A time of opportunity

A slowdown in enrollment growth and the rise of charter schools could end the education wars in California, predicts Dan Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee.

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Comments

  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    That’s not the firstI saw that, so it must be true.

  2. Mike in Texas says:

    Instead of throwing money at charters why won’t the governator supply the schools with what they need like textbooks?

    Here’s an article from the same paper you’ll never see linked here:

    http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/13052771p-13898483c.html

  3. Yawn. As usual, the article you link doesn’t support your efforts at propoganda. From the article:

    Rosario Guillen, principal of Mark Twain Elementary School….said the shortages were due to several factors. In some cases students lost books or transferred to other schools without returning their supplies.

    By the way, how about that TAKS cheating scandal, hey? You’d probably support packing some of those bums off to prison I’m sure, right? After all, they’re not just cheating the tax payers of Texas but the children entrusted to their care.

  4. CA schools get over $7,000 per student, probably a lot over. If out of that, they can’t find a few hundred for books, I have to conclude that the school budgeters found something “more important” to spend the money on – like redecorating their offices…

  5. ragnarok says:

    MiT,

    Just curious, how much money do you think the schools need? I’m looking for a hard number, not “whatever it takes” etc.

    BTW, last time I looked charter schools *were* publicly funded, so I don’t quite understand your concern about funding the schools. Public funding is public funding, isn’t it?

  6. Mike in Texas says:

    ragnarok,

    I’m not familiar with the CA school systems enough to give you that figure. However, I have read that many of the schools across the state lack textbooks and have overcrowded schools. Last time I checked it takes money to purchase textbooks and build schools.

    I’ve also read teacher blogs from CA and they cite a serious lack of funding, along with lack of resources and overcrowded schools, as being chronic problems in CA.

  7. Walter E. Wallis says:

    No problemo. When the $100 laptop comes along next year, textbooks will be passe.
    The laptop will have no battery, and will have degraded image speed to reduce worth for games or other non-edu functions. This will make it less attractive in pawnshops.
    Classrooms will have power and LAN connections for all desks.
    Teachers, whatcha gonna do different?

  8. Mike in Texas says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it Walter.

  9. ragnarok wrote:

    Just curious, how much money do you think the schools need? I’m looking for a hard number, not “whatever it takes” etc.

    Bwahahaha!

    Oh come on. Mike’s got the local franchise for Edu-crap® and one of the terms of the franchise is that no firm commitments or promises are to be made, budgets are always open-ended and there’s no warranty given or implied.

    One of his favorite topics is how the poor Texas education system has to struggle along on only 55% of what’s necessary to achieve the monumental performance demanded by the unrealistic legislature.

    When I looked up the per student budget for Texas, it turns out they’re right in the middle of the pack and that education gets 42% of the state budget.

    To get to the blissful state of fullyfundedness, as determined by the economist who pulled the number out her equations, would result in a per student expenditure of nearly $13,000, vaulting Texas to near the top spender in the nation. That would put 73% of the state budget at the exclusive disposal of the public education system.

    I do all the work, look up the data, do the arithmetic and ole’ Mike still wouldn’t uncork a “yup, that’ll do ‘er”. The best he could do was to respond with “those are your numbers, not mine” and studiously ignore the subject from then on. If that wasn’t the response of the public education system in general to those sorts of questions it would just be pathetic but he really does mirror the more powerful supporters of the public education system. Since they won’t make promises or commitments it’s not reasonable to expect Mike to do so.

    Hey Mike, know anyone who was busted for cheating on the TAKS?

  10. M_David says:

    I always laugh at the “more education funding” crowd. There is never any end to the hunger for more cash.

    Our state (AK) pays over $10k per year to educate each child (this includes the school building costs that most ed types don’t like to include, but private schools must). I have 4 kids. That makes $40k that the state could pay a teacher for 9 months a year to homeschool them and still stay ahead money-wise. Think of it – one teacher per 4 kids, taught by a personal teacher at home for the same cost. And people have the nerve to claim schools are underfunded?

    I am a HUGE supporter of education, but will vote for cuts every time until the schools are privatized and parents have a choice. The backlash against the unions is on its way – and not just in Cali. Can’t wait.

  11. ragnarok says:

    MiT,

    The proposed figure for 2005-06 is a little over $10,000, not counting capital outlays, debt service, parcel taxes, etc., etc. Note too that the schools don’t pay taxes on the land on which they sit, unlike private schools.

    I think that the public schools should be able to do a really good job with $10,000, don’t you? That’s more than many private schools charge.

    As for the many heart-rending stories about being short of supplies, textbooks, etc., take them witha grain of salt. If charters and private schools can manage with less money, public schools should too.

    BTW, from whom do you think many private schools rent their facilities? Yes, that’s right, from public schools that have overbuilt. It’s a pretty sweet deal for the school district – they beat their breasts and tear their hair until the voters pass a school bond, they open with a lot of fanfare, a few years go by and they realise they don’t need the school anymore, so they transfer the few remaining kids and teachers and rent the school out to a private outfit. The lease money is pure gravy.

    Also, FWIW, the textbooks that are adopted by the state (particularly in CA and TX) are quite pathetic. How could it be anything else, when the chairwoman of the adoption committee actually said that “…effectivenes (in teaching) was not a criterion”.?

  12. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen,

    As usual you either distort what others say or you don’t understand.

    The 55% figure comes from the STATE OF TEXAS, it is by their own admission the amount of money they spend to achieve the goals they have set forth. It would be very simple for the state not to have to spend more money, lower its accountability standards to the 55% level it funds.

  13. Mike in Texas says:

    Ragnarok,

    Thank you for the info. Here in Texas it turns out the charters actually cost slightly more per student than a public school.

  14. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen,

    Let me suggest a book for you. Its called The Manufactured Crisis. You’ll find the authors don’t have to invent ways to measure schools or rely on “working papers” leaked to the press to get their words out.

  15. ragnarok says:

    MiT,

    I don’t think you’ve actually answered the question. I pointed out that here in CA the public schools get more money (considerably more, if you count all funding sources) than private schools, but do a much worse job, and then asked why this is so. I’d still like an answer.

    I’m also rather curious about the 55% figure that you quoted to Allen. Do you happen to know from where this figure came? Was it the result of a “professional judgement” analysis or a “successful schools” analysis?

    Last, although this is a bit of a digression, I seem to remember a posting of yours in which you said that Texas charters cost more than public schools, but that the public school figures didn’t include the cost of the facility – correct?

  16. Mike in Texas wrote:

    As usual you either distort what others say or you don’t understand.

    Two of the big three. The only basis for disagreement with revealed truth is stupidity, evil or insanity. What’s next? Going to offer a psychological evaluation?

    The 55% figure comes from the STATE OF TEXAS

    No, actually it doesn’t. It comes from your keyboard until you provide some substantiation. Since you’ve never done that, other then to link to editorials in union publications, I doubt you will and I doubt the STATE OF TEXAS ever admitted any such thing.

    And by the way, who’s this “they” that you refer to. The state of Texas, being a legal entity and not a person, can’t speak. That means some human being did the speaking. Does this person have a name? Do you have some substantiation or is this another of those truths that won’t bear scrutiny?

    Let me suggest a book for you. Its called The Manufactured Crisis.

    The book was suggested to me not too long after it was published as a substantive defense of the conventional public education system. Fortunately, I found this critique of their work, the snotty reply by Berliner and Biddle and the response by Stedman.

    I can see why you find comfort in The Manufactured Crisis. It approximates your methods of misrepresentation, fabrication, selective exclusion and unsupported assertion. In fact, you may have learned your moves from this pair.

    By the way, you wouldn’t be familiar with the test cheating scandal brewing in Texas right now would you? I understand quite a few teachers, princpals and administrators have been implicated in systematic cheating on the TAKS.

  17. ragnarok says:

    MiT,

    About “The Manufactured Crisis”, here’s a fragment from one of the reviews from your link:

    From Library Journal: “It is their position that American citizens are not unhappy about their schools and have no reason to be. Analyzing SAT scores and various reports, they conclude that achievement levels have remained stable over the last 20 years. … they allow that some schools are miserably funded and thus substandard. … This is an important book, even if it proves more provocative than convincing.”

    So the general theme seems to be that public schools are doing just fine, thank you very much, but the parents are too dumb to realise it. Good to know this, but why then the constant begging for more money?

    Maybe this was meant as a softball for Allen?

  18. Mike in Texas says:

    actually it doesn’t. It comes from your keyboard until you provide some substantiation

    You gotta be kidding me!! How many times do I have to post the link to the judge’s ruling before you ACTUALLY READ IT?

    http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/statesman/metro/1201woc.pdf

    Remember, the fun begins on page 56. I believe this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve posted this link.

  19. Mike in Texas says:

    Here’s another link for you Allen, this time the fun begins in the 3rd paragraph. Since you have to register here’s the link and a choice tidbit:

    http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/consumer_news/10003810.htm?1c

    In a Feb. 28 e-mail sent to a Texas A&M researcher, Grusendorf called for the removal of data suggesting that Texas needs as much as $3.6 billion more for public education.

    That’s email correspondance with a researcher (Taylor)who study was ruled seriously flawed in the judge’s ruling, beginning on page 57 I believe

  20. Mike in Texas wrote:

    You gotta be kidding me!! How many times do I have to post the link to the judge’s ruling before you ACTUALLY READ IT?

    Try “never”.

    And your going to have to tighten the focus just a trifle. I’m not going to plow through a 120 page legal decision only to find out it doesn’t say what you claim it says.

    I found plenty of references to a “55% pass rate on the TAKS” but not a thing about Texas funding being 55% of what was necessary to, well, you never make that quite clear, do you?

    As to your second link, that I’ve already seen and, as usual, it doesn’t support you. You’ve just exercised you prerogative as defender of all that’s good and pure to misrepresent the truth. Reading further down the article (thank you bugmenot.com) we see that the researcher, Taylor, saw the data as flawed and was going to remove it from the final report.

    That’s the same “Taylor” I believe, who too a good ass-wuppin’ in the court decision you linked for presenting results which were seriously flawed.

    Sorry bub, try again.

    ragnarok wrote:

    Maybe this was meant as a softball for Allen?

    Consider the source. It’s curveballs Mike’s always pitching not softballs.

    So Mike, nothing to say about that TAKS-cheating scandal? Anyone you know involved? Anyone you resemble involved?

  21. Mike in Texas says:

    Anyone you resemble involved?>/i>

    Is that the best you have? A sophomoric attempt to associate me with a cheating scandal?

  22. allen wrote:
    I found plenty of references to a “55% pass rate on the TAKS” but not a thing about Texas funding being 55% of what was necessary to, well, you never make that quite clear, do you?

    I believe the inferrence is that since the current pass rate is 55% and lowering the budget would decrease that, then increasing the budget would raise the scores. The problem is, I don’t see where the ruling gives any sort of formula for determining the necessary funding. In other words, the only way you could come up with the “55% of necessary funding” figure is if you believe that funding is directly correlated to acheivement and is the only factor.

  23. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Is that the best you have? A sophomoric attempt to associate me with a cheating scandal?

    Nope, but it’s what you choose to focus on. Something about the TAKS scandal a bit touchy? Maybe it reveals a bit too much of the human being in the profession, hey?

    andyo wrote:

    I believe the inferrence is that since the current pass rate is 55%…

    Check out Mike’s comments on the subject. I don’t think there’s much in the way of inference about those. He’s written repeatedly that the government – speaking out of which orifice I can’t imagine – has admitted that it’s funding education at only 55% of the amount necessary to achieve their unreasonable standards, or some such.

    Well, I’d like to see where that admission is made.

    So far I’ve got a bunch of editorials, a couple of news stories that might as well be editorials and a court decision which runs to 120 pages and still doesn’t confirm what Mike’s written repeatedly. Nothing in any of that has an admission of funding education at 55% of the amount necessary to attain some unstated education goal.

    I think there isn’t any such admission and Mike’s continued failure to produce the admission strongly suggests I’m correct. Common sense would also, strongly, suggest I’m correct.

    Do the thought experiment. What politician under any less duress then a gun to the head would admit that he’s responsible for funding education at a trifle more then half of what’s necessary? Only a politician who wants the words “the former” prefixed to his current title.

  24. allen wrote:
    Check out Mike’s comments on the subject.

    Oh, I have. I enjoy the frequent arguments between the two of you. You definitely have more patience than I do. 🙂

  25. ragnarok says:

    MiT said that in Texas, charters cost more than “public schools”, pointing to the TCER study for 2002-03. Page 23 does say that charters get $8,045 per pupil vs. $8,029 for the public schools. But Mike ignores the fact that this is due to about half the charters getting about $300 more per-pupil than the other charters. Why? because more than 70% of their pupils are at-risk.

    Also he doesn’t point out that capital outlays are included in the charter figures, but not in the public school figures. Thus charter schools cost less than public schools.

    In any case, given that he wants more money for schools, why would he care if charters got lots of money? That would be good for the students – if you accept his idea that more money = good!

  26. andyo wrote:

    You definitely have more patience than I do.

    Not necessarily. In part I view the arguments as the intellectual equivalent of calesthenics. Meaningless in themselves but useful to develop conditioning.

    The arguments also provide some insight into the direction the public school lobby is taking.

    I would have guessed that the growing danger represented by charters would have moved them up on the enemies list but the NCLB has now taken the number two slot behind vouchers edging out charters.

  27. Mike in Texas says:

    court decision which runs to 120 pages and still doesn’t confirm what Mike’s written repeatedly.

    Allen, you continue to delude yourself. The court case I linked to you for, oh the 5th time, clearly states on pages 56 and 57 that the state of Texas is funding a 55% passing rate and clearly realizes it needs to pump significant money into the public schools but will not do so.

    I suspect Dubuya and other top Republicans could go on tv live and pronounce they don’t give a damn about schoolchildren as long as their friends are making money and you would still refuse to accept the facts.

    Good luck with deluding yourself in the rest of reality also.

    BTW, vouchers were just killed here in Texas by rural Republicans. The top dog Republican education chair, Grusendorf, who I have linked an article about what a snake he is for you, had drawn up a voucher bill with a co-sponser that dropped vouchers on major urban areas of Texas, except for his and the co-sponsers hometowns. When an amendment was added to include their hometowns he knew it was too much of a hot potato. You can read all about it here.

  28. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Allen, you continue to delude yourself.

    Yeah, just before every shower I…, oh, you wrote delude, not denude. Never mind.

    clearly states on pages 56 and 57 that the state of Texas is funding a 55% passing rate and clearly realizes it needs to pump significant money into the public schools but will not do so.

    Is that what it says? Interestingly, that’s not what you’ve been saying. You’ve been trying to pass off the ridiculous notion that Texas education is getting only 55% of the funds necessary to achieve the goals set out.

    But that’s not the finding of fact of the court decision now is it?

    Looking at page 58, FOF 283, we see that according to “The Reschovsky/Imazaki Cost Function Study” it’ll take a 25% bump in funding to achieve 90% passing rate not your specious increase of 68%.

    Oh, and that “snake” Grusendorf? Looks like the judge must be a snake as well because he seems to have a pretty low opinion of the Taylor study as well.

    You know which one that is, right? That’s the one in which the evil Grusendorf insisted that Taylor’s flawed results be removed. Too bad the reporter who wrote the story about that incident didn’t see fit to mention that Grusendorf’s opinion of the Taylor study was pretty widely held although he did manage to leave the impression that Taylor was having her arm twisted by the evil Grusendorf. The court decision suggest pretty strongly that the judge got a couple of licks in as well.

    Congratulations on stopping vouchers again. Parents have to understand that they’ve served their purpose when they give birth to a child. They certainly aren’t fit to make decisions much beyond that point and, thank goodness, without vouchers, they can’t.

    Of course, there’re still charters to contend with. And alternative certification. The NCLB. The continued rise of for-profit education services like Kumon and Sylvan Learning which would all seem like quite enough to keep the you busy for the forseeable future. But then there’s that inevitable day when some bright young politician figures out that charters run on considerably less money then district schools. And the day the number of charter school parents achieves some magic number to become a significant voting block. And the day the charter school kids start sending their kids to school. I imagine those people’ll have warm feelings about the conventional public education system that they abandoned when given a chance.

    It is good of you to draw my attention to my self-delusion though.

  29. Mike in Texas says:

    “The Reschovsky/Imazaki Cost Function Study” it’ll take a 25% bump in funding to achieve 90% passing rate not your specious increase of 68%

    That’s interesting Allen, in that you admit schools in Texas are underfunded. Of course, using you’re The 25% will work out to approximately 4 billion, which is exactly the amount the judge has ruled Texas schools need pre year in addition to what they receive.

    Thank you for affirming Texas schools are underfunded.

  30. Now what ever happened to that continuing mantra of “the Texas government admitted that they provided only 55% of the funds needed to meet, blah, blah”? We can’t find it in the court decision. It was never in any of the editorials and editorials masquarading as news articles you linked too. In fact, that “55%” number exists nowhere but your posts.

    Thank you for affirming Texas schools are underfunded.

    You’re welcome. And thank you for providing the evidence that you’re nothing but union flack and a dissembler. But we already knew that, right? Evidence your week-kneed response to that TAKS scandal.

    By the way, given the number of schools involved, did you know any teachers who cheated on the TAKS?