CHARTER SCHOOLS - DO THEY WORK OR NOT?

Please remember these facts: When one forms an organization the same way, with the same methods, the same people with similar training, in the same business as the failing organization in the same activity, e.g., education, how on earth can you expect better results? If one wants a successful charter school, instead of just getting by, one has to be much better in all of these areas. Please pay attention to the areas presented below.

Charter schools are also public schools and they are free. They have been around for a couple of decades with mixed results improving slowly. One can google a lot of information about them. You can find a rating for both standard public high schools and charter high schools under US News And World Report. Charter schools and traditional public schools use the same teacher pool. Unfortunately with very few exceptions, teacher training in the US is weaker than it is in the top 30 countries in education and in the US we do not have continuing education programs on the subjects they teach and teaching methodology improvements like the top countries have. Add to this the fact that textbooks are very expensive in the US, and can be 20-30 years behind current developments. At the same time the best lectures and the best tutorials, all up-to-date, from the best professors are available from the Internet free or for very low cost, but our public schools and their teachers do not want them.

We present many documented facts with backup on the opening page of www.usaedustat.com. They indicate that our education spending is one of the highest in the world, our education achievement dropped to 40th in the world (we were on top in 1970), and that 80% or more of our high school graduates are so poorly educated that robotics will replace them within a few years. This is very bad news for our parents, for our workforce and those young people who graduate from high school, because they will be mostly unemployed.

What is the most important thing for our high schools? We believe that graduating high school students, all of whom are prepared to be trained for a lasting job is very important. That means focusing on ACT score objective with at least 10% growth from the last one. They must also be well enough educated to be able to retrain for higher level new jobs as old jobs disappear, or to successfully obtain a college degree that is in demand in order to provide enough income to support minimally a family of four. Some may feel differently, but we assume that people would care more about their children's future, than if the school uses "corporate" ideas or methods, or makes money, as long as they can deliver the needed readiness for our children. To be truthful, only 18-25% of today's graduates are ACT Ready. The great majority of our public schools are doing a terrible job preparing our children. We trust that no one wants to damage their future for life and weaken our workforce and economy - IF THEY CARE, BUT MANY DO NOT.

The two best school systems in the world are Finland and Singapore, whose methods are transferable to US culture. Chinese, Japanese and South Korean results are great because the parental pressure to perform is very high, and such a method would not be adaptable to US society. Shanghai's results are very high, because the public schools there admit only the highest scoring students in the country, and pressure the students hard to perform, again not transferable to the US.

The best performers do not need goals and objectives at every management and supervisory level. Poor performers do, who are under 50% ACT Readiness, because they need to be focused on three things: a performance objective that is 5-10% higher than the last one achieved (e.g., an ACT score objective for the board and superintendent), a spending objective to stay under the approved budget, and the ratio of central management remaining under 1% of total school district employees per the research recommendations on the opening page of the website. Please read What are vision statements, goals, objectives and operating plans? Are they important? Boards and superintendents - who manages the other? The elected boards are not well informed and lack management training and experience.

What do we need to do in order to ensure successful charter schools when they are formed?

  1. The CHARTER of a charter school is a legal document that describes objectives, the charter school's structure and its planned operations. Obtain and read the charter of the best performing 4-5 charter schools in the USA, and prepare your planned CHARTER for your planned charter school accordingly. Not paying professional attention to this task has created some past charter schools that became poor performers. Read about objectives in this website at www.usaedustat.com. There is an exceptional charter school in New York with 41 primary and middle schools in 2016, called Success Academy Schools, growing fast. They take only poor inner city black and Hispanic children, and scored top one percent on the New York Common Core test beating even most private schools. It would be very important to examine everything about this school called Success Academy Schools (Success Academy Schools 1, Success Academy Schools 2). Eva Moskowitz is the founder and CEO. She emailed recently "In 2016, our schools rank in the top 1% of all New York State schools in math and the top 1.5% in English (NY State is the 5th highest US performer. TN is the 45th.) In fact, all of the state’s top five schools in math are Success Academies, as are two of the top five in English. Our scholars outperformed such affluent suburbs as Scarsdale and many of the city’s selective gifted and talented programs. And I am especially proud of our most vulnerable scholars: 79% of our students with disabilities passed math and 52% passed English (compared with 11% and 9% citywide); 60% of our English Language Learners passed English and 90% passed math (compared with 4% and 13% citywide)". This school is the best performing US charter school. Learning how they do it would be very valuable.


  2. Your charter school's result depends directly on how good your teachers are, compared to the best in international education (e.g., Finland) whose education methodology is driving the results without parental push, and such methodology could be very effective in the US. US teacher training is poor with the exception only of six colleges (See these references). In the high performing countries they accept teacher applications only from those candidates who have a Master's in the subject that they will teach and come from the top third of their Master's program. The Success Academy Schools use a password accessible tutorial program for teachers. In addition, the Internet today has the best lectures from the best professors on YouTube, and outstanding tutorials on more than 40,000 subjects under the Khan Academy. Not paying professional attention to this task has also created some past charter schools that became poor performers.


  3. Our public education is poor, because our state education department public school district management is untrained and inexperienced in management, and teacher training at our universities is poor and old fashioned.. Take professional care to hire only management people who have a confirmed history of success. Not paying professional attention to this task has also created some past charter schools that became poor performers.


  4. Follow the Annual Operating Plan recommendations on this website. When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Not paying professional attention to this task has also created some past charter schools that became poor performers.


  5. We tend to put charters schools into very bad areas where no one performed better. Does that make them look worse?


  6. You must understand that public school districts operate mostly producing poor results, especially in Tennessee and a few other southern states. That is because they do not have any competition in significant numbers. It is the existence of competition that creates excellent quality products and services in any activity. Having a public school district's involvement in a charter school's direction, management, oversight, is nothing less than having a fox in a hen house. They are performing poorly, and the charter school must perform much better. Not paying professional attention to this task has also created some past charter schools that became poor performers.


  7. The public school district also controls a new charter school by having them approved only in poorly performing student areas. That reduces the charter schools' ability to create excellent results. To improve public school performance across the board, establish charter schools as their competitor in all demographic areas. We have a better opportunity in medium and high performing areas to create the greatest gain in performance increasing overall performance of a school district or state. Not paying professional attention to this task has also created some past charter schools that became poor performers.


  8. Unfortunately the above factors are totally overlooked. If one keeps doing the same things with the same people who come from a poorly performing area, they have not achieved anything better, and only the same poor performance can be the outcome. Not paying professional attention to this task has also created some past charter schools that became poor performers.


When one forms an organization the same way, with the same methods, the same people, in the same business as the failing organization in the same activity, how on earth can you expect better results? Only if you improve all the above areas, and if you give authority to well prepared teachers to be in charge of their classroom.

Our children deserve much better results in return for the people's hard-earned tax dollars, than the poor ACT Readiness delivered to date by our high schools. Almost all of those defined as not ACT Ready will lose their jobs to robotics. Please read the robotics related information on this website.



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