Sunday, April 22, 2007

At least someone is LEADing

Of what benefit is it to MNPS to consistently hobble the charter schools in our district? They maintain control? They keep union membership up? They won't have to actually improve if they don't have any 'competition'? It's foolishness to continue to stand between these students and an education. MNPS isn't getting the job done for them. Let these children who didn't get lucky with the magnet lottery, whose parents aren't politically connected enough, who can't afford to live in better districts have at least this much of a choice and chance.

The City Paper is right: "Metro Schools have appeared culturally opposed to charter schools..."

Liz Garrigan is right: "We mean the kinds of cultural barriers that wind up screwing public school kids whose families have little money or clout. School administrators are not only loathe to embrace school choice in the form of charter schools, but they also regard them as the piranha of the school district, eating up per-pupil dollars that would otherwise be tossed right back into the same failing schools that made charters necessary in the first place."

And from Gail Kerr's column:

Students will wear uniforms, chosen by the principal. School hours will be longer. There will be field trips, physical education, responsible living classes, and homework. Teachers will be available via cell phone until 8 p.m. and will be trained to spot social problems.

"Our motto is, 'whatever it takes,' " Kane said after lunch. "It starts with 'prove it.' If this doesn't succeed, I will be the first one to shut this down."

I doubt he'll have to. The shame will belong to the MNPS School Board and it's Superintendent Dr. Pedro Garcia when LEAD Academy (and KIPP Academy) consistently produce excellent students despite their at risk population getting miserly crumbs of basic support from the very district that is/was charged with educating them originally.

You want another clue about why taxpayers won't provide more money for schools? It's because we read and hear about how the needs of the children come after protectionist policies. We consider it more important that a child IS educated than HOW.

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