Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why California’s charter school sector is called ‘the Wild West’ - The Washington Post

Why California’s charter school sector is called ‘the Wild West’ - The Washington Post:

Why California’s charter school sector is called ‘the Wild West’



This is the second of four posts on the state of the charter school sector in California.
The charter school sector has grown over the last few decades amid a debate about their virtues and drawbacks — and even whether the publicly funded schools are actually public. Some charters do a great job, but even some advocates (though not all) are finally admitting that too many states allowed charters to open and operate without sufficient oversight.
Ohio and Utah have vied for the distinction of having the most troubled charter sector though Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently issued a report this year and declared his state’s charter school law the “worst” in the nation.  It’s a race to the bottom.
California deserves special attention as, in many ways, the charter Wild West. It has more charter schools and charter school students than any other state in the nation. One billionaire even came up with a secret plan to “charterize” half of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Among the problems:
* A report released recently (by the ACLU SoCal and Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm and advocacy group) found that more than 20 percent of all California charter schools have enrollment policies that violate state and federal law.
* In some places, charter schools open without mentioning their existence to the traditional school district in which they reside, prompting lawsuits by the districts. The Grossmont Union High School District, for example, sued to shut down two charters operating in Grossmont under agreements signed by another school district. The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted Scott Patterson, Grossman’s deputy superintendent of business services as saying, “It’s been described as the Wild West out there.”
*A Mercury News investigation published in April revealed how the state’s online charter schools run by Virginia-based K12 Inc., the largest for-profit charter operator in the country, have “a dismal record of academic achievement” but have won more than $310 million in state funding over the past Why California’s charter school sector is called ‘the Wild West’ - The Washington Post:
* One charter school principal doubled as a National Basketball Association scout, traveling first class to basketball games around the country — and charged his travel expenses to his charter school.
* One charter school closed in 2014 after state auditors found a number of issues, including indications that administrators funneled millions of dollars in state funds to the schools’ operator and her family and friends. As the Los Angeles Times reported, some of the allegations Why California’s charter school sector is called ‘the Wild West’ - The Washington Post:


 Image result for big education ape California’s charter school

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