Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Kaffer: The broken promises of school choice

Kaffer: The broken promises of school choice:

Nancy Kaffer: The broken promises of school choice


Video: http://on.freep.com/2rDuQ6V



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Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy, according to the ideology of charter school advocates, shouldn't exist.
Twenty-four years ago, that was the promise of Michigan's charter school movement, helmed by Betsy DeVos, now U.S. Secretary of Education: The market can solve the deficiencies of the public school system; the competition provided by charter schools will force struggling or failing traditional public schools to improve or shut down. 
So perhaps DeVos, whose plans to expand school choice even further, can explain Paul Robeson Malcolm X. Academy. 
The Detroit elementary school, subject of a Chalkbeat Detroit article published Tuesday, recounts significant troubles: Because Detroit is experiencing a 100-plus teacher shortage, with another 260 vacancies filled permanently by substitute teachers, a staff absence means no subs are available. So classes double up — on the day in question, teacher Rynell Sturkey's class comprised 37 first-graders crammed so tightly into a classroom that Sturkey could barely move around the room. It happens, Sturkey told Chalkbeat, three or four times a month. 
More from Nancy Kaffer: 
At storytime, Sturkey had to lean against the wall, warning the kids they wouldn't all be able to see the pictures. Kids don't get time in the school's computer lab, necessary to learn how to use the machines they'll take standardized tests on — the high-stakes assessments that determine whether their school will remain open — and the math Kaffer: The broken promises of school choice:

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