Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bill Green is wrong!

Katie delivers another round of charter school cheerleading today in a column about a new boys academy attached to Harvest Prep, an existing charter school. This one apparently offers a steady diet of martial arts:
Martial arts classes are an important part of the plan. Every boy will
study martial arts every day, from K-6 -- in the process, developing
self-discipline and acquiring a sense of mastery.

There must be countless studies that show that little kung-fu masters are really much less prone to violence! Didn't there used to be a teevee show about that once?

Charter schools, an idea that began as a way to provide alternate high schools for seriously alienated and hard-to-educate kids, have turned into a 31 flavors hodge podge catering to virtually every goof-ball idea that someone can come up with for a school. Don't believe it? Check out these charter school names:
Skills for Tomorrow (algebra, English, chemistry, and physics are so yesterday), New Voyage Academy (beam me up, Scotty!), Face to Face Academy (another combat school, apparently), Family Academy (where you can bet your arse they don't discuss family-making), Ascention Academy (a Big Coop special no doubt; Spot would like to look at the curriculum for that one), F. Scott Fitzgerald Writing (for all the parents who wanted to write the next Great American Novel but now hope little Johnnie or Janey will), Loveworks Academy (Spot's not touching that one with a stick), Higher Ground, and one of Spot's favorites, Great Expectations! (Spot added the exclamation point, but it seemed like a natural).

Couple all of this "creativity" with poor oversight, and it's a recipe for disaster. Spot's a little busy to scare up the links right now, but most people in the Twin Cities know about the closing of the "business" charter school and others, and the recent case of a large sum of money that went missing in another local charter school.

Katie winds up with this little gem:
Mahmoud [Harvest Prep's president who is complaining that the public school transportations system does not deliver kids to the school when he wants and thinks that Minneapolis Superintendent Bill Green is not supportive] says he is not convinced: "[Minneapolis] Superintendent Bill Green told me directly: 'You're our competition.' "
No, Bill, you're wrong! They're not your competition. They're you're dependents! For fiscal year 2005, the last data available, Harvest Prep received public funding of a little over $3.5 million dollars. When you add up all the dollars spent on all the charter schools, it is a substantial blood-letter of the public school system.

It's the charter school system that's out of control, and it contributes to public school funding problems.

And we haven't even talked about the recent study (actually Spot did in an earlier post) from the Department of Education that shows that charter school provide an inferior education.

But the little buggers can kick box.

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