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Tag Archives: Charter school

Comparing public school performance in the United States: Part 1 of 3

The public schools in the United States are often compared to the public schools of other nations but what about comparing them to the charter and private sector schools in the United States?

The forces that want to turn U.S. public education over to the private sector—while obviously fooling many and robbing working middle class Americans to pay the rich—have worked hard for decades to paint the public schools and millions of dedicated, hard-working teachers as failures, but those claims are far from the truth—a truth that is difficult to prove.

The reason for this is because state and federal governments do not monitor the charter or private schools as they do the public schools. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Obama’s Race to the Top focus on the public schools and ignore the others. For more information on private sector schools not being judged the same as the public schools, I suggest reading Comparing Private and Public School Test Scores from GreatSchools.org.

What’s at stake—more than one trillion annual tax payer dollars that funds public education nationwide. That means every ten years, those tax-payer dollars add up to more than $10 trillion. This money is one of the main reasons for the corporate attack on public schools.

To discover how the charter schools compare to the public schools, Stanford—a private sector university that is one of the top ranked universities in the world—conducted an in-depth study in 2009.

The study found that, on average, charter schools performed about the same or worse than traditional public schools. The Stanford study said that 46% of Charter schools were the same; 37% were worse [which means many public schools were better], but only 17% of the Charter schools were better.

The next study (public vs. private) was reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal government website.

The goal of the study was to examine differences in mean National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and mathematics scores between public and private schools when selected characteristics of students and/or schools were taken into account.

Among the student characteristics considered were gender, race/ethnicity, disability status, and identification as an English language learner. Among the school characteristics considered were school size and location, and composition of the student body and of the teaching staff.

For Catholic and Lutheran schools—for both reading and mathematics—the results were again similar to those based on all private schools.

For Conservative Christian schools, the average adjusted school mean in reading was not significantly different from that of public schools.

In mathematics, the average adjusted school mean for Conservative Christian schools was significantly lower than that of public schools.

Continued on January 3, 2014 in Comparing public school performance in the United States: Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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“Half Nelson” teaches a truth about K-12 education in the US

What causes a dedicated and charismatic teacher to become addicted to crack cocaine—to become burned out and a victim of drugs and/or PTSD?

The answer is not broken schools, teacher unions, or incompetent teachers, but a dysfunctional culture and society demanding through laws and legislation that teachers fix the problem or be accused of failure.

While critics of public education often play the political game by blaming teacher unions and so-called incompetent teachers (even though there are no reputable studies or evidence to prove these alleged claims), few seem to care about what Forbes reported in High Teacher Turnover Rates are a Big Problem for America’s Public Schools.

In March 2011, Forbes reported, “NCTAF’s findings are a clear indication that America’s teacher dropout problem is spiraling out of control. Teacher attrition has grown by 50 percent over the past fifteen years. The national teacher turnover rate has risen to 16.8 percent.  In urban schools it is over 20 percent, and, in some schools and districts, the teacher dropout rate is actually higher than the student dropout rate.”

Forbes says, “Teachers cite lack of planning time, workload, and lack of influence over school policy among other reasons for their decision to leave the profession or transfer schools.”

 

And if you think Charter Schools are any better, you may be surprised to discover what The Washington Post reported, “Teacher turnover, which tends to be alarmingly high in lower-income schools and districts, has been identified as a major impediment to improvements in student achievement.”

The Washington Post said, “The authors (of a study) find that the odds of charter teachers exiting are still 33 percent higher than those of regular public school teachers. There is an even larger difference in secondary schools, where charter teachers are almost four times more likely to leave.”

Half Nelson reveals a primary reason so many teachers quit even if they have the so-called job protection of tenure (a report from the public schools of North Caroline says about a third that quit annually have that so-called precious tenure critics complain of).

Why would someone with such an easy, kick-back job with labor union protection quit?

Dan Dunne (played by Ryan Gosling) is a young, urban, middle school, inner-city history teacher taking drugs to make it through the nights and weekends but during the weekdays he is a popular teacher—the kind that  students see as a role model.

I identified with this movie. For thirty years, I taught in public schools surrounded by barrios infested by teen street gangs that had been around for generations. I witnessed drive by shootings from my classroom doorway, riots between gangs, grieved with my students when kids were shot down in the streets never to return to school, and a year didn’t go by that some gang banger that was also a student in one of my classes didn’t threaten me by asking what I would do if a gang jumped me.

Half Nelson brings us closer to that world and reveals another reason why so many teachers quit and never return to the classroom.

If you want to discover the truth about many of America’s schools and why teachers and possibly many students drop out, I suggest you watch this movie that the odds say you haven’t seen.

If the average ticket price of a movie in 2006 was $6.55, and Half Nelson earned $2.7 million in North America, that means less than 500 thousand people saw the film and there are more than 314 million Americans that did not see it.

Maybe most Americans do not want to know the truth, because many parents would have to accept the blame for illiterate and/or failing students. Parenting is a serious job—not a game.

Discover a film with a clear political agenda against teacher unions

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Eager to Learn or Not – Part 8/10

Did you know that the Walton family, which owns a controlling interest in Wal-Mart, is the wealthiest family on the planet with an estimated worth of more than $90 billion dollars. The Waltons are also one of the largest supporters of the school voucher movement.

The last time there was a major initiative in California for school vouchers, the Waltons (WFF) were ready to open hundreds of private storefront schools to accept vouchers and take over the teaching of millions of America’s children. Do you want to turn your children over to Wal-Mart and the Walton family?

Both the Walton family and the company (Wal-Mart) have made education a major funding priority.

Many of the WFF’s education gifts have a distinct ideological tilt, emphasizing a “free market” approach to education reform, a vision the late John Walton embraced with particular enthusiasm. The WFF funds advocacy groups promoting conservative school “reform” — otherwise known as privatization — like the Center for Education Reform and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, as well as the actual programs these groups champion: charter schools and voucher programs.

In fact, the WFF has become the single largest source of funding for the voucher and charter school movement.

The modern movement for school vouchers can be traced to an individual by the name of Milton Friedman, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics.  Friedman wrote a paper on “The Role of Government in Education” in 1955.

The national debate that followed resulted in the use of vouchers in the Southern states as a means to continue the practice of segregation amongst black and white students. Source: School Vouchers

Continued on July 20, 2011 in Eager to Learn or Not – Part 9 or return to Part 7

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Brainwashing American Style

Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution. Source: Fox News.com

I suspected the truth long ago.

Home schooling and the voucher movement both have the same goal—to control what children learn and think. That is called brainwashing. The Communist Chinese did it during Mao’s reign in China.  The Communists in Russia did it too. So did the Nazi’s when Hitler ruled Germany.

A “liberal” education in the public schools and many private colleges teaches evolution and a wide range of subjects, which might be another reason to explain why the conservative media machine has spent decades turning the word “liberal” into an evil thing so people will start to distrust a nonbiased education. I’m not saying the American public education system is perfect, but it is better than having it controlled by the private sector.

Consider this.  Conservatives claim that liberal teachers in the schools are biased and are teaching kids to be evil liberals, but at the same time they claim the majority of Americans are conservative.

I am conservative in most of my beliefs. How can that be if I had a liberal education? When I take one of those multiple choice tests to see where I stand on political issues, I always end up right of center but nowhere near the far right. I suspect most Americans are the same.

And that leads me to Wal-Mart.”The Walton Family’s support of the school voucher and charter schools movement is unparalleled in the United States. According to the 2006 Walton Family Foundation 990, the family gave over $48 million to individual charter schools and supporting institutions. Sam Walton once said, “I’d like to see an all-out revolution in education.” He proudly supported school-choice movements along with his son John.” Source:   Walton Family Influence  Take a look.

However, a study released in 2007 by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) found that students in public urban high schools perform, on average, just as well as those in private high schools.

When the report’s authors compared students of similar socioeconomic status at private, public and parochial high schools, they found that:

  • Achievement scores on reading, math, science and history were the same;
  • Students were equally likely to attend college whether they had graduated from a public or private school;
  • Young adults at age 26 were equally likely to report being satisfied with their jobs whether they had graduated from a public or private school;
  • Young adults at age 26 were equally likely to engage in civic activity whether they had graduated from a public or private school.  Source: Education Portal.com

In another comparison from the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as the Nation’s Report Card., we discover that Christopher and Sarah Theule Lubienski, a husband-and-wife team at the University of Illinois, compared more than 340,000 students using math scores from the 2003 NAEP. The study found that after adjusting for socioeconomic factors, there is little difference between private and public school scores. Source: Great Schools.org

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the NAEP is given to students in grades 4, 8 and 12 in both private and public schools.

It seems that there are conservative like most of us, and then there are CONSERVATIVES like the Walton family.

Learn more from Not Broken

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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