Governments by Open Records: The original purpose of transparency through Open Meetings and Public Records and LEA salary disclosures is that these laws applied to the governments which made the rules and controlled the public’s money– the governments, whether state (the legislature and executive branch and DPI), county, or city. These entities needed transparency in their operations so the public could see what was going on between elections and adjust their votes accordingly. The people in the voting booths were the only check or balance on these government entities. Oversight of government rests with an informed public who elects the government, and who have no choices, otherwise.
Corporations by Contracts: The need for transparency as it may apply to private corporations is quite different. The government has the discretion to make contracts or award grants to private corporations to accomplish certain ends. The government retains the right, through its contracts or grants to terminate the contract or cancel the grant if the ends envisioned are not being achieved. The need for transparency is superfluous. Oversight of contracts and grants rests with the government which issues these contracts and grants and which has many choices for promoting its ends.
(left) Capt. Mitchell Johnston, VF-16 Navy F6F ACE on the Hornet. Flew with Butch O’Hare,
[This comment was posted in response to a WECT May 20th article berating Charter Day School, RBA, and me for being slow to WECT's demand for a list of all teachers' salaries - personal information that we believe is private, confidential information between the school and the teacher.]
Since June of 2011, WECT has reported nineteen articles about Charter Day School, The Roger Bacon Academy (RBA) or Baker Mitchell. Most of them attempt to cast these successful Charter School educators in a negative light with little or no positive news. For example:
1. It failed to report Charter Day School in Leland, managed by RBA, had the highest combined test scores and academic growth of any public school in Brunswick County. Continue reading
What is the Tax Payer Getting? Much more.
“Charter schools need to tell taxpayers what they are getting for their money.” The headline is from the March 24 StarNews editorial. As a founder of local charter schools, I agree 100 percent; surely everyone agrees that taxpayers should know what they are getting for their money. And they are getting much more for their money. Continue reading
Edville, USA – The hue and cry for our schools to produce students who are “21st Century Globally Competitive” now stretches from sea to shining sea across our great nation. Continue reading
Although charter schools are subjected to the same accounting standards and annual auditing that govern traditional schools, they are not required to invade the privacy of their employees by publishing their salaries. Continue reading
Grading Children at a Play
(with apologies to Robert Frost)
Whose son this is I think I know,
His mom is in the lockup, though.
She will not see me judging here
To watch her boy’s skit win the show. Continue reading
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow. Continue reading
For many years, North Carolina’s public schools have lagged far behind the national average in college-bound SAT scores. Since 1998, however, that gap has steadily shrunk in direct proportion to the number of students enrolled in charter schools. By 2012, the gap has closed to nearly nothing.
The link to a graph of scores and enrollment and the table of data values is here: SAT and Enrollment
From a year-after-year gap of -40 points trailing the national average, the gap has closed to only -4 points in 2012 during the same period that charter school enrollment rose from 0 to 49,000. The statistical correlation coefficient for these data is over 0.98, where 1.0 is perfect.
The cause of this rise in SAT scores could be due to the competition posed by charter schools to the traditional districts. And the more that charters were competing for students, the more that traditional districts had to put their game faces on, quit making excuses, and take education more seriously.
Correlation does not prove causation, but what other change in the North Carolina educational landscape occurred that could account for this very significant improvement?
For a national study on the effects of charter competition on district schools see http://educationnext.org/competition-with-charters-motivates-districts/ “Competition between charter schools and traditional public schools for students may induce a constructive reaction, an obstructive reaction, or no response,” states the article, and they examine cases in each category.