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I probably need an intervention on this school thing

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  • I probably need an intervention on this school thing

    Just because i am psycho, doesn't mean I am wrong.

    I told the editor of the pd that i was not that crazy about his charter school page last Sunday. Thought it might give me some closure.

    I was having coffee at the bread company in festus, reading the sunday paper. When I got to the editorial section I was pleased to see an entire page devoted to the issue of charter schools.

    That reaction was short-lived. I started squirming in my chair, and I felt a rage of the sort that makes you want to throw dishes across the room---I am a regular there, and one of the workers asked me what was wrong, and I said "just the newspaper", but I was so nauseated, I got up and left.

    I am trying to realize that I need to let go of this. I am enthusiastic about Obama, and he is one of many, (slps union leader Mary Armstrong can be counted) who recognize some role for charter schools. As one who makes a living with music, I have not been in a classroom as a teacher for over a decade, so it is not something which affects me in any direct way.

    But in my heart, I know there is a legitimacy to my instinctive reaction. So I will just leave you with the tip of the iceberg, and move on.

    Kipps will be good. But it is a bait and switch. Study the Can academy for the real future. There is a charter school (Can academy) at 4300 goodfellow, in its first year of operation, historical in the sense that it is the only one ever sponsored by the state board.

    It was opposed by Dr. Bourisaw, and it is sponsored by the same state board of education which took over the schools last June. I discovered, a couple of days ago that the superintendent of the school was the superintendent of the TexasCan academy school in Houston Texas. I was already familiar with how they operate, (large classes, inexperienced teachers, high administrative costs in spite of low per pupil expenditures) because my initial gut reaction (Dr. B's opinion) led me to study them---I already knew that the state board had outsourced their responsibility to Texas---but I was surprised to see they had actually brought in a Texas superintendent to run it.

    Unverified horror stories (which could possibly be debunked by your legitimate reporters)have already appeared on the internet, and I have asked several journalists to take a closer look at it---including an offer to provide transportation for them, if necessary. No one is interested.

    My state senator recently told me that there was stunned disbelief a week after Sullivan was reluctantly confirmed (nine months after his initial appointment), regarding the firing of Bourisaw.

    It would have been nice to have her weigh in on this topic, since there is a growing consensus that it was the issue which got her fired---I guess you ran out of space.

  • #2
    Wow, I could comprehend all of that. I don't agree with it, but I understood it!


    • #3
      [email protected]
      God forbid your newspaper ever takes a look at these bozos as you continue to glorify the Slay-McCain attitude about the curative powers of charter schools.


      School Board ends deal

      The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board on Thursday formally ended a long troubled partnership with a Texas-based charter school group, which created three related programs to educate hundreds of teenagers who are two years or more behind their peers in school.
      Instead, the school system will take over the program. It will house the program at the former home of Baton Rouge Preparatory Academy, educating overage students from grades six to 12. Those students are currently educated at three sites, including Glen Oaks and Prescott Middle schools, which next year will be under private management.
      Superintendent Charlotte Placide said she hasn’t decided whether the overage program will continue using the methods pioneered by America CAN!
      “We have a decision to make,” Placide said.
      The CAN! academies of East Baton Rouge were part of a new autonomous school network that included CAN! as well a small high school, the East Baton Rouge Laboratory Academy, that shares space with Istrouma High School. The small schools were funded in part through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
      The new school, however, quickly ran into trouble. Two administrators were replaced, teacher turnover was high, some students fled, and budgets were cut midyear.
      At the high school academy, students in September even held a protest demanding a better education. One of the school’s sponsor, Advance Baton Rouge, quit working with CAN! academies and removed references to the group from its Web site.
      Still, the program carried on. The school system held CAN! to its one-year contract, and even successfully obtained substantial after-the-fact waivers from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
      Richard Marquez and Yolanda Cruz-Wilder, both executives with America CAN!, said the board for their nonprofit is ending its programs outside Texas, namely its schools in Baton Rouge and one in St. Louis
      Marquez handed the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board a resolution to that effect.
      “It is what it is, and it says what it says,” Marquez said.
      Marquez apologized that the partnership didn’t last long. He urged Placide to continue the expensive model CAN! initiated, namely ample use of mentors and social workers.
      “We regret that this day has come, but Ms. Placide, we know how much you care about these children,” Marquez said.
      “Yes, we are quite disappointed,” Placide acknowledged. “While we have a model, we didn’t get an opportunity to use it.”
      The LSU College of Education is finishing an evaluation of the CAN! academies. Placide said she’s seen an early draft.
      “Some of it was good, and some of it was not so good,” Placide said.
      Placide apologized to students affected by the early turmoil at the CAN! academies.
      “We were disappointed in some ways, and we may have disappointed some students, and that was not our intention,” she said.


      • #4
        Time to go do something else---for a while. This ain't over for me.

        Associated Press
        April 6, 2008

        AUSTIN — Nearly half of the charter schools in Texas have incorrectly reported student attendance, resulting in $26 million in undeserved payments that the state is trying to recover, according to state records.

        The Texas Education Agency probably will never recover at least $9 million of the debt because 20 schools went out of business before repaying the state.

        Gulf Shores Academy, a Houston charter, owes the state more than $8 million. The school has owed TEA money for attendance reporting mistakes for several years. TEA filed a court motion to revoke the school's charter in 2006, but the case is tied up in court and the state hasn't gotten any money back.

        Lynacre Academy in Dallas owed the state about $800,000 when it abruptly closed two months ago, according to TEA records.

        TEA officials say that while traditional schools make errors, mistakes are more common at charters because they typically lack experienced staff or strong oversight and can't generate revenue through property tax hikes or bond elections like other public schools.

        "There is a kind of perverse incentive for a charter school in financial distress to look at (attendance inflation) as a way to get more money," Lisa Dawn-Fisher, deputy associate commissioner for school finance, told The Dallas Morning News. "If they can't get the warm bodies in the building, they may feel an incentive to falsify records."

        TEA officials say they look for suspicious attendance figures at charters, but their regulatory system relies on self-reporting by the schools. TEA puts monitors at schools only after serious problems are identified.

        The $26 million debt comes from 93 of the 211 charter operators in Texas. The amount equals the average state funding for about 4,800 students at roughly $5,400 per student.

        State funding for charter schools has grown from just under $10 million to more than $646 million in 11 years.

        Advocates say most charter schools are run by dedicated employees providing a good choice for students who don't fit into traditional school systems

        "Unfortunately, the public just hears about a very small percentage that's done something poorly, just like with public schools," said Katie Howell, executive director of the Resource Center for Charter Schools.

        When legislators first approved charters in 1996, many supporters argued that relaxing regulations for schools would spark innovation in the classroom. The competition was supposed to make regular schools better.



        • #5
          Originally posted by Jeffro View Post
          Wow, I could comprehend all of that. I don't agree with it, but I understood it!

          That in itself is scary....
          I agree with Davhaf.....Kaiser March 9,2004

          Official Lounge co-sponsor of Jason Motte.

          Mick Jagger is in better shape than far too many NBA players. It's up in the air whether the same can be said of Keith Richards.

          Bill Walton


          • #6
            Originally posted by kjoe View Post
            Just because i am psycho, doesn't mean I am wrong.

            Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.


            • #7
              The St. Louis media is unbelievable on this. Fucking Giegrich.

              cliff notes above---the state board is so fucking incompetent that they outsourced a charter school to Texascan---which has so many problems they will probably be shutting down. Texas itself, has millions of dollars which they cannot collect from fraudulent attendance crap from charter schools.

              I cannot get a reporter to even look at a charter school which might have a negative angle---because the powers that be are pushing them hard--so from Giegrich---we get a long article taking a shot at the regular public school which screwed up on one student---and the vice principal caught it relatively quickly and layed into his staff about it---but Giegrich decides it is a big deal so we get this sanctimonious crap--

              30,000 students and they fucked up with this one---but no one will look at what they are doing in the charter schools--

              Oops: Oklahoma student makes the grade in St. Louis
              By Steve Giegerich

              St. Louis — Over the first two months of this year, the Gateway High School student received credit for being in class 58 times, was cited for tardiness once and received two B's and one C to go along with four F's on a third-quarter progress report.

              There was just one problem: The entire time, the unidentified student was enrolled in a school in Oklahoma, attending classes hundreds of miles from St. Louis.

              Senior district officials were unaware of the phantom student until the Post-Dispatch provided a copy of an e-mail the school's vice principal sent to Gateway staff chastising them for failing to notice the absence of the student. The student withdrew from the St. Louis Public Schools on Dec. 19, 2007. After confirming the authenticity of the e-mail, officials sought to play down the incident.

              "We're not happy about this, but it's fixed," said district spokeswoman Deborah Sistrunk.

              Sistrunk said she could not explain how a student no longer enrolled at the school could earn grades and be counted as present in classes. "We don't know how it happened," she said.

              Rick Sullivan, the chief executive and president of the Special Administrative Board, said he would like some answers.

              "While I'm confident this is an isolated incident, we are going to look into it with the goal of eliminating something like this happening in the future," said Sullivan.

              Former elected School Board President Veronica O'Brien, long a critic of what she claims are lax attendance policies, called the Gateway lapse another example of a city school inflating attendance in a quiet effort to increase state funding.

              State education allocations are tied to attendance.

              "This kind of stuff goes on all the time," said O'Brien. "If you count people in attendance, then you obviously receive revenue for those people from the state."

              The e-mail provided to the Post-Dispatch would seem to indicate that the school's administrators were upset with teachers over the incident.

              In it, a "very concerned" Gateway Assistant Principal Chip Clatto castigated the magnet school's teachers for the lack of oversight and demanded that the situation be "addressed immediately."

              "(Again) this student has not been in St. Louis since Christmas," Clatto wrote. "It is part of a teacher's professional responsibility to maintain order in the classroom, which includes taking accurate attendance daily."

              Attendance at Gateway and other city middle and high schools is recorded on a computer program at the beginning of each class period. Teachers note if a student is present, absent, tardy or absent for a specific reason, such as suspension or extracurricular academic activities.

              Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokesman Jim Morris said the state does monitor districts to detect possible cases of attendance inflation.

              For the most part, Morris added, each of the state's 524 districts are responsible for authenticating attendance figures through internal audits.

              "There are some checks built into the process to help maintain integrity," said Morris. "But it's largely on the honor system."

              He said discrepancies in attendance in other districts have been pointed out in the past. He said the state will not take action in this case.

              Memo to Gateway staff on phantom student
              E-mail dated Feb. 27

              from Vice Principal Chip Clatto to staff of Gateway High School:


              I cannot STRESS how imperative it is that attendance is taken at the beginning of every class period. I know that Ms. Jabara has asked repeatedly for every teacher to take accurate attendance daily. An incident has been brought to my attention that needs to be addressed immediately. There was a student withdrawn from Gateway on 12/19/08 (sic, should be 12/19/07) and moved to Oklahoma City. I am very concerned because this student received 3rd quarter progress report grades of two B's, one C, and four F's. He has been marked present to class 58 times since the second quarter began and even received a tardy on 2/26. Again, this student has not been in St. Louis since Christmas. It is part of a teacher's professional responsibility to maintain order in the classroom, which includes taking accurate attendance daily.

              Mr. Clatto



              • #8
                2:30 in the morning---have not been to stltoday much lately---but they gave me 5 pages on this---I told them thanks---

                Post subject: Re: Giegerich reports a gotcha--while ignoring real issues
                Posted: 18 May 2008 02:16 am
                I just want to say thanks to Florida Girl, Buzzkill, and Galaxy and all the people who bothered to respond.

                Obviously, I don't have a lot of areas of aagreement with Galaxy, but I am sure he cares about how students are educated. (I get the feeling he is a political conservative, because he was mocking Obama when he referred to Florida girl as sweetie). Speaking of Obama---he is on record as being open to charter schools playing a roll---but with Slay and McCain, there seems to be an unquestioning acceptance that this is the way to go---and they like the vouchers, too.

                I talked to a democratic legislator not too long ago---I was surprised at his and some other legislators' cynicism about Sinqfeld and others in the Charter voucher movement. He said this year it was the autistic kids they wanted to use, and we think next year it will be the paraplegics---they are always anxious to get their foot in the door of public funding for religion, and they will use whatever sympathetic group they can to try and establish the principle.

                My central thing on all this is the way Slay and Blunt and the charter fanatics have managed to urinate and defecate all over the integrity of the Post Dispatch and other media, by demanding one-sided, often erroneous reporting on school issues-----including an almost total refusal to delve into the brutal execution (12 bullets) of Tim Bacon in August of 2006. (still an open case, I presume).

                Galaxy is quite right about there being a stack of stuff to look at when you are talking about the st. louis public schools------but a closer examination of what Slay has done shows that his handpicked school board from 2003-2004 damaged the schools so severely---that it helped advance his agenda.

                He had to destroy the schools to save them. And when the citizens of St. Louis started throwing his members off the board and replacing them with people who did not share his agenda----and therefore wanted to start correcting things----Including hiring a superintendent who had people working together, and making some progress----he enlisted the help of the state republican party to disenfranchise the city.

                By the way---my last day as a teacher was in 1991 when John ashcroft was governor. I do a music thing for a living---and I'll be dammned if i can tell you why this stuff has such an incredible emotional pull on me. I honestly do not know.


                • #9
                  this is as good a place as any to announce that I am going to bed now.
                  Sometimes elections have positive consequences!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cardinalgirl View Post
                    this is as good a place as any to announce that I am going to bed now.
                    Not a bad strategy. I feel better today.


                    • #11
                      Insulting, disparaging letters about not reporting the charter school story--- written by me to:

                      gbailon, editor of pd--(4)

                      dhunn pd--(1)

                      Giegerich pd---(1)

                      kristen hinman rft---(1)

                      antonio french pubdef---(1)

                      eric mink pd---(3)

                      just in the last few days, but----------------------------------------------------------------HA!!!!

                      CHANEL FIVE BROKE THE SILENCE!!

                      Charter School Expected to Close
                      Created: 5/19/2008 5:27:28 PM
                      Last updated: 5/19/2008 5:44:49 PM

                      By Sharon Stevens, Education Reporter

                      (KSDK) -- The Missouri
                      Department of Education is expected to approve the suspension of its first charter school, CAN! Academy in St. Louis.

                      Spokesman Jim Morris said the CAN! operation has voluntarily asked for the suspension for a year so that it can regroup its staff and operational problems.

                      Morris said the charter would remain intact.

                      "We're disappointed. We had high hopes for this program. They underestimated the challenge," he said.

                      Enrollees are at-risk students who are given a chance to obtain their GED/high school diplomas. CAN! is headquartered in
                      Dallas, Texas.

                      Currently enrolled students will receive their GED's by mail, Morris said.


                      • #12
                        kjoe - I'm with you brother.
                        Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

                        Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
                        God is stronger and the problem knows it.

                        2017 BOTB bracket


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Schwahalala View Post
                          kjoe - I'm with you brother.
                          I have already talked to 4 school administrators----none of them from st. louis. They all said the same thing---there was nothing in Giegerich's story. Like me, they had no idea why it was even printed.

                          But they are still following up on it---meanwhile---nothing about the state board's massive fuckup with texas Can from KMOX or the PD.

                          The lack of coverage of Tim Bacon's murder is starting to make more sense to me now. I was on KMOX about 1:50 a.m. last night. I need to get a life.


                          • #14
                            Nah you got a life - it's just different.
                            Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

                            Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
                            God is stronger and the problem knows it.

                            2017 BOTB bracket


                            • #15
                              here is what one elected st. louis board member wrote to me---they certainly recognize the things I am talking about.


                              You aren't missing anything. The Post is about sensationalism, not journalism. And some pr, as seen by the continued printing of free pr for the SAB by their letters and the Post's own editorials. I'm really disappointed that a paper for a city this size is this unreliable, but glad I at least know that and can take what they say with that in mind. A positive from this whole elected official experience.

                              Sharon Stevens did a report on the Can! school, so at least it is a little out there.

                              Wow, that's quite a number of unaccountable dollars in Texas. Hadn't heard that.

                              Thanks for sharing your info with me