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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Obama's "Laboratories of Excellence" Hemorraghing More Students than "Dropout Factories"

"You can't defend a status quo in which a third of our kids are dropping out," the president said this morning during a live interview on NBC's "Today Show." "You can't defend a status quo when you've got 2,000 schools across the coutry that are drop out factories."  --President Obama, today
The corporate reformers now in charge of federal education policy want to replace urban public schools with the penal pedagogy corporate charter school model.  They have a big problem, however.  According to a national study by CREDO at Stanford U., charters outperform matched public schools in only 17 percent of the cases, not exactly a ringing endorsement.  Can you imagine the FDA approving a drug that had worse results than the old treatments 38% of the time? 

The only charters that are consistently out-testing the public schools are the total compliance brainwashing camps like KIPP and the KIPP knockoffs.  Ten hour days, three hours of homework, Saturdays, and 3 weeks more school in summer, etc.  The problem here, besides the moral one exuding from KIPP's psychological sterilization program, is that these chain gangs lose 40-60 percent of their students to dropping out and pushing out.  They don't hold low flyers or recalcitrants or "miscreants"--it would mess up the success story.  From USA Today:
Ed Fuller, a University of Texas-Austin researcher, found that Harmony schools throughout Texas had an "extraordinarily high" student attrition rate of about 50% for students in grades six through eight.
"It's not hard to be 'exemplary' if you lose all the kids who aren't performing," Fuller says.
The problem for Obama and the oligarchs on this part of their corporate takeover plan is that this loss of students is worse than the "dropout factories" that they decry as shameful.  I'm sure they'll figure something to smooth out this small bump in the superhighway to the corporate takeover of schools.

President Obama, also today:
"There's no silver bullets here," the president said. However, he said, "There are some charters that have figured out how to do a very good job. What we've got to do is look at the success of these schools and find out how do we duplicate them... What I'm interested in ... is fostering these laboriteies [sic] of excellence."

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