Monday, June 9, 2014

Feeding Students to the Fiery Maw of Charter Baal

Remember this when Kentucky legislators start piously lying about the wonders of charter schools.

It only works because the students and their parents are non-white and poor, meaning they are economically sub-human compared to the rich white charter school executives stuffing their pockets with taxpayer dollars.

The Nation:

Hawthorne could have been a model for urban education. The Newark, New Jersey, K–8 school has raised its test scores in each of the last three years. The hallways that teachers describe as “chaos” four years ago are now quiet, save occasional bursts of laughter. Its performance on last year’s tests, on which it met all state benchmarks, compelled an assistant superintendent to make a personal visit to congratulate the faculty.

So the community was stunned when the district leveled the educational equivalent of a death sentence on the school.

At a public forum last December, the Chris Christie–appointed superintendent Cami Anderson announced that about a quarter of Newark’s schools would be closed, repurposed, consolidated or otherwise transformed. Hawthorne would lose grades 5–8, and two outside operators would assume management of younger grades. Every teacher would have to reapply.

“It won’t be Hawthorne anymore,” says Grace Sergio, a Hawthorne parent association leader whose eighth-grade son plays basketball and often stays at school till well after six. “This is a village.”

Since principal Grady James took the reins in 2010, the school has experienced a renaissance. “It was failing badly when he first started,” says Sergio. “He’s turned the school around.”

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