Sunday, March 11, 2018

School Choice is like a New Car Tag vs Geo Metro Burnout

School choice is a choice for the rich. For the poor, not so!
Anything of worth while to help you or help you from poverty cost money!
So many don't they drop it, let it go and adapt! Being broke is really not a 
issue to the poor as all it really does is effects store owners as in the lack of sales.
The poor will buy cheaper things or do without it. 

"That's for the rich people not us!" So for School choice is also for the rich people 
not us! And like the poor you will have people walking with no cars or 
drive cars with no bumpers too broke to fix it or do better as a tag for a new 
Honda Fit is like $900 and you can buy a lot of Ramen with that!

So like a car tag relating like School Choice the poor can't afford a new car so
the have no choice but to go for the used GEO METRO and like in education you 
get what you pay for. And so it goes to the work force into the future,
like a GEO Burnout to not be burned out in life! 

~~~~~School Choice is a Lie It Does Not Mean More Options It Means Less by Author Steven Singer
School choice.

Got choice?

Parents should have the freedom to choose the school their children attend.

But using “choice” as the ultimate descriptor of what privatized schools are and what they offer is at best misleading and at worst an outright lie.

They are essentially private businesses existing for the sole purpose of making a profit.

Yes, parents choose if they want their children to enroll in these schools. But they also choose if their children enroll in the neighborhood public school.

Critics say the public school option is not a choice because there is only one public school district in a given neighborhood. Yet isn’t it the parents who decide the neighborhood where they live? In most cases, even the wealthiest district has rental properties where people can move to take advantage of an exceptional school system.

Certainly the quality of a school shouldn’t be determined by a zip code. But this is an argument for funding equity, for providing each district with the resources necessary to educate the children in their charge, not an argument for privatization.

In both cases, public and privatized schools, parents exercise choice. But the propagandists choose to call only one of them by that name.

And it is a misnomer.

Privatized schools – both charters and voucher schools – are under no obligation to accept all students who seek enrollment. Public schools are.

If a student lives in a public school’s service area, the district must accept that student. It doesn’t matter if educating that child will cost more than the average per pupil expenditure. It doesn’t matter if she is easy or difficult to educate, if she has a record of behavior or discipline problems, if she has special needs, if she has low test scores. The public school must accept her and give her the best education possible.

Privatized schools are legally allowed to be selective. They can deny enrollment based on whatever reasons they choose. Charter schools may have to be more careful about their explicit reasoning than voucher schools, but that’s just a restriction on what they say, not on what they do. The results are the same. If they want to deny your child entry because of her race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, whatever – they can. They just have to put something more creative down as the reason why.

Vouchers schools don’t even have to give you a reason at all.

And charters have a multitude of ways to avoid accountability. They can simply pretend to have conducted a lottery. Or they can include an onerous series of demands for enrollment such as expensive uniforms, school supplies and parental volunteering at the school, to discourage difficult students from applying.

Moreover, even if they let your child enroll, they can kick her out at any time if she proves to be too expensive or it appears she’ll make the school look bad. This is why every year charter schools send a stream of struggling students back to the public schools just before standardized test time – they don’t want the students low test scores to reflect badly on the school – yet they’ll use the fact that they enrolled difficult students at the beginning of the school year to “prove” they aren’t selective!

That’s not choice. It’s marketing.

At best, it’s not choice for the parents or students. It’s choice for the operators of privatized schools.

~~~~~'School Choice' Is A Lie That Harms Us All
Thanks to Reconstruction-era compromises, these schools were racially separate and unequal from the beginning. It was in the 1950s, when civil rights reformers used the legal system to attack the system of apartheid, that the notion of “choice” first came to public attention. White parents demanded the right to “choose” not to send their kids to school with black children. They set up private academies, and in some cases shut down entire public school districts. Here in Washington, D.C., white families fled en masse, pretty much overnight, from the city’s public school system, in pursuit of the best “choices” for their children.

Even in a gentrifying Washington, white flight from universal public education has been the most enduring quality of urban life.

I have seen this game in action as a journalist and a parent ever since Congress started a choice scheme in D.C. two decades ago. We have watched as political regime after regime has picked off neighborhood schools like bloody carcasses rather than improve them. Meanwhile, the Wilsons of the world, the wealthy and connected who pass through town, have gamed the system to make sure they have taken advantage of the best public options we have.  

D.C. public and charter schools are among the lowest performing in the country. The high-performing few are in wealthy, white neighborhoods; they’re filled to capacity with neighborhood kids or they are charters with impossibly long waitlists. We have a better chance of winning the actual Lotto jackpot than being able to send my daughter to one of the public high schools she applied to, including the one for which Wilson jumped the line.

I think our experience in D.C. is fairly typical. Each year brings a wave of new school openings and closings. Our kids change schools a lot, hunting the next big thing. When we lost our elementary schools to closures, we enrolled our kids across town. When it was clear we were not welcome there, we went to Catholic schools. Then we tried to save some money and send them to a new charter school. When that didn’t work out, we sent them private schools.

Even as it felt like our kids were thriving despite this broken system, it will be almost impossible for them to go to college without our family taking on an enormous loan burden. College costs have quadrupled in my son’s lifetime. Even if a family can afford to flee the public system and send their kid to a private school, the prize of getting in to a great college is tarnished by the crippling debt that will enslave them for the rest of their lives. When you calculate the longer sweep of their lives, we and most middle-class people living in the city can’t afford it.   

A policymaker’s job is to improve the system for everyone. Instead, we’ve gotten the choice and “accountability movement,” which requires each school to release what amounts to an X-ray of inequality: test scores, racial and economic demographics and more.

In theory, requiring schools to release this data forces them to be transparent about their progress and helps policymakers decide which schools should get more funding and which should get the ax. In effect, it rewards schools attended by well-off families and punishes schools that aren’t. Parents with means can easily identify, and thus avoid, schools with more black and brown students and fewer resources.  

So as wealthy families move in to my Ward 5 neighborhood, as Wilson did, it never occurs to them to consider our neighborhood high school, as Wilson later acknowledged. This is the message the system, and the man who ran it, conveys to parents: Run. There is an overwhelming pressure to abandon our own neighborhood institutions ― the ones that, like family, will embrace our children and accept them as they are. It is a terrible way to treat them.

~~~~~Poor Kids and the 'Word Gap'
“Education,” Horace Mann declared in 1848, “is a great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance wheel of the social machinery.” But increasingly, the condition of American children—and even their eventual role in society—is determined well before their first day of kindergarten. I’ve taught the children of wealthy, well-educated parents, and I’ve taught children raised in poverty, and in my own experience, these two populations arrive at the schoolhouse door with two very different skill sets and expectations.

According to a 2012 report by the Brookings Institution, less than half of poor children show up to school prepared with the early math and reading skills, emotional and behavioral control, and physical well-being needed to be ready to learn, and that disadvantage persists into adulthood. The report continues, “children with higher levels of school readiness at age five are generally more successful in grade school, less likely to drop out of high school, and earn more as adults, even after adjusting for differences in family background.”

Much of this disadvantage has been attributed to what researchers call the “word gap.” Higher-income parents spend nearly a half hour more per day engaged in direct, face-to-face, Goodnight Moon time with their children than low-income parents do, and by the time these children are 5 years old, the poor ones will have heard 30 million fewer words than their wealthy peers. Nearly all of my more affluent students read in their leisure time, but approximately two out of every 10 of my poor students tell me, “I don’t read” when I offer to help them pick out an independent reading book.

Because the word gap first appears during periods of critical neurological and cognitive development, its effects cannot be easily remedied by later interventions. Teachers, standards, technology, even those hallowed halls of ivy—none of this matters as much to a child’s educational and economic future than an informed and empowered parent.

Unfortunately, explained Ann O’Leary, Director of the Children & Families Program at Next Generation in a phone call, “there’s a lack of alignment among low-income parents regarding how much talking, singing, and reading to children really matters over a lifetime,” and research backs that up. One study found that low-income parents underestimate their power to influence their children’s cognitive development, sometimes by as much as 50 percent. Wealthy parents spend more time engaged in these activities because they have better access to information, and O’Leary argued that when parents understand the impact they have on their child’s cognitive development, they invest.

In other words, the word gap is not about access to income, but access to information. According to Too Small to Fail, a partnership between the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation, insufficient vocabulary is analogous to insufficient food.

And what to do with the crashed schools after the burnout?