Any employee who whines about being held accountable for his or her job performance should be terminated. Only in the dysfunctional alternate universe of government-run "education" could such an ironclad principle qualify as either "reform" or a matter of controversy.
Thank you RochesterParent for making the case more clearly and cogently than I generally do.
It doesn't matter if the students are picked by lottery. Simply entering the lottery indicates a higher level of "give a crap" than those who don't. Taking 3.000 of those kids out of the public schools basically reduces the percentage of students in the district whose parents do care enough (or are knowledgeable enough) to perform this advocacy for their children.
I suppose that eventually there will be 80 charter schools and what's left will be a few public schools where the students who are the worst problem children, or whose parents don't/can't advocate effectively will rot until they are 16, when they drop out to live on society's margins.
If public schools could expel problem children the way charter schools can, if public schools could claim hardship to prevent having to have a major special ed program, if public schools had the parent involvement that charter schools do, they'd be doing as well as charter schools.
I know that in some areas the charter school experiment has been a failure due to a variety of reasons, but here, the conditions I just outlined have helped charter schools to become successful enough. God knows our school has about 10 middle schoolers we would love to expel. Our school would run far better and the scores would improve immediately if we could. We can't, so we will be judged a failure for making an effort to educate some seriously difficult children who have arrived in middle school without the skills to do 5th grade work.
Let us not forget that my evaluation is tied to some extent to these children's ability to do middle school level work. I've spent my year trying to get them to that level.
Analogy: try to get a high school baseball player to be able to play in the major leagues. The kid's the right size, the kid's at his physical prime, but the kid does not have the experience or skills to do that. Is it the coach's fault the kid can't cut it in the major leagues? Or is it the decision of the person who foisted that kid on the hapless coach?
Carry the Analogy: Take a mid-level baseball team. Ship all the best players to other teams. Now try to make the playoffs. That is what charter schools are doing to the RCSD.
I don't know if charters are good or bad per se, but you're assuming that this is a zero sum game due to our slow population growth. Every year plenty of middle class parents exit the city for the suburbs because they rightly or wrongly believe that their children won't have an opportunity for a quality education if they stay. If charters provide that opportunity then the overall pool of students within the city is larger, not smaller.
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