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on Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at 7:16 am by Radley Balko
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On the one hand you have individual, as well as district, public schools that do not work. Any change that allows kids a chance at a good education should be investigated. On the other hand, you have private companies that are willing to take up the slack left by local governments. In the short term, I can see the immediate benefits. In the long term, I don’t think I trust private organizations to be altruistic.
America is supposed to be a about Equality of Opportunity. Well we know that is BS. Money for K-12 comes from local taxes and the variance from that can lead to wildly different school systems even within the same city or district.
It seems to me that while charter schools can play a role in showing the general public that certain groups of children are not beyond hope, it falls to the institutions we already have in place to reevaluate and change the current models.
Throughout the entire video, no one bothered to ask what the kids wanted. There was opinion provided by one girl, and one parent, but that was all. Every report card period, every student should have to write a report card on their teachers in order to receive their own. This should not be the only criteria by which a teacher is judged fit or not, but should weigh heavily.
Anytime major decisions for a school are made outside that school in an administration building half a city away, the kids are going to lose out. I hate to sound callous, but SCREW TEACHERS RIGHTS. Yes it is important that teachers have a fair contract so they will want to return, but at the end of the day, they are TEACHERS. They TEACH; if they don’t, they shouldn’t be there.
There is a new-age solution to this problem; put cameras in all classrooms, hallways, gyms, shops, etc. These would not be on all the time, but could be accessed by the Principal, and by the superintendent’s office via the internet. By not having anyone physically in the room, there would be no interference with the dynamics, so evaluation would be more appropriate. If there appears to be a problem with a teacher or with a student, they could be tracked, observed, and their performance evaluated. Teachers are left alone with our children, virtually unsupervised, for extended periods. Any other employee can be observed at any time by his supervisors, why should teachers be any different?