California gets something right? (!)
As much as I hate to admit it, California may have – probably inadvertently – done something good.
In terms of the history of education in California, the schools in the state have gone from very well regarded and highly rated to the second worst in the nation. They have been the incubator for every bad idea that “educators” have come up with the last thirty-or-so years from “open classrooms” to doing away with phonics in favor of sight reading California schools have been in the forefront of producing a generation or two of functionally ignorant children. The state of education in California looks something like this…
And let me leave no question about who I believe to be totally responsible for this travesty. It’s the E.D.U.C.A.T.O.R.S. who are responsible. And that may well be changing as an article in the New York Times highlights…
COMPTON, Calif. — By Marlene Romero’s count, her son has had just one effective teacher in his five years at McKinley Elementary School here. Most of the time, she said, he has merely shuffled through classrooms, struggling in math without ever getting extra help.
So when an organizer came knocking at her door promising that if she signed a petition, her son’s school could radically improve, Ms. Romero immediately pledged her support.
Now, she is one of more than 250 parents in Compton who are using a new state law to force the failing school to be taken over by a charter school operator, the first such move in the country.
Voicing enormous frustration with the existing school, the parents handed over the petition on Tuesday to district officials. “We are completely fed up,” Ms. Romero said. “We’ve been told to wait every year and nothing changes.”
“…nothing changes.” Well, that’s probably not exactly correct. I’m guessing here, but I’m guessing that teachers have been receiving pay raises every year and the school district has been hiring more administrators. And the cost per student has been going up. The bottom line is simple, the California Teacher’s Association has been feathering their nest at the expense of generations of kids they are supposed to be teaching. They have failed, and failed miserably. The only thing that HASN’T changed is that the kids aren’t being taught. And the teachers and administrators charged with the responsibility (and paid well for it) don’t give a damn and don’t have a clue what to do about it.
The move in Compton will likely be watched by educators and political leaders all over the country, as many advocates try to exert more pressure on teachers’ unions.
In many ways, the parent trigger is a nightmare situation for unions, threatening to pit teachers against parents, particularly in poor neighborhoods where schools have struggled for years. In essence, it is a union for parents.
“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Marion Orr, a professor of public policy at Brown University. “It really pushed to the edges of a strong democracy and could create real challenges for public officials who believe they know best how to run school districts.”
The parent trigger is a nightmare for the unions. Heh. It’s about time the incompetent buffoons running the teacher’s unions in this country got the opportunity to suffer some nightmares. They’ve been inflicting nightmares of ignorance on generations of kids in this country for years. They’re about to find out the reality of something I first heard Ronald Reagan say years ago. Something like: no bureaucrat anywhere cares more about “the children” than their parents.
Compton has struggled for years.
Critics of the parent trigger law, including union leaders, said that it was simply a way for charter school operators to gain control of more schools. The law also allows for “transformation” of a school by bringing in a mostly new teaching staff and changing budgeting, firing the principal or closing the school entirely.
Frank Wells, a spokesman for the California Teachers Association, questioned the group’s tactics and said that other options should have been considered.
“Were all the alternatives considered to help turn this school around?” Mr. Wells asked.
Mr. Wells is an idiot. Note, Compton (and thousands of other schools in CA and across the country) has been struggling for years. And please note that “struggling” is just NYT Speak for “failing”. Mr. Wells, please note: “considering alternatives” to improving the performance of schools is YOUR job. You haven’t been doing it. You should – along with those who run your damned union should be boiled in oil.
For many of the parents, just the term “charter school” conjures the notion of a better chance for their children. Organizers of the petition took dozens of parents to other schools run by Celerity, the group that will open the charter school to replace McKinley. Vielka McFarlane, Celerity’s executive director, said it was impossible to know how many of the teachers currently at the school she would hire, though “all of them would, of course, be welcome to apply.”
…be welcome to apply. Heh.
The bottom line is that the Compton school is about to be held accountable by parents. It’s about time. I’m guessing that this experiment will be a success. And hopefully it can be replicated across the nation in tens of thousands of schools. And people like Frank Wells can petition the Congress to extend unemployment benefits for his ilk, because in the real world Mr. Wells is unemployable.