New Debate Topic: Charter Schools

Bloomberg is donating $750 million to establish a bunch.

I’m not really up on them, other than maybe the Fetullah Gulen inspired Harmony Schools.

Any thoughts?

I was on the board of a charter school for 9 years. Some are well run and some are not. Almost all of them claim to have a niche so they are targeting a certain type of parent, or parents of a certain type of student. The school I was involved with tries to provide a private prep school type of curriculum. Very challenging for the administration and faculty to do that and jump through all the hoops the state and federal authorities make them jump through. And that is the real problem with public education.

Education works best when run at a local level, by that I mean by the people whose kids attend there. So, I think a big chain of charter schools will eventually go the way of most other public schools.

Was this a school in the Greater Houston area?

I am a big believer in America being the land of opportunity. To make that opportunity fair for everyone we have to continue to improve the public school system. Charter schools seem very elitist to me. I love the University of Houston for the opportunity it gave this non elitist citizen.

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How are they elitist if they don’t require tuition?


Because not every child can get into them. They can’t discriminate but they can put admission requirements based on test scores. Well parents who have the money to prep the kid have a leg up on their kids getting into the charter schools.

I think our mission should be to improve all public schools. A kid growing up in Denver Harbor has a much harder chance of succeeding in school than a kid in The Woodlands does. To me that is unamerican. It is reality for sure, but no one, conservative or liberal, would dispute that some kids have a huge advantage based on the school district they are in. That is something we should strive to fix.

There are so many things that divide us right now BUT one thing that is universal is we all want our kids to have a good education and we want everyone else’s kid to have a good education. We should expand school lunch and school breakfast programs. We should do everything possible to give every kid a good chance of success.



That isn’t the case with the only charter school that I know about.

Any child can attend it as long as they get their name drawn in a lottery (Harmony Science Academy).

Perhaps others are different though.

It all sounds good but:

It is elitism.

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This statement is part of the misconception surrounding charter schools. Public schools can’t discriminate in any way shape or fashion. The one I was associated with had a higher percentage of 504 students (special needs or accommodation) than Katy ISD which is where the school is located. Having said that, there are those that do things like @Coog51 describes. Those schools need to be reported to TEA. A school could and probably should lose their charter over practices like that.

“Five states - Florida, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Ohio and Texas - explicitly permit certain charter schools to screen applicants by academic performance.”

And they say nothing more. HISD has Magnate schools. You can’t just send your kid to a Magnate school, they have to qualify. If Reuters had bothered to explain exactly the nature of these “certain charter schools” that are allowed to screen for academics, I think you would understand that it isn’t very different from the Magnate schools.

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Charter Schools have different missions on how they approach and educate. Kind of based on free market principles. Cream will rise to the top. Some try to be elite, some not so much

I am a free market kind of guy. But elitist schools are almost anti free market. They are designed to keep the progeny of people who already have money ahead of everyone else. Generational wealth and an educational system that benefits the wealthy, create people who haven’t done squat and aren’t any more intelligent than the rest of us, but they are generally in charge because they were born on 3rd base (but they are convinced they hit a triple) and their superior education insures that they score.

I believe in a lot of what Teddy Roosevelt believed in. The square deal was based on giving everyone an equal and fair deal from the deck. He didn’t promise equality of outcome, he believed in a fair deal. The luck of the deal and your ability to play cards will impact the outcome of game, but you got the same fair dealing of the cards. In my strong opinion, the deal of the cards is your education and who your parents are shouldn’t impact the dealing of the cards. Everyone deserves the same quality education. What you do with that education and what luck transpires in your life are just the breaks of the game.

The one thing everyone agrees on is that high quality education for everyone is a pretty dang good thing.

In America, right now, we have a concentration of wealth problem that matches the gilded age that Teddy Roosevelt helped change. The wealthy control both sides of the aisle to the point that we have a ruling class that have made a mockery of politics in Washington. The wealthy control both parties and the battles between the parties is just professional wrestling to keep us entertained while they use Washington as a big ATM. All it is a magician keeping you focused on one hand while the trick is being performed with the left hand. The trick is Washingtons spends tons of money, most of it funneled to the wealthy (both directly and indirectly) and through deficit spending the wealthy don’t pay for all of this good governance. They get the money and our kids and grand kids get the debt. In the mean time Washington creates all kinds of red tape that keeps small businesses chasing their tail instead of competing with the larger businesses that the wealthy own. Washington isn’t the solution, it’s the problem. We have a big elitist ruling class problem and no, there isn’t one party that is the good guys and one party is bad guys.

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I think that it might be more accurate to say that the broadest possible range of educational CHOICES should be made available. People can find which schools fit their needs and the children’s needs best. At that point, the onus is on the student to make the most of their opportunities.

Unfortunately, not all of them do.

Ya know, I have a cousin that is a Notre Dame law grad and works as a high ranking corporate counsel for a big oil company, and lives in a million dollar home in Dallas.

Guess what?

Despite the fact that his kids have had the opportunity to attend very fancy private schools like Dallas Jesuit, only one has finished college, and perhaps only two out of four ultimately will (a third is marginal and a fourth may not attend college at all; barely finished high school). My college professor Uncles with Ph.Ds (seven kids between the two of them) had kids that largely followed the same pattern. Some barely finished high school and not all of them finished college (at least three of those seven did not). The one that got a Ph.D has struggled to stay employed.

The generational wealth thing probably does apply to inherited wealth from old money tycoons that gets passed down, but I’m unconvinced that it applies to the professional class (whose membership in that class depends upon educational credentials) as much.

Successful professionals don’t always produce successful professional children. I’ve seen that personally among my own relatives.

Old money isn’t quite the same. The ultra-rich old money generational wealth types and the professional class can often be quite different, and it’s the latter class, not the former, that relies primarily on education to get ahead.

Just my two cents.

In my view, all charter schools do is provide a greater range of choices to those parents and students looking for a better fit that might not be available among existing public or private schools. Ultimately, those kids may or may not take advantage of those opportunities to their fullest, even if they find a better fit. Ultimately, their success or failure is on them.

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I am overseas for the Holidays. I will chime in when I back on this urgent topic.
What is currently happening in public schools is indefensible and extremely worrisome. We are no longer talking/debating about education but brain washing.

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Oh, I am pretty sure that this topic will be long closed before you get back.

Now, this is exactly the type of topic I must refrain from. As I can’t speak as an individual.

If you really believe that, then you are the one who’s been brainwashed. This idea that schools are proselytizing some kind of racist and far-left curriculum is unadulterated bullshit.


Hes just keeping a look out for us

I think he’s talking about White Guilt…White Privilege…and Critical race theory…oh…it’s very real. I wouldn’t put my kids in public schools for nothing

Yeah I’m sure that’s what he’s talking about it’s a Boogeyman for stupid people