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Seriously. It should be illegal for an employer to tell his employees which candidate best represents the interest of the business? Should it also be illegal for school principals? for cooperatives? for churches?

You are a big goof if you think this is either new or despicable.
Posted by mt on October 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
Stupid move on the school board's part. They have no business trying to tell the public how to vote on that initiative. If anything, there will be a backlash of votes for charter schools because of it.
Posted by Mister G on October 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Mister G, please explain why the school board shouldn't do this. Please explain why elected officials all over the state take positions on issues, but the school board shouldn't.

Are you of the belief that no one has any business suggesting how people should vote on any issue - or is the gag order reserved for school boards?
Posted by Charlie Mas on October 17, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
You are absolutely correct in stating that there is little to no regulation, or accountability, of California charter schools. Typical for the state, LAUSD's school board members have been giving away schools to charter groups for years, at a fire sale rate...and they have yet to hold a single charter accountable for anything.

It's perverse. Board members are beholden to charter groups because those organizations are the most organized and politically active (read: will get board members re-elected), and this is creating a new level of dysfunction in an already dysfunctional system.

All that stands in the way of your districts' board members from doing the same thing is the continued failure of your electorate to vote for measures like I-1240. Good luck next month.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on October 17, 2012 at 5:31 PM · Report this
Utah legislators made a killing off charter schools. First they got campaign contributions from the pro-charter groups and groups like Stand for Children (not). When the legislation went through, then their family members benefited by submitting a charter for a school, which was always approved. Then they hired more family members to build the school, and usually bought or leased the land from another family member or church compadre - usually at a price much higher than the actual worth of the land. Once the school was built then they hired their family members and friends to work in the school for high salaries. If the charter school was threatened with closure because the scores were poor since most of their teachers were unqualified, then they filed countersuits and ended up getting MORE money from the district and the state to pay their legal fees. Charter schools are the perfect scam!
Posted by StuckInUtah on October 17, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Reflexive opposition to charter schools is no different than reflexive opposition to public schools.

There are lots of caring and competent teachers and administrators working in charter schools, just as there are in public schools.

Of course, just as in public schools there are lots of uncaring and incompetent teachers and administrators working in charter schools.

But to automatically dismiss them because they're run by private entities is to put ideology over education. To suggest that charter schools aren't "accountable," one must ask, "to whom?" To politicians who have created the absolutely useless standardized tests?

There are lots of poor and middle-class families who are very grateful for their local charter schools. Do you really want to tell them that they should be forced to enroll their kids in schools that are violent or otherwise unsatisfactory?

And the last line of Goldy's post is so simplistic as to be juvenile. Disagreeing with professional educators doesn't imply that they "must not know what the fuck they're talking about." It implies that there is actually a lot of disagreement between professional educators on the subject of charter schools. And there is. (And they all disagree knowing that those they disagree with do, in fact, know what the fuck they're talking about.)

But it really doesn't matter what education professionals think (and I say this as a former education professional). What matters is what students and parents think. They deserve whatever educational choices can be made available to them. Denying them those choices based on ideology is neither compassionate nor liberal.
Posted by LJM on October 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM · Report this
#3, it's a conflict of interest. To the extent anyone cares, they'll look at it as the establishment circling the wagons. And they'll be right about that.
Posted by Mister G on October 17, 2012 at 11:33 PM · Report this
the idiot formerly known as kk 8
Why does the Seattle Times editorial board despise voters? We keep saying NO to charter schools and NO to Seattle City Council districts. What part of NO don't they understand?
Posted by the idiot formerly known as kk on October 17, 2012 at 11:35 PM · Report this
LJM @6 asks:

"To suggest that charter schools aren't "accountable," one must ask, "to whom?" To politicians who have created the absolutely useless standardized tests?"
"Politicians" don't create standardized tests, you lying shill. Testing companies who work hand in glove with charter school operators to rip off the public and line their own pockets create them.

Students and parents are free to choose private schools. Our public schools are for everybody. Don't lie to us and tell us that charters are.

Posted by Sick of the charter hype on October 18, 2012 at 6:39 AM · Report this
"They have no business trying to tell the public how to vote on that initiative."

They aren't telling ANYONE how to vote. They are saying they read it, it will hurt the district they oversee and they, as an elected Board, are against it.

"They deserve whatever educational choices can be made available to them. Denying them those choices based on ideology is neither compassionate nor liberal. "

Really? Is that why I-1240 does NOT include ANY transportation for charter school students, not even poor ones.

It's a lot less of a "choice" if you have NO WAY to get your kids to the charter school.

How "compassionate" is that? How compassionate is it to allow a charter, as part of its application, to take over ANY existing school, using a petition signed by the majority of either parents OR teachers?

It's compassionate, for example, in a school of 18 teachers that just TEN can sign a petition that upends an entire school community (and without any public notice, mind you)?

Where is your compassion for that kind of action?

Personally, I believe it wrong and unworthy and not good public policy.
Posted by westello on October 18, 2012 at 8:32 AM · Report this
I oppose charter schools for the simple reason that we already have the ability to create schools that are "different"...and those schools are successful (parent cooperatives, ungraded programs). These programs have long-standing success rates. Edmonds school district has Maplewood K-8 which has been in existence since 1983 with very high test scores and an extensive list of parents on a waiting list to get in. Why not spend more time creating programs like this with proven track records? Charter schools have a record of 1 in 4 being better than or equal to regular public schools---that is NOT good enough to get my vote. The schools that do best DO have one thing in common--- high parent participation. Why not work on getting employers to offer parents flexibility in their jobs to work in their child's school? It really does take a village to raise and educate children.
Posted by Whisper1 on October 20, 2012 at 8:14 AM · Report this
Here is the thing, while everyone has something either negative or positive to say about where the money goes or doesn't go, no one is actually thinking of the kid's education.

My daughter is currently enrolled in a Charter school where she has learned more in two months than my best friend's son has in the past year. I am not sure if the education level is the same all accross the states for charters but I can honestly say that I feel LAUSD is threatened by Charters only because they are afraid of losing their funding. Charter schools are not private, what do the parents have to lose? Nothing. The children have a great education, and while they may not always have their own buildings they deserve to.
It doesn't always have to do with the money, the children are our future and if I choose to have my child enrolled in a school where the education level is higher than regular district schools then that's my choice, not the schoold board.
Posted by IamMother1 on October 23, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this

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