Exposing charter schools lies in NC and elsewhere

Salon has a feature story on charter schools this morning that's worth a read - NC is highlighted extensively in the piece, which discusses many of the problems with these taxpayer-funded windfalls for private companies and religious institutions more interested in their own agenda than educating our kids.

Writing for NC Policy Watch, Lindsay Wagner recently reported, “For the first time in its history, North Carolina will allow taxpayer funds to go to largely unaccountable private schools, 70 percent of which are religious institutions.”

What’s not required of these private schools would set off alarm bells in most parents’ minds: “Criminal background checks, any kind of curricular goals or guidelines, credentialed and/or licensed teaching staff, and a requirement to reflect the racial and ethnic demographics of the district in the student.”

A lone state regulator is responsible for conducting site visits to all 698 of these private schools. “I try to get out to all of them once every three years,” he told Wagner, which amounts to roughly 233 school visits each year across the state.

And there's this:

Another school, Bethel Christian Academy in Kinston, “provides its students with an educational program that in its entirety, exalts and glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ by making Him the center of all things.”

The school uses textbooks that are “God-centered,” and Wagner observed, “teach students Bible-based facts, including the following: dinosaurs and humans co-existed on Earth; slave-masters generally treated their slaves well; in some areas, the KKK fought the decline in morality by using the sign of the cross; and gay people have no more claims to special rights than child molesters or rapists.”

“If you are a gay student or interested in listening to or creating secular music,” noted Wagner, “that’s grounds for expulsion.”

Frankly, I'm livid - not one penny of my tax dollars should be used for this kind of religious claptrap and intimidation.


Time for another lawsuit

And then another one and then another one. Whatever it takes to stop this crap.

This...makes my blood boil

My friend is a principle at a public school in Wake County. In mid-August of this year (before the school year started), he told me the following about charter schools:

He said that charter schools were only required by the new law to be open for 10 days before they could release any student(s), keep the money and pawn the kid(s) off on the public schools--who would then receive no additional funding for the additional student(s).

Thus, it sounds to me like he was right, although I don't believe either of us would predict this level of gaming the system.

This is what I imagine needs to happen...any parent who willfully accepts a voucher shall agree that, if their charter school fails, then they must resort to a "market-based" approach to figure out how any other institution will get paid to educate their children. Either they pay out of their pocket or else they use the courts or other means to recover the monies they paid to the charter school.

Otherwise, we will have a whole load of double-dipping wingnuts shitting on everyone else's children. In this scenario, there are many losers...not least of which are the children. Educators who elect to work for these sheisters are also shafted.

Man, my blood is boiling at historic levels