Charter Schools Gone Wild: Study Finds Widespread Fraud, Mismanagement and Waste

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In this photo taken May 7, 2012, students in a kindergarten classroom at North Valley Academy in Gooding, Idaho wear red, white and blue shirts as part of their school uniform. The K-12th grade public charter school is the first in Idaho to advertise itself as a patriotic choice for parents, with an emphasis on individual freedoms and free-market capitalism. (AP Photo/Jessie L. Bonner)

Students in a kindergarten classroom at North Valley Academy in Gooding, Idaho, wear red, white and blue shirts as part of their school uniform. The K-12 charter school is the first in Idaho to advertise itself as a patriotic choice for parents, with an emphasis on individual freedoms and free-market capitalism. (AP Photo/Jessie L. Bonner)

Charter school operators want to have it both ways. When they’re answering critics of school privatization, they say charter schools are public — they use public funds and provide students with a tuition-free education. But when it comes to transparency, they insist they have the same rights to privacy as any other private enterprise.

But a report released Monday by Integrity in Education and the Center for Popular Democracy — two groups that oppose school privatization – presents evidence that inadequate oversight of the charter school industry hurts both kids and taxpayers.

Sabrina Joy Stevens, executive director of Integrity in Education, told BillMoyers.com, “Our report shows that over $100 million has been lost to fraud and abuse in the charter industry, because there is virtually no proactive oversight system in place to thwart unscrupulous or incompetent charter operators before they cheat the public.” The actual amount of fraud and abuse the report uncovered totaled $136 million, and that was just in the 15 states they studied.

Diane Ravitch on school privatization.

According to the study, fraud and mismanagement of charter schools fall into six categories:

  • Charter operators using public funds illegally — outright embezzlement
  • Using tax dollars to illegally support other, non-educational businesses
  • Mismanagement that put children in potential danger
  • Charters illegally taking public dollars for services they didn’t provide
  • Charter operators inflating their enrollment numbers to boost revenues
  • General mismanagement of public funds

The report looks at problems in each of the 15 states it covers, with dozens of case studies. In some instances, charter operators used tax dollars to prop up side businesses like restaurants and health food stores — even a failing apartment complex.

The report’s authors note that, “where there is little oversight, and lots of public dollars available, there are incentives for ethically challenged charter operators to charge for services that were never provided.” They cite the example of the Cato School of Reason Charter School in California, which, despite its libertarian name, collected millions of tax dollars by registering students who actually attended private schools in the area.

Perhaps the most troubling examples of mismanagement were those the report says actually put kids in danger:

Many of the cases involved charter schools neglecting to ensure a safe environment for their students. For example, Ohio’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Richard A. Ross, was forced to shut down two charter schools, The Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Boys Charter School and The Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Girls Charter School, because, according to Ross, “They did not ensure the safety of the students, they did not adequately feed the students, they did not accurately track the students and they were not educating the students well. It is unacceptable and intolerable that a sponsor and school would do such a poor job. It is an educational travesty.”

Integrity in Education and the Center for Popular Democracy aren’t the first to warn of problems plaguing an under-regulated industry fueled by billions of tax dollars. A 2010 report to Congress by the Department of Education’s Inspector General’s office warned of the agency’s “concern about vulnerabilities in the oversight of charter schools” in light of “a steady increase in the number of charter school complaints.” It blamed regulators’ failure “to provide adequate oversight needed to ensure that Federal funds [were] properly used and accounted for.”

Read the full report for the watchdogs’ recommendations for how policymakers could strengthen oversight and bring real transparency to the charter school industry.

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • Ginger

    I love Bill Moyers, but this is totally one-sided. Are you going to equally detail the abuses that happen in traditional district schools? For example, the dozen Ohio districts found to be cheating on their accountability data? The financial mismanagement done by districts? The hundreds of Ohio districts that get funds for students that they don’t serve (because that’s the way school funding works here in Ohio!). The kids that get pushed out, ignored, or mistreated? Bad behavior is bad behavior, but it is not fair to generalize that this only happens at charter schools. My kid goes to a charter school. Her traditional district school failed her and I am a single mom without funds to send her to a private school. I was a life long Democrat – I’m no longer sure about that now because the charter haters don’t care a bit about what happened to her at the district (shouldn’t the question be – WHY do parents choose charter schools?) and how much better her new school and new teachers are.

  • Soundpam

    As a Community College teacher, I can tell you these aren’t the only shortfalls. No matter how bad our public schools are doing, the majority of charter school students I see are behind public school students & do worse in college. The religious charters are the WORST!!

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the most shameful scams being foisted upon Americans today.

  • Brea Plum

    The traditional school districts aren’t selling themselves to communities and states as the saviors of the school system. Charter schools are.

  • Terry Evdokimoff

    They are propagating education for profit. Also, if you check out Center for Inquiry’s position paper on school vouchers, you will find that they can and do teach religion. This is part of the Dominionist Evangelical plot to infiltrate their Neanderthal philosophy into the school system. It is also an extension of the American fascists to destroy unions.

  • Anonymous

    “I was a life long Democrat – I’m no longer sure about that now because
    the charter haters don’t care a bit about what happened to her at the
    district”

    Hunh?? That’s weird — some of the biggest cheerleaders for charters are Dems.

  • Anonymous

    Total up the share of each major cities school budget that goes to all of the Charter Management Organizations that have schools there, whether for profit or not, and let’s see just how much of our education dollar is being wasted on duplicate bureaucracies in each city that produce identical or worse outcomes for kids. These management fees and executive salaries are not legitimate expenses, they are a crony-legitimized part of the waste, fraud and abuse of the charter sector. Many CEO’s of these management companies get paid at least 2X as much as the superintendent of the public schools and have a tiny fraction of the number of public schools in their “portfolio’s” to manage.

  • Anonymous

    My experience is limited…with only one charter school. But based on that experience, this article is absolutely accurate. High executive salaries, cronyism with board members and family, and, of course, fiscal mismanagement. Yet the school has operated like this for over a decade, receives accolades & support from civic groups and is high profile. Academic results are so-so, although slightly better than the large school district in which it is located.
    I suspect some of these same issues exist in many of our large public school districts.

  • Arakiba

    Charter schools are F-ing stupid and a money sink. Better to give that money to our public schools to educate all children, not the kids of antigovernment nutjobs.

  • Doctsc

    Can’t help it, every time I see Diane Ravitch talk about the travesty of charter schools, I am reminded of the years she spent during the Bush administration promoting them. Every education professional I know knew then that this was a con job and endangered our long tradition and ethic of public education. Ravitch owes us all an apology, and has never given us one.

  • Anonymous

    My hunch is that you if a researcher could divide charter schools into these two categories, this is what they’d find: Those that were initiated by local community groups or faculties of public schools are amazing institutions that greatly benefit the kids who attend. Those that were sold to a district or state by a for-profit or “reform” initiative are substandard and more likely to practice fraud. Just a hunch, but matches my significant personal experience with charters.

  • Anonymous

    So what does that have to do with Democrats? Obama’s policies are as pro-charter as any Republican’s have ever been. Maybe more.

  • Anonymous

    “Ravitch owes us all an apology, and has never given us one.” That’s not true. A significant part of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” was apologetic and repentant in tone.

    And in those years the term “charter school” meant something completely different than it does now. The original idea of a charter school was a school designed and run by local faculty for the purpose of accepting increased accountability for the freedom to innovate in ways that couldn’t be done in regular schools to experiment with methods that meet the needs of specific populations.

    Now “charter school” more often means an organization that siphons money from the public schools and places it in the hands of private operators, either in the form of huge salaries or profit.

  • Jeffrey Howarth

    My son was in an autism-centric charter school for five years and is in a regular public school for high school. The drop in quality is apparent in all ways. So, I guess it depends on which schools and where.

  • isa case

    well you might be right…however..they are people….taken in..worked on…not at all devoid of falling into the acceptable line of reasoning……

  • isa case

    they are not allowing them too….they are hogging the stage.and shooting everyone else down…..the problem…there are problems with public education. There always was…but instead of fixing our public education they have decided to fight against it..and present Charter Schools as the savior…..The truth……we have only to look at our country to see what deep pockets are doing to our America and its institutions to know that no good can come from allowing the 1% guys to privatize profits of our tax payer paid for education system.

  • Anonymous

    Unlike so many in this country, Ravitch saw a problem, pursued the truth and discovered that she was wrong about the things she had previously supported and then set about correcting her mistake by advocating against those things that she came to understand were wrong headed and harmful. In other words, she has been trying to make it right well above and beyond the effects of her former support. There is no better apology than that. My personal take on all the attacks such as yours on Ravitch for her long ago support for the toxic policies she now vociferously opposes are that they are false flag attacks meant to muddy the waters and discredit her integrity in order to remove her from the fight. Hasn’t worked yet and never will.

  • DeeDee Tuning

    I work at a charter school. My understanding is that the school district has a right to make sure are using the money correctly. I know we are scrupulous about student safety and academics. Don’t teach to the test, but have very high test scores. We have happy families and well educated, fairly happy students. While not all charter schools should be painted with a brush stroke of perfection, not all should be painted with the brush stroke of “con job” and “disgrace”. I know that I and my fellow teachers are dedicated to our students success.

  • Anonymous

    What a poorly written, unbalanced piece. What you’re saying is that the rules around charter schools in some states have allowed mismanagement and corruption to creep in, and so charter schools are a bad idea. The same could be said for democratically elected governments, the police, party politics, government regulation… heck, pretty much any institution you can name. Here in Minnesota, there are a lot of really good, innovative charter schools out there, offering educational options the big school-district schools just can’t. We need to encourage these challenges to educational monoculture, and tighten the rules and auditing of charters to prevent abuse and fraud. This is different from simply wiping away charters as a scourge. They are no more a scourge than the public schools they were proposed to provide an alternative to are. There are, by the way, also plenty of mismanaged, sub-par public schools, and we need them fixed up, not eliminated.

  • Danny Feldman

    Birds gotta fly, grifters gotta grift.

  • Danny Feldman

    Really? Charters in NY fight heaven and earth to prevent audits by public officials.

  • Anonymous

    Poorly written?!? *Slashes wrists*

  • Doctsc

    The potential was always there, and no one I knew in education was unaware of that. Glad she is repentant. I stand corrected. Damage done.

  • Doctsc

    No, I am and always have been a supporter of public education. I am probably just older than you. Ravitch (unlike Kozol, for one example) did great damage. And I am having a hard time getting over that.

  • Anonymous

    We have just introduced these privatised schools in the UK. In exactly the same way they are rife with sharp financial practice, fraud, mismanagement, abject failure to teach properly and best if all several are currently under investigation because of an alleged Islamic fundamentalist ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to turn them into segregated islamist madrassa type set ups. One even had an All Queda supporter in to scream anti Western rants at the pupils.

    But hey, there might be some profit to be had for Tory Party donors in extracting taxpayers’ money from a shrinking state, , so what the hell!!

  • Susie from Philly

    Yeah, they’re all just great — until they’re audited, and you find out that the CEO’s brother-in-law was named Director of Building Maintenance at $125K a year. Why does any sane person believe charters will deliver better results by skimming a huge chunk off the top for themselves? Charters don’t put that money back into the schools — they frequently do public beg-a-thons for classroom supplies. In other words, we’re subsidizing the administrative salaries at the kids’ expense.

  • JonThomas

    Lol

  • Anonymous

    Whatever damage she may have done pales in comparison to the rampant destruction being visited upon public education today for which she cannot be blamed, having long ago switched sides based on the reality on the ground. This is especially true in comparison to the very real and effective pushback Ravitch has so successfully started and lead, pushback that has crossed political boundaries, no small feat in this day and age. The grudge you admit you hold prevents you from seeing the huge contribution Ravitch has made to the fight against the hostile corporate takeover of public ed. She has more than redeemed herself.

  • Doctsc

    Her “disillusionment” came in 2010, a bare four years ago. She worked in the other camp for fifteen years, coming belatedly to the conclusion that “the charter school and testing reform movement was started by “right wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation,” for the purpose of destroying public education and teachers’ unions.” My point is that as an educator she should have known better. Many academicians did. I strongly suspect she expediently ignored what she knew for personal advantage. And yes, my attitude could be called a grudge, but it could be called knowledge of history and the consequences of demagoguery.

  • Scott

    I wonder if we ran the same for public schools, would we find the same cases of embezzlement or fraud? If anyone thinks the Chicago Public Schools are on the up and up, I’ll sell you ocean front property in Nebraska.

    I’m not for or against charter schools, but pro student/parents owning the education. By owning the education I’m referring to the prospect of them choosing their own path and they are not limited by some arbitrary district line. At the end of the day, it’s not right or left wing, but flat wrong to force families who live in poverty stricken areas (aka minorities in cities) to continue to be forced to go to poor schools. If a student/parents have two options and they can choose a path their own, how are they worse off then one singular path? Will some choose the wrong path, of course, but I’d rather people choose and fail then be forced to continue bad practices. I understand the argument of diluting funds, but we spend 3x more per pupil today on education than we did in the 1970s (inflation adjusted) and our core scores are flat. That tells me that throwing truckloads of money isn’t going to fix the issue given the forty or so years of data.

  • JSB3

    Yeah because everything runs like crap when you introduce it to privatization either in part or whole and all those institutions you mention have faced just that. In my state conservatives have slashed education funding by 7 billion. Teachers don’t get raises any more, staff is cut short, kids don’t have books supplies and up to date computers, in many places students stacked 30plus in each class. This purposefully designs public education to fail. Then they sweep into place charter amendment that takes away local public control of schools, all with, out of state money. What does, for example Alice Walton of walmart, have interest in creating charters in my state??? She donated 200 thousand to get this amendment passed through Americans for Prosperity organization!!! WTF??!! And the other top donator was testing corporations! It’s all a profit scam using our kids!!!

  • JSB3

    I would re-think my position on charters IF and only IF they created schools just for kids with learning disabilities like ADHD and ADD, Touettes syndrome in my school district that we could attend! BUT only if they provided top notch learning with teachers that could handle the challenges of these kind of kids and small classes. I have been frustrated with public teachers not understanding my child’s mental issues. But then again they have 27 kids in their classes and more than one with special educational differences and needs with huge budget reductions. They are climbing a bumpy uphill road.

  • Mike

    You think people would realize that contracting leads to embezzlement and corruption by now.

  • Mike

    That does not disprove his argument. American schools, compared to Europe, are seriously lacking in innovation and are breeding mediocrity. We need diversity in education. Private schools do have a place.

  • Anonymous

    Educate yourself.

  • Scott

    Educate myself how? This issue isn’t so black and white that there is definitive evidence overwhelming on one side or the other. I could point to articles that point to the merits of charter schools in improving the education for disadvantages kids. At the same time I can find articles out there like this one that highlights some negatives. If you only read one side of the argument or talk to one side of people, how well versed are you to discuss? Without acknowledging downside of a current state, how do you actually move the needle? I can see flaws in my viewpoint because people will sometimes make the wrong decision, but I can also be comfortable in that risk because they chose that path. Please help me understand why my view is so wrong and help me understand why the status-quo with public education is so great that we can’t ever discuss a viable alternative. In this instance maybe some charters are bad, but what if that advances the benefit down the road to a better system?

  • Stewart

    The peer-reviewed research (as opposed to the propaganda funded by the teacher unions) makes clear that charter schools do a better job than traditional, unionized public schools.

    Of course, it would be better still if we had truly private schools. Of course there will be corruption in government contracting, but the amount of money stolen by the contractors is a pittance compared to the money thrown down the drain in the unionized schools.

  • Anonymous

    Charters wouldn’t exist if teacher unions weren’t so greedy.

  • Tom Welsh

    Prove it.

  • Tom Welsh

    Wish this thing were in pdf format.

  • Anonymous

    should the schools be made profit motivated private businesses paying teachers mcwages and no benefits? as it is now teachers spend hundreds out of their own pockets to buy supplies for their students.

  • Anonymous

    what keeps you from sending your children to private schools?

  • Dennis Mccoy

    The privatization of public schools is a recipe guaranteed to fail. Without siginificant and consistent oversight, public money will be misused, embezzled or wasted by individuals interested in promoting their own agenda or objectives that diverge from the goals and purposes that defind Public Education. Giving all children the opportunity to achieve the maximum education that will benefit both society and themselves is the objective of Public Schooling, not skimming the cream off the top of the student poole in order to appear more successful at educating just the gifted and more prepared student.

  • Michael Case

    Said no rational person, ever.

  • Pam Barone

    Remember civics classes, back in the day when schools taught civics? The purpose of banding together, as citizens, to establish government, was to do the things that needed to be done even if there was no direct profit in the doing. Things like roads, sewers, libraries, schools, hospitals. These are the things that public servants, with proper oversight, can do better than for-profit, private enterprises. The problem of putting civic enterprises like schools and prisons into for-profit contractual arrangements is the loss of public oversight.

  • Anonymous

    Did you read the above or listen to the interview? Blaming unions for charter school manifestation is complete nonsense even on its best day.

  • Anonymous

    SImply not true – regarding the peer reviewed data. There are some charter schools that DO demonstrate better outcomes…and that’s not surprising given better student/teacher ratios etc. What is surprising is that a large large body of charter schools produce NO better outcomes that cannot be accounted for by ‘chance’ and often cost far far more on a per student basis.
    More of your ‘all Govt. is bad’ meme and for no reason.

  • Anonymous

    Great links thanks for the leg work

  • pointofgrille

    They do a better job of teaching the world was created 5000 yrs ago, and it frosts me that my tax $$$ pay for that fairy tale to be taught to children as factual.

  • pointofgrille

    Diversity? You mean the Bible as an authority?

  • Anonymous

    If the public schools lost 100 million dollars due to outright corruption , every year , then THEN you Might consider them similar . Is it OK for children to be profit extraction cattle ? OR , simply people , who once well educated will make good citizens ? Public schools have far more oversight , too much in fact with the manic testing done of teachers and kids these days .

  • Anonymous

    There are always good ones among the riff-raff . Top down power structures are DESIGNED to absolutely require profit before all . Read a corporate charter . They will eventually always cut corners , and a child is basically another corner to be cut .

  • Anonymous

    Poverty is the key factor in a child’s education . Doesn’t matter where they live or what school they go to if the area is afflicted with crushing poverty . For any parent to have REAL choice , they have to have income enough to lift they up . Since charter schools do NOT do this they will also fail the children . Except they are easier to steal from on a grand scale .

  • Anonymous

    Of course you dont. You obviously disregarded the FACTS I posted. You cut and pasted from the study. The reason some charter schools show better scores is because they pick and choose the students while they leave the troubled students in the public sector.
    If you want to bury your head in the sand and ignore the FACTs then that is on you.

  • Anonymous

    Mike yes they do. But not at the expense of public education. Not one dollar of public money should go in the pocket of the DeVoss family and other conservative Christian families.

  • Anonymous

    Doc I agree but she is actually trying to right the wrong.

  • Mike

    Are you that dense? I am talking about different teaching techniques and philosophies.

  • pointofgrille

    You may be talking about different teaching techniques and philosophies, but in my state of Florida, tax dollars are being used to teach children that the world, as we know it, was created 5000 yrs ago. Private schools may have a place, but that should not entitle them to teach that the bible is a source for fact finding. How about teaching from the Koran as fact?Would that be acceptable?
    And concerning the “Are you that dense?” comment….condescension is not conducive to the introduction of different teaching techniques and philosophies unless one feels that education is imposing one’s will upon another.

  • booker25

    When Utah citizens voted down vouchers the idiots in state government then pushed charter schools, wow so not any better and just as bad.

  • tremmy12

    Competition is good, having more options ups the competition of the schools to see who can best educate the children. Ineffective teachers can be replaced and those that do a terrific job can be better rewarded in a charter school.

  • tremmy12

    competition is good

  • tremmy12

    With ongoing competiton, education in charter schools will get better. Should also lift the public school performance likewise.

  • tremmy12

    Having more and varied choice is always better. Increased competition will up everyone’s game.

  • tremmy12

    Cut and paste king! Please put up an intelligent arguement.

  • tremmy12

    There is a need for more oversight concerning teaching religion in schools, but that doesn’t mean we must degrade all charter schools as religious.

  • tremmy12

    If they are able to outperform the public schools then it is worth it. Most charters have a lottery system and don’t get to cherry pick the students.

  • tremmy12

    Many charter schools are outperforming public schools, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to only public schools.

  • tremmy12

    excellent thought

  • Anonymous

    Ayn L Rand speaks. LOL

  • Anonymous

    Your response has not posted yet but Ill respond with this:
    You posted an advertisement from the corps that want the money that the people spend on PUBLIC EDUCATION. LOL GreatSchools is funded by the anti American Government Walton family. The Waltons want to siphon off the tax dollars of the American people so it ends up in private Christian education.
    And I have posted the FACTS that you apparently are too dim to understand or purposely ignore.

  • Anonymous

    Competition is only beneficial when all the competitors compete on an equal basis. Charter schools have the luxury of refusing students with various challenges. Public schools, on the other hand, are expected to teach every kid who walks through the door. Thus, using standardized testing as the measure of ‘success,’ the scales are tipped in advance against public schools.

  • pointofgrille

    Agree. I was educated in private schools, but taxpayer dollars were NOT involved, and this current right leaning move to privatize, is a political ploy to re-segregate many schools and defund the American public education system.

  • tremmy12

    This is not true for every state or every charter school, most work on a lottery based system and can’t discriminate in these ways. We can still measure competition between schools by normalizing the data for outliers such as disabilities, language proficiency, etc. Freedom of choice and competition is good and will up the quality of education.

  • tremmy12

    This is not true for every state or every charter school, most work on a lottery based system and can’t discriminate in these ways. We can still measure competition between schools by normalizing the data for outliers such as disabilities, language proficiency, etc. Transporation is definitely an issue, but we can’t expect parents to sit by and just accept the public schools that they have been demanding to change for years.

  • tremmy12

    I think the parents should be able to use their tax dollars that they believe will most benefit their child’s education and not be forced to waste it and their child’s future in a public system that is failing them (granted, not all public schools are in shambles). You can prevent re-segregation by setting certain admission standards.

  • tremmy12

    I think the parents should be able to use their tax dollars that they believe will most benefit their child’s education and not be forced to waste it and their child’s future in a public system that is failing them (granted, not all public schools are in shambles). Most of the schools they are supporting are not religiously affiliated, but I agree, it is troublesome that so many of them are. There really should be restrictions on how the money is used.

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  • Anonymous

    Tremmy12 I think you’re consumed by the meme that everything should be determined in the market-place. Not only is it a fantasy every bit as likely as unicorns flying around but it is a really poor way to view sectors like health care and education. Lastly, in many charter schools teachers are not rewarded via better pay – they’re often paid less but the pay of the executives tells a completely different story on a per student basis. Charter schools are simply a mechanism to move education from public for all to private for those who can afford it. it has nothing to do with better outcomes and the data reflects this.

  • Anonymous

    How silly. Do you think that private institutions that charge a fortune are more difficult than say attending UCLA? or Berkeley? You assume too much and most of it in complete error.

  • Anonymous

    Who says the world was created 5,000 years ago? It’s not in the Bible, Koran or Torah. Is that some kind of Buddhist theory?

  • pointofgrille

    Fundamentalist Christian based private schools are teaching that creationism is not true and the world began 5000 yrs ago. Not all of them, but some of them are teaching this, but two in Florida have openly proclaimed that the establishment clause of the Constitution gives them this right. I say, not with my tax dollars.

  • Anonymous

    New Orleans.

  • Anonymous

    When you make an apples to apples comparison and adjust for socio-economic status, the USA comes out at or very near the top. We educate all children. To directly address your point, there is no direct relationship unless by management you mean funding inequities and failure to support all families such that their children can show up to school ready willing and able to learn no matter where they live.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, (NOT) but the opposite of what you say is where the truth is. A teachers working conditions are the students learning conditions and union states do far better than non union and right to work states.

  • Anonymous

    So what you are saying is that charters can’t tell the difference between a great teacher and a bad one during hiring and have to figure that out after school has started?

  • Anonymous

    That’s the claim for so called lotteries, but it is not the reality on the ground. Where are the charters that automatically enter ALL eligible kids into their lotteries? Why do so many charters have such high attrition rates as the years progress?

  • Anonymous

    Collaboration and co-operation are better. Show me a single successful sports team where it’s every man for himself. Or a police force, or a fire dept. or an army. There are some places where individual competition is the best practice, but that is absolutely not true for every human endeavor. It is well known that competition is a negative survival trait in many instances. Schools are not places where competition of the kind being imposed yields good results, especially when there is no level playing field.

  • Anonymous

    Chicago public schools are run by the pro-charter, pro privatization crowd. They do not have an elected school board that answers first and foremost to the people of Chicago. The CPS leadership regularly cooks the books to make claims of savings that are never realized but that end up costing more and wasting more. They have no problem spending millions on new office furniture for the central office though while at the same time not doing basic repairs on schools.

  • Anonymous

    There’s been more than enough time for this to have born fruit, and it’s never going to happen if it hasn’t already. Charters promised that they had the special sauce that would make a huge difference, and in one respect they have. The evidence is very clear that charters actually put further burdens on public schools by diverting funding and other resources from them. This is not due to competition but it is by design, it is a hostile takeover strategy.

  • http://www.youthtransformatons.com Peter Berg

    Artemis6 – Agreed Charter’s should always remain public and not a for profit , private entity that makes money off of students. We can still support the ones that remain public.

  • http://www.youthtransformatons.com Peter Berg

    The massive privatization of Charter Schools is a problem and since there are powerful corrupt entities that stand to make a profit they will always find aways to exploit the system as in any sector. Charters that do not subscribe to this practice have the same financial oversights as public schools. Charters should never ever be privatized and were never meant to be.

  • http://www.youthtransformatons.com Peter Berg

    Public Schools lose a lot of money due to corruption and there is a massive amount of money made from public schooling, just think of the billions of dollars made by the textbook , software companies, and testing companies. In NH charter schools agree to adhere to more rigorous assessment criteria than the public schools so in that way there is even more oversight. They also adhere to the same financial oversights and are subject to the same penalties for non-compliance. I just want to make sure I am not being misrepresented here since in no way did or will I ever advocate for children or anyone for that matter being used for profit. The idea is that not all charters are privatized or make profits many struggle to keep themselves afloat and are expected to provide the same service as the public schools with in many cases less money.