No exit from bad schools

Despite No Child Left Behind, children enrolled in dangerous and failing schools have no way out, writes Lisa Snell on Reason Online.

Many parents of students in failing schools are not even aware of the right to transfer. A federally funded survey of Buffalo parents by the Brighter Choice Public School Project found that 75 percent of the parents surveyed did not realize their children attended a school designated as in need of improvement, which means it did not make adequate yearly progress in reading or math for two consecutive years. A full 92 percent said they would like to switch schools.

Good schools tend to be filled to capacity, so students who seek transfers often end up at schools that are just as bad as the ones they’ve left.

Under NCLB, Title I federal funding — money used to provide extra educational services to disadvantaged students in high-poverty schools — does not follow children to better-performing, non-Title I schools.

. . . In Palm Beach County, Florida, district officials are projecting that as many as 50,000 students at 64 of the poorest schools could choose another school this fall. But here again, many high-performing schools will be off-limits — and parents will have only two weeks to decide whether they want their children to move.

Many more parents would request transfers, if they could choose a decent school, Snell argues. In most cities, that would require opening up the private and parochial schools.

In Los Angeles in 2003, only 229 children managed to transfer to a different public school under No Child Left Behind. Yet the Southern California Children’s Scholarship Fund placed 1,600 children and has a waiting list of more than 5,000 names. Los Angeles charter schools such as Fenton Avenue Charter School, Camino Nuevo, and Accelerated Learning also have long waiting lists.

NCLB’s transfer promises aren’t enforceable, Snell writes. Parents can’t sue if they’re denied transfers.

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Comments

  1. Mike in Texas says:

    Adequate yearly process (AYP) is the bullet the Bush administration is using to kill public education.

    Here’s how it works. Every school was given a year of testing to set its standards, I believe it was 2002. By 2014 NCLB demands that every school be at 100% in every test. If your school scored a 90% on reading tests for 3rd graders that year then every year your tests scores must increase by ~.7%, called your AYP. This means that your school in 2006 could have 92% of its kids passing the test and still be labled a “bad” school by the federal govt. If this happens twice in a row then you are a “failing” school. By 2010 this example school would be required to always have reading scores of 98% are above or considered failing.

    Of course to make it a little more interesting the feds have also decreed that any special education student or non-English student who doesn’t take the test is counted as an automatic failure. There are no allowable special circumstances for any children with special conditions.

    In 10 years every school in America will be labled as failing, thus opening the door to privatization of education.

  2. Bluemount says:

    p>It is horrifying to send a child to a public institution where each day they may be brutally abused. It reminds me of busing to accomplish de-segregation. In retrospect I think we made only temporary progress on the issues of racism. These problems are much greater than high stakes testing, and aren’t fixed by battle or blame.

  3. Mike in Texas says:

    Bluemont,

    I followed the link to this article and no where did I find any mention of the police being called. I find this highly suspicious. If your daughter were molested wouldn’t you call the police? As the father of a 10 year old girl if this happened to my child I would’ve gone to the school and beat the living snot out of the teacher who put her in the boys room.

    I suspect there is another side to these anecdotes.

  4. Andy Freeman says:

    Okay MiT, I’ll bite. You say that a 2% failing rate is too high a hurdle for public schools.
    Fair enough.

    What failing percentage is acceptable to you? 5%? 10%? If it’s to be scaled with some sort of community measure, what measure and how?

    Here’s an easy one – should a public school ever be closed for non-performance? Are there any current public schools that should be closed for non-performance?

  5. Bluemount says:

    Mit
    The article is associated with this metadata, for whatever importance that is.
    http://www.southjerseynews.com/issues/april/m041204b.htm
    IMO this one is the same thing, teachers letting the kids supervise themselves.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/29/sports/othersports/29mepham.html
    Not when three junior varsity players were sodomized by varsity teammates with a broomstick, pine cones and golf balls at a 2003 preseason training camp in Pennsylvania. Not when the bandage of renewal is lifted to reveal still-raw wounds
    I don’t recall any attention at all called to teachers, who parents expected to be supervising. I don’t know of any institituion that is not easily plagued with corruption? It a point of vigillance and justice to recognize it when it occurs.

  6. “Of course to make it a little more interesting the feds have also decreed that any special education student or non-English student who doesn’t take the test is counted as an automatic failure. There are no allowable special circumstances for any children with special
    conditions.”

    Speaking Spanish is not a special condition. Such students are perfectly capable of learning English, and any decent school would teach it to them fairly quickly.

    Now it is a bit unfortunate that the performance of students with actual mental disabilities, who can’t pass the test no matter what the school does, is counted as part of the school’s score. But the alternative here is to end up with a huge population of “special ed” students in our schools. Schools already get more money by sticking kids in “special ed” – if it saves them from a failing grade as well, then non-special-ed kids will be a lot less numerous than they are now. I don’t really know a good answer to that dilemma.

    “Adequate yearly process (AYP) is the bullet the Bush administration is using to kill public education.”

    It’s the bullet that the Bush administration is using to kill bad public education. Which is a worthy effort, in my book.

    “Here’s how it works. Every school was given a year of testing to set its standards, I believe it was 2002. By 2014 NCLB demands that every school be at 100% in every test.”

    Well, jeez, if the school is setting its own standards, it damn well better be able to meet them in 12 years.

    I mean, the schools aren’t exactly known for setting the bar very high. These are the same organizations that expect their students to take 13 years to attain a “high school education” that still leaves them only minimally productive. I’m not really sympathetic to complaints that schools are being penalized for failing to educate its high school graduates to a level that really ought to be attained by the eighth grade.

    “In 10 years every school in America will be labled as failing, thus opening the door to privatization of education.”

    Nearly every school is failing by any rational standard. Its students should not reach the age of 18 with so little ability to be useful, productive, and independent, nor should we just accept as a matter of course that our adult children will need four extra years to learn the basics that will enable them to be useful, productive, and independent. Any school that takes 13 years to teach its students to the standard that we generally associate with a high school diploma (i.e., laughably low) should have been closed long ago.

  7. Got to this site to see sample NAEP questions and results.

    http://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/itmrls/

    I want to know why the results are so bad on these trivial questions. (How many fourths are in a whole? – 4th grade math – 50 percent wrong) Why do schools have such difficulty teaching this information? If many students are so bad that they can’t learn this material (which I doubt), then no “different” way of teaching them is going to help. One state newspaper education staff writer told me once that the NAEP test is the “gold standard”. Gold standard for whom? The NCLB act allows states to set such low standards that I really don’t understand the vehement opposition to these tests. What is the problem?

  8. Mike in Texas says:

    What failing percentage is acceptable to you?

    There is no magic number you can pull out of the air, the situation needs to determine that number.

  9. Mike in Texas says:

    Well, jeez, if the school is setting its own standards, it damn well better be able to meet them in 12 years.

    I hate to sound ugly but did you read my post at all? The test scores from the year 2002 were used to determine what your adequate yearly progress is. If my school had happened to score 100% that year then we woudl be required by law to get 100% every year and anytime we did not we would be considered a “failing” score.

    Nearly every school is failing by any rational standard.

    So you think EVERY school in the US is inadequate?

  10. Mike in Texas says:

    What is the problem?

    The problem is, these tests scores are the sole measured being used to labels schools as good or bad. Since you mentioned 4th grade, we have a 4th grader at our school who witnessed the murder/suicide of his parents. How well do you think that child is going to perform on the 3 state mandated tests this year? Remember that under NCLB he could be the only child who fails and our school could be labeled as failing. What about the mentally handicapped children? If they don’t take the test they are counted as automatic failures. Should a child with the mental capacity of a 2 year old be required to take these test?

    Ken wrote:

    Such students are perfectly capable of learning English

    Yes, but research has shown they need 5 to 7 years to develop an academic understanding of English. Under NCLB they get zero years. Or, the school can develop some backbone, say the child’s not ready to take the test in English, and take an automatic failure. Of course, if the school is required to get 100% passing this automatically makes them a failing school.

  11. “Yes, but research has shown they need 5 to 7 years to develop an academic understanding of English.”

    What research would that be? When was it done? Was it before or after immigrant students routinely attended classes taught only in English – and passed?

    I can certainly believe that recent research will show that students in modern classrooms need 5 to 7 years to develop an academic understanding of English. But not because of any cognitive limitations on the part of most students.

  12. “So you think EVERY school in the US is inadequate?”

    No, just most of them. Average people should not reach the age of 18 and still be unable to support themselves, and still require four extra years to learn the basics of an entry-level job. The fact that they do, and that most people seem to believe that this is unavoidable, indicates to me that most people’s notion of what an “adequate” school is is horribly skewed.

  13. Andy Freeman says:

    > There is no magic number you can pull out of the air, the situation needs to determine that number.

    Okay – let’s hear about some situations and some numbers.

  14. Mike in Texas wrote:

    “The problem is, these tests scores are the sole measured being used to labels schools as good or bad. Since you mentioned 4th grade, we have a 4th grader at our school who witnessed the murder/suicide of his parents. How well do you think that child is going to perform on the 3 state mandated tests this year? Remember that under NCLB he could be the only child who fails and our school could be labeled as failing. What about the mentally handicapped children? If they don’t take the test they are counted as automatic failures. Should a child with the mental capacity of a 2 year old be required to take these test?”

    … Well, when an industry can’t seem to deal with its own very critical problems, the government (the ten ton gorilla) will come in and do it for them. However, you appear to be using these special cases to argue against all testing and accountability. I don’t hear you suggesting that only certain rules be changed. You want to eliminate the tests completely.

    As a parent, I look at these tests in utter amazement. Our public schools do very well on our state tests, but that isn’t saying much. It doesn’t mean that the schools are good. It just means that the schools aren’t really, really bad. So, go ahead and argue for different scoring rules. However, if you don’t like the tests themselves, don’t hide behind the measurement rules argument. Come out and and explain why you don’t want testing.

    Look again at the NAEP site, the simple questions and the horrible results. This isn’t just a few special cases. These horrible results are for a large percentage of the students. Either the students are incompetent or the schools are incompetent. The schools have the students for 6+ hours a day, 180 days a year, and they can’t get the kids to answer these simple questions. If the kids can’t master this very simple material, hold them back or send them to summer school. The main problem is about accountability and very basic competence (school and student) and not about scoring rules.

    As I have said before, I am not a big fan of the NCLB. It will institutionalize slow progress towards a minimal goal. I think a much better solution is to provide full vouchers to any school, public or private. This comes from someone who was a staunch supporter of public schools until my son started school and I saw how much things have changed since I was in school.

  15. Mike in Texas says:

    Steve wrote:

    Come out and and explain why you don’t want testing.

    I don’t like testing b/c politicians are using it as the weapon to kill off public schools. I don’t like it b/c there is more to an education than doing well on a state written test. I don’t like testing b/c I believe it is developmentaly inappropriate for an 8 year old to have to take an all day test. I don’t like testing b/c I believe it is wrong to base an 8 year olds entire year on one day of testing.

  16. Mike in Texas says:

    You want to eliminate the tests completely

    Absolutely!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. High stakes testing serves absolutely no purpose than for business to line their pockets selling tests and practice materials and to give politicians the chance to claim to be doing something.

    If NCLB is supposed to help schools then why does it punish low achieving schools? Why doesn’t the law specify changes be made at poor performing schools that have been proven to work? Why don’t low performing schools get extra money to reduce class sizes, have extended after school tutoring for low achieving students? Why doesn’t it provide the low achieving schools with additional money to hire counselors and social workers to help those children who are being raised by unfit parents?

    How will taking money away from a low achieving school help it? It won’t and it isn’t meant to do anything but cause that school to fail, which is the REAL goal of NCLB.

  17. Mike in Texas says:

    Here’s another one for you Steve:

    The scoring of the tests have become politicized. If the governor of your state is running for re-election you can be darn sure tests scores will go up. The dirty little secret is the state dept of education will throw label many of the tests questions as “field” questions and they will not be counted against the students score. That’s why in 1999 when W was beginning his presidential run 5th graders in Texas only had to get 52% of the questions correct to pass the test. Using these kinds of tricks “the miracle of Texas education” was created.

  18. “I don’t like testing b/c politicians are using it as the weapon to kill off public schools.”

    Damnit, if the schools can’t get the kids to pass these simple tests, then they deserve to get killed, the sooner the better.

    “I don’t like it b/c there is more to an education than doing well on a state written test.”

    Of course there is. Being able to pass these tests is only the beginning. Which means that not being able to pass these tests is an extremely bad sign, a sign that the student has failed to put forth minimal effort, the student is hopelessly stupid, or the school isn’t even minimally competent at teaching. Take your pick.

    “I don’t like testing b/c I believe it is developmentaly inappropriate for an 8 year old to have to take an all day test. I don’t like testing b/c I believe it is wrong to base an 8 year olds entire year on one day of testing.”

    Well, what do you want to base it on? Those worthless diplomas we’re flooded with didn’t just appear out of thin air, you know – schools had to actively certify as high school graduates people whose educational attainment shouldn’t have gotten them past the eighth grade, and keep doing it year after year until employers got the message. Why should I assume that these new tests will be a worse measure than we’re already getting from our schools?

    (And I’m pretty sure if you blow the test you get at least one more chance before you have to repeat the grade, so we’re not exactly basing everything on “one day of testing”.)

  19. “If NCLB is supposed to help schools then why does it punish low achieving schools? ”

    Because that’s how you discourage them from being low achieving! What do you think punishment is for in the first place?

    “Why doesn’t the law specify changes be made at poor performing schools that have been proven to work? Why don’t low performing schools get extra money to reduce class sizes, have extended after school tutoring for low achieving students? Why doesn’t it provide the low achieving schools with additional money to hire counselors and social workers to help those children who are being raised by unfit parents?”

    Maybe because we’ve tried again and again and again jacking up the funding for our schools and gotten jack for our trouble, and it’s time to try something else.

    “How will taking money away from a low achieving school help it?”

    By (a) giving them a reason to stop being low achieving and (b) hopefully, eventually closing the schools that won’t stop being low achieving. NCLB isn’t meant to “help the school” that’s low achieving, it’s meant to help the students that are stuck there, and sometimes closing their rotten, worthless excuse for a school is the best thing you can do for them.

    (Not that NCLB will achieve even this modest goal because the parents can only transfer to another public school, which is either also failing or full. But it’s at least an attempt at starting to solve the problem)

    “It won’t and it isn’t meant to do anything but cause that school to fail, which is the REAL goal of NCLB.”

    NCLB cannot cause a school to fail. It can draw attention to a school that is already failing and bring that unpleasant fact to life. (And while we’re at it, the little red light on your dashboard does not cause the engine to develop trouble when it lights up…)

  20. Andy Freeman says:

    > If NCLB is supposed to help schools then why does it punish low achieving schools?

    For the same reason that we stop buying GM cars when we can buy better for less elsewhere. The goal of public education spending is NOT supporting public schools. We spend money to get educated kids, period. If the public schools can’t/won’t/don’t deliver, why shouldn’t we take our money elsewhere?

    While I’m waiting for MiT to tell us what the “acceptable” failing rate is in a couple of situations, I’ve got more questions.

    How do we know that we’re getting what we pay for? If we can’t measure the effects of public education, why should we pay more? Why should we pay at all?

    Hint – “trust us” isn’t an answer.

  21. Tim from Texas says:

    The poor performance of schools isn’t the fault of teachers alone. The parents, society, bears just as much the burden, if not more, than the teachers. For example, school districts are filled with administrators who couldn’t teach and couldn’t coach. Most administrators from vp to superindentent we’re given their positions for political reasons, not educational reasons.

    Most administrators throughout our system don’t have a portfolio showing they are knowledgable as to what to do about educating our youth. Who’s fault is that?

  22. Andy Freeman says:

    > The poor performance of schools isn’t the fault of teachers alone.

    Arguing that schools will fail no matter what teachers do is an argument for not spending any money on them.

    That’s a specific instance of a more general rule that public school advocates don’t seem to understand.

    If something can’t be done, neither the reasons why it can’t be done nor the potential benefits of doing it justify spending any resources on trying to do it.

    For example, perpetual motion machines can’t work. It would be wonderful if they did, but the fact that they can’t is decisive. Note that the reason why they can’t work doesn’t come into play – they can’t work is enough.

  23. mike from oregon says:

    MiT –
    Excuse me but when you say, “The poor performance of schools isn’t the fault of teachers alone. The parents, society, bears just as much the burden, if not more, than the teachers.” I say, bunk, yuck and phooey. There is case study after case study where kids who came from poor disfunctional families, who were doing pathetically poorly in the public schools; were turned over to a school where they were expected to learn. Where the standards were very high, where the kids were help accountable (very few of these examples were any part of a public school – mainly Catholic ones). Instead of the ‘hand picked, cream of the crop’ that the anti-school-choice group likes to talk about, these are kids that are from one to five grades levels behind where they were suppose to be.

    You know what happens when that much attention is not only showered upon the kids, but expectations were also expected/demanded? They flourished, case after case where these kids that public school had left for dumb (at best they were doing social promotion) became students that were sought after by prominent universities. The kids ended up loving school because not only were they learning, but it such a better enviroment than home.

    THAT is what we should be doing with our schools and our money. Not looking for excuses on why that type of end product (a bright, educated, productive student) isn’t coming out of our public schools.

  24. Tim from Texas says:

    Well, mike from oregon, you miss the point. You are the public. They are public schools. So you bear great responsiblity, now don’t you, unless somehow you are not part of the public.

    Now, you say that non public schools do so much better. If so, then why don’t you, and others I will add, demand like performance of the public schools that are in and around your communities. You do know you are the public don’t you?

  25. Thank you Ken and Andy. You saved me a lot of time. Instead of talking about testing in theory, I want parents to go to the NAEP site, look at the actual questions and results and judge for themselves. There is nothing political about these questions and they are very basic. The NAEP site gives example questions and a breakdown of the results. This is the raw data. There is no definition of pass or fail or any political manipulation. You can use your own judgment of pass/fail.

    These questions test the very basics of competence. They can’t tell you if a school is good, but they can tell you if a school is really, really bad. If students don’t know how many fourths are in a whole by fourth grade (Go to the NAEP site and see all of the other questions.), then why did they make it to fourth grade? Social promotion or school incompetence. I don’t expect schools to be able to educate kids that don’t care, but these kids shouldn’t be getting to the point where they take a test and get only 50 percent correct. That is school incompetence. Now that Arthur Levine (President of Teachers College at Columbia) has decreed that social promotion doesn’t work (Duh!), schools are free to promote only those students who meet specific yearly expectations. That is, unless schools want to promote these students so that they can hide behind their bad results … “The parents, society, bears just as much the burden, if not more, than the teachers.” … as Tim from Texas says. I would say that parents and society bear the burden of kids who flunk or are held back a grade, not for kids who were socially promoted and not properly prepared to answer very basic questions.

    Tim from Texas wrote:
    “Now, you say that non public schools do so much better. If so, then why don’t you, and others I will add, demand like performance of the public schools that are in and around your communities. You do know you are the public don’t you?”

    Better yet, why don’t the parents (the public) demand full vouchers to these other schools? Why do the affluent get to choose and not the poor? What is so special about public schools? What is more important, public schools or the best educational opportunity for each individual child? Individual children are important – not some vague “ideal” of public schools. Many of us parents have tried very hard to change our public schools and they ignore us.

  26. Andy Freeman says:

    > Many of us parents have tried very hard to change our public schools and they ignore us.

    Why shouldn’t they ignore you?

    > What is so special about public schools?

    Their supporters insist that they should get the money no matter what.

    That sounds pretty special to me.

    Anyone want to explain why public schools should get that privilege?

  27. Bluemount says:

    Why do the affluent get to choose and not the poor?
    Choice is mitigated by acceptance. Changing the school does not give a poor child the same odds as an affluent child in the same school. Would removing a child from religious services in their own community to hobnob in rich churches, teach them to be moral. I think the more important issue is parents play a more authoritive role in schools. Why aren’t teachers and schools evaluated by parents? I asked my district why they didn’t have an online forum for parents and teachers to discuss school issues and they said it would become too abusive.
    What is more important, public schools or the best educational opportunity for each individual child? Individual children are important – not some vague “ideal” of public schools.
    I don’t think the best ‘educational opportunity’ are the most important because it does not mean the individual child is important. When children are lost in methods and measures society finds some way to deflect blame most often to the most vunerable members … it is the definition of poor. If public education deviates from helping people aquire academic discipline to become a uniform, inquisition, management driven corporation, and an experiment in predictable social planning; the vision of intellectual enlightment is lost. Until we individualize all the players, we cannot individualize the child.

  28. Andy Freeman says:

    > I asked my district why they didn’t have an online forum for parents and teachers to discuss school issues and they said it would become too abusive.

    They’re right, and that abuse is a direct consequence of the public school monopoly.

    In most cases, folks deal with bad institutions by refusing to deal with them. That doesn’t work with the public schools. Abuse, while ineffective, is better than nothing.

    What else can a parent do when a school doesn’t work? Said parent can take his kids elsewhere, but the school still gets the money.

    Public schools are one of the few institutions that insist on being paid no matter how badly they do.

  29. Bluemount wrote:

    “Changing the school does not give a poor child the same odds as an affluent child in the same school.”

    …I bet the odds would be a whole lot better than his/her previous school! Isn’t that important? “Im sorry we cannot let you go to the better school because your odds won’t be as good as an affluent child.” Do you think poor parents aren’t capable of making good choices? You seem to think that the only solution is to try and make the public school monopoly work. I don’t. The only way to make public schools better is by eliminating the monopoly, not by having an online forum for parents and teachers.

    “Until we individualize all the players, we cannot individualize the child.”

    ???????????????? I wasn’t using individual as a verb. Can you really do that? What does it mean? I am talking about individual educational choice versus some vague socialist ideal of public schools.

    Andy wrote:

    “In most cases, folks deal with bad institutions by refusing to deal with them. That doesn’t work with the public schools. Abuse, while ineffective, is better than nothing.”

    … At our public schools, they encourage parent involvement – on their terms. This means things like joining the PTO, raising money, and helping out in class. They even have “Improvement Teams” that include parents. I was on one of those teams for a year. We talked about things like parking, after-school child pickup safety, and issues like bullies. This is all very good, but certain issues were off-the-table.

    These issues included fundamental educational assumptions, teaching methods, and curriculum. Although they demanded very mixed-ability groups and they would NOT do pull-out for the advanced kids, and they used curriculum spiraling and social promotion, and the curriculum was weak and fuzzy, and the superintendent admitted that they are still trying to figure out what to do with the above average students, we couldn’t talk about that. I was told that they were going to restart the Citizen’s Curriculum Committee and that I could be on the committee. The committee never restarted and they went ahead and made more major decisions about curriculum and teaching methods. They held an open forum to produce a five-year strategic education document, moderated by a facilitator (can anyone say Delphi?), and they produced a vague document that says nothing about setting high academic expectations. What leverage do parents have? They can elect a school board that tries to get the schools to do something they really don’t want to do and the schools will fight it every inch of the way.

    A few parents might become abusive, but I find that the vast majority either leave (if they have enough money) or keep quiet and make up the difference at home. About 25 percent of our town’s kids do not go to the public schools. The parents wash their hands of the problems and the schools continue to do what they want. On one hand, they do not like to see some of the better students leave, but they sure do like it that these parents are no longer there to question their assumptions and choices.

  30. Bluemount says:

    I am talking about individual educational choice versus some vague socialist ideal of public schools.
    I am more concerned about the issue of parental authority than I am individual choice. Gee, we’re fighting for a pretty minimal education. It take towering levels of stupidity to corrupt that.
    Around here the private schools are overflowing and expanding. I don’t find them to be that different because they still receive public grants and accreditation. They avoid some of the violence and produce mediocre students at an exorbitant price. There is a great deal of pressure for parents to medicate their small children to eliminate active children. They are more extreme in their tracking systems and their classroom sizes are larger. The public schools use them as a dumping station for their problem students by fabricating flase evidence and abusing a child until they leave. The only way to eliminate the false accusation are a private school, the only private schools that will take a marked child are the Catholic schools. I think it’s a cooperative arrangment. Privatizing, even in wealthy communities, can be corrupted because it’s all the same money, the same methods and the exact same people managing it.
    I know of one child who committed suicide, I believe the abusive treatment in special education contributed a great deal. Her sister immediately became a zero tolerance target. The family, who was very poor, attempted to relocate her to Canada. This seems like an extreme, it’s dangers and not isolated. What is suppressed is people acting as individuals, the teachers are victimized as often as the students. Believe what you like, but there is no social-political change that will fix this.

  31. Bluemount says:

    Steve, parents do have some private choices.
    http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/privateschools/home.html

  32. Andy Freeman says:

    > … At our public schools, they encourage parent involvement – on their terms.

    Yup.

    Imagine a grocery story that sells raisins with rabbit turds mixed in.

    If the store was like a public school, your complaints would be met by:
    (1) come in and sweep the store
    (2) help us raise money to build a bakery
    (3) write slogans and put up posters telling folks how wonderful we are

    And, if you stopped going to the store, they’d insist that they still get your grocery money.

    In extreme cases, if you started your own store, they’d sue you. They’d almost always make it difficult to legally grow your own raisins.

    Oh, and the clerks would be abused by mgt because that’s the only grocery store in town. Very few of them would make the connection and the vast majority would vehemently defend the above.

  33. Tim from Texas says:

    Testing, can I get in?

  34. Mike in Texas says:

    I asked my district why they didn’t have an online forum for parents and teachers to discuss school issues and they said it would become too abusive.

    I think an online forum, such as this one, would be a great asset to a school district. With so many people connected to the internet these days it would be a perfect place to exchange ideas and concerns.

    As far as people becoming abusive, most online forums have moderators who remove the abusive posts.

  35. Andy Freeman says:

    MiT, are my posts abusive?

    I’ve actually watched moderated-by-public-school-advocates forums. They’re very intolerant of anything other than “how can I help with the fundraiser”, “how do I volunteer”, “it’s great to volunteer”, and other cheerleading.

  36. Mike in Texas says:

    MiT, are my posts abusive?

    Not at all, Andy

    I was referring to the post I quoted, where a school official told a parent online forums would be abused by some people.