Thursday, February 7, 2019

CURMUDGUCATION: DC: Charter Leaders Make The Big Bucks

CURMUDGUCATION: DC: Charter Leaders Make The Big Bucks

DC: Charter Leaders Make The Big Bucks

It's a phenomenon noted in many urban education-scapes. The leaders (CEO, Education Visionary, Grand High Muckity Muck, whatever) of a charter operation makes far more money than a) the local public school superintendent responsible for far more students and b) the teachers who work within the charter. But a recent Washington City Paper article by Rachel Cohen lays out some stark examples.

The article starts with Lisa Koenig who left the lawyering biz to teach at a charter. She note that her first year teaching assistant salary was less than her year-end bonus as a lawyer. Koenig stuck with it for seven years, but at one point she asked to see the salary schedule so she could evaluate some further education choices she was considering (would the additional education debt be balance by salary increases). Her charter said no, she could not see that. In fact:

“There are 120 schools but you can’t just call them up and learn their salary schedules,” she says. “It puts us in a position where we can’t make informed choices about where we work. Charter schools are free markets for all the parents and kids, but screw those teachers.”

That kind of information isn't available to anybody, because even though DC charters are funded with taxpayer dollars, they are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. As the DC public schools for budget information and they have to tell you. But DC charters, as with most charters in the US, can just say "Nunyabiznis."

Nor is anybody trying to find out. The charters don't attempt to figure out what average charter CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: DC: Charter Leaders Make The Big Bucks

I'm asked from time to time (mostly, I think, because some people are curious but reluctant to ask) what it's like to be in my particular spot in life. Retired from teaching, sixty-one years old, raising two babies about thirty years after I raised two other babies-- as my wife and I have said at various times over the last decade, we are kind of off the map here.

So my honest answer is that I'm figuring out what it's like, trying to grow into it. But here's what I know, and I promise, beyond this navel gazing, there's a point about education.
When you first have kids, everyone tells you to focus, to pay attention, to enjoy this time because it goes by so fast. You sort of get it, but not really-- not until you've turned around the world a couple of times and suddenly your babies are gone and your full-grown human offspring have arrived.

With the twins, I can feel all the usual things-- the checking and rechecking of the developmental mileposts and getting anxious when it seems as if, maybe, they're lagging. And there is no doubt in my mind that this is far, far worse than it was thirty years ago. I already knew that-- I spent the tail end of my career teaching students who were pulled out to a high-tension stretched-thin level of anxiety driven by the certainty that they had to be on The Path or their lives would be desolate and disastrous. It's not their fault. Their parents are panicked, and why not-- there CONTINUE READING: