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About charter schools

December 16, 2013

I just read that the Legislature is considering passing a bill that would permit more charter schools in the state including ones opened by colleges and universitie....

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Dec-18-13 7:42 PM

Erik's post of Dec-16-13 7:15 AM addresses the issues that must be addressed. Selective enrollment makes comparisons between schools that must take all comers and those that can select/remove students useless. This is not the same as saying public schools get a free pass for mediocre performance.

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Dec-18-13 3:03 PM


A while ago, the students were grouped in classes based on learning ability at Warrior Run. For lack of a better way to put it, the 'smarter' kids were grouped together, the average kids together, and the slower learners were grouped together. It was working well as far as I could tell. Then the powers that be changed it and threw everybody into the mix together. Our daughter, who was one of the smarter kids, noticed right away that the curriculum had been 'dumbed down' and she was 'learning' things that she mastered 2 years prior. Not only was she bored to tears, she was being held back from achieving her potential.

Our son, on the other hand, is a slower learner. He's also been shortchanged because they keep moving on before he understands what he is learning. The problem compounded as he goes along because he wasn't afforded the opportunity to master the basics.

Now you can blame the teachers if you wish, but I don't buy it. It's the system.

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Dec-18-13 7:19 AM

Mike, it doesn't matter what standards educators are forced to follow, that has nothing to do with the way they deliver the information to their students. This IS what seperates the good and not so good educators.

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Dec-18-13 6:11 AM

I appreciate the angst and handwringing over any legislation that might upset the status quo. The status of WSD Corrective Action II 4th Year and the distinction of being in the bottom 15% in PA cannot be put at risk by radical law changes that could forever alter these hard earned results.

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Dec-18-13 3:42 AM

We have the usual suspects misplacing blame on Teachers and their Unions for the failed policies of the Government.

Teachers have to teach the curriculum that is given to them to teach. Do we have poor teachers? Absolutely we do. But they are the exception, not the rule.

I've explained before my daughters boredom and my son's struggles when the Warrior Run district changed from students placed in classrooms according to their ability to placing all learning levels in one class. My daughter was 'learning' stuff she mastered 2 years prior and our son has continually struggled with math, despite us repeatedly trying to get him some help. Everyone should be offered equal opportunity but not everyone had equal ability. There is no longer any options for those who struggle.

It's the teachers fault? No, I don't buy it. It's the policies and curriculum that's the problem.

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Dec-17-13 2:39 PM

Herein is a major issue, I believe also: Parental involvement or lack thereof. Parents who do want to be involved feel stymied by the "system" and are not aware that they not only have the final say as to what their children are taught, but the have specific rights to examine curriculum/approve..or not. The parents that I mentioned who are wasting their lives in drugs and alcohol often (not always) have the children who fall between the cracks. Then, there are the over-achievers parents in life who must have the additional income and as I mentioned in a previous post, are vacant in the child's education. So, do I place all blame on the public school system? Of course not. But the public, who pays the tab, is not relegating the curriculum, the NEA is, along with federal oversight. As long as the govt. continues to inject their two cents, the public education system will fail and continue to worsen, IMHO.

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Dec-17-13 2:33 PM

I think I mentioned and if I didn't, I wanted to....

For the first five years of my son's public education, he was taught at Jackson Elementary. When he had to leave (and I didn't want that ) I wrote a letter to the Editor to commend the teachers who nurtured him along with educate him. His next move was Roosevelt, where I yanked him out, the first year of middle school and made the decision to charter educate. The decision to home school is more difficult than some perceive. I had to get him a tutor in math, because that is the only area I struggled with. Hence, he did too. But, homeschooling takes much dedication and giving up of self. It gives one a greater appreciation of good/dedicated teachers.

For me.....and I think I speak for other parents, the indoctrination was/is a damaging component to the public education system. Older teachers are more dedicated to the gift of teaching and it is a gift.

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Dec-17-13 1:29 PM

Relene - You are so correct in your analysis, "radioactive the poison/toxic". LaughIn - I would love for my son to have a teacher such as you. You sound in your short statement to understand what a teacher truly is. It is not all about Federal or State standards, it's about making sure the child knows, not just memorizes. While I am not enamored with public education today, I believe it is one of the best systems to "educate" future generations, it just needs to find it's footing once again. Spike- Great post. I have always tried to maintain a gentlemanly attitude in all my posts, but when it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and spews crap like a duck - it is a duck and that is what I will call it!

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Dec-17-13 11:46 AM

Relene, Radio is the female version of Sham. She only knows what she was taught and two parents didn't do their child any favors in that category. I have had students such as her. They cliff note everything and miss the important concepts and details. Then, when they are called to task and cannot perform...they flounder and use degrading adjectives! Grow up Radio, it will do your mind justice.

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Dec-17-13 10:11 AM


There is perhaps a good reason for your username. As in the substance of something that is "radioactive" the poison/toxic nature evidences itself.

You allege I am biter, no just realist. But, as Carl has rightly pointed out, your deflection to character assisination is your strong point.

Spike has produced a solid post above, try to engage and not enrage.

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Dec-17-13 8:50 AM

Stop with leftist and liberals. You believe I am part of the "liberals". Your arguments, all our arguments, and opinions have grater credibility when not aligned with any politics. The issue is education, how to better educate children, how to keep them engaged in learning and how to provide a better academic system. I personally do not believe religion or any political indoctrination should occur in public school. Private school is a different matter. No matter the school, education in fundamental areas should supersede all else. We will continue to fall behind until academics are the primary driver. I agree with rmiller in that private schooling is of a higher quality. Not every parent can afford private education leaving us with a true dilemma. How do we really improve the public system? Can we actually improve the existing system? There is no singular reason for the failures. What are the primary drivers of this failure and how can they best be addressed? Ideas....

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Dec-17-13 8:03 AM

You, radio use typical leftist deflection because you cannot debate with facts! So I will agree to disagree with you at this point. If in the future you wish to debate with facts and figures instead of innuendo, hyperbole and personal attacks, I'll be waiting.

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Dec-17-13 7:54 AM

I do not dispute that SW has gives the oportunity for a good education, since you only pick and choose what you want you overlook the fact that my child is in SWASD and is not in a private or a charter school. I said there are teachers who are worth a lot more, but their are in fact more that are not worth what they receive now. Charter/Cyber schooling allows the choice where it belongs with the parent. And as for Common core not being adopted you are either grossly mistaken, or ignorant or possibly a combination of the 2. Pennsylvania Board of Education adopted the Common Core in 2010 and gave districts 3 years to implement the standards, that my friend was this school year. On Nov 21, 2013 Pennsylvania Core was approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. These now head to the state attorney general to be reviewed for form and legality. What does being a used car salesman have to do with anything? Like schooling you hold an outdated view of the used car salesman.

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Dec-17-13 6:36 AM

Sorry Radio, but I see first hand with a child in a public school what actually goes on. I regularly check on my child at school and have been their before the first bell, nearly empty except for students and a couple teachers and support staff, after the last bell nearly empty except for those same teachers that do know what teaching is all about and during school times, having pics of teachers not in classrooms, with feet on their desk reading magazines and numerous other examples of gross negligence of teaching duties. I have talked to those teachers whose first principle is money and that parents do not know what is best for their own children. While I would agree that some teachers are worth far more than they are paid, way too many are not. In PA teachers are not forced to join the union, though they do have to pay " fair share fees". Todays teaching isn't driven by state standards it is driven by federal standards and it is making a bad situation worse.

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Dec-17-13 12:01 AM

Radio, do you really believe what you peddle to the public?

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Dec-16-13 8:56 PM

Thanks for the info on charter schools and there is more on the internet.

I would say that each situation needs to be evaluated on it's own. But charter schools definitely give a choice......a choice for the student, parents, and even the teachers. Accountability is still there.

I have heard some talk about reducing education costs by consolidating school district administrative functions (Business managers, Principals, admin, etc); I wonder how charter schools would fit into that.

Again, the what is best for the students needs to be the focal point.

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Dec-16-13 5:07 PM

There will be a hearing tonight at the Jersey Shore High School, 7pm regarding a proposed Nippenose Valley Charter School. Julie Steinbacher and Adrienna Stahl will be the speaker for the Charter. The Nippenose Valley would like to re-open Nippenose Elementary, because they feel that the Jersey Shore Area School District does not provide a quality public education to the Nippenose Valley students. Please feel free to access the PA Department of Educations Performance Scores for the district Elementary schools and see which one was the lowest. Charter schools are public entities, not private institutions.

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Dec-16-13 4:28 PM

Enigma that's a pretty big blanket statement. Maybe what liberals are afraid of is the abuse that sometimes comes with their tax dollars going to business. Some liberals believe, often with some naivete, that government is less corruptable than business. Sometimes they are right. Government officials, unlike business leaders, are accountable to the public at the ballot box. When was the last time someone voted for the CEO of Halliburton? Also, the main interests of business is to make money above all else. Sometimes, the means to make money harm the public. See Corrections Corporation of America and how they harm the public interest. If you build it they will come

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Dec-16-13 4:20 PM

Charter schools and school vouchers are the answer. This large public school system is a money pit where kids learn nothing. If smaller, more efficient schools can teach our children better, then bureaucracy and tradition should step aside. I mean that

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Dec-16-13 3:31 PM

Just one question. For each teacher not "doing their job", how many parents aren't doing theirs? Easy to point fingers, huh.

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Dec-16-13 2:59 PM

"Charter schools are not public schools, they are private schools."-Chuck

Don't you ever get tired of being wrong? Charter schools are not government run, but they are public schools. They are open to the public and they receive public funding. Like most liberals, Chuck has confused public with government and anything that is not government is private. Merriam-Webster defines public: of, relating to, or affecting all or most of the people of a country, state, etc. It is not just government, but liberals are so invested in government control of everything that they can't imagine something not owned by government being public. Maybe that's why they don't mind being owned by the government.

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Dec-16-13 1:40 PM

I find it difficult to believe that liberals are against charter schools when charter schools enrolled a larger percentages of Black and Hispanic students and lower percentages of White and Asian students than conventional public schools. Wouldn't the smaller class size of these charter schools give these students more attention than if they were in public schools?

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Dec-16-13 12:38 PM

radioactive - I don't know see where there is anything hateful in rmiller's posts, sounds like typical leftist deflection of the issue at hnand. You have no real argument so you choose character assassination. And for the "askewed and outdated" facts - prove it if you can.

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Dec-16-13 12:28 PM

"The company has pocketed millions of dollars meant for students."-Chuck

There's another hilarious thing about this statement. Since when are students paid to go to school? There is not one dollar of money allocated to education that is earmarked "for students". Is Chuck saying that the school board is misappropriating every dollar in their budget? Every dollar paid to a teacher is not going to the students. Should the teachers be under investigation? Of course not. That phrase"dollars meant for students" is just another catch phrase to trap the brain-dead into believing whatever accompanies it. I have no doubt that companies overcharge the government for services, and they should be cut off and if it's fraud, punished, but let's leave the word games out of it.

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Dec-16-13 11:35 AM

The company has pocketed millions of dollars meant for students.

What company are you talking about?

What dollars meant for student?

Generalized statements, but no definitive charges without evidence.

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