"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Accountability Required for Brennan's Charter Chain-gangs

Late Tuesday night, under cover of darkness and deception and with no public debate, school privatizers within the Ohio Legislature slipped a voucher extension rider into a bill intended to address background checks for prospective teachers. Also included was a big Xmas present for corporate socialist, David Brennan, whose drill-and-kill work camps for poor children now gets a free pass on performance requirements that every other publicly-funded school in Ohio must meet, charter or otherwise. Apparently, Brennan now owns the Ohio Legislature to go along his other purchase, the Ohio Supreme Court. Nice shopping, Dave! From the Akron Beacon Journal:

. . . The bill exempts dropout recovery charter schools -- such as the Life Skills centers run by Akron businessman David Brennan -- from the closure sanction.

Ohio Rep. Tom Raga, R-Mason, the bill's sponsor, said these schools were not included because ``their mission is different'' from that of other charter schools. He noted that Brennan's White Hat Management operates nondropout recovery charter schools that would still be subject to the closure penalty.

``That's an acknowledgement to their mission and is not targeted to any one operator,'' Raga said.

Others call the exclusion unfair, arguing that all of the state's charter schools should be held to the same standards.

``This is another example of them setting up a completely separate system for David Brennan's schools and everyone else's schools,'' said Lisa Zellner, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Federation of Teachers, a critic of charter schools.

Zellner was also critical of the voucher expansion, saying it was done ``at the last minute, in the dead of night, with no public discussion.''

She said the voucher program has so far garnered little interest from eligible students.

``Why are they broadening it now?'' she asked. ``The market has shown no interest.'' . . .

So while poor public schools are being turned into White Hat charters if they don't make the impossible AYP targets, the charters are given a free ride because "their mission is different"?

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