Charter Schools: Team Page Vs. Team Hinz

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Two columnists take on the pros and cons of charter schools -- which one makes a better case?  Clarence Page (The trouble with charter schools) or Greg Hinz (Numbers start to add up at charter schools)? 

Filed under: Media Watch

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  • Charter schools can work if they are managed correctly, but the verdict is still out and there have been charter school embezzlements and fraud. The issue stem from lack of "accountability" and defining this to the schools. Publically financed but privately managed is a dangerous proposition - many of these charters are managed by groups/ organizations with secret agendas that have NOTHING to do with educating our children. It is an outsourcing of education to a "business" many have never had experience with running a school or a charter.
    Fethullah Gulen, described by Ex-FBI Turkish translator Sibel Edmonds as the worlds most dangerous Islamic Imman has the "Gulen Movement". Members of Gulen's movement or Hizmet, manage over 100 US Charter schools where Islamic and Turkish sympathizers are created. Gulen has multi-layers of foundations and institutes that launder the money back and forth they sponsor "interfaith dialogues" which are nothing more than Public Relations for Turkey. The schools hire only Turkish Male principals and 1/2 the staff is uncredentialed teachers immigrated to the USA under HB-1 Visas. They teach Turkish language, songs, dancing and Turkish charactor. the schools perform at Gulen sponsored Turkish Olympiad's in the USA and are flown to Turkey. Waving the Islamic flag of Turkey while performing. Gulen himself has a 5th grade education, lives in exile in Poconos, PA with $25 billion assets.
    http://www.charterschoolwatchdog.com

  • Noble St. UIC is a good school for SOME students. If, however, you are marginal, have some other emotional or family problems, are special education, etc. they will 'counsel' you out afer a short time. It is equivalent to a Catholic school who only keeps the students they think can succeed. These under achievers are then sent back to their home high schools to struggle. Questions:

    What is ther teacher turn over rate?

    How many students do they start with and how many graduate...the rest have to be considered 'drop outs'...

  • While it's true that less students graduate then enter Charter high schools as freshmen, isn't that true of most schools? People move and students enroll in other schools. It would be interesting to know how many students are counseled out and how many decide to leave on their own? If a student is struggling in an academically competitive environment, she may decide of her own volition to reconsider attendance in that school. She can't be forced to keep attending that school.

    And I think schools like the Noble Street schools point out a real problem with CPS. While so much attention is paid to students on the low end of the ability/interest spectrum, there is not enough paid to those students who with a little encouragement can really excel.

  • Agreed. I'd like to see the enrollment numbers of the entering students (Freshmen 2006) verses the actual number of graduates of 2010. While they say that 95% of their graduates have been accepted in college, they don't say how many were pushed, forced or dropped out. In fact, they don't even release the drop out rate.

  • Unwillingness or inability to pay the fines for wearing the wrong color belt and/or chewing gum...check.

    Failing a class and being given the "choice" to repeat the entire year's course work at Noble or graduate on time from a neighborhood school...check.

    Having a parent who is not as involved as Noble requires...check.

    Missing enough school days to be sent packing from Noble while the neighborhood school is still required to take you in or keep you enrolled...check.

    A single fight, whether victim or aggressor...check.

    Unable to stay until 5pm for tutoring because you must pick up your little brothers or sisters after school since your parents are working...check.

    Poor academic performance over all...check.

    English Language Learner...check.

    Special education needs beyond the most mild diagnosis...check.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    And how many of those factors (discipline problems, lack of commitment, lack of persistence, lack of self-control, and lack of self-motivation) cause the neighborhood schools to be unwelcoming to the good students?

    That to me is the miracle of Noble street, that it is creating an environment where students who DO have the positive traits needed to excel can excel without being held back by students who don't have those positive traits.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    southland college prep is opening up in matteson, FWIW

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest/ct-x-s-charter-lottery-0702-20100702,0,1895766.story

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I think that some of the readers are missing the big picture here, and in particular with respect to the Gulen affiliated charter schools.

    The Turkish "Gulenites" that are operating these schools are involved in a myriad of illegal activities -- immigration fraud, money laundering, discriminatory practices, and misappropriation of government funds.

    And yes, they have been doing it for over ten years and continue to build their Turkish empire without any government restrictions and/or intervention. In fact, they have managed to streamline their operations, perfecting it to a science, all the while masterfully escaping any type of accountability.

    The United States government had been made fully aware of the illegal activities (as provided by with evidence),and yet to date, has done virtually nothing to either investigate and/or act on any of the allegations.

    Is Turkey such an important strategic ally to the United States that it is willing to allow the Gulen's cult to exploit our educational system, our teachers, and our children?

    The evidence is credible, the crimes are real, and yet our government pretends that it is simply business as usual.

    And meanwhile, up to 40% of the jobs in each of Gulen's 120 plus schools are being filled by Turkish nationals with little, if any, English skills and/or teaching credentials. Perhaps the unemployed American teachers that are being usurped by the Turkish H1B visa holders can find jobs in Turkey!

  • Actually, you see, that's part of the problem. The data can be very difficult to acquire. Charters generally don't offer school information up for research from outsiders, or if they do it is only the data they want to release. (Rule # 1 in public relations - control the message.) Though funded with public tax dollars, they are considered private and therefore not subject to FOIA requests and various other mandatory disclosures like public schools.

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