This edition of #NCED Updates highlights school choice advocates punching back against a racist attack on charters, the war on parents, two choice studies and a number of headlines worth checking out.
#1 – More punching back at the racist attach by NC SPIN’s Tom Campbell
I previously mentioned the push back on NC SPIN’s Tom Campbell for his Op-ed attacking public charter schools which appeared in dozens of papers across the state. Well, there are two more to share:
- DILLINGHAM: Re-segregation and charter schools: Setting the record straight
- Mitchell: The suggestion that district schools are being resegregated through “white flight” to charter schools is nonsense
The second one is written by Baker Mitchell, who runs the Roger Bacon Academy. The piece is at the Wall Street Journal and is paywalled but I got an eyeball on it and a great line was where he tags Campbell without naming him.
“A public television commentator claimed recently that “resegregation” was the purpose of charter schools “from the start.”
Ouch. Campbell has become the public-commentator-who-shall-not-be-named.
Another great line was this one, where Baker Mitchell torches Campbell’s premise of resegregation:
“The suggestion that district schools are being resegregated through ‘white flight’ to schools of choice is nonsense. North Carolina charters today have a slightly higher percentage of black students (26.1%) than district schools (25.2%). And those students aren’t assigned. Parents choose our schools.
I have yet to write about Campbell’s article myself, and I might not. It wouldn’t be because I don’t know what to say, it’s that how I’d say it would not be very ladylike. That being said, here are a few thoughts.
Near the beginning of Campbell’s article, the biggest (and dumbest) smear was perhaps this line:
“Perhaps re-segregation is an unintended consequence of the school choice movement, however many believe it was the purpose from the start.”
Yes, that’s it. North Carolina families are just racist pigs who were waiting for charter schools in order to make themselves known. Following that logic, homeschoolers and private school families have been racists for decades.
I don’t know if anyone else caught it, but in one paragraph he slickly uses race and “low-income students” interchangeably. Is he implying all low-income students are minorities?
That’s some spin there, Tom.
Campbell spends most of the article tearing down charters and then writes this:
“Next, if the charter flexibilities are working well for many of our students why not make them available to all, by giving traditional schools the same freedoms we allow charter schools? We could then see what impact these changes would have on racial diversity as well as performance levels.”
I find it very telling that someone who just spent paragraphs tearing down charter schools now wants public schools to be able to mimic them.
I also see it as a slick attempt to dismantle charter schools by blurring the lines between them. Require they have busing, require meals, require whatever you want. At the end of the day, those things do not matter. Parents are already choosing the charter without those things.
The traditional public school model will never be able to adapt the way charters, private schools or homeschools can. Public schools are an antiquated assembly line model built to maintain a status quo with mass consumption in mind.
A child’s education should not be ‘status quo’, it should be innovative, interactive and explorative. Many things in life can be mass-produced and be of quality, but the powers that be refuse to see that education is not and should not be one of them.
Charters offer students, and teachers for that matter, what traditional district schools can’t: true individual academic freedom. Like the students that attend them, each one is different. And that’s the point.
Campbell’s final line is a spin on an old proverb:
“What’s fair for the goose should be fair for the gander.”
Just like Campbell swapped race for low-income earlier in the article, he’s now swapped “good” for “fair.” Nice try, Mr. Campbell. Education, like life, is not fair. It is what each student put into it and takes from it. Families are choosing what is “good” for them, but that choice might not be what another family considers “good.”
#2 – War on parents
Two cautionary tales about just how badly parental rights are under attack in today’s public schools. Sitting silent on the sidelines is no longer an option.
- Parental Nightmares in Public Schools
- My daughter thinks she’s transgender. Her public school undermined my efforts to help her.
Reminder: The beatings will continue until morale improves, or until parents start punching back twice as hard.
#3 – Two School Choice Studies
From Washington Free Beacon: School Voucher Kids More Likely to Graduate From College, Study Says.
The study was on the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the oldest voucher program in the United States that dates back to 1990.
“MPCP offers private school vouchers to low-income Milwaukee kids using a lottery system. Just 341 students participated in the program’s first year. Today, that figure is nearly 30,000 across 126 public schools.”
In North Carolina, we have the Opportunity Scholarship Program. It serves almost 10,000 low-income students in our state.
Governor Cooper has repeatedly tried to defund and dismantle it and Democrats in both houses of the General Assembly have tried to defund it as well. Maybe they should read the study.
The study, released in June, found that eighth-grade students in traditional public schools in North Carolina who transitioned to a charter high school had more positive behavioral outcomes than their peers who went on to a district high school.
The students who transitioned to a charter high school from a traditional public school were less likely to be chronically absent or suspended during their freshman year. In high school and beyond, these students were also less likely to be convicted of a crime, and once they reached voting age, they registered to vote and voted in local, state and federal elections at higher rates.
The findings are part of a working paper published by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University by four researchers — two from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and two from the RAND Corporation. While the paper is still being peer-reviewed and is thus subject to change, the researchers predicted that any modifications would likely be minor. Co-author Doug Lauen of the University of North Carolina called the results “preliminary and potentially tantalizing.”
Link to the paper here. Someone send it to Tom Campbell.
#5 – The Headlines
North Carolina Education Headlines
- Former Teacher of The Year launches ‘CREED’ project that is chock full ‘inequity’ problems but offers no solutions
- NC State vice chancellor’s tweets call Republicans neo-Nazis, KKK, rednecks
(He resigned the same day and deleted his Twitter account)
- Woman with no Education qualifications whatsoever gives an interview on improving student literacy and the state’s new K-3 testing program
- Several school districts broke the state’s calendar law on purpose and opened early.
- More calendar law revolt: Lawmakers said they knew and something has to be done. What will lawmakers do?
(Hint: The calendar law, like most state laws, is toothless – meaning it has zero penalties for violations.)
- Dr. Terry Stoops on reforming the structure of education funding in NC (video clip)
National Education Headlines
- California Introduces Radical Anti-Semitic High School Curriculum …
(“committee members” who drafted the CA curriculum are anti-Israel, pro-BDS.)
- SC Teacher sues district over school supplies, after-hours events
- Kemp unveils ‘laborious’ plan to dismantle Common Core standards
(See the three things about this that everyone should know.)