Sunday, May 26, 2013

MNPS charges Charters push out difficult children to look better on achievement test

Charters say charge is untrue

By Andrea Zelinski, City Paper, May 23, 2013 - .........School board member Jill Speering said she sought out district attrition numbers this year after hearing complaints from principals who said they were getting back hard-to-teach students straight from charter schools in the weeks before the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests. The annual exams measure students’ achievement as well as their teachers’ and schools’ ability to advance  student performance.

Speering, a retired teacher, was particularly interested in the case of students leaving KIPP. She found that 19 of 20 students who left the charter school since the end of January had served at least two out-of-school suspensions. Eight of those students also are categorized as having a special-needs disability.

“If this is the case, and they’re able to, through attrition, perhaps get rid of children with behavior issues and students that have academic challenges, then we can’t compare their [TCAP] scores to Metro scores,” Speering said. (link)

My Comment:  There seems to be a continuing hostility to charter schools on the part of some in Metro Schools. It seems some would prefer no child left behind even if the cost is no child excels. There also seems to be a mind set that social engineering is more important that quality education. There are a couple school board members who are the most hostile to school reform that need to be replaced.  Also, I would hope that the state would appoint a charter school authorizer next session and even go further and remove Charter schools from accountability to local school boards.  

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