Sunday, September 13, 2009
Williams Calls For Moratorium On Charter Schools
At one time he described them as "healthy competition," now Buffalo Superintendent James Williams has called on the state for a moratorium on new charter schools within the city. For the first time ever, there is a waiting list to get into every charter school in Buffalo. Hardly a ringing endorsement for Williams or the traditional public school system in Buffalo.
There are many great public schools in my opinion. City Honors, the Olmstead schools, Discovery. However, charter schools are a good alternative in case your child isn't lucky enough to get into one of these select schools.
To be fair to Williams, charter schools have many advantages over traditional public schools. They can pick and choose who they accept. Children who cause problems in the classroom are removed from the school. They are often accused of not taking special education students.
In my opinion, the administration in Buffalo and the school board have done very little to address behavior issues in the classroom. When I subbed at school 28 years ago, I remember a fight broke out in class. A student not involved in the fight threw a desk across the room. He was back in the classroom the following Monday. This would never be tolerated at a charter school.
You'll hear people say these kids are poor or they have bad home lives. In many cases, there is little parental support at home but I say using that as an excuse is a bunch of garbage. There are much poorer kids in Africa and South America going to school on dirt floors as we speak who are outperforming our own kids. Why is that? Because they view the opportunity for an education as a privilege and not a right. The leaders in Buffalo need to start holding these parents and their kids accountable for how they behave in the classroom. There is no excuse. Some of these kids act like animals because the Buffalo administration continues to tolerate it. They are only there for the free breakfast, lunch, and (pretty soon) dinner.
If they have to make more alternative schools for these kids in Buffalo, so be it. I'm just sick of all these made up disorders they give these kids. ADD, ADHD, Authority Defiant Disorder. You name it. When we were kids, we called kids that did not respect adults punks. I think Williams call for a moratorium is a desperate attempt to preserve all the no show jobs the Buffalo school system has created for itself. In any event, we won't be seeing any waiting lists to get into school 28 any time soon.
Poor schools drive many residents out of Buffalo*
My Unbalanced Opinions: State Union President Wants to Limit School Choice