Sunday, November 7, 2010

Miracle or Money?

Hmm. Upon reading this NYT article about visionary Geoffrey Canada's charter school, I arrive at a slightly different conclusion about the efficacy of charter schools:

"In the tiny high school of the zone’s Promise Academy I, which teaches 66 sophomores and 65 juniors (it grows by one grade per year), the average class size is under 15, generally with two licensed teachers in every room. There are three student advocates to provide guidance and advice, as well as a social worker, a guidance counselor and a college counselor, and one-on-one tutoring after school."

In my school, we teach about 1000 kids, about 300 of each grade level. Average class size in history is over 34 with one licensed teacher. We have two guidance counselors. But seriously, two teachers for 15 kids?

And then there's this:
"The school, which opened in 2004 in a gleaming new building on 125th Street, should have had a senior class by now, but the batch of students that started then, as sixth graders, was dismissed by the board en masse before reaching the ninth grade after it judged the students’ performance too weak to found a high school on. Mr. Canada called the dismissal 'a tragedy.' "

And where do these dismissed 8th graders go? Oh yes, to public school where WE TAKE THEM. And what happens to the average score of the school that kicks them out? And what happens to the average score of the schools that take them?

We take them all.

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