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For example, this year, at the Harlem Success Academy, a charter school in New York City, 88 percent of the students passed the state's reading test and 95 percent passed the math test, while comparable schools have pass rates of 35 percent in reading and 45 percent in math.
In fact, Success performed at the same level as the very top gifted and talented schools in the City, all of which have demanding admissions requirements, while Success selects by lottery from primarily African-American and Latino students, three quarters of whom are living in poverty.
So why are they able to get better results? The number one reason is because they are not bound by legions of micro-managing regulations, including those contained in today's typical teachers' union contract.
Free from these rules, charter schools in New York can treat their teachers like professionals and reward them for excellence. They embrace an accountability system based on merit.
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Below is a statement from the counsel to the NEA ... from the above link
Only recently, for example, the General Counsel of the NEA, the nation's largest teachers' union, Bob Chanin said:
Why is the NEA an effective advocate? Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas; it is not because of the merit of our positions; it is not because we care about children; and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child.
The NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of million of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the unions that can most effectively represent them; the union that can protect their rights and advance their interests as education employees.
Keep blaming the GOP ... time to get off those democrat websites and open ones eyes.
All the lefts disdain for the NRA
... should also be focused upon the NEA and AFT - they kill the hopes and dreams of students.
You didn't answer my questions. You're ignoring the built in advantages of people from families that were not discriminated against and of growing up middle class as opposed to poor. Why do you think poor people generally do worse on standardized tests? There's a clear relationship between test scores and poverty. To me it's obvious that poverty shifts priorities from learning to surviving, and Steele is ignoring that reality.
Do you think the GI Bills of 44 and 51, which are often credited with creating the modern middle class, were a product of guilt of some sort? Why are programs that help poor people, who are disproportionately black, the product of liberal white guilt? Blacks suffered the stigma of inferiority not because of the color of their skin, but because of the racism by many whites.
I'm not saying I favor shortcuts for the poor, but we do need to recognize that their are strengths not exposed by standardized tests, and that standardized tests favor the middle class.
But, frankly, PatsWSB47, you're all for the liberal solution, so what are you against? The affirmative action of the past has done its job (police, firefighters, construction, etc.) are now reasonably well integrated, so it is fading away.
Originally Posted by PatsWSB47
Paraphrasing Steele: White America -- or at least, its liberal elite -- has impulsively embraced a commitment to racial preferences in order to ease guilt for historically oppressing blacks. In doing so they have helped perpetuate racism by effectively reducing a race of people to one that is incapable of having the ability to achieve equality. In the past blacks had to suffer the stigma of inferiority because of the color of their skin. Now they have to admit inferiority based on the need of a gift from liberal America.
I'm all for most of what you have proposed. What I am against is artificial achievement. A firehouse full of under qualified fireman or a hospital full of under qualified health care workers isn't progress. Education is the key.
I resent any inference that minorities are too stupid to think for themselves. On the contrary, Im saying they have the ability and work ethic to achieve. Hand anyone, white or black short cuts and require less and guess what you wind up with? Those are obstacles to people reaching their full potentials.
Icy, I really don't understand what teachers unions have to do with this issue. By and large, teachers unions represent their members, and as a result making teaching a more attractive profession. That in turn creates more competition for jobs and a better quality of teacher in a nation that requires a lot of teachers.
Now, are there some things that unions do that might go against education for poor kids? I'm sure there are, but we could just as easily focus on business owners and shareholders who benefit from school spending. I just randomly looked at a school budget, and it looks like close to half the money goes to things outside of teachers unions. (This is the one I looked at: http://www.medfordpublicschools.org/...011-budget.pdf)
You're also not acknowledging the fact that charter school kids do better than public schools because they attract kids from families where education is more important and can exclude kids for various reasons, leaving the public schools with the most challenging kids and often the less capable teachers. (Not every teacher dreams of working in Dorchester with troubled kids.) That's why charter school kids sometimes do better than public school kids.
You're also not giving consideration to the fact that some of us embrace public education because private schools are less transparent in terms of services, money spent, teacher backgrounds, and even test results; and are often exclusionary, such as religious schools, which were the primary beneficiary of the voucher program you referred to. Public charter schools provide a balanced competition between traditional public schools and new ideas.
The blind faith in voucher schools is from anti-tax sources who think teachers make too much money and from religious groups who want to populate their own schools at taxpayer expense. There's are also plenty of studies showing that vouchers do not work or don't improve test scores (though there are studies showing the opposite, too). In other words, the evidence that voucher systems address the problem we're talking about in this thread is very limited at best. So, perhaps start a new thread on anti union rhetoric, since it has nothing to do with solving the problem of the legacy of racism.
So, whether or not one is for vouchers, perhaps the problem is the lack of money spent on education and the fact the poor areas tend to have less money per student than richer areas. One legit study shows that rich area schools spend over 50% more per student than poor-area schools.