The State of Minnesota – with the able assistance of the teachers’ unions and a class of professional administrators more wedded to policy than education – has already ruined public education in much of Minnesota.
Why not gut the safe havens to which parents turn when the public system just doesn’t cut it?
The DFL tried to strangle charter schools in their crib when they were first founded. Then, two years ago, they tried to cap the number of charters; since the GOP was still close in the Senate, the measure failed (since six DFLers with consciences joined every single Republican in voting to kill the cap.
Anyway – they’re baaaaack:
Big changes in the way the state’s 153 charter schools are monitored and regulated are likely to emerge from this year’s legislative session. If so, it would be the first time since 1991, when the state blazed a national trail by passing charter school legislation, that state lawmakers have overhauled the system in such a way.Minnesota’s charters, which serve 30,000 students, will probably face a future of tighter controls, more oversight and increased training for charter school teachers and governing boards.
So the charters can run…more like regular public schools?
Over the years, charter schools have been battered by problems with poor student performance, fiscal woes, conflicts of interest and charges of inappropriate mixing of public education and private religion.
As to “Student Performance” – many charter students (most, at many schools) are the ones that the public schools have spent years painstakingly training to hate learning (but whose parents still care enough to try). Charters schools have to take all comers (subject to capacity), and don’t have an “ALC” or huge special ed programs to shunt off the low-performers to tweak their statistics.As to the “Fiscal woes”, I’d love to see any public school survive financially under the restrictions charters live under.
“The public is questioning how the schools are operating,” said Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, and chairwoman of the Senate charter schools working group. “And there are some charter schools that aren’t working.”
Since we’re on the topic of “public questioning”,Rep. Salzman – have you noticed how many parents are questioning the public system…with their feet? One in eight Saint Paul parents have left the system? And even more in Minneapolis? They’re asking questions with their feet
.They’re asking about graduation rates, which are flirting with 50-50, and are well below half for minority students. And that number – barring the odd fluctuation – has been trending down for as long as fixing it has been a putative priority.
So yes. By all means, let’s attack charter schools.
Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d think it’s because the educational-industrial complex is nervous about the challenge that school choice provides…:
Legislators are likely to propose freezing the number of new charters. In part, that’s in response to criticism that charters suck students, and the state money that comes with them, out of the regular schools.
Wow. Didn’t see that coming.