Sue the competition

Too much competition? File a lawsuit. Five or more Massachusetts school districts plan to sue to stop the Advanced Math and Science Academy from enrolling students outside its immediate area. The new charter school has attracted applicants from 49 towns.

“Our biggest question is what is the deficit in Shrewsbury that requires a charter school in Marlborough to educate our children?” (Superintendent Anthony) Bent said.

Why not ask the parents who are willing to deal with a long commute to get their children in the academy?

Judging by the Shrewsbury Chronicle story, local schools have failed to teach the difference between “it’s” and “its.”

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Comments

  1. Some of my professors would have classified mixing up “its” and “it’s” as a barbarism, which was an automatic zero grade for the paper. This was a long time ago.

  2. And my peers in the public schools wonder why our reputations keep going down….

  3. This poor charter school really riles up a lot of people. The enemies of rigorous education won’t give up.

    I recently posted http://instructivist.blogspot.com/2005/04/academic-rigor-riles-up-patriots.html about this very school and all the trouble the founders had trying to set it up. They faced severe hostility for seeking excellence. It speaks volumes about the state of pre-collegiate education.

  4. It speaks volumes about the anti-intellectualism and anti-personalism of public schools. The educrats hate children (especially sapient children) so much, they can’t stand to see any escape the public school ghetto for decent education.

  5. This is just the natural, predictable response of any monopoly to the threat of competition. If you expect any other response the high likelihood is that you’ll be disappointed.

    The fact that there hasn’t been all that much in the way of direct resistance to the spread of charter schools I attribute to:

    A) they’re public schools and thus vulnerable to political, administrative countermeasures and,

    B) the public will lose interest in education reform as in the past and things will get back to normal. Better, and less tiring, to just wait.

    I’d like to see more of this sort of thing. There’ll be nothing that’ll more radicalize charter parents then having their school yanked out from under them by the local district-based public education franchise.

  6. I have followed the start up of this school. The towns fought it tooth and nail. The public schools had a big campaign requesting even the students to write in to object to the school. One of the turning points came when those reading these letters found many poor arguments, bad grammar, and incorrect spelling.

    Our public schools get “High Performing” marks according to our state’s trivial standardized tests. They want to use this as a justification for preventing students from going to any charter school. (“Why should we pay to have kids go to another school when our schools are rated so highly?”) Perhaps they need to take a close look at the actual tests and rating formula.

    They know and talk about the problem of an “academic ceiling”. They see 25 percent of the students going off to private schools. They are working on the problem. They tacitly admit that the private schools are better, but complain that those kids are “pre-selected”. The public schools could do more for the better students (and those who wish to work harder), but they won’t do it. (“We won’t do pull-out.”) According to progressive education philosophy, all kids can learn and must be treated equally and taught the same in mixed-ability, child-centered groups. They conveniently ignore the sticky facts that some kids learn things a whole lot faster and some kids need deadlines and high expectations. Add to this a “developmentally appropriate” mindset that sets very low or non-existent year-to-year expectations. They know there is a problem, but label anyone who wants more as elitist. The affluent don’t have to put up with this, but apparently, this kind of education is OK for the poor.

    “Our biggest question is what is the deficit in Shrewsbury that requires a charter school in Marlborough to educate our children?” (Superintendent Anthony) Bent said.

    He knows what the deficit is. This is all about money, control, and accountability. They might think it’s OK to have a charter school for wayward kids, but it is quite another thing to have a charter school that sets high standards. It threatens their philosophical and pedagogical house of cards.

  7. What a great post from Steve!

    “According to progressive education philosophy, all kids can learn and must be treated equally and taught the same in mixed-ability, child-centered groups.”

    The funny thing is that educationists bemoan a “one-size-fits-all” approach but are all for one size fits all when it comes to the gifted.

  8. Reginleif says:

    The People’s Republik of Marxachusetts? Big surprise there. Any attention the Globe gives to charter schools is as negative as possible.