He is quoted in this post. Burris attempted to contact officials at the BASIS charter school network she writes about in this post but received no response. In the age of President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, many charter school advocates are quick to point out that they are not part of the school privatization agenda.
This branding effort has been somewhat successful — especially with politicians and the press.
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But there are very big differences between what we have come to accept as public schools and charters. Democratically elected school boards govern most public schools; charter boards are appointed and not accountable to parents or the community. Charters control the number of students they have, and they do not have to take students mid-year, like traditional public schools do. Transparency laws, especially in spending, that public schools must follow can — and often are — ignored by charter schools. Many conflict-of-interest laws that regulate public schools can be skirted — and sometimes are — by charters.
And in some cases, when a charter school is closed because of poor performance or another reason, the school building and property is not returned to the public who paid for them, but is retained by the charter owners themselves. And, by the way, charters can shut their doors whenever it suits them.
A close look at BASIS provides insight into how charter schools can cherry-pick students, despite open enrollment laws. It also shows how through the use of management companies profits can be made — call hidden from public view. Advocates touted the Tucson and Scottsdale schools as miracles, holding them up as examples of what high expectations, combined with the freedom afforded charter schools, can do.
Critics of charter schools have long observed the differences in school populations that charters serve, and charter schools counter that that is not by design. A quick look at the demographics of the 18 Arizona BASIS charter schools compared with the demographic profile of all Arizona students in the public and charter systems, however, should give pause that such differences are not accidental.
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The following enrollment figures are from the school year. But differences in the students served do not end with race and ethnicity. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
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What the public isn’t told about high-performing charter schools in Arizona - The Washington Post
Learn more about Amazon Prime. Two major reform strategies dominate the education reform debate in Arizona: Preschool enthusiasts say that preschool results in higher student achievement. Our children will be better prepared to learn, they will be less likely to drop out of high school, and they will have higher academic achievement if we start them off on a stronger footing. Arizona policymakers have tried both strategies in recent years, making it possible to empirically examine how successful the strategies have been.
Examining test score data from Pima County elementary schools and early education survey data from school districts across Arizona, this study evaluates the relative efficacy of the preschool and school choice strategies. The data show that students in schools with all-day kindergarten programs have statistically significant higher 3rd-grade test scores, but there is no impact on 5th-grade scores.
This finding is consistent with previous research. Schools facing significant competition for students, whether through public or private options, demonstrate significant test score gains. The findings of this empirical analysis demonstrate that early childhood education expansion is an expensive reform that delivers only transitory benefits.
Frank Riggs for Superintendent of Public Instruction
School choice uses resources more efficiently and delivers improved academic achievement. Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Product details File Size: Immediately after SOS Arizona registered the ballot initiative in late , the Koch-financed Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity immediately filed a lawsuit to get Proposition off the ballot.
Though a judge dismissed the case , similar obstructionist efforts will likely emerge in the coming months. I think this [push for ESAs] is an important idea. For her part, Penich-Thacker stressed the national implications of Proposition Arizona should be instructive to the rest of the country. Privatization, the battle cry of school choice, voucher programs — the entire country needs to watch and engage the voucher battle happening in Arizona in The emergence of the Red for Ed movement has further ratcheted up the stakes.
Over the past two months, tens of thousands of Arizonan educators have gained a sense of their own power.
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Through their experience in struggle, many teachers — including a large number of Republicans — have become rapidly politicized. At their rallies they have given a big platform to SOS Arizona spokespeople like Dawn Penich-Thacker, who sees the walkout and the anti-voucher campaign as mutually reinforcing:. Red for Ed has more people paying attention to education than ever before.
Now every conversation we have about vouchers and charters is amplified across the state. No less important, a victorious strike would give working people increased confidence in their power to win further anti-corporate gains through mass action. Well aware of this danger, Koch-funded institutions and politicians are investing heavy resources to defeat the walkout by red-baiting leaders of Arizona Educators Unions and intimidating school districts with lawsuits.
Recent nationwide polls show that a strong majority of the US population supports the teacher strikes. Though the initial demands in these education battles remain relatively modest, the movement has radical potentialities. Key sectors of our economy — from health care to transportation to energy production — are ripe for decommodification. The Koch brothers are right to be worried.
What the public isn’t told about high-performing charter schools in Arizona
As Arizona high-school history teacher Jonathan Parker observed , Politicians starving public schools create a self-fulfilling prophecy — programs are cut, class sizes swell, quality teachers leave, thereby concocting an artificial demand for privatization. Former charter teacher Owen Kerr explains: Noah Karvelis, an elementary-school music teacher and Red for Ed organizer, observes that privatized education tends to be tailored to prop up the status quo: Resisting the Privatizers Though charter-school educators remain a weak link, a powerful anti-privatization movement has emerged in Arizona over the past year.
Dawn Penich-Thacker explains, None of us knew each other before this all began. At their rallies they have given a big platform to SOS Arizona spokespeople like Dawn Penich-Thacker, who sees the walkout and the anti-voucher campaign as mutually reinforcing: The Health of Nations Issue The First Red Century Issue By Taking Power Issue Journey to the Dark Side Issue The Party We Need Issue Rank and File Issue Between the Risings Issue Up From Liberalism Issue Uneven and Combined Issue Struggle and Progress Issue Ours to Master Issue Paint the Town Red Issue
Related Putting Arizona Education Reform to the Test: School Choice and Early Education Expansion
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