Growth stalling for charter schools in Minneapolis, St. Paul

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 3, 2012 - 11:04 PM
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tooty123Jun. 4, 12 3:37 AM

Charter schools take the state funds from the public school district and gives it to the charter. They can decide which students to except and which ones to throw out; just like private schools. Who's handling the special ed and special needs students? Are their growth in the gap measured each year? Do they go on probation? I'm not saying they are all bad schools, but one must measure outcomes on the same criteria.

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comment229Jun. 4, 12 4:57 AM

Parents, in an act of desperation, choose charter schools as pretty much a last resort and then are mostly disappointed in the results. Those that tout charter schools as the answer are surprised to learn that the teachers that work there, are non-union and usually are teachers who accept jobs because they cannot get a job, for whatever reason, in a public school district. And I would like to see the staff turn over rate at charter schools as well and while you are at it, why not ask those teachers that have been "let go" why they were fired. You want a charter school education; then it is time to ask the right questions and also, be a little pro active here and ask a followup question or two also. You might learn something.

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martytoilJun. 4, 12 6:16 AM

How are charter schools doing on test scores?

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turgidJun. 4, 12 7:38 AM

The biggest problem with charter schools is that while they are technically not "for-profit", the people that start them and run them are making up the rules on how to spend those big checks from the district. And, as we've seen, this CAN result in not a lot of money going toward the kids, and a lot of money going into administrators' bank accounts. A few charter schools with close supervision seems like a good thing. Granting charters to every Tom, Dick and Harriet that thinks they are smarter than their local public school is not.

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tmatuseskiJun. 4, 12 7:50 AM

Tooty: Charter schools can not turn away any applicant for enrollment, they must follow the same rules as any other public school in this matter. Charter schools are also measured the exact same way as the other public schools on testing results, you shouldn't state things if you don't know the facts.

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tmatuseskiJun. 4, 12 9:15 AM

The facts are that charter schools have the exact same scrutiny and rules to follow, as all other public schools. Charter schools are public schools, but they also have some additional rules that the large public schools don't, such as they can not own their building so they are also burdened with the expense of having to pay rent each month. The oversight on where these schools spend their money is the same as all public schools, and yes some charter schools make poor decisions on spending money, just as some large district schools make poor decisions on how to spend money. All of you armchair quarterbacks are blowing hot air, you are just showing your ignorance of the facts about public education.

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educator1Jun. 4, 12 9:39 AM

The most recent Mn Dept of Ed study found that 9 of the top ten schools with 85% or more low income students were charters. Moreover, suburban & rural families also are selecting charters. This study shows that over the last decade, the # of k-12 students attending charters is up over 29,000, while the number of k-12 students attending district schools declined more than 45,000. There are some great and not so great district & charters - but the enrollment trend is worth considering.

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boyplungerJun. 4, 1210:43 AM

educator1 - That same study was another new organizations article and was based on a subset of a subset of data. As that article was formed, anyone who had a population of 85+ or greater free and reduced lunch was considered a success. 9 out of 10 of the school were Charters in the data subset and therefore, charters were "successful." If anyone should be asking questions, it should be about Minnesota Transitions Virtual High school. Tell me how a state funded charter school can afford to run KQRS morning show commercials at $1K-$2 a pop. They were spending $5k-$15K a week on advertising. Imagine the uproar if a public school did that. No one raised the question of how they were underperforming while spending money on expensive commercials.

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boyplungerJun. 4, 12 2:29 PM

educator1 - That same study was another new organizations article and was based on a subset of a subset of data. As that article was formed, anyone who had a population of 85+ or greater free and reduced lunch was considered a success. 9 out of 10 of the school were Charters in the data subset and therefore, charters were "successful." If anyone should be asking questions, it should be about Minnesota Transitions Virtual High school. Tell me how a state funded charter school can afford to run KQRS morning show commercials at $1K-$2 a pop. They were spending $5k-$15K a week on advertising. Imagine the uproar if a public school did that. No one raised the question of how they were underperforming while spending money on expensive commercials.

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