Saturday, May 29, 2010

Race to the bottom

New York state's cap on charter schools will rise to 460 from the current 260 schools after a new agreement with state lawmakers was reached this week. 114 of the new 260 schools must be in New York City, as billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg demonstrated he can pretty much buy anything he wants these days. From the Buffalo News article:

There are currently 16 charter schools in the Buffalo area, serving 6,526 students, according to a Buffalo Board of Education report. The Buffalo City School District has 33,442 students, according to the board report. The report also indicates that charter enrollment has been steadily increasing while enrollment in the traditional city schools has been steadily declining.
The New York State United Teachers union argued that Buffalo, as well as Albany, should be limited in new charters because such a relatively large number of the alternative schools exist in relation to traditional schools.
“We strongly feel that when you get to a certain percentage of charters, like in Buffalo and Albany, the negative impact on public schools to meet the needs of other students is very significant,” said Richard Iannuzzi, president of NYSUT.

With the Buffalo schools losing so many students, one has to wonder why we still have so many administrators? Superintendent Williams refuses to release the salaries and positions of the district's staff to the general public. He obviously has something to hide. He talked about teacher layoffs about a month ago but that was just another empty threat on his part. I hear the phone ringing. It's the Akron, Ohio School District saying, "We told you so!"

Opponents of charter schools say these schools send all the troublemakers back to the Buffalo schools. I feel bad for the good kids who are stuck on waiting lists to get out of the Buffalo schools. Dr.Williams should start sending all the bad apples to a select group of alternative schools. They should be separated from the kids and parents who are serious about getting an education. These do-gooders can talk about funding and test scores, etc. But what it really comes down to is parents learning to raise their kids properly and not relying on everyone else to raise them for them. Charter schools force the parents to get in the game. The neighborhood Buffalo schools keep enabling the parents by not forcing them to be accountable for the actions of their little angels. I feel bad for the many good kids and good parents in the Buffalo neighborhood schools that are caught in the middle of all this nonsense.
State agrees to double charter schools : State : The Buffalo News

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