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MZ 
Member since Jul 27, 2013


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Re: “Charter schools and increasing segregation

Thank you for your comments, and I agree with many of your points. Just wondering what the average parent (even more liberal parents like me) will chose when it comes down to educating their children, but don't want to go private. Estem is more diverse than my zoned school and I like that and I know many other eStem parents who feel the same way. I believe my charter school is more niche than a public school and may not be the best option for every child (which is what I tell parents that inquiry about it). My question is, why can't I chose an option that is different and works for me? I want to support public schools, but I also like my charter school and wish that other schools could be more like them. Why do liberal media outlets have to bash charter schools in order to prove the point that the public schools need to be changed? I want teachers to get paid more, as I stated before...not necessarily on tenure or test scores, but on the value that they provide to students (so even in the poorest neighborhoods teachers that may not be able to get test scores up, can still be recognized finacially somehow). It's the way I see it and I live in the real world. Check on eStem's waiting list for a second grader then talk to some parents of children that go there and you may have a better understanding. I do appreciate your comments and want to know more about other viewpoints and also want to help influence change...I'm just an average parent trying to keep it real.

Posted by MZ on 07/28/2013 at 6:26 PM

Re: “Charter schools and increasing segregation

Thank you for sharing all the information, YossarianMinderbinder -- love the name btw, it immediately made me laugh because I thought of a hinder-binder. Some of the commenters of the NYT article summed up my opinion pretty well (and have better articulated my point.)
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JMAWalesNYT Pick
How ridiculous to lump all charter schools together. They are founded for many different reasons, some more valid than others.

I'm sure there are charter schools which are ultimately a front for syphoning off state money into private pockets. Yes, these should probably be shut down.

I'm sure there are charter schools founded with a specific intent, i.e. focus on values, Montessori, Waldorf, etc, which do a great social service in making tailored education available to the general public.
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nesNew YorkNYT Pick
What's the risk to society of opening a horrible charter school? The leadership can be fired, the staff replaced, the operations re-tooled. Yes they will fail sometimes BUT we can correct mistakes which cannot be done with traditional public education.

Even the wealthiest suburban schools with the most spending per capita and the most hyperinvolved parents on the planet are still sub par with the OECD in core subjects. (See the brilliant Atlantic article on the subject.) We can no longer afford to have our students suffer from bloated bureaucracies and obstructionist unions. Schools should serve children first. They should not exist to provide lifetime employment to adults.

The US's work culture is unique as it encourages accountability, innovation, mobility and change. Our public school system is incompatible with our economy. And it's the reason why the most talented knowledge workers do not pursue careers in education.

Perversely, by providing the only white collared union environment where low wages are coupled with pensions and tenure, schools attract many employees who shun the challenges of a private sector job. The McKinsey study on teacher quality is very illuminating.

No risk in bringing on the charters. Just like there's no risk in Silicon Valley funding a million start ups. How is it that we can have hundreds of choices in almost all of our products and services in life but when it comes to educating tomorrow's leaders, most of us have none?
Feb. 2, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.RECOMMENDED7
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Dr. HerndonNYCNYT Pick
I think charter schools do better in poor and otherwise disadvantaged neighborhoods because public schools fail to serve students in lower classed neighborhoods. Disenfranchised parents often don't feel entitled enough to advocate and agitate for the quality of resources that seems to pour into the high functioning schools located in "good" neighborhoods. Fewer parents are able and willing to afford to make school their center of gravity while facing the pressures of racism, financial struggles, the balance of working while attending to their children's needs, poor housing, etc.

In poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods, charter schools are a fresh start and a promise to make educating these overlooked children the priority.

I don't support the deep division the New York DOE is creating by often showing priority for charters over neighborhood schools. Many charters are simply a new area of investment for a distant funding group. But I can only applaud the new opportunities charters have offered children in neighborhoods who have traditionally been short-changed and unattended.

All schools (and students) should have this opportunity to be the priority.
Feb. 2, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.RECOMMENDED5

Posted by MZ on 07/28/2013 at 9:01 AM

Re: “Charter schools and increasing segregation

My school is only superior to ME. That is why America is great, I can like one school for my children for my own reasons and you can like another for your own reasons. Try not to look at the issue so narrowly. I understand that not all students have access to charters, but the successes of schools like Estem may show the state that we need change the public school model. Hate it as much as you want (I do), but the fact is that many of those that can afford it will go private or move out of the city and others will go charters and regardless. I'm not an expert, I'm sure those with more knowledge on charters have better answers than me. In fact, I'd love to read them!

Posted by MZ on 07/28/2013 at 12:44 AM

Re: “Charter schools and increasing segregation

I have children in a diverse public charter school and have put thought into this debate, but at the end of the day want my children to have a good education and some charters have figured out a better model. I want to support public schools and I'm actually zoned for a great public school and still choose charter simply because I like it. In sending them to charter, I hope this wakes up the public school system and the legislature and sends them a stern message: Parents will go elsewhere unless they figure it out, pay teachers competitively and compensate those preform better, but do not necessary base on it test scores or tenure. Solving this will probably also keep more folks in Little Rock as opposed to Conway or Benton/Bryant and other outlying areas (which has a negative effect on diversity in LR schools) and might keep our highway repairs down (reducing taxes) and helping to keep us a more green city. I know, it's not that easy and sounds idealistic, but I hate hearing/reading the typical bashing of charter schools, I love mine and which all public schools operated the same way.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MZ on 07/27/2013 at 8:51 PM

Re: “The Arkansas Times introduces digital membership

Also, need to add that by the time you realize that $10 a month is too high and decide to go down to a lower price, it might be too late because you will have already lost a portion of those people that become unengaged and have found a free online resource. Reduce the quantity of your printed hard copy version or remove more color, advertisers with half a brain know that printed free copies have an inflated circulation/distribution and are probably not buying you for that reason anyway.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MZ on 07/27/2013 at 8:03 PM

Re: “The Arkansas Times introduces digital membership

I'm a little surprised that a news source that so genuinely supports the economically challenged people of this state would set a price at $9.99 a month, which I'm sure you are aware is hardly affordable to anyone on a budget. This site is probably a resource for many people that do not have high incomes, but want to stay abreast of current activities. I do understand that good pay = good reporting and will keep you profitable, but hoped you would find a advertising model by developing relationships with the "big five" or with a local digital agency to help deflect costs. Maybe a digital agency of some sort could help you get support at the local level from businesses that wish to help The AR Times because they believe in you or for other reasons feel compelled to advertise. Maybe you have already gone down that path and it didn't work. I will probably subscribe because I do enjoy your reporting and believe it to be fair, accurate and, of course, juicy. I'm not a subscriber of the Dem Gaz. I'm sure you have thought this through and I hope it works out for you, but do believe it will hurt your popularity and some people will drop off, although you will probably keep the die-hard fans and business/gov folks that want to know if they are being reported on. Many people I know may be more glued into Forbidden Hillcrest or other community sources and some might even go to the Dem Gaz online subscription. My opinion only -- best of luck.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MZ on 07/27/2013 at 7:25 PM

 

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