Tuesday, January 17, 2017

KY Repugs Preparing to Execute Public Education

Public money filling the pockets of for-profit scammers.

"Schools" that accept only the wealthiest, whitest and most high-achieving students, leaving the children of color and poverty who most need help out in the cold. 

"Schools" that do not teach, but indoctrinate children into freakazoid religion, corporate obedience or other mindless conformity.

That and worse happened when charters replaced public education in New Orleans, and there is no protection against the same catastrophe in Kentucky

Republican state lawmakers have filed legislation for the 2017 General Assembly that would lead to significant changes for Kentucky public education, including charter schools, the statewide school accountability system and teacher requirements.

Republicans have control of the state House for the first time since 1921. Education bills that failed in the past could be on the fast track under the Republican majority. The session resumes in February. 
Gay Adelmann said she is founder of a Louisville-based group called Save Our Schools Kentucky, which will oppose HB 103. She said a Lexington chapter is starting.

Charter schools, Adelmann said, “don’t work.”

“There’s no evidence that proves that they do any better than public schools when adjusted for demographics, they pick and choose their students that attend, and they open the door for abuse, fraud and waste,” said Adelmann. She said charter school systems in Ohio and other states have had problems.
Zandar has the lowdown on charters:
By any reasonable metric, the conversion to charter schools has been a disaster for the city and its people.
Last year, 63 percent of children in local elementary and middle schools were proficient on state tests, up from 37 percent in 2005. New research by Tulane University’s Education Research Alliance shows that the gains were largely because of the charter-school reforms, according to Douglas N. Harris, the alliance’s director. Graduation and college entry rates also increased over pre-Katrina levels.

But the New Orleans miracle is not all it seems. Louisiana state standards are among the lowest in the nation. The new research also says little about high school performance. And the average composite ACT score for the Recovery School District was just 16.4 in 2014, well below the minimum score required for admission to a four-year public university in Louisiana. 
There is also growing evidence that the reforms have come at the expense of the city’s most disadvantaged children, who often disappear from school entirely and, thus, are no longer included in the data.
That's the whole point of the charter operation: to drive out the "undesirable" kids and say "look at us, we've improved test scores!"  And now the entire district will most likely be charter. The reality of the existing charter schools has been ten years of neglect and shame.
Test scores have improved, according to two major reports that examine academic achievement over the past nine years. On Katrina’s 10th anniversary, RSD is being held up as a national model. The graduation rate has risen from 56 percent to 73 percent. Last year, 63 percent of students in grades 3-8 scored basic or above on state standardized tests, up from 33 percent.

But by other measures, the RSD suffers. In These Times received an advance copy of research conducted for the Network for Public Education (NPE) by University of Arizona researchers Francesca L√≥pez and Amy Olson. The study compared charters in Louisiana, the majority of which are in New Orleans, to Louisiana public schools, controlling for factors like race, ethnicity, poverty and whether students qualified for special education. On eighth-grade reading and math tests, charter-school students performed worse than their public-school counterparts by enormous margins—2 to 3 standard deviations.

The researchers found that the gap between charter and public school performance in Louisiana was the largest of any state in the country. And Louisiana’s overall scores were the fourth-lowest in the nation
“You can say until you’re blue in the face that this should be a national model, but this is one of the worst-performing districts in one of the worst-performing states,” says NPE board member Julian Vasquez Heilig, an education professor at California State Sacramento.

Eliminating public schools has long been a crusade of the far right, and New Orleans is the prime example of what will happen to the rest of the nation should people like DeVos get their way.

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