Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charters: 12/15 Best Schools Serving Poor in California;
KIPP Schools: Even Leftist Educators Concede Kids Do Better In Them;
So WHY Are Nebraskans Or Anybody Else Still Talking About Bill Ayers?!?

I reported several times this past month that the reason the University of Nebraska College of Education should never have invited unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers to speak at its big wingding is that he isn't really an educator. Can you spell L - O - S - E - R?!?!

His multi-million dollar "education" program that he and President-Elect Barack Obama both participated in, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, was just another kind of . . . well . . . bomb. According to its own final report, published in 2003, it had "little impact on student outcomes." Total spent: $150 million. But it didn't help kids. Sheesh. See:


But the Ayers invitation / disinvitation is still making news in Nebraska. Why, oh why?

Note what the N.U. College of Education, the Education Committee of the Unicameral, the State Board of Education, and the Omaha Public Schools STILL don't seem to grasp:


Comes now a Los Angeles Times story dated Nov. 11 by Mitchell Landsberg that reports that 12 of the top 15 public schools in California serving poor kids are charter schools. That's based on standardized test results, and poverty levels reflected by a minimum of 70% of the student body having low enough family incomes to be on free or reduced-price lunch programs.

How could this be? The charter school officials quoted said that the kids are motivated to succeed because the public schools they were in before were failing them. And distractions were at a minimum, because unlike those former public schools, the charter schools focused on math and language arts, and not all that social engineering stuff like Bill Ayers likes to teach.

Also note another new report that's out from education policy wonks Jeffrey Henig of Teachers College, Columbia University, and Kevin Welner, University of Colorado-Boulder -- both left-wing strongholds -- but these two concede that the charter schools and private schools run by the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) are doing a better job with the same tough-to-teach disadvantaged students as the traditional public schools.

Detractors of KIPP say that they "cream" the best students from local low-income schools in order to look good on paper. But these left-wing wonks didn't find that. In fact, they said KIPP kids are more likely to have done WORSE in their former schools than average, and were more likely to be of color than Caucasian. Also, the wonks reported, if a student gets into KIPP and stays in KIPP, the student will have a better outcome, than if the student stays in the more-expensive traditional public school.

The only problems they cite are high student and teacher turnover, but those are problems overall in the low-income neighborhoods and nothing to do with KIPP per se.

Read about it on:


What don't we have in Nebraska?

Charter schools and KIPP schools.

We don't have Bill Ayers, either, which is a start. But let's hope the ed bigwigs begin to grasp some of these concepts soon, before we lose a whole 'nother generation to educational malpractice.

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Apparently the new Focus school in Omaha is using some of the techniques used by the sucessful charter schools, at least longer school days and years.Hopefully, they will pound home the basics also, with high expectations, like KIPP schools do. Nebraska is behind the times as one of ten states that have no charter school law.
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