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

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Charter Schools: Where Everyone Goes to School All the Time

It took me a while to figure it out, but now I am beginning to see the genius of Margaret Spellings at work on the dropout epidemic. How wrong I have been! How could any of us have foreseen her farsighted support of charter school management companies as the ultimate solution to the attendance issue. It seems that no one misses school in Texas charter schools, and no one drops out! I feel like such an idiot:
Texas officials want a refund for millions of tax dollars from schools that allegedly inflated attendance records, part of a national problem of absenteeism at schools operated by for-profit corporations.

Seven charter schools have more than $16 million in debts to the Texas Education Agency for allegedly inaccurate and inflated attendance reports, debts the state may never recoup. The state wrote off another $9 million in debts after 20 charter schools went out of business.

There is a national trend of states hiring companies to operate special "dropout-recovery" programs for students who are failing in the regular public schools. In most states, but not in Texas, these special schools are paid per student enrolled, not for how many students attend class . . . .

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