Challenge is not only opening good charter schools, but closing bad ones. A new national discussion begins.

Mike Ritter/AJC

Mike Ritter/AJC

While Georgia seeks ways to open more high-performing charter schools, other parts of the country are engaging in a different challenge: How to close under-performing ones.

The House passed a parent trigger bill that would have allowed parents in even top-rated schools to petition their school boards to convert their school to a charter school. (The bill stalled late last week in the state Senate but could be attached to another bill and come up again.) The recently resurrected Charter Schools Commission is beginning to consider applications for new charters.

Charter schools are public schools that operate under individualized contracts that award them more freedom and flexibility in exchange for a pledge of higher student achievement. To expand parental choice, many states, including Georgia, have been eager to open charters, but less diligent in closing them when the promised achievement doesn’t materialize.

In his study, “Improving Charter School Accountability: The Challenge of Closing Failing Schools,” David Osborne of the Progressive Policy Institute states, “Let me be clear: Failing charter schools are at much greater risk of closing than other failing public schools. Still, if we are to harness their true potential, many states need to heighten that risk.”

Studies show that charter school students are more likely to outperform peers in traditional public schools in places where there’s a commitment to close failing charter schools, such as New York City and Massachusetts.

In the fall, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers urged states to do a better job of both closing bad charter schools and opening better ones. In its own analysis, the association found that between 900 and 1,300 charter schools across the country are performing in the lowest 15 percent of schools within their state.

The association noted, “Charter schools are not the only solution in public education, but they shouldn’t be part of the problem.”

Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of Washington, D.C, schools and founder of the national advocacy group StudentsFirst, counts herself as an ardent supporter of charter schools, a fact she reiterated in a recent interview while in Atlanta to visit the Legislature.

“Our theory of change at StudentsFirst is that there is no shortage of highly effective, innovative educators in this country. The problem is that teachers and kids and families are forced to operate in these insane bureaucracies that don’t make common sense to a whole lot of people. When you ask schools what would they change, they want more freedom.”

Charter schools offer that freedom, but Rhee said balance is key. “We believe in strong accountability. Otherwise, you end up like Ohio, Michigan and Washington, where, on average, charter schools don’t do better than traditional public schools,” she said. “If charter schools are poorly performing, shut them down very aggressively.”

“Aggressive charter school accountability is supposed to be part of the deal,” Rhee said, “but it is far from reality. The whole concept is giving schools increasing authority and autonomy in exchange for increased accountability. In many states, charter schools get the authority and autonomy and don’t get the accountability.

“I think it ought to be less about making public schools like charter schools,” she said. “If it is high-performing school, we shouldn’t care what sector it is from.”

Rhee is not the only pro-charter voice urging greater accountability for failing charters.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a pro-school choice think tank, and Public Impact, a policy research and management consulting firm, reviewed uneven charter performance in five major cities and concluded, “To advance the quality of the charter school sectors in these cities, we strongly encourage policies that would close the lowest 10 percent of failing charters in each city, while supporting policies that would help the high-flyers in these municipalities expand their efforts. … We ought to celebrate the hard work of the top charters and look for ways to replicate their success. At the same time, failure to hold low-performing charters accountable robs students of educational opportunities and hurts the perception of the entire charter sector.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

95 comments Add your comment

Pride and Joy

March 24th, 2013
1:39 pm

Bravo!
You see, that’s exactly the kind of flexibility we need in EVERY public school, not just charter schools.
When ANY tax payer Government agency fails — ESPECIALLY public schools, we tax payers and parents and citizens need the ability to swiftly move in and shut it down.

Thurston Howell IV

March 24th, 2013
2:00 pm

Constistency- Keep the good charters open and noursih them
Close the bad charters and never let the operators re-open

Keep the good traditional schools open and nourish them
Close the bad public schools and weed out the bad teachers,administrators

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
2:28 pm

The Victory of Charter Schools is still to PRE-MATURE! Its a work that remains in Progress to see more definitive and clear results. The gains have proven to be modest at best. Marginal at the very least. There is No PANACEA here…just more political shenanigans by one political party and national party to do away with Free Public Education as we have known it in America.

How can a system that vastly ignores or disregards the well being of the quality of Education of the vast majority of the American Student population can be consider SUCCESSFUL?

it makes No SENSE…..None at ALL!

The Rational of support Rings true only for those who selfishly think of themselves and Their Children…Period.

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
2:29 pm

correction:

The Victory of Charter Schools is still to PRE-MATURE! Its a work that remains in Progress to see more a more definitive and provides clearer results. The short Gains have proven to be modest at best. Marginal at the very least. There is No PANACEA here…just more political shenanigans by one political party and a National party to do away with Free Public Education as we have known it in America.

How can a system that vastly ignores or disregards the well being of the quality of Education of the vast majority of the American Student population can be considered SUCCESSFUL?

it makes No SENSE…..None at ALL!

The Rational of support Rings true only for those who selfishly think of themselves and Their Children…Period.

Pride and Joy

March 24th, 2013
2:37 pm

Bernie, the word you should have used is “too” premature, not “to” premature.
To and Too are different but you see, that kind of basic misunderstanding of the Enlgish language is the kind you make when you allow failing traditional public schools to remain open.

Pride and Joy

March 24th, 2013
2:38 pm

Thurston, good to see you here. How’s your mom and dad?
– Gilligan

Lee

March 24th, 2013
2:38 pm

Of course, it could be said if we had vouchers where the money followed the student, then the underperforming schools would quickly be identified as parents pulled their children out.

Pride and Joy

March 24th, 2013
2:40 pm

Very well said, Lee. Tax deductions would work too. I own two humble residential properties with bloated property taxes. I pay $8k a year in property taxes and then on top of that I have to pay private school tuition.

Truth in Moderation

March 24th, 2013
2:42 pm

“The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a pro-school choice think tank, and Public Impact, a policy research and management consulting firm, reviewed uneven charter performance in five major cities and concluded, “To advance the quality of the charter school sectors in these cities, we strongly encourage policies that would close the lowest 10 percent of failing charters in each city, while supporting policies that would help the high-flyers in these municipalities expand their efforts. … ”
More UNELECTED 501C3 TAX GOBBLING MEDDLERS!

It’s all about CONTROL and TAX REVENUE.

THE BAIT: You can have a great school that discriminates in some fashion (tracking, no IEP’s) and it will be taxpayer funded. Charter School created.

THE SWITCH: Once your specialty school is successful, THEY WILL REDEFINE “SUCCESS” as “closing the gap” (the reason for public school failure to begin with), which BY DEFINITION, the Charter will fail. THE STATE AND THE FOR PROFIT “TURN AROUND TEAMS” will get the school AND TAXPAYER MONEY. The school will be dumbed down again, but this time the CITIZENS will have NO CONTROL over the local school. ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS will be done away with.
FOOLISH, GREEDY CITIZENS!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
2:55 pm

Lee @ 2:38 pm – Of course you would say that! The VOUCHER PAYMENT SYSTEM is the ultimate goal with the school choice and the Charter school plan. The politicians know those two systems will Fail. This is the primary reason for the quick encouragement to produce the already knowable results!

They already know, it has FAILED! The next push is just to have the STATES to write checks to the parents for their Kids education. Seems reasonable and easy to DO! but they are many unknowns that will follow. No more money for school buildings,Land, equipment, school buses and construction. That money is to be saved!

Ahhhh! know we see the end result as it comes clearer into focus. it has NEVER been about the EDUCATION of the KIDS and it never Will. Their concern has always been about a select few and that has not changed at all. ALL of your Children will NOT get these coveted vacancies in these schools. Those who do not..TOO BAD!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
2:58 pm

Pride and Joy @ 2:37 pm – Thank-you! typo in rush of my seething anger at your comments. Truly you can understand that. especially when they are made by you without any supportive thoughts or reasoning.

following the money

March 24th, 2013
3:05 pm

If a charter school attracts upper middle class kids, they will do well academically. If they attract students in poverty, with a high percentage of additional needs, they won’t do as well. We need to be very careful about how “high performing” and “low performing”. is defined. Charter schools might not intentionally cherry pick students, but reality tells us that some charters are only serving select students because those are the majority of the kids who can afford to provide their own transportation to get to the school or the school locates in a wealthy neighborhood. Also, who is making sure the charters are accountable to the taxpayer as well as the parent? A high performing school academically might be an absolute mess when it comes to financial responsibility. Closing a school is a a very complex decision that will directly impact children. We need to be very careful before we open these schools because closing them down is a bear, even when the evidence is really strong. People tend to side with the charter before they look at the facts; then the politicians get involved and suddenly the charter becomes David fighting Goliath. Closing bad schools is a great sound bite, but it is much more complex than it first appears.

Pride and Joy

March 24th, 2013
3:32 pm

About that charter school “cherry picking.”
The reverse is true.
Kids with huge behavior problems often WITHDRAW from a traditional public school right BEFORE they are expelled, that way, it doesn’t go on their “record.”
Afterward, these juvenile delinquents enroll into a charter school to “start over.”
Charter schools get MORE than their share of problem children.
Cherry picking?
That’s laughable.

Pride and Joy

March 24th, 2013
3:35 pm

The real and most vocal charter school haters are those traditional public school employees who fear losing their jobs.
Their objections are not really about the kids, taxpayers, fairness or education; it’s all about protecting their paycheck, just like the friends and family plans in Dekalb County schools.

Centrist

March 24th, 2013
3:42 pm

Just another negative, liberal attack on popular charter schools.

While I agree that BOTH poor performing charter and public schools should be carefully scrutinized, helped, or consolidated where possible – but disagree with attacking the entire concept of charter schools using straw dog arguments that “bad: ones aren’t closed quickly enough.

Pride and Joy

March 24th, 2013
3:45 pm

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie,
You claim that I have no right to criticize failing traditional public schools because I have no “supportive thoughts or reasoning.”
Well, here you are, some supportive evidence and reasoning:
I give you Coan Middle School, a horrible failing traditional public school in Atlanta, also the site of some of the worst teacher-cheating in the history of the United States. It’s underenrolled and yet APS is pouring even MORE tax payer money into it even after years and years and years of failure to teach and failure to have any kind of morals.

10:10 am

March 24th, 2013
3:51 pm

It was once famously noted that banks are robbed … because that’s where the money is.

Failure exists in far greater concentration among traditional public schools than elsewhere. And yet this article’s author would have us look elsewhere first?

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
4:05 pm

As for Michelle Rhee who is married to Sacramento Mayor former NBA player Kevin Johnson who has been accused of using President Obama’s Federal stimulus funds they were for the use and citizens of the city. Had city of Sacramento employees at their HOME to wash and detail their personal cars who were paid with STIMULUS FUNDS for job ready projects.

Anyone who would allow such an event in such critical financial times for the Government and its people. one must question their judgement in other areas!

Knowing that anything Ms Rhee has to say, must be considered with the premise of “WHAT IS IN IT FOR HER!” to say and support such a plan.

Anonymous in DeKalb

March 24th, 2013
4:15 pm

@Bernie

Like most readers, I find less of you to be infinitely preferable to more. Are you sure there isn’t, somewhere, a basketball game you’d rather be watching?

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
4:24 pm

Anonymous in DeKalb @ 4:15 pm – OUCH! A nerve has been touched…and rightly so! this place sometimes feeds into its own BS and is conveyed as truth and fact. when there are others who will from time to time invoke independent thought! for one to consider as another option. I Loathe group Think! it Dumbs us ALL down..and it is not productive.

If any of my comments have angered or made you uncomfortable in anyway and caused a revaluation no matter how minute. Then you have grown bit! even at your own disdain of it.

Mary Elizabeth

March 24th, 2013
4:24 pm

My latest entry on my personal blog is entitled: “Educational Reform According to Mary Elizabeth.”

I am posting my entry here because I think that that entry is relevant to the underlying perceptions – on this thread – of the differences in charter schools’ and traditional public schools’ instsructional delivery to students. Traditional public schools need reforming, but charter schools are not necessarily the panacea for that reform. Moreover, legislators do not need to cut funding to Georgia’s traditional public schools for another decade – while increasing funding for charter schools over the next decade – to eventually discover this truth. Traditional public education can be reformed from within, but it must be funded adequately for effective reform to occur within traditional public schools. See below.
===============================================

From “MaryElizabethSings,” March 23, 2013, “Educational Reform According to Mary Elizabeth”:

“On March 23, 2013, I posted the following comments on the ‘Get Schooled’ blog of the Atlanta Journal-Constituion, in response to another poster’s remarks:
————————————————————————-

Poster: ‘Somebody once said something like: ‘Beauty and simplicity lie on the other side of complexity.’
I’d say Mary Elizabeth is with knowledge on the other side, and from there she keeps beckoning us to come on over, already.
Well, will we? Can we? Dare we do it if we could?’
———————————————————————————

Ed, thank you so much for your knowing words. The simplicity of my perception is simply that I want no child to fail in school. I want no child to drop out of school. I think I know a simple way to get there. I know that children will not succeed academically unless they are instructed on their precise instructional levels from their beginnings in school until they receive their high school diplomas, years later (irrespective of grade level demarcations). When we care enough not to lose any students along the way, we will find ways to address this vital, simple instructional need and instructional truth. ‘We’ includes classroom teachers, principals, assistant principals, county office supervisors, superintendents of schools, members of the Boards of Education, members of the State Board of Education, governors, legislators, and parents all focused upon implementing this instructional truth so that no child will fail.

If we want meaningful reform in public schools which will address the precise academic needs of every student, then this is what we will reform. We will alter and improve each public school’s instructional design until that goal of addressing precise instructional placement and of teaching students where they are actually functioning is accomplished in every public school.

Educators serve the masses of students in public schools, not the few (as do public charter schools and private schools). We must reform our delivery of instruction so that we lose not one student within those masses of students. It can be done. We must start to see. We must start to change and alter instructional delivery so that no student is lost. Unless we do this, we have failed the children; they have not failed us.

I have posted a new entry on my personal blog this evening which focuses upon compiling and accruing instructional strategies which will address how to accomplish instructional precision. I have already posted the present strategies at various times on this blog. The link to my new entry is posted below. I will be adding instructional strategies to that link/entry over time, including specifically how my Dual Textbook Design for 9th graders, who were severely behind grade level in reading skills, was implemented. Other teaching strategies that classroom teachers can use to accommodate their students’ many levels of instruction within their classes will be forthcoming in the future on this same link. One of those strategies will be how content teachers can teach reading-in-the-content-area skills at the same time that they are teaching their specific curriculum area requirements, such their curriculum requirements in science and social studies, among others.

Link entitled: ‘Ways to Teach Students Who Are Functioning on Different Instructional Levels in the Same Grade’ ”

http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/ways-to-teach-students-who-are-functioning-on-different-instructional-levels-in-the-same-grade/

Anonymous in DeKalb

March 24th, 2013
4:30 pm

… And now you’ve woken long-winded old Mary Elizabeth with your pointless … pointlessness!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
4:33 pm

Pride and Joy @ 3:45 pm – I have no information on that school or the issue of its failings. What i do know is that the Schools Superintendent is another choice of Governor DEAL. If Mr. Davis has not corrected that situation then that problem lies at the feet of Mr.Davis and the Governor. Like Dekalb county we have been told those selections too, come bearing GIFTS of great change and improvement. Time will tell like it did with MR.Davis. I for one have not been impressed like you with the results.

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
4:35 pm

Anonymous in DeKalb @ 4:30 pm = Eyes rolling! I know….isn’t America Great! I love this Country!
Crazy and ALL! :)

Rick L in ATL

March 24th, 2013
4:47 pm

When you close a charter, presumably it goes back under the umbrella of whatever godawful failing urban school system spawned it in the first place. So the circle is completed and the school district’s failure is ultimately rewarded–it gets another chance to screw things up. This is public education’s fatal hubris: keep giving us unlimited second chances, for only we know how to do it right.

Yeah.

Charles Douglas Edwards

March 24th, 2013
4:55 pm

We support public education !!!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
5:21 pm

Maureen, it seems to me Ms Rhee has some allegations of cheating like Beverly Hall….surely we cannot trust the advice of a CHEATER as gospel or as someone to pin hopes on or believe without question. Hmmmmm! with Ms. Rhee there is a familiar smell……and its not a good one.

living in an outdated ed system

March 24th, 2013
5:33 pm

You should be able to shut down under-performing charter schools just as you should be able to shut down traditional public schools. But that’s not happening either – look at the backlash that occurs every time a school is targeted for closure. Remember APS last year? Look at the national attention Chicago’s Public Schools are getting, although that situation is a very extreme case. You can’t look at charter schools in a vacuum. Without talking about traditional public schools in the same article, the conclusions have no merit.

10:10 am

March 24th, 2013
5:38 pm

It never ceases to amaze that so many objections can be thrown up—to suggested reforms which would place schooling decisions in the hands of parents!

Let traditional public schools compete fully in a marketplace that offers real choices. Make each service provider work to convince parents of their value. Let those that fail to do so disappear.

Who can be against that?

WilieJo

March 24th, 2013
6:50 pm

We need a public education system that rewards success and that punishes failure. It would strip a lot of gears to be in that environment but the current system of endless spending and endless support for failure needs to change now.
Failing charters need to be closed and failing pubic schools need to be closed too!
Those who would hold onto the failed model of the past will doom public education at its core.

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
7:30 pm

Its truly amazing to see the amount of callous arrogance that many espouse here. Mind you the vast majority of the failing schools are in the Poor and minority residential areas.
So your many of your recommendations here is for them to just close the school up and walk away.

Then what are we to do?

Do we BUS them 20-30miles twice a day to your Lily white Neighborhoods for them to be abused by the Bus drivers, Teachers, Principals and other school staff and not to forget the extra abuse from the local Police department which you have hired to make sure the ABUSE is given by one of well known authority? Does any of this sound logical to any of you? Surely you are SHOCKED and AGHAST with such an occurrence. How and what Do you think the many Parents of these students think and feel! Their children so FAR away…and here comes one of your little he wouldn’t hurt a fly TJ’S with his laser rifle scope, that DAD just bought for him over the weekend..

paulo977

March 24th, 2013
7:42 pm

Mary E ….” We must change the delivery of instruction ………”
———————————————————————————-
Oh yes …..as Elliot Eisner says
http://www.giarts.org/article/elliot-w-eisner-role-arts-educating-whole-child

Anchorite

March 24th, 2013
7:43 pm

@Maureen, Is there anyway to track enrollment numbers at failing/failed charter schools? The common argument for charters schools is that parents wil vote with their feet, choosing the “best” schools–but, if families are staying a failing/failed charters, doesn’t that bely that argument?

All schools deserve freedom from onerous, inane regulations–if it is good for the goose (charters), it is good for the gander (traditional public schools).

living in an outdated ed system

March 24th, 2013
8:11 pm

Bernie, I bet you that parents would do whatever it takes to send their kids to a quality school. If a parent can bus their kids 20-30 miles to a school that will educate their children successfully, they’ll do it!

Eddie Hall

March 24th, 2013
8:19 pm

What? I thought during the campaign to pass the amendment that there were no BAD charter schools! I guess the out of state big money that wanted this passed will get their hands on our tax dollars now, and Georgia will have the same problems in a few short years. Imagine that?!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
8:23 pm

If one would think in Practical terms this whole idea of just closing the schools and walking away is not workable on any level and would only provide more DISASTROUS results. I can see City of ATLANTA being emptied with thousands of BUS LOADS of Kids being carried to and from the Surburbs Metro Area schools and districts to meet these goals.

Thousands of OUR KIDS in the dark early AM 5am-6am bus stop waits to travel through and around Atlanta’s traffic to go to school. Even if they get there on time, which would be a rare occurrence due to the many daily accidents that are ongoing daily. the ride home would even be longer as one might expect home at 6pm-7pm.

But your KIDS would not have that PUT upon them, Just ours!

Wake-up People and smell the coffee! on paper and in theory, it seems like a workable situation but when real life aspects are put to the test…This DOG will just not HUNT!

If it were your child faced with this particular scenario, You would have a different opinion for sure!
So one must always consider the choices when placing responsibility on others, that you yourself would reject. Why would any Parent think otherwise, if not about their own?

The answer is to FIX the failing schools Period! More money has to be invested to make this happen.

90% of us here a products of the Public School System. Many of US did not have all of the technology that is available today and YET with it we are doing even more poorly than ever!

This is the only TRUE and VIABLE solution for US right NOW! Atlanta is not like Washington DC! Our Populace is far too spread apart. Transportation is a major obstacle for everyone. So this is a LOSER out of the Gate. For those who are unable and do not want to see are in denial of reality anyway!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
8:29 pm

living in an outdated ed system @ 8:11 pm – Mine Did just that…I had to catch two buses one way to school each day and trek through downtown Atlanta for bus transfers. That was 40years ago and Atlanta was a very different city then. I could not trust a first grader today, under those same circumstances! I would be crazy as a PARENT!

Not with the many Serial Killers,Molesters, Criminals,Drug Abusers that trek those same streets with the First Grader. Would you place your children in such a situation? I can answer for you…NO! So why would you expect any others to do it….Why not move your good school to my Neighborhood and let your child travel the distance? Now, That would be interesting! to see…..:)

mountain man

March 24th, 2013
8:52 pm

My question is: WHICH type of charter school is failing? Is it the new start-up charters? Or is it the conversion charters which are simply regular schools with the charter name. If a start-up charter is failing, then the parents could just send their children to the regular public school, and the charter school would eventually have no students and would close. Not necessarily the conversion charters.

mountain man

March 24th, 2013
8:54 pm

I have a question for all you teachers out there: Why have you not implemented Mary Elizabeth”s strategy of teaching each of your students on his/her individual level of instruction in the same grade (class)? Any answers?

mountain man

March 24th, 2013
8:56 pm

And since I heard nothing but a vast silence, I challenge those ADMINISTRATORS on here to give data on how many failing students they passed on to the next grade when they had not passed that grade? Conversely, how many students did you retain? Or am I going to hear vast silence again?

mountain man

March 24th, 2013
8:58 pm

“So your many of your recommendations here is for them to just close the school up and walk away.”

No, most of us have been recommending that the Governor suspend the BOE and replace them with appointed board members – but that has seemed to upset some people.

mountain man

March 24th, 2013
8:59 pm

“The answer is to FIX the failing schools Period! More money has to be invested to make this happen.”

WRONG!!! You just have to get the money where it is supposed to go. Paying big lawyer bills for lawsuits and buying SUCCESS FOR ALL will not help a student learn.

Maureen Downey

March 24th, 2013
9:05 pm

@Mountain, Haven’t had time to look into this but here is the official statement on a study looking at factors in charter school success:

How well a student performs in a charter school is directly linked to the school’s degree of independence from the district, a study by Abt Associates concludes. The two-year study conducted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and posted this week on the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education website, also showed no overall difference in achievement between charter school and traditional public school students. However, it did find that students in more independent charter schools did better than similar students at traditional public schools.
“Students in more autonomous charter schools were reading at a grade level higher than similar students who attend less independent charter schools over a two-year time period and higher than students who atten traditional public schools over a three-year period,” said Hiren Nisar, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and a senior analyst at Abt Associates.
Dr. Nisar explained that “instrumentality charter schools are granted more independence than a traditional public school but they still have to hire teachers from the teachers union and are subject to some collective bargaining provisions. If these schools do not meet expectations, they face little risk of closure as they are either merged with, or converted to, a traditional public school. In contrast, non-instrumentality charter schools are not required to hire teachers from the union and exercise greater control over their fiscal and curricular matter.” Dr. Nisar, who conducted the study between 2010 and 2011, said he exploited these differences by investigating whether the variation in autonomy granted to Milwaukee’s charter schools helped explain the variation in student performance within the charter school sector.
“This study offers two important lessons for charter school research and policy,” Dr. Nisar said. “First, it shows that funding more independent charter schools could possibly lead to higher achievement and secondly, state or local charter school policy needs to be kept in mind while evaluating charter school effectiveness.”

Maureen

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
9:18 pm

mountain man @8:59 pm – Then I suggest you support moving your good charter school into a Failing school and then The Smart Kids will have to travel the distance. Being that there are fewer of them the total number Buses to transport them will not be as great. There is already savings in Fuel and the number of Buses with that change. The amount of students to bus long distances will be far less in Numbers. So I agree with you lets Do it! I think that is a WONDERFUL IDEA! One that would make the parents of the failing schools very happy!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
9:24 pm

mountain man @ 8:59 pm – so Let the Republican Governor make the decisions of who sits on what school board? You have been drinking! That would never work….! especially with this Governor! What about this Republican Mantra of smaller Government and local control of community schools? are we now just to think you were kidding? or are we to say never mind and disregard just as you have done here?

You do want to invest money into failing schools..so why not bring the successful Charter school into
the building of the failing school? I think that would work for sure…! One All parents could rally around. But then that would require money of an investment nature and you do now want that!
What do we DO?

mountain man

March 24th, 2013
10:01 pm

Maureen – sounds exactly as I suspected – Independent charter schools did better, because they are competitive – in other words, the parents can leave them if they fail.

Independent charter schools can set attendance requirements, for one thing, and parents who will not make their children attend cannot go there. That is a form of self-selection. Of course, regular traditional schools could enforce attendance, also, if they so desired. They just don’t want to.

mountain man

March 24th, 2013
10:05 pm

“Mind you the vast majority of the failing schools are in the Poor and minority residential areas.
So your many of your recommendations here is for them to just close the school up and walk away.”

No, my recommendation is that the local community FIX the school system. But that means that PARENTS must MAKE their children attend school every day, on time. That means that schools must enforece attendance. That means that schools must RETAIN students who do not learn!

Bernie

March 24th, 2013
10:16 pm

mountain man@ 10:05 pm – Sounds reasonable and logical to me…but then again there is the MONEY
that will be required to do these things. Governor Deal and his friends are cutting! Cutting deeply too into those neighborhood failing schools. Choking them and starving them of the much need State Funds to do as you suggested. what do they do?

Truth in Moderation

March 24th, 2013
10:46 pm

“Let traditional public schools compete fully in a marketplace that offers real choices. Make each service provider work to convince parents of their value. Let those that fail to do so disappear.

Who can be against that?”

ME. You describe FAUX FREE MARKET EDUCATION. The only true free market education is private and home school. Parents have clout because they control the money. Public schools will always be a monopoly because citizens are FORCED to pay for them. Hence, they will ALWAYS have the negative end result of one: corruption, waste, lower standards.

Atlanta Heights Charter School

March 25th, 2013
12:05 am

Trust me, being a former charter school employee, there are MANY that need to be shut down. Atlanta Heights Charter off of martin luther has deans that leave early come in late, the principal herself comes in late often, the turn over rate this YEAR alone has been over 10 teachers… the students behavior are out of control, and parents are pulling kids left and right… for profit schools are not the way to go!!