National School Choice Week: Are NC public charters a good choice for your child? Demographic data reveal, “Yes!”

In acknowledgement of National School Choice Week, the following evaluates North Carolina’s public charter school option. What are public charter schools? What is their academic record?  Who are their students?

Information compiled directly from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction test data shows that the state End-of-Grade (EOG) test performance average of public charter students is higher than that of traditional public students, and that in 10 of 12 demographic subgroups— including minorities, economically disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities— students at public charter schools academically outperform students at traditional public schools on EOG tests. Continue reading

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Charter Students Outperform Traditional Students by a Wide Margin

According to official state data, how do public charter students compare to public traditional students on state End-of Grade tests?  The NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has released the raw data for each public school’s end-of-grade test results. DPI also calculates the percentage of tests passed – known as “composite performance percentages” –  for each school and for all public school students in the state as a whole.  kgrad

However, they avoid showing a breakdown of performance percentages that compares public traditional school students with public charter school students.  Because both groups of schools administer exactly the same tests, it is revealing to see how the two public school groups compare. As we know, the state average for all public schools is 56.6%. So what is the performance average for all of the state’s charter school students?  Continue reading

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A CLP school is a CLP school is a CLP school: and by any other name would perform as poorly.

In a fit of legislative hocus-pocus, the same Perdue regime which left NC $3.5 billion in debt and cut funding to schools passed Senate Bill 704[i] in the twilight hours of 100 years of Democrat control in May, 2010.

The 553-word SB704, with an ungainly 248-word title, pretends to offer a fix for incompetent local school boards that breed “continually low-performing schools.”   Continue reading

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Classical History Curriculum by The Roger Bacon Academy

The Roger Bacon Academy (RBA) developed and teaches a classical history curriculum for the schools that it manages.  I have been asked frequently how the RBA “classical history” curriculum differs from a typical “social studies” curriculum, so I would like to share my thoughts on how one might view the difference.  (With apologies to our Dean of ELA and History.)

It is 100% ORGANIC. Continue reading

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One of the many…

One of the many…Maj. James V. Johnston, 84th I.D.

Major Johnston Painting

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U.S. Senate Resolution for Charter Schools

RES. 171

Congratulating the students, parents, teachers, and administrators of charter schools across the United States for making ongoing contributions to education, and
supporting the ideals and goals of the 16th annual National Charter Schools Week, to be held May 3 through May 9, 2015.Senate

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 6, 2015

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How not to teach elementary school science

CURRICULUM CRITIQUE: SCOTT, FORESMAN’S “DISCOVER SCIENCE”

[When organizing some digital archives on this rainy Saturday, I came across this paper that I had written in the early 1990’s while taking a course for a lateral entry teaching certificate.  I don’t know if this particular series is still around, but things have not changed very much.  I do know that the disdain for using any math in an elementary science text is even more prevailing today than 20 years ago. ]

sf discover science

Texas Edition, 1991; Grades 1-6; Specific Comments refer to the Sixth Grade Text Continue reading

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High Scores at Low Cost: A Taxpaying Parent’s Dream, A Bureaucrat’s Nightmare.

Abstract

When free-enterprise solutions are unleashed in a competitive environment controlled by local parental choice not remote bureaucratic dictates, both students and taxpayers win.

A charter school in Southeastern North Carolina has a 15-year time-tested model for Continue reading

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The Star Spangled Banner Asks a Question. What is its answer?

[The following is the text of a brief address that I gave to an assembly of students at Charter Day School, Leland, NC in 2004.  I have repeated it several times since and now share it with you on the anthem’s 200th anniversary.]

Our 20th President James Garfield said that freedom and justice can only stand on the foundation of a well-educated citizenry. In a moment we will sing our country’s national anthem – “The Star Spangled Banner” – so perhaps it is fitting to review for you boys and girls the heritage represented by this song. Continue reading

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Study: Charters Give Pupils, State More Bang for Buck

Reprinted from:  Carolina Journal News Reports

University of Arkansas researchers also refute claim of cherry-picking students
Jul. 29th, 2014
RALEIGH — A new national study concludes that charter schools in North Carolina and other states uniformly outperform traditional public schools, and have a significantly better return on investment for taxpayers. 

One finding of the report refutes critics who have claimed North Carolina charters cherry-pick the best students from district schools. To the contrary, the report concludes that charter schools serve higher levels of minority, low-income, and special-needs students than their traditional public school counterparts. Continue reading

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