School Choice

Eyes on California as First Parent-Triggered Charter School Prepares to Open

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Let's see if actual learning takes place this time.

Parents in Adelanto, Calif., fought teachers, the school district and even resistant parents to use the state's "parent trigger" law to force the district to allow a charter program take over the operations of failing Desert Trails Elementary School.

Now called Desert Trails Preparatory Academy, it opens its doors on Monday as the first of its kind, and many education reformers (and opponents) are watching. Politico notes:

A grand experiment in letting parents seize control of their neighborhood schools is unfolding in an impoverished Mojave Desert town — and lawmakers as far away as Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan are watching, and pondering the implications for troubled schools in their own states.

Desert Trails Preparatory Academy in Adelanto, Calif., will open for the academic year on Monday as the first school in the nation to have been remade under a law that gives parents the power to take over a low-performing public school and fire the principal, dismiss teachers or bring in private management.

The law, known as "parent trigger," passed in California in 2010 and has since been adopted by six other states — Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas — though parents have not yet taken over schools in any of them.

Teachers unions are resistant but Politico notes more and more Democratic politicians are coming out in favor of the parent-controlled option. The success or failure of Desert Trails is going to be used as ammunition by one side or the other.

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  1. You know what is simpler?

    1. Doing away with teacher certifications. Therefore there is no restriction on who parents can hire to be teachers.

    2. If you don’t have any kids in school you don’t have to pay taxes that support schools.

    3. You can write off tuition and other costs from your taxes if you school outside of the government system.

    BOOM. Everybody gets the type of school they want.

    1. I don’t like the second suggestion. The poor masses get to reproduce and impose those costs(they ain’t payin’ no taxes!) on the middle and upper class people choose who reproduce. That would make our dysgenics problem even worse.

      1. Making an imaginary problem ‘worse’ is not a reason to do anything.

        1. Have you ever been to the doctor? Then it is your problem too. Unless you are one of those people who thinks anyone has the ability to be a doctor….in which case you are a moron.

  2. http://www.greatschools.org/ca…..mographics

    As the article points out, there was a surge of enrollment of non-native speakers. That’d be where the poor performance comes from. Changing the guard does nothing to change the demographics that led to this situation.

    1. It is “the achievement gap” that is the main problem here. “Failing schools” is usually code for “NAM schools.” Liberals usually blame the one percent, but “conservatives,” needing to be politically correct, have to find someone to blame it on. So they just do what they always do when confronted with NAM failure and blame “socialism,” “unions,” and the government generally for the problem. How they explain how blacks from families who make over 100,000$ a year score lower on the SAT than Whites who make less than 10,000$. They just call you racist! Because what could be worse than being racist!

      1. Please don’t link to junk science docs.

        Charter schools in inner city NAM neighbourhoods are doing fine you stupid racist fuck.

    2. That’d be where the poor performance comes from.

      Or maybe the poor performance is from a system so shitty it can’t even deal with a surge of furriners. Pretty sure Texan charter schools with ‘the demographics’ are doing just fine.

      1. Pretty sure Texan charter schools with ‘the demographics’ are doing just fine.

        The keyword in that sentence is “pretty sure.” Translation:”I have no source for this assertion but it would fit with my ideology.”

        1. Okay, here it is rephrased: They’re doing just fine like the other charter schools.

          Got any evidence to the contrary?

          1. I know no example of a charter school with the demographics that is doing “fine.” Most charter schools don’t have the demographics. You’re the one advocating charter schools, why is it on me to disprove your assertion? Give me a charter school that has the demographics and does “fine.”

  3. Can’t they take the phrase “parent triggered” out of it though? It might frighten some of the parents, because of guns.

  4. “Teachers unions are resistant but Politico notes more and more Democratic politicians are coming out in favor of the parent-controlled option.”

    Not in CA, they’re not. Moonbeam isn’t about to kick his boss in the slats.

  5. Education Realist pints out the hypocrisy of many Charter school proponents.

    {snip}

    I’m not a fan of charters. They can’t possibly scale. They bleed off strong students in urban areas and middling students in suburban areas. Very few high school charters are any good, except the ones dedicated to academic excellence?actual excellence, not faked transcripts. (Think Pacific Charter, not Summit.)

    But my contempt for charter advocates is in a whole different category. They are not willing, for example, to risk the wrath of parents with “disabled” kids by going after the mandates themselves. They are not willing to take on disparate impact by arguing that disruptive and unmotivated kids are a huge suck on the time and income of public schools.

    So instead, they pretend that charter schools are superior simply on their own merits, not because they have a escape pod from the structural restrictions that plague public schools. Or they acknowledge these inconsistencies but nonetheless support charter schools as a “stopgap” of sorts (as Hess does).

    {contd}

    1. By pushing for charters, these advocates pretend (or fool themselves) that they are interested in helping students, by getting around restrictions that were put in place to help students. Don’t like the restrictions? Argue against them and take the heat of millions of furious parents. But no, it’s much easier to argue for a magic bullet that conveniently, just as a total “wow, who’d have thought it?”, skates those same restrictions?and then, constantly denounce the schools that are bound by those restrictions as not caring about students.

      Nice work if you can get it.

      1. Man, you really showed that strawman who’s boss.

        1. How is that a “strawman?”

          1. Because many charter advocates do argue against those things.

            1. Really? How many say “retards don’t deserve school”? How many say “I don’t care how many minorities you have to kick out, just make my kid’s school white”?

              1. What? What level of post-modernity are you going for here?

                1. They are not willing, for example, to risk the wrath of parents with “disabled” kids by going after the mandates themselves. They are not willing to take on disparate impact by arguing that disruptive and unmotivated kids are a huge suck on the time and income of public schools.

                  Umm, I don’t think it’s controversial that there are libertarians who argue against compulsory schooling or that troublemakers should be expelled. American is a retarded racist, but nothing in this paragraph was.

                  1. Jordan, many libertarians might argue against those things, but I’ve never heard a “mainstream” eduformer(the people Ed was addressing) argue that the reasons for public school failure involve literal retards, near retards, and violent and argumentative kids. I’ve never heard one admit that all they are doing is skim off the top. I’ve never heard one advocate that mainstream public schools reform the “special ed” laws or make it easier to expel kids. I’ve never heard one argue that the distribution of intelligence across the races is anything but equal. They just argue that charters are better, just because they are. Hypocrisy.

                    1. They just argue that charters are better, just because they are.

                      And they are. It’s called a ‘power structure’, dipshit.

                    2. And they are. It’s called a ‘power structure’, dipshit.

                      So give me some evidence that it is that “power structure” that is the reason and not the fact that charters play by a different set of rules.

              2. How many say “I don’t care how many minorities you have to kick out, just make my kid’s school white”?

                Murkin? Is that you?

    2. “Very few high school charters are any good, except the ones dedicated to academic excellence”

      (a) Any good compared to what? The schools the students would otherwise be going to?

      (b) That exception swallows up the rule. I mean, academic excellence is a big motivator of these schools.

      1. a. Yes. If you look at the data, most show that charters do not improve scores very much.(Educationrealist has more information on charters in other articles, you seem to have an open mind, I suggest you read them.)

        b. By “dedicated to academic excellence,” Ed is talking about those schools for the rich and or very smart kids that really do desire to make the kids excellent. He’s not talking about schools that take kids from “failing” schools with the goal to get them up to average.

        1. Last I heard, charters tend to be just as good, in some cases better, than the schools the parents are fleeing. When we see more applicants for charter slots than there are available spaces, I find it hard to attribute it to massive Koch-funded deception of gullible poor people.

          Consulting Educationrealist’s archive doesn’t sound fruitful, since he says charter advocates are hypocrites who “pretend” etc. If he can make errors in this respect, how can he hope he’ll suddenly get his data accurate in other respects?

          1. They are better, because of selection. They skim the cream off the top.

            How is that an “error?” Charter advocates are playing by a different set of rules and using it to “prove” that they are intrinsically better. That’s hypocrisy. What “data error” was there. You are just making shit up.

            1. Exactly. It’s the same reason local private schools seem to be superior. They can deny applications of those who struggle educationally and economically.

              Private schools and charter schools are like most of the rest of the worlds education systems where once you head to the high school level where they out perform the US they have already diverted all the students who don’t meet a certain standard into a different education paths that don’t show up in the various rankings.

              1. Uh, some of these charters deliberately aim at recruiting poor, struggling students. They’re not rich-only enclaves like Sidwell Friends.

                Poor parents often line up, desperate to get their kids into certain charters.

                Other charters, which don’t fulfill their promises, actually risk getting shut down, as opposed to getting more money as conventional public schools tend to do when they’re failing.

                1. The head of Desert Trails already operates a charter whose Academic Performance Index is among the highest in San Bernardino County:

                  http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_2…..-new-chief

                  A plurality of the students are Latino, and according to your theories they must be really rich Latinos who take chauffeured limousines from their haciendas to the school door. Or maybe the field hands carry them to school on rickshaws.

                  http://www.greatschools.org/ca…..mographics

                  1. And the results with socioeconomically disadvantaged students are good, see below.

    3. Shorter statist:

      ALL YOUR PUPILS ARE BELONG TO US

  6. Sadly most parents know nothing about education and how to educate children. I’m going to assume this charter school will refuse any and all special needs children and will attempt to only cater to the top kids both educationally and economically.

    Some charter schools do a fantastic job. I don’t think this will be one of them.

    1. The new charter head already runs a charter (see above) where all student subgroups, including socioeconomically disadvantaged, easily meet performance goals and are among the highest in the county:

      http://www.greatschools.org/ca…..est-scores

      Maybe these socioeconomically disadvantaged kids are among the top kids economically? Or maybe you’re just making assumptions. Wait, you *said* you were making assumptions.

  7. Charters are good in that they provide choice where there is little to none. But judging charters on test scores just digs deeper into the main problem with public schools: the paradigm.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

  8. Whenever anybody has a monopoly, experience shows that customer satisfaction goes down because of the lack of incentive to do a great job. An option, such as firing those who don’t perform, will therefore lead to better performance.

    This suggests eliminating the monopoly of teacher unions cannot help but improve things… Could this be why “Teachers unions are resistant”? It also explains why “more and more Democratic politicians are coming out in favor of the parent-controlled option.”

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