Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Thoughts on Chartered Schools in N.O.

I think that folks on Facebook may think that I’m a Charter program basher. That’s not true at all. I’m only a guy who is concerned with what goes on in the public schools of N.O. In recent months, most of my Facebook postings have been about certain schools and the situations inside of some of them. 

Dealing with this group as of late, touring schools, attending Community meetings  as well as rolling with folks who are concerned with what’s going on in the school systems.  I See first hand some of the issues plaguing our  Not only The Recovery Schools, but those who are chartered as well.  Maybe its the building conditions, sometimes it’s the internal charter system itself.

On my Part, yeah I have been talking about charter schools.  but It’s because I value a public education. and to what I see, Chatter schools are no different than regular public schools, There’s nothing special about them other than the fact that they’re Governed by Private organizations.

I Actually like some of the programs charter schools provide. for the most part they didn’t have to change names of schools or Get Rid of whole student bodies to do it.
Most Charter schools are NOT Neighborhood Schools.This mean that the majority of the student body is going to be Bussed to the school and maybe 5% of the student body lives near the campus or district.  and that’s usually AFTER a :Lottery to get children in..

That Voucher System they had going was recently considered UNCONSTITUTIONAL. that says a lot. which that had more to do with the students being allowed to enter Private schools with public funding.

They’re willing to get rid of Whole Student Bodies & Staffs to make their schools look good. They also change the official names of the schools and then claim to have “Turned failing schools around” …That’s not true. They select students that are considered who make the grade, and Low performers get the run around. They’ve closed Schools and reopened schools with new names, new mascots, new school colors just to say they’re doing good. when in truth all they did was Shift all the Poor Performing students to another Low Performing school.. when that school  fails, Charter takes over and another shift happens.

These charter systems are mostly ran by folks who are not from New Orleans at all. from Presidents, to teachers and everything. The Folks  came here from Elsewhere, America and have Hired Teachers that are not from the area, they can’t relate to the students in any kind of way.. No doubt they’re not Bad teachers, but they’re being put into a situation that they can’t truly handle.  They don;t really understand the environment  they’re being put into. and they’re wondering why the students give them a hard time.

A few months ago the students at Cohen Walked out on their charter when they found that Their teachers were being Replaced with teachers from John McDonogh school,. this was in the middle of the first semesters too. so just imagine what was going on at the John Mac.   .. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!.

We took a walk through both schools involved, Cohen and John Mac. at John Mac The school looks dead. they have decent programs but the student body is very small. the school is in bad condition. Their Principal even walked us into a room that was Terribly funky and full of mold. Inside.  I have other pics but I chose to show you what these kids are breathing to tour left.  That’s John McDonogh HS


Cohen is a real nice looking school. It was my first time over there.  There were minor issues with the building but other wise the students seem to be in a pretty safe environment.  What’s crazy to me though is that there are Multiple Schools running out of that one school.

There’s Cohen High School. on the first floor, NOCP Middle School on the second floor & NOCP High School on the 3rd.  The school is called “Cohen & College Prep” at the moment. Next year when the charter takes over completely they’re going to drop the “&” from the name.  I wouldn’t find anything wrong with that If there were TEACHERS IN THE CLASS ROOM.  right now at Cohen there are not enough teachers in place. There are Sitters to take roll and some kids are  getting free grades without learning anything.

The KIPP Schools are Decent, I just hate the fact that they changed the names of all of these great schools we once had, Not caring about the traditions and customs of the prior school. They also have selective enrollment but They’re willing to accept those who cant be accepted into any other charter. 

We only have about 12 regular public schools in N.O.  Everyone else is Chartered.  Pre Katrina, these charters were moving in and changing things but it wasn’t a bad thing. Now days. The Public has no control of what’s being done in the schools. the peoples opinions don’t matter at all.   Their Options for parents are not real choices.  Basically Its do as They say or leave the school.

I’m going to stop right here for now.

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