Detroit: A Cautionary Tale of a Promising Charter School That Was Doomed to Fail

15 Feb

Teaching is a challenging profession and teachers must be highly educated, dedicated, and supported to be able to manage a classroom without being sabotaged by disruptions caused by “dysfunctional” children that arrived already dysfunctional because of the environment they grew up in and/or from learning disabilities that arrived along with their birth.

For instance, I was born with dyslexia that caused learning disabilities. When I was seven, my mother was told by so-called administrative experts that tested me, that I would never learn to read or write.

Without support from my first-grade teacher and my mother, that seven-year-old me would have never learned to read or write. That first-grade teacher and my mother made liars out of those so-called expert administrators.

Without that dedicated first-grade teacher, would my mother have learned what to do at home to overcome the learning challenges I was born with?

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is an extraordinary story, which I hope you will read to the end. It was published by Chalkbeat.

A group of concerned leaders in Detroit, including some retired educators, decided to open a charter school.  They won the endorsement of the city’s leading philanthropies. They won a federal grant from the Charter Schools Program.

The school struggled from the beginning. It struggled initially to attract students, because it was competing with so many other charters for the same students. It took in students from a closing charter, who were far behind. It searched for an educational management company, which drew off a large share of its income.

It housed its students in a closed elementary school, where there was far more space than the charter could use.

There was no shortage of potential authorizers. The sponsors were turned down by one, then found another.

Efforts to regulate…

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Posted by on February 15, 2020 in Uncategorized


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