Monday, March 6, 2017

“Can’t We All Just Get Along”? – redqueeninla

“Can’t We All Just Get Along”? – redqueeninla:

“Can’t We All Just Get Along”?

A plaintive parent declares that with “one kid in a regular public district school and another in a charter school”, we should all just “get along”.
Here’s the formula for getting along: (1) You have to tolerate me and (2) I have to tolerate you; (3) Your existence cannot impinge on mine and (4) my existence cannot impinge on yours.
Charters and regular public district schools do not operate independently from one another, because two commodities are shared: (i) money (aka “resources”) and (ii) pupils.
These commodities are not infinite; both entities (charters and “regular district schools” – let’s call them “RDS”) essentially compete for the same “fixed” (amount of) commodity. This is what’s known as a zero-sum setup; the “margins are fixed”, the amount of available education dollars is more-or-less invariant, the amount of available pupils will not change (not appreciably, cities swell and drain a little but basically, babies have been born to this cohort already and we’ve got who we’ve got present now to educate). The only change these commodities can see therefore, is to “rearrange the deck chairs” – the ship is still going down the same way, but the chairs might be clustered differently. Pupils might congregate inside different schoolyards; monies might get distributed differently.
To make matters worse, the needs of both entities is not reciprocal, nor is the distribution of these commodities without impact on the other entity. That is, the cost to educate every pupil is not equivalent, some are costlier than others. And where you cluster funds is not a matter of +$1 here means -$1 there because the impact of a dollar matters depending where it is. There are economies of scale, for example, to be gained or it is long-acknowledged that severely disadvantaged communities require more money to come to equity (this is what Federal Title 1 dollars provide, it is why the new “LCFF” uses a formula to assign more money per capita to poorer schools than to relatively richer ones).
Therefore while it’s possible for both entities to tolerate one another, it’s not possible for their existence not to impact the other.
That’s where the fallacy lies. Folks who wonder ingenuously why we can’t all “just get along”, seem not to understand the pernicious consequences of charter schools on the totality of a public education system.
The underlying game-plan of charters is to rarefy its pupil-population, by hook or by crook. Sometimes in the past, this has been done illegally through fixing lotteries or selections processes. Sometimes the lottery process has been weighted through a sanctioned, if questionable, process. Empirical reports of “counseling out” already admitted kids are easy to come by; discouraging “Can’t We All Just Get Along”? – redqueeninla:

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