I have to say I wasn’t a fan of Tommy Hazouri. Now sometimes I felt like he was on the cusp of getting things right, like when he didn’t want to approve Pratt Dannals staff changes when Pratt Dannals was on his way out the door and when he wanted to see proof the KIPP charter school had improved before allowing it to expand but at the end of the day he was part of a triumvirate (Burney and Barrett the other two members) that really let the school district down. Sadly however whenever Jason Fischer talks it makes me long for Tommy Hazouri.
Fischer I believe won his school board because of his close ties to Jeb “I want to privatize public schools” Bush. Bush never met a public school he liked or a charter school that did any wrong. You can tell Fischer has bought the snake oil that Jeb Bush is selling hook line and sinker when he says things like: the district benefits from charters because they force struggling schools to improve or face losing students.
First of all schools don’t assign themselves resources. If a school needs a mental health counselor or a social worker because quite often whey a kid acts poorly in school has nothing to do with school it replies on the district for those resources, resources that often won’t come because they have lost students. As for struggling, he has the mindset that if a school does poorly on standardized tests then it must be struggling and that friends is far, far from the truth. There is a high level of instruction going on in all our schools, unfortunately however many of the children at our supposedly struggling schools start way behind.
Fischer continued, “If you have a place like River City Science Academy that offers a niche that’s STEM [science, technology, engineering and math], it forces us to say ‘How do we improve science programs at Kirby-Smith? How do we improve at Lee? I don’t think school choice hurts public education.”
Frank Peterson has a nice STEM program, A Philip Randolph has a nice STEM program, Darnell Cookman has a nice STEM program, the district has numerous nice STEM programs, what River City Science academy really has going for it, is a nice zip code.
His assertion that school choice doesn’t hurt public education is ridiculous. I submit since charter schools benefit from selection bias, the ability to counsel out under achievers and discipline problems, educate fewer numbers of ESOL, ESE, and kids on free and reduced lunch and the ability to put requirements on parents, they are failures even if they do as well as public schools and most aren’t. Charter schools should be killing public schools but they are not and that should be troubling to everybody.
School choice often robs the schools that can least afford to lose them of precious resources and then funnels the kids that leave into substandard options. The kids that stay get short changed and the kids that leave get short changed too. How isn’t the choice movement hurting schools again?
Friends, Bush and Fischer and the rest of their ilk don’t understand, ignoring poverty does not make it go away and robbing schools of resources do not make them better either. They don’t understand that choice simply for choices sake is a bad choice.
Finally, at the end of the day shouldn’t Fischer be out working to improve our public schools rather than embracing the privation of them? Good job Mandarin.
Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/florida/2013-08-18/story/new-wave-charter-schools-reality-competition-duval-superintendent-says#comment-741311#ixzz2cQFKMYPA