21st Century Globally Competitive – Late to the Party?

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

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Salaries, salaries, Who’s got the salaries?

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

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Grading Children at a Play

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

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Winter Solstice of Frost – The Darkest Evening

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

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NC Charters Close State’s SAT Gap?

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.

SAT and Charter Enrollment

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.



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The enhancing of charter schools

As a longtime supporter of charter schools, I am relieved to watch bi-partisan legislators as they assist this popular and proven system for school improvement and further enhance it as a force for strengthening public education for all children in North Carolina.

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Scary Reading in the Washington Post: WaPo as the low-information raconteur

Washington, DC – A chatty little diatribe titled “Scary reading in charter school bill” graced the WaPo on March 28.  Confounding misinformation with ignorance in breathtaking fashion, the near-sighted worthy confuses nearly sky-high, out-of-sight  accountability with “apparently none.”

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Thomas Jefferson’s Comments On The Lap-Dog Media Producing The Low-Information Citizen: the role of rebellions

Background:  After the Declaration of Independence created the 13 independent states, The Articles of Confederation began being drafted shortly afterward in 1776.  Finally ratified in 1781, many recognized that the central government was too weak.  In 1786, a convention was held to draft a new constitution, and our present Constitution became effective on March 4, 1789.

At the convention, a heated debate centered on the strength of the central government relative to the strength of the sovereign states. The debate on this topic was fueled by an armed uprising Continue reading

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Multiple Charter School Authorizers: 10 Reasons Why It’s a Bad Idea

Whenever the topic of charter school policy and legislation comes up, someone always manages to bring up the idea of “Multiple Authorizers.” Continue reading

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An Armed Deputy in Every School: At What Cost?

Zero cost.  After thirty years as an entrepreneur, I  have been a Trustee and administrator at two public K-8 charter schools for the past twelve years.   I have worked with annual budgets as these schools grew from 53 students to over 1,600 students today.  Safety has been my first priority since the  founding of these schools in 2000 shortly after Columbine. Continue reading

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