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Scary reading in charter school bill - PIOG. RIDICULOUS new laws proposed.

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Scary reading in charter school bill
By Valerie Strauss, Published: MARCH 28, 12:30 PM ET
Aa


A bill in the North Carolina Senate is highly revealing about how much concern its Republican sponsors really have for accountability in education.
Short answer: apparently none.

Longer answer: A bill titled “NC Public Charter School Board,” introduced by two Republicans, calls for a new board to approve and oversee charters. The State Board of Education would no longer have the job of overseeing charter schools, and charter school applicants would no longer have to get permission to open from local school boards or local education agencies. They could go straight to the new board, whose members would be appointed by the governor.

If anyone is worried that members of the new board might have conflicts of interest with the schools they are overseeing, the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Jerry Tillman and Sen. Dan Soucek, are not; their legislation doesn’t have any language ensuring that there are no conflicts.

What’s more, local school boards would be forced to lease open buildings or land to charter school operators for $1 annually unless they could prove that wasn’t feasible, according to the Progressive Pulse. If a charter school closes, its assets won’t go the local school agency or school board but to the state’s general fund.

And there’s more. The Pulse reports that the legislation says:

Charter schools shall "make efforts to reasonably reflect" the racial and ethnic composition of the LEA in which they are located.

That actually weakens the current requirement on diversity and reveals a lack of interest in such issues.

And there’s this: Charter schools would no longer have to have at least half of their teachers officially certified to teach, nor would they be legally required to conduct criminal background checks on their teachers and other staff members. Why? Well, during a legislative committee hearing on the bill, this is what happened, the Pulse reported:

Senators [Republican Austin] Allran and [Democrat Gladys] Robinson raised concerns about why the bill would make it optional for charter schools to conduct criminal background checks for prospective employees. "You're talking about children. Seems like something that would be the minimum you would do," said Allran. Tillman dismissed his concerns, effectively saying that he didn't want to micromanage the schools and that many would do the background checks anyway.

The bypassing of local school boards is not unique to North Carolina; Tennessee has a bill to do the same thing and, in fact, more than half of the states with charter-school laws allow state bodies to overrule charter decisions by other authorizers, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

The North Carolina legislation may, however, be in a class by itself when it comes to removing any notion of accountability from charter schools.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 29, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Replies (21-23):
Kris_PBG
by on Mar. 29, 2013 at 1:48 PM
I was thinking about what you said, and then I started thinking what may be even scarier is the combination of both... I mean - you could have someone who is NOT a professional in the field and knows this school allows non-professionals to teach without background checks... Just think about what kind of people that could attract, KWIM? Someone who wants access to children, doesn't even have the basics to have the professional title or commitment to being in the career and knows no background check will flag them for their checkered history. Shudder. Not trying to argue with you on your opinion - you are obviously MORE than entitled to it - but just sharing some thought I had after reading your last post. :)
Quoting iansusie:

I still stand by my words. Yes, a teaching certification would be great BUT like you said doesn't mean that the person will be a good teacher. Now, I'd agree that if you want to teach, you can get certified and if you are good and like you say have the basic knowledge, no one should be scared of getting certified BUT again, to me, that is NOT the scariest part of this bill. The no background check and basically NO one overseeing that the Charter meets at least minimum Curriculum Standards is scarier than whether or not the have certified teachers. That is my opinion.


Quoting Kris_PBG:

A teacher certification sets a basic minimum as to a knowledge base. There are alternate pathways other than teaching degrees to obtain a certificate, so it is not even saying all teacher need to have teaching degrees - but you SHOULD be able and willing to show you have the basic knowledge to be in the field. A teaching certificate is not "magic" that makes the person a gifted teacher, but it certainly is the industry "standard" as proof you have the prerequisite knowledge to be in the classroom. If a person wants to teach in the US, they should first go through the steps of obtaining the basic entry place into the profession.
Quoting iansusie:

the scariest part is the background check in my opinion. I personally do not have a teaching certification but I know when I was teaching (granted in another country) I did a damn good job. Even the certified teachers at the school, admitted that I did a damn good job with the children I taught. I have an Engineering degree but honestly, I should have gone into teaching because that is what I always wanted to do. My grandmother was a teacher and she is who taught me what a devoted teacher is. My best friend, also has an Engineering Degree, she has been teaching for the past 10yrs. ALL her students get into the Universities of their first choice, including Stanford, Harvard and Princeton, with Scholarships, she doesn't have a teaching certification, either. To me certification is not as important as the devotion and as long as the "teacher" just didn't come out of High School and has some sort of college education is more important. 





iansusie
by on Mar. 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM
1 mom liked this

You know what, from that perspective I agree.... The combination of both basically, is opening the door to anyone to be in a classroom. Now, if at least background checks are done, it will deter many. Sadly, even with a clean background check, we have some awful people with a clean record that have done horrible things BUT it is still better than not doing any at all. 

Quoting Kris_PBG:

I was thinking about what you said, and then I started thinking what may be even scarier is the combination of both... I mean - you could have someone who is NOT a professional in the field and knows this school allows non-professionals to teach without background checks... Just think about what kind of people that could attract, KWIM? Someone who wants access to children, doesn't even have the basics to have the professional title or commitment to being in the career and knows no background check will flag them for their checkered history. Shudder. Not trying to argue with you on your opinion - you are obviously MORE than entitled to it - but just sharing some thought I had after reading your last post. :)
Quoting iansusie:

I still stand by my words. Yes, a teaching certification would be great BUT like you said doesn't mean that the person will be a good teacher. Now, I'd agree that if you want to teach, you can get certified and if you are good and like you say have the basic knowledge, no one should be scared of getting certified BUT again, to me, that is NOT the scariest part of this bill. The no background check and basically NO one overseeing that the Charter meets at least minimum Curriculum Standards is scarier than whether or not the have certified teachers. That is my opinion.


Quoting Kris_PBG:

A teacher certification sets a basic minimum as to a knowledge base. There are alternate pathways other than teaching degrees to obtain a certificate, so it is not even saying all teacher need to have teaching degrees - but you SHOULD be able and willing to show you have the basic knowledge to be in the field. A teaching certificate is not "magic" that makes the person a gifted teacher, but it certainly is the industry "standard" as proof you have the prerequisite knowledge to be in the classroom. If a person wants to teach in the US, they should first go through the steps of obtaining the basic entry place into the profession.
Quoting iansusie:

the scariest part is the background check in my opinion. I personally do not have a teaching certification but I know when I was teaching (granted in another country) I did a damn good job. Even the certified teachers at the school, admitted that I did a damn good job with the children I taught. I have an Engineering degree but honestly, I should have gone into teaching because that is what I always wanted to do. My grandmother was a teacher and she is who taught me what a devoted teacher is. My best friend, also has an Engineering Degree, she has been teaching for the past 10yrs. ALL her students get into the Universities of their first choice, including Stanford, Harvard and Princeton, with Scholarships, she doesn't have a teaching certification, either. To me certification is not as important as the devotion and as long as the "teacher" just didn't come out of High School and has some sort of college education is more important. 







Basherte
by Bronze Member on Mar. 30, 2013 at 7:41 AM


Quoting AutymsMommy:

embarrassed

^^^ This, except for the catholic part. 

We are 'pagan'.


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