Charter schools face fight

  • Article by: GREGORY A. PATTERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 4, 2010 - 6:05 AM

Of the first 13 organizations to apply under the new law, only 6 were accepted to supervise the schools.

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mrkottahJun. 4, 10 6:05 AM

Why would a business be overseeing an educational setting? That makes about as much sense as having the Mpls School Board oversee the operations at 3M.

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jordan2004Jun. 4, 10 6:47 AM

WOW! They must be proud.

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turgidJun. 4, 10 7:12 AM

they won't be pulling up in a beamer every morning in the school parking lot. Nice to see they are taking a hard look at who is being careful with taxpayer's money.

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samueldyerJun. 4, 10 8:24 AM

now if they could only get the public schools to be accountable then we could get good return for our dollar

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riverfallsJun. 4, 10 9:58 AM

and yet the Department of Ed is worried about 33,000 in the charter school system. Does anyone ever ask what scrutiny the other 810,000 students are facing? How many of those failing schools are being shut down and reorganized? The only reason why there are 33,000 students going to charter schools is because the traditional system was NOT meeting their needs. Many of those students in charter schools are students that were at-risk of dropping out of school all together. One must ask the question of WHY the Dept of Ed is trying to shut these schools down. Perhaps they think the children are a lost cause and they don't want to spend any money on them. Perhaps the Dept of Ed simply wants those children to scurry away and stay out of sight. Let's be honest and point to the real problem here. The Department of Education hates charter schools, but must deal with them because of the law. The teachers Union (Minnesota Education) hates charter schools because the law doesn't allow teachers in charter schools to be involved in the Union. MASA (Minnesota Association of Superintendents) doesn't like charter schools because charters get some students that represent MONEY lost. The Super's don't really care about the fact that the majority of those students were dropping out of school anyway, but they sure care when some other district gets the money from state funding. Ask yourself why traditional public schools aren't facing the same scrutiny as these charter schools that only serve 33,000 students out of the 843,000 total school population. Tell me that it isn't Goliath trying to stomp out David!

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riverfallsJun. 4, 1010:07 AM

You must not realize the amount of top-heavy bureaucracy that is found in traditional schools. Just evaluate the number of Superintendents and assistant superintendents along with multiple principles, etc... that you find in schools such as Eden Prairie. Check out the salaries of all these administrators and tell me how "wealthy" charter school staff is in comparison. Charter schools are such an insignificant player in the scope of the education field it is AMAZING that they get such scrutiny. Yet...it isn't amazing when you realize the amount of money that Minnesota Education (the teachers union) and MASA poor into lobbying at the State Capital. Goliath doesn't like David and will do anything in his power to crush David. Don't let the propaganda of the media fool you...unless you like being fooled.

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editor25Jun. 4, 1012:01 PM

They are called ELECTED local school boards. Charters are a failure - precisely BECAUSE they aren't subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to regular public schools.

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scottkyJun. 4, 10 1:39 PM

You need to shut them all down and start over

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thinker46Jun. 5, 1010:56 AM

As an advocate for the unique work of MN Charter schools, I do have very mixed feelings about this "increased oversight" --- this story outlines how one authorizer (Pillsbury) has been very successful with one school and not successful at another (with a higher percentage of homeless or highly mobile/ unstable families). The state could potentially shut down Pillsbury's ability to continue helping where they are effective. It seems to me that the state should continue to allow Pillsbury to do the work where they are effective. The sad reality is that for an authorizer such as Pillsbury to continue, they may be forced to choose to not authorize a school with a high percentage of homeless / highly mobile / unstable families. As radical as this sounds - Is the solution to correct this problem for these severely at risk schools - a "boarding school" approach? Kids would have a place to live, food to eat, nurturing, stability and a real chance for the formal educational efforts to take root. The reality: It takes a village --- and the school / authorizer cannot possibly do the work of home/community/family/school all at once. The students at a successful school such as Pillsbury's Sojourner Truth elementary school in north Minneapolis should not pay the price for Pillsbury's unsuccessful High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul.

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spiderwomanJun. 5, 10 5:43 PM

her "Charter School for Scandal" in St. Paul is where MN threw public and private money to fraud. Either the Charters know what they are doing and they scam for $ or they don't know what they are doing and it is the same. Filter out the Charter Losers so those legit like Twin Cities Academy can thrive: www.tcahs.k12.mn.us. TCA is sponsored by St. Paul Public Schools - which may actually know what it is doing in this case.

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