's not legal, but yes, it does happen.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by briansmama View Post


Charters offer an alternative to the choice of standardized Ed, where teachers are forced to teach to the test, and paying for private Ed, which is obviously not an option for many dissatisfied with traditional schooling.

 

 

It's the exact same test here.

post #119 of 124

What we've generally seen locally in regard to charters running out lower performing kids is not actually telling them to leave.  One of the charters tells parents of kids who don't pass their admissions tests that they must repeat a grade if they want to attend the school (again, I know that they legally can't make kids repeat grades or tell them that they won't accept them if they don't, but it has the impact of turning off the families of these kids so much that they don't enroll).  These admission tests essentially are billed as the same type of placement tests that some of the other non-charter public schools give although they seem to serve a seriously different purpose.

 

Another charter has a reputation of placing kids they want to get rid of with teachers who are a poor fit for the particular student, requiring after-school tutoring, and generally being so rigid and making the kids so unhappy that they eventually leave as well.  It isn't a straight out, "you have to go," type of thing.  It is more the approach of making kids and families they don't want unhappy enough that they go away.

post #120 of 124

  I'm not impressed with the one near us. I liked that they had small class sizes like 20 students.I tried to enroll my daughter into a nearby charter school and was told that she couldn't be a student there because she needed speech 2x a week and the school only did speech 1x a week. 

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