Monday, February 3, 2014

N.C. vouchers: Time to apply

For low-income families thinking about moving their children from public to private school next year,  now is the time to get serious about planning.

The state is taking applications through Feb. 25 for new opportunity scholarships of up to $4,200 a year.  Students eligible for free and reduced lunches,  which translates to an income of $43,568 for a family of four,  can file for the publicly-funded scholarships.  Find the application and other information,  including a list of N.C. private schools,  at this link.  There are also public grants available for students with disabilities going into private schools;  get details here.

There are lingering uncertainties about the opportunity scholarship program,  including,  as Lynn Bonner of the News & Observer reported,  lawsuits to get it blocked.  And families'  plans may be uncertain at this point, too.  But if there's even a chance your kids might benefit from this program,  it makes sense to apply  --  and to be checking out private schools to see what might work for your child and whether additional aid is available.

Allison
"It's critically important for those families that are interested.  They should get involved,"  says Darrell Allison of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina,  one of the biggest proponents of the vouchers.

Here's how it works:  The state will look at all the applications filed by Feb. 25.  If the $10 million set aside to cover the scholarships  (enough for about 2,400 students)  isn't enough,  there will be a lottery.  The state will announce recipients on March 3.  You don't have to have a private-school acceptance in hand at that point;  recipients have until July 15 to choose a school and offer evidence that the child has been accepted to claim the money.  As many have noted,  $4,200 won't cover tuition at most schools in the Charlotte area,  but if you find one that's cheaper the scholarship covers only the tuition total.

Remember,  students who are already in private schools or being home-schooled this year don't qualify.  The scholarships are reserved for those seeking alternatives to their current public schools  (that includes charters).  Qualifying for a scholarship doesn't guarantee acceptance;  private schools retain the right to reject any student.

Opponents say this program is draining $10 million in desperately needed money for public education and transferring it to schools that can pick and choose their students without meeting any kind of academic standards.  Private schools,  including religious ones,  can offer whatever kind of curriculum they choose,  and there's no standard,  publicly mandated data available like there is for public schools.

Allison says the ultimate accountability lies with families:  "They are empowered for the first time to choose.   We have to give them some credit for common sense."

Nor,  he says,  is the goal to skim 2,400 of the best low-income students from public schools.  Some families may explore private schools and realize their public school is better.  But at that point it's a choice,  not a default,  he says.

There's one more big reason to apply this month:  Once you get an opportunity scholarship,  it continues each year that the students remains in the private school,  Allison says.  In coming years,  new applicants will have to compete for the money that remains.




65 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

Good idea but a waste of money.

It's like spitting in the ocean and trying to make the sea rise.

Anonymous said...

Oh and I forgot to put this under the anonymous name as you have to put your real name with any quote on this site our anonymous or at least only certain folks have to do that.

And I apparently am one of those folks who are special.

Three questions:

Notice how folks are worried about private religious schools getting money, but run right to the Church and Religion when a public school shooting, or other horrible thing occurs?

Why are the folks who oppose options in education so scared about parents being in control of their children's education and future?

Why is it the folks who are always on here, keeping the socialist programs of CMS going, on here answering these questions?


Extra Credit:
Oh and I should have said always getting free press from the Observer. You know who I am talking about in fact name them.

Mr. Yamo said...

As a teacher, I have seen a lot of students who talk about changing schools through vouchers as if they were taking a vacation. Fortunately, I was there to bust the bubble and inform them of the way private schools work...you don't study and work, you don't stay. Many students who would be best served by the vouchers to go to a more rigorous and challenging setting are not to blame here, nor is criticizing the voucher program helpful. Many charter schools, such as Crossroads, have been "dumping grounds" and "turnstiles" for students with behavioral issues. I would like to see more programs that counsel these students instead of just handing them off to the charter or private setting, where they will not be for very long if the student continues on THAT path.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in CMS and I think the vouchers are a good idea. This is a whole lot to do about nothing. Most teachers I have talked to think it's a good idea. Catholic schools are a good choice for some. Some students will excel and have a door open for them. Some students will go and come back. That's fine 2. 80% of parents and students in CMS are happy. Of the 20% unhappy: 5% really aren't that unhappy 10% would not get of the couch to save their own lives 5% have a chance to do something different. I hope this works for the student who try. At the end of the day, its the students that matter.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Larry.

Those "Christian" schools are so safe.

Be sure to run to one the next time there's a shooting.

http://nypost.com/2012/04/02/7-dead-3-hurt-in-christian-school-shooting-cops/

Or run to a church and hide:

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/general-firearm-discussion/98256-18-church-shootings-11-years-comprehensive-list.html

Because "Christians" don't kill, do they?

And churches are "safe".

Check those prison statistics, too.

Lots of believers in prison.

Wiley Coyote said...

$10,000,000 voucher dollars

1,500,000 NC students

800,000+/- NC students who qualify for FRL

2,400 vouchers available

0.30% of low income students who will qualify statewide

100 school districts

$100,000 per district

$4,200 per eligible student

145,000 CMS students

78,300 CMS students eligible for FRL

24 students in CMS who can get part of the $100,000 or 0.03%.

This is assuming each district gets an equal share of the funds, but you get the point.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, great perspective. The kids that I see falling through the cracks in the public system are the average students, the middle of the road students. There are services and extra staff for the low performers, and Honors/AP classes for the high performers. It is hard for the average student to achieve a level of success in CMS.

Chipper said...

Several families I know have left CMS high schools due to the 7:15am start time. Good for them!
Private and Charter schools set hours compatible with good health, safety, equity, and learning.

Sad broncos fan said...

Parents should be concerned about the size of some of the south charlotte schools. Almost 1700 kids at community house middle? What are the plans to relieve that school? Ive heard no talk about it. Why not? That's way too many kids, large class sizes and teachers who have had enough.

Anonymous said...

some parents care, some don't. It's nice to give the families who care about education some options for their kids.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, is there anything these people con't get for free?

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Allison is mistaken in his belief private schools are going to help children who are in poverty. Until the parents take accountability and responsibilty for their own children at home, I don't care where you send them to school, most of them will continue to struggle. If Darrell Allison wants to make a real difference, perhaps he would be best served by advocating for being responsible parents. Or here is a novel idea, promote getting involved with the local public schools to help support them in their efforts to edcuate your children. You don't have to be affleunt to get involved, you just have to care!

Barbi T. said...

We(thankfully) moved our son out of a big fancy south charlotte high school last year. we moved him to a smaller private school. He is doing great, loves his teachers, small class sizes, sports and not all the social pressure he experiences at the last CMS school.

One thing we learned is that he was not prepared by CMS for the rigors (especially grammar/writing) at the new school. He has now learned how to write and manage his time better.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:52 Please do not use real names as I posted under the anonymous posting.

And did you note in your article, that person went to that school and was not in it as a student, you know like we can find over and over at the public schools.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

I know how you feel about we Christians, imagine us thinking something more that just flying around, million of miles, in the cold, cold space. Why are we not just wanting the next new things they advertise to us. That should be enough as it is for so many.



Wiley Coyote said...

Another perspective that dwarfs the feeble attempt at vouchers:

Bright Beginnings at CMS has been costing us about $20 MILLION per year - again, per year - for years.

A whole generation-plus of kids have come and gone through CMS, yet not an ounce of data as to who, why, what or even huh has been garnered from the program.

How many were helped? Did it make a difference? Could those funds have been better spent elsewhere? Why are taxpayers funding it?

18 years later and what, over $200 MILLION dollars spent on Bright Beginnings and what do we have to show for it?

This voucher program is a complete waste of money and will go down the same path...

Anonymous said...

anon 7:52 And thanks for the other link about shootings at Churches. Shows how folks walk into these places and start shooting those folks.

I guess the shooters were raised to make sure that religion was bad and needed to apparently be attacked.

Anonymous said...

so there are shootings at schools, must mean teachers are bad.

there are shootings at malls, must mean capitalism is bad.

Whats your point?

Anonymous said...

anon 9:11 I do not know tell me, as you seem to be so good at putting words into other peoples mouth.

As evidenced by your quote at 9:11

Anonymous said...

Nah, some of them are just "mad at God" and take it out on the Amish school children:

http://www.post-gazette.com/frontpage/2007/09/30/Nickel-Mines-legacy-Forgive-first/stories/200709300155

My guess is that you have to believe in God to be angry at Him.

But I dunno, some people may be mad at Zeus and take it out on Baptists.

But the chances of getting shot at school are far less than 1 in a million, so that's not much of a reason to get a voucher for a church school.

Anonymous said...

I read on this blog about a task force meeting this week regarding school bell schedules. I can't find any information on the CMS web site about it. When? Where?

Shamash said...

Oh, please let me do the math for y'all...

According to the article, about 2400 students will get vouchers.

According to this article

School Shootings: What Are The Odds III:

The odds of a school child of any age getting shot and killed is one in 15,000,000.

http://www.psychlawjournal.com/2013/01/school-shootings-what-are-odds-part-iii.html

So that means that these vouchers can be expected to save at least

2400/15,000,000 lives.

Or .00016 lives.

Assuming of course, that some lunatic doesn't attack a private school.

Which, of course, has happened before.

SO meh.

From this, I conclude:

Vouchers don't save lives.

Anonymous said...

This program will not even come close to getting off the ground. The income cap really hurts it and the people who are funding the system cannot use it. So the actual high income earner paying taxes to cover this cannot use it. I could help with over crowding issue by removing my kids from CMS if I could get a voucher. That would save the County and State money , but of course that would not be good ! Keith W. Hurley

Cookie said...


Keith, thankfully for CMS thousands of children in meck county do not go to CMS schools.

Could you imagine the mess if 40,000 more students were in the mix.

Shamash said...

I tend to agree with a lot of the folks who say that just getting the parents involved in the kids schooling (through any means) has some good effect.

That's one things the Asians have going for them.

The parents care about education.

Until we can instill that kind of desire in ALL our parents, a lot of these feel-good programs will be a waste.

It will be interesting to see how many people "sign up" for the vouchers and who those people are.

I suspect that it won't be the people at the very bottom.

Because I suspect that many of them just don't care.

And they are free to prove me wrong any time they wish...

I welcome it.

Ann Doss Helms said...

9:33, great question. Susan Plaza, who's a member of this task force, posted this last week: "The next task force meeting is Thursday, Feb. 6, 2:00 at the Government Center downtown."

I can't find a trace of that -- or the latest compensation task force, which is also supposed to be public -- on the CMS web site. I've sent a request to get the info (and to have it posted where folks can find it).

Anonymous said...

I will be pulling my 4th grade son out of public schools this coming school year. We are looking into our options as far as local charter schools or private schools.

I am frustrated at the technology push from the public education system. I do not think it is healthy for my school to be promoting video games and technology at such a young age for use at school,plus the large class sizes are hindering his learning. Choice is a good thing for our family and we are happy that there are some other options for our son. we hope that the grass is greener for him elsewere.

Anonymous said...

So the focus of this article was what again folks?

Oh right choice for parents who need the choice the most.

So keep at it with the diversions and maybe you can keep folks from looking at the failings of CMS and the public school system.

But I hope none of you read about the Teacher which the Union got reinstated just because he was viewing porn on his class room computer. I can imagine the outcry if that had happened with anything other than pubic schools.

Tom said...

shamash, look at the brightside, there's less competition for our kids and those of us who give a @$^@%%^.

Ann Doss Helms said...

7:04, you are definitely special. :-)

But you're not being persecuted. As readers/posters know, anyone can post under his/her real name, anonymously or under a pseudonym that does not misrepresent the source. There's only one person I know of who has a long history of trying to represent himself as the Charlotte Observer, and those are the posts I'm deleting. But it's not personal. If Heath Morrison or Bill Anderson or anyone else you suspect of being on the "favorites" list creates a false Charlotte Observer account, I'll delete those comments too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:48

Yeah, they might have had to wait for a new pope to clean up the mess if it had been a private school with a certain religious "bent".

Shamash said...

Tom,

Unfortunately, at some point, the public schools are likely to become an even bigger dumping ground than they are now.

I'm not sure that having a kid be the Valedictorian at a Lord of The Flies style public school would be a good thing.

I'd prefer to see SOMETHING which produces parent and student buy-in for ALL schools.

When I see what places like Hong Kong expect of all their enrolling students in public school, I'm somewhat amazed.

It's probably tougher than just about any private school would require.

For PUBLIC school.

They have student interviews, portfolios, parent interviews, etc., etc. even for preschool.

You don't just walk newly-hatched into a public school in Hong Kong.

You have to be prepared.

I could NEVER imagine such parental and student involvement in the US.

And it's sad in a way.

Not that Hong Kong is an ideal, it's extreme for sure and very stressful, but here many people just don't seem to care at all.

Which is the other extreme.

I don't think providing a "free" public education should mean "free" from ALL responsibilities.

Which is apparently what our system has become.

But why?

Who is that helping?


Working&Studying2Pay4AmericanWelfareDream said...

Having children is a personal choice, not an inherent, subsidizable right. I choose not to have children; where do I apply to receive my voucher dollars?

Anonymous said...

School choice has long been a cry of the GOP because public education is something this party seldom feels has a benefit. It dates back to the old days just prior to the full implementation of wide spread public education. So any credit this political party has related to public secondary education is a non start. While school choice seems good in theory, it is quite horrible in related. Yet public schools have created this opportunity for this argument due to little innovation and creativity in teaching and learning objecttives in the classroom. In addition, no active full on effort has truly been fully implemented to actively engage parents into the informal education process (i.e. boundaries and limitations at home linking to behavior). It is time for everyone to get off their tails and take accountability. If you want to refute the school choice effort, start setting a higher standard in public education and actually making it happen!

Anonymous said...

Its raining and warm outside today is CMS even open?

charles said...

I don't know anyone who is against public education. But, many here have seen the "system" in action, no doubt with their own children.

The bureaucracy, the large class sizes, the discipline issues, the unfair athletic practices, the variance in teacher aptitude, the crazy start times, the ever changing curriculum, etc.. all play a part in people's view of the "system" and play an important role in looking for other educational options for children.

we just got tired of our kids putting up with the constant distractions of the general prison population.

Shamash said...

One real problem I see with any voucher system is the underlying assumption that parents will always make the best choices for their children.

McDonalds Happy Meals disprove that.

Wiley Coyote said...

Shamash,

I have to disagree on one point.

Any parent that is at least taking the time to make a choice for what they believe is in their child's best interest, whether it turns out to be the right one or not, is better than those who dump their kids off at pre-K and expect government and teachers to raise their kid.

Some people are three fries short of a Happy Meal.

Bolyn McClung said...

.
COMPENSATION TASK FORCE

I would be surprised if there is a public Compensation anything.

CMS made such a mess of that last year. It announced its formation. Selected a great public sector chair and then aborted the team when it said it had to do the task quickly because of budgeting deadlines.

CMS doesn't have a compensation problem. It has a revenue problem. Or better yet it has a spending problem.

Recently the county put CMS on a debt diet. CMS needs to put itself on an operational spending diet. There are too many pipe dreams in the pipe. And those dreams conflict with the amount of local money to match any state raises.

Let's suppose that the General Assembly gives the teachers it is responsible for an 8% raise. There are still a large number of teachers that aren't funded that way. CMS would be responsible for finding the money for those raises from within its budget.

If you thought the budget processes of the last five years has been difficult, you haven't seen nothing yet. CMS has no idea what the state raise will be.

So, back to the Compensation Committee…Worthless. It needs a "Spending Diet" committee.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville
.

Shamash said...

Wiley,

Another problem may be that they don't have any good choices, either.

I know that a lot has been written about the crappy charter and private schools in Louisiana and THAT voucher situation.

Some of them are horrendous, yet still exist and apparently "market" themselves to those in need of a few extra fries.

I'd hate to see us follow their bad example.

I just don't want vouchers to do to education what food stamps have done to nutrition among the already "disadvantaged".

Some people just don't make good choices.

Even when they try.

And there is a LOT of educational JUNK FOOD out there.

(A Beka curriculum is one, but that's another story. They even politicize math and are critical of SET THEORY. Jeez, I studied set theory in college. It's not a communist plot at all.)

BUT FWIW, I just found out that your favorite project, LIFT, supports my favorite non-teaching tool:

FLOCABULARY

As a part of the BELL after school program.

http://www.experiencebell.org/news/bell-after-school-program-lifts-charlotte

So I see the need for choice other than public schools.

Because they fall for the JUNK FOOD crap as well.

(Darned if I don't get "This Week In Rap" in my e-mail ever since I signed the kid up for that FLOCABULARY C-rap.)



Anonymous said...

I can't find any up-to-date info about the public CMS task forces on the website. I guess I shouldn't surprised.

Anonymous said...

Private schools are not better than public schools. When controlling for parental income, students in public schools not only compete with private schools, they beat them - especially conservative, Christian schools (Catholic schools are the real barn burners). Private schools only look good on paper because they serve students from families with a higher economic status.

http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/the_public_school_advantage_why_public_schools_outperform_private_schools

-and-

http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/studies/2006461.asp

This is a deliberate attempt by those who dislike public schools, because of politics and ideology, to destroy public schools. It is unfortunate that our citizens are not standing behind public schools - they are the owners of them - they have a say and it is a democratic process.

With private schools, parents have NO say and there is no accountability. I am offended that my tax dollars will go toward supporting such a system.

Wiley Coyote said...

I'm offended that my tax dollars are being wasted by public schools on pre-K, fraudulent Title I funds and free school lunches.

gwalkerruns said...

9:48, so you are going to move your child to a private school because technology is over used in public schools! Did you not follow Mrs. Helms series on mandatory tablet/phone use in classes at Providence Day and others? If you want to move your child, do it. But don't use that as a reason....you will be disappointed. Btw, an interesting read is the waldorf school in Cali if you want to read about a screen free school. The real danger of too much screen time should be dealt with parents at home. Most don't.

Shamash said...

An interesting blog:

http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

They keep track of the Gulen movement, too, along with other problem Charter Schools.

Some silly, some scary.

Just FYI.

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason CMS will not do something about the over-crowding at Community House Middle? Why does JA Robinson just 2 miles away have such a "smaller" (south charlotte speaking) student population.

Fix the boundaries! Make Elon Park go to JA Robinson.

I know the board doesn't care about South Charlotte, but come on! What important persons kids go to JA Robinson? Ha

Shamash said...

Anon 4:25,

Yeah, I've read that the Catholic and Lutheran private schools are fairly good, but that the other Protestant schools are a mixed bag with many of them being awful.

But those aren't the scary ones.

See this for some of the real sad schools:

http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/

If we're going to spend public money on these schools, they need to be at least as good as the average public school with the same demographic or lose their funding.

IMO.

Otherwise, what's the point?

Also, for Wiley...

There has been a move for decades to convert Title I funds into portable vouchers.

But it doesn't seem to get very far.

Wiley Coyote said...

Shamash..

Indocrination.

The liberal blowhards who run the public school system are trying desperately to keep the status quo going.

Coming to a school district near you:

You can’t celebrate America, school says

Students and parents at a Colorado high school are outraged after administrators turned down their request for a spirit week day honoring America because it might offend non-Americans.

“They said they didn’t want to offend anyone from other countries or immigrants,” a 16-year-old member of the student council told me. “They just really did not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”

The student council at Fort Collins High School had proposed having a day to celebrate the United States during next week’s Winter Spirit Week. The young people pitched “’Merica Monday” – and invited their classmates to dress in patriotic colors. Their proposal was promptly shot down by administrators.
...

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/02/03/todd-starnes-cant-celebrate-america-school-says/

Anonymous said...

Oh boy more handouts for the needy on my dime. How about a program were everyone with or without kids gets a $8,000 check annually for education and make it a open system. Schools would compete for students/funds. Tax payers without kids would get to keep their cash. People that dont pay taxes could go to a LIFT program. Either buck up or buck out people.

Greek god said...

4:25 I disagree, and have experience in both the public and private school settings. I have found the students in private to be better behaved, more respectful to staff and peers, and more conscientious of their work, deadlines, etc... The private school setting also allows students more freedom and flexibility (more like college) than can be allowed at the local, large high schools. My students in public were apathetic and seemed bothered to be awake.

Anonymous said...

My children go to Providence springs elementary school. We are very happy there, especially since the school start time changed from 7:30am to 8:00am, happier students, families and staff.

Anonymous said...

9:48!! News bubble.. NC does not have Unions. Wal-Mart workers have more working protections then an NC teacher

Anonymous said...

5:48 amen. I wish more people would be concerened about the size of that school.It is too big. When will CMS rezone, it has to be soon.

bobcat said...

5:19 cms schools at least in the south charlotte area, depend too much on personal ipads, iphones and that has led to a lot of trouble in the schools. The kids are taking photos, instagraming and playing games. Is that what kind of technology you are talking about? that is not helpful to the students. technology use is not nearly monitored as closely in CMS as it is in the local private school. its a free for all at cms.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything that would make CMS care about Community House Middle and all the students there?

A safe bet is to say NO.

South Charlotte parents need to ban together and get their voices heard. Hey-maybe closing our wallets to the "sister schools" is a start. Maybe then someone will take notice.

Also, how about a LIFT school adopt a school not getting a piece of the $55 million pie? Sorry-I forgot its hard to help others when your hand is constantly out for your free handout. The cycle will never end.

Anonymous said...

That was not in NC. Education is a state issue. As much as Obama and the corporate right want to make it Federal. NC does not have negotiated contracts or a union. A few years ago a CMS teachers were fired for pictures of them drinking on their Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

unions? be careful what you wish for.

Fake Name said...

Did anyone read the Charter School Scandals Site?

Why it had a few stories of Teachers and the like getting arrested and and stories of Charters that close.

I can see why folks would want to keep their children in Public School.

I should post the site, 50 hottest teachers having sex with students, but this site lists more than that and just for Women having sex with students, for some reason Males having sex does not warrant a list on the internet. http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/39783/

Shamash said...

Wiley,

Well, things could be worse.

We could be Australia.

They are having their own "culture wars", called the "history wars".

Basically a re-write of History to downplay the involvement of British, American, and European influence on Australia.

In favor of indigenous people and the "other" immigrants over the Europeans and Americans and especially the British.

It would be like over-emphasizing the Native American tribes and their culture and contributions to "American Life" over that of the European colonists.

Which is minimal at best today.

And it's being done by their "Libruls", of course.

Again, this attempt to marginalize European culture and history is apparently global.

At least in places which were once part of the old British Empire (which oddly enough, are among the most civilized and advanced parts of the world).

But there's no point in giving credit where credit's due any more.



Fake Name said...

Hey I did find a small list of Males having sex with Students.

http://www.progressivedisorder.com/MaleTeacherSexCrimes.shtml

And I find it strange how folks see parents having choices for how their children are educated, are equating it to the decline of schools.

They say if only these folks worked with the schools and the like. Well I have volunteered and have seen many who have worked hard before finding alternatives.

So the system is not working, will not change, unless we make it and all the support in the world will not make it better until it changes.

The drop out factory is running full steam ahead and folks are running away as fast and in this case with the help of some very smart Elected Officials.

Shamash said...

Fakename,

It's all good.

The information that is.

Not much point in hiding what's going on out there, is there?

I certainly appreciate knowing all sides of what's happening from all perspectives.

I'm sure this female predator list exists as an antidote to all the claims that we ONLY need to worry about male teachers.

Or Catholic priests, or public school teachers, or private school teachers, etc., etc.

When it's obviously not true.

Good and bad in them all.

Best to not assume that any of them are NECESSARILY better than the other.

Those female predators came from a wide range of schools as well.

Fake Name said...

History of the English Speaking People is a good book.

Fake Name said...

A wide range? The vast majority were non Charter Schools, but I may have miscounted them.

But the point is that we do have a new breed of teacher in the class room.

So at least in Charter and the like things move very quickly to get rid of them.

Mot like the Union Teacher who was reinstated in public school, after being caught watching porn time after time in class.

And a quick search of the subject will show that for some reason those not in charter schools do seem to get back into class at an alarming rate.

You know when the play rap music in support of gay marriage to little kids and ... well you look up the many reports.

Kinds of makes you wonder why folks still want to force the It takes a village on everyone and not let folks have options in their children's education.


Shamash said...

Fakename,

Well, the vast majority of schools are non-charter schools, so keep that in mind, too.

And only the Pope knows what goes on in some of those schools. But even he (as in previous Popes) didn't move very quickly.

Catholic schools have suffered credibility due to this as well.

But speaking of rap, maybe you've heard about FLOCABULARY.

I think they may have been responsible for some pro "gay" marriage rap songs as well (but I'm not sure if it's the ones you're talking about).

I get "This Week In RAP" in my email ever since I signed my kid up for the trial.

I just think it's a shallow way to teach vocabulary because it focuses on just ONE definition, though their other support material isn't quite as bad.

I taught my kid how to use the online dictionary and use the FLOCABULARY rap songs as examples of poor and incomplete definitions, so he knows better.

(I doubt that the parents who are part of Project LIFT's BELL program do the same...)

So, sometimes you can use the school "propaganda" as a learning tool to debunk sloppy thinking and poor methods.

That said, I don't have a problem with public, private, or charter schools in particular.

I think all types can be good and all types can be bad.

I just want us to get rid of the bad schools, bad teachers, bad students, and bad parents.

Though I know we can't do that.

But still...

I also know how vulnerable our system is to abuse.

We cannot assume that anyone is honest anymore.

And the charter and private schools are soft targets for all kinds of nutcases.

Like the Nation of Islam and Gulenists for example.

I'm not sure why "conservatives" would allow THAT to happen in the name of the "free market".

Fake Name said...

What is conservatives with the quotes around it?

Shamash said...

I use "conservatives" to mean people who follow a particular view most people call conservative, but who may not be considering all (or most) of the consequences of what they are doing.

Almost like RINO, except more general and maybe not even consciously.

Sometimes things which look like they would benefit a certain viewpoint actually benefit the exact opposite viewpoint in a roundabout way.

Like how privatization can result in terrorist-backed schools siphoning money to foreign terrorists (instead of just the Pope) as a "good", "conservative" Catholic may wish.

Unintended consequences, y'know.

Like how rap music may get the urban crowd involved in education, but actually dumb down learning for others who depend on it over more traditional methods.