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But it’s a great way to game the system!

Hope you’re ready for some edu-outrage this morning, because the good folks at investigative journalism nonprofit ProPublica have published a damning look at how some school districts have found an ingenious way to raise test scores and graduation rates at their top schools: All they have to do is nudge the academically weakest students out of the good schools into private charter schools where they can be warehoused until they drop out. The “good” schools win awards for excellence, the charters turn a healthy profit for the companies that plop the low achievers down in front of computers all day, and everyone’s happy, except maybe the low-achieving students who, instead of getting extra help and a second chance for academic success, get shunted off to a dead-end school where they’re allowed to quietly fail. It’s OK! Those losers would have just dragged everyone else down anyway!

To illustrate how this nationwide problem plays out, the ProPublica report looks closely at two high schools in the Orlando, Florida, school system: the high-achieving Olympia High School, which “offers more than two dozen Advanced Placement courses, even more afterschool clubs, and an array of sports from bowling to water polo,” and Sunshine High School, a for-profit charter located in a strip mall, just a couple doors down from a liquor store. Olympia High wins awards, attracts scholarships, and got listed in US News and World Report’s top 1,000 high schools. Sunshine High has its students sit at computers for four hours a day, and they’re lucky to ever see any live teaching. Big surprise: More than 85 percent of Sunshine High’s students are black or Hispanic. You know, disposable kids. ProPublica explains the sick symbiotic relationship between the prize-winning public school and the charter dumping ground:

Sunshine takes in cast-offs from Olympia and other Orlando high schools in a mutually beneficial arrangement. Olympia keeps its graduation rate above 90 percent — and its rating an “A” under Florida’s all-important grading system for schools — partly by shipping its worst achievers to Sunshine. Sunshine collects enough school district money to cover costs and pay its management firm, Accelerated Learning Solutions (ALS), a more than $1.5 million-a-year “management fee,” 2015 financial records show – more than what the school spends on instruction.

But students lose out, a ProPublica investigation found. Once enrolled at Sunshine, hundreds of them exit quickly with no degree and limited prospects. The departures expose a practice in which officials in the nation’s tenth largest school district have for years quietly funneled thousands of disadvantaged students — some say against their wishes — into alternative charter schools that allow them to disappear without counting as dropouts.

It’s a great system for pumping up the stats for the “best” schools, as long as you don’t mind leaving some children behind. The idea behind “alternative schools” — in districts where they aren’t merely warehousing the lower achievers — is that they should be places where kids who don’t do well in traditional classes can work at their own rate, get individual attention and counseling, and finish school. Yr Dok Zoom taught as a longterm sub at a school like that in Boise a few years back, and many of the students really did turn things around for themselves in the individualized environment. (Your editrix, meanwhile, didn’t teach at one but instead graduated from one!) But if you turn alternative schools over to a for-profit company, take away the costly counseling and academic support, like a lower student-teacher ratio and extra tutoring, you can end up with a fine place to dump kids who might drag down overall test scores and graduation rates at the “good” schools, and once the poor students are out of sight, it’s a lot easier to forget them. Hey, presto! Accountability! The tragedy here is that a tool which was supposed to help weaker students can so easily be used to simply make them vanish:

Barbara Fedders, a law professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, said alternative schools too frequently fail to halt students’ downward trajectory, simply isolating them, instead.

“They create little islands of segregation,” Fedders said. “If they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, it’s unclear why we have them at all.”

Oh, and here’s another neat trick the ProPublica report exposes: Even though some of the for-profit charters run by ALS have on-time graduation rates — that’s kids who finish high school within four years — in the single digits, and lots of their students never finish high school at all, the alternative charters miraculously avoid the big black eye of a high dropout rate, thanks to a bit of bureaucratic sleight of hand:

The charters exploit a loophole in state regulations: By coding hundreds of students who leave as withdrawing to enter adult education, such as GED classes, Sunshine claims virtually no dropouts. State rules don’t label withdrawals for that reason as dropping out. But ALS officials cannot say where Sunshine students actually went – or if they even took GED classes at all.

Between its opening in 2012 and the end of the 2015 school year, Sunshine High coded 1,230 withdrawals as “leaving for adult education,” and the same pattern held at other charters run by ALS. In fact, statewide in Florida, “ALS ran seven of the 10 high schools statewide with the most withdrawals to adult education in 2015. Sunshine ranked first.” Those are some accelerated learning solutions, all right! Now, some of those students really may have transferred to GED programs, but there’s little reason to think many actually did. No requirement to track them! Now, if all those supposed withdrawals to adult education had actually been counted as dropouts, the statewide dropout rate would be 5 percent higher. The dropout rate for Orange County, where Olympia and Sunshine are located, would have jumped by 80 percent. That’s a pretty neat educational miracle, huh?

At the same time it was shunting off low achievers and reclassifying kids who left school, the Orange County Public School District actually managed to win itself a major award for educational achievement. Needless to say, the school district doesn’t think ProPublica is drawing the right conclusions at all, because Orange County cares deeply about all students, and even sent a written statement to say so:

In a written statement, district officials disputed that the transfers helped elevate the school system’s standing under state accountability rules. Students who quit to pursue adult education do count against the district’s overall graduation rate, even though they aren’t labeled as dropouts, they said. They did not respond to questions about whether transfers to Sunshine and other alternative charters have inflated the graduation rates of traditional schools like Olympia.

“Any national or state recognition the district has received,” the statement said, “is the direct result of our parents, students, teachers, and school administrators working hard.”

So please feel free to dismiss ProPublica’s reporting as fake news. The president of Accelerated Learning Solutions, Angela Whitford-Narine, seems almost refreshingly candid by comparison, acknowledging that the average student in ALS alternative charters starts about two years behind grade level and that the company faces challenges. But she insists they’re getting the hang of this, kind of:

“I can’t even begin to say we have this all figured out,” she said while giving ProPublica a tour of Aloma High, another charter school the company runs in Orange County. “But every day we get better at it.”

Part of the problem, says Thiago Mello, a 20-year-old who spent a year at Sunshine High and left without graduating, is that whole notion of letting students “learn at their own pace,” which sounds nice but isn’t very effective without the individual support and attention to help kids improve that pace. He says after he was encouraged to transfer from Olympia to Sunshine, he was left to “sit down and listen to music the whole time,” and never learned more effective study habits:

“You go in there with bad habits and you’re already going ‘at your own pace,’” said Mello, who graduated from a regular high school in Texas and now works as a mechanic in a suburb of Dallas. “It doesn’t work like it’s intended to work.”

You’ll want to read the whole infuriating ProPublica report, published in cooperation with the USA Today Network. While the schools in Orange County, Florida, are used to illustrate how all this works, it’s a nationwide problem; ProPublica found at least 83 school districts naionwide where “regular schools increased their graduation rates by at least one percentage point from 2010 to 2014 while sending more students into alternative education.” The piece notes that a 2007 California legislative report condemned the practice of schools dumping weaker students into charters; the state is now reviewing standard for charter schools. In Louisiana, the practice has led to litigation that’s still moving forward; lawyers for students complaining of discrimination found that transfers to charters increased right before annual testing periods. And in Pennsylvania, a neat accounting trick allows low-performing students’ test scores to effectively vanish once they transfer to a charter — the low scores no longer count against their old schools’ overall performance. Isn’t that creative?

So hooray for No Child Left Behind and other “accountability” systems! They may have improved education in some places, but in others, they’ve mostly inspired creative ways to reshuffle students who might bring down test scores, resulting in what looks like achievement gains. And if the numbers show an improvement, then the schools must be improving, right? Also, privately run charters for low-achieving students are a hugely profitable part of the education business, especially when they can be run with lots of computers and not too many teachers. In states where charter schools are freed from the tyranny of government regulations, they can operate with fine profits without having to waste too many resources on actually teaching kids. And now, with private charter school and voucher maven Betsy DeVos as secretary of Education, we can look forward to even more of such schools running on the public dime.

In conclusion, low-achieving kids have always been disposable. But at least now we’ve found a way to make giving up on them profitable while boosting the prestige of decent middle-class schools for white kids, and that’s how we’ll Make America Great Again, the end.

Yr Wonkette is ad-free and supported by its readers. No vouchers for us! Please help us keep raising your blood pressure and give generously!

[ProPublica/USA Today via alert Wonkette Operative “Thaumaturgist”]

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  • Msgr_MΩment

    This makes me reconsider fleeing to stellar system Trappist. Does anybody know which planets have the fewest Nazis on them?

    • coozledad

      The planet 1940’s Harlem, for one.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Definitely not Planet Milo.

    • Longstreet63

      How about Nazi Nazi Nazi Denmark Nazi? It’s not got much Nazi in it…

    • TJ Barke

      Naw, the moon nazis already colonized that system with their recovered ufo technology.

      • DahBoner

        Everybody Will be Greeted with a Tin Foil Hat When They Deboard the Moon Ferry!

    • Querolous

      Planet Fitness?

  • Oblios_Cap

    From charter schools to for-profit prisons. Ain’t Capitalism great!

    • Groundloop

      It’s not just Capitalism. Democracy and Freedom can only flourish when corporations can make obscene profits, as Free Market Jesus preached. ‘MERICA!

      • TJ Barke

        #freedumb

  • coozledad
    • Msgr_MΩment

      :”You are not A Expert…” should be the new Wonkette meme.

      • Oblios_Cap

        You gotta be thin-skinned to work in this administration.

        • TrixieB (formerly Grrrr…)

          A sobriquet new to me, tho you’ve probably heard it Trumplethinskin.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      The next administration is going to have to thoroughly fumigate the WH to get the vermin infestation controlled.

      • Martini Ambassador

        Assuming we get a “next administration.”

    • TJ Barke

      #thebestpeople

    • anwisok

      He seems nice!

  • Msgr_MΩment

    Will nobody think of the children? Please!
    — Henny Youngmanned

  • Alan

    Shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

  • Nounverb911

    Funny, my school district raises test scores by teaching and caring about the kids…

    • Alan

      Commie.

      • Nounverb911

        Capitalist, average time a house is on the market in my neighborhood, 2 days.

    • janecita

      Same with mine.

  • dshwa

    The only thing shocking about this is how thoroughly not shocked I am.

  • Anna Rompage

    Jesus people, it’s Florida, the land where 90% of the crazy news of this country comes from…

    If parents were really concerned about their kid’s future, they’d move out of the state and go someplace a little more sane, like just about anywhere outside of the south…

    • Oblios_Cap

      Idaho?

      • Anna Rompage

        Only if they’re white, as I hear the high school students there have a penchant for raping people of color with coat hangers…

    • Kitty Smith

      The problem with the thought that Florida is a unique paste-eater in the high school classroom that is the United States is that there’s at least twelve more paste-eaters and twenty-five more nattering about about how cool paste-eating is and demanding paste to eat.

    • doktorzoom

      Much though I love a good Florida Man story, I warned you right in the article that this is not a Florida-specific problem.

    • TrixieB (formerly Grrrr…)

      Or, stick around and fight for decent standards for every school. Because leaving FL and letting it become a total educational wasteland is akin the what the cited schools are themselves doing.

  • wide_stance_hubby

    Ironically, Florida needs a much stronger disinfectant than sunshine.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Some real Mr. Clean, not Lex Luthor, to kick some ass.

    • Longstreet63

      Peroxide?
      Or maybe flourine.
      Well, the place will be under water in a generation, anyway.

  • Beanz&Berryz

    Just… dammit… Is being cruel to kids really worth all this effort from Republicans? To kids? At least be a bit not cowardly once in a while and take on edumacated, not poor, not kids …

    • Villago Delenda Est

      They want an uneducated proletariat to exploit ruthlessly. It’s who they are.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Administrators are gaming the system to make themselves look, superficially, good, in a society that worships the superficial. I’m shocked, shocked.

  • Nounverb911

    “I love the under educated.”
    –DJT

  • anwisok
  • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

    I mean, maybe they’re doing these kids a favor. Can you possibly imagine how painful it would be to be an *educated* Floridian?

    • Oblios_Cap

      Speaking as one, this Republican-infested state is a challenge. That’s why I hit the beach every chance I get.

      • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

        I once asked a Floridian about the incidence of “Florida Man.” He said it’s pretty much an established scientific fact that having a ton of cats will drive you insane, something in their pee or whatever. He theorized that Florida is an experiment of whether you can get the same results from tons of old people.

    • Antonin Dvorak

      As I am one, yes I can.

  • Nounverb911

    Iz r skoolz profiting?

  • Ricky Gay

    man we suck as a species and deserve an asteroid. :(

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Meteor 2016!

    • Martini Ambassador

      I found myself daydreaming this morning about a plague that would wipe all humans out, leaving the cats and tortoises in charge.

      • Longstreet63

        That still leaves Mitch McConnell in charge.

        • Martini Ambassador

          Don’t worry, the cats have plans for his craven ass.

          • Longstreet63

            Have they mastered the can opener at last?

          • Beanz&Berryz

            They got a couple billion meals to eat before they gotta figure out the can opener…

          • Martini Ambassador

            They are advocating for a can-free society.

            Here are some very cool cats: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/02/big-cats-week-lions-tigers-photography/

          • Longstreet63

            Then they’re gonna need some other way to get at the tortoises.
            Nukes, probably.

      • Ricky Gay

        ok but NOT Mitch McConnell!!!11!

    • snark-lurker

      What we really need is some kind of plague (or laws) that would selectively wipe-out everyone who lacks empathy and/or compassion and/or sympathy.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    OT: Florida Dog shoots Florida Man’s girlfriend.

    • Oblios_Cap

      I’m calling bullshit…

    • dshwa

      That’s the wrong Magnum to have on your nightstand son.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      Florida. Typical dog shoots man story.

    • Shibusa

      Was it a gun dog?

      I actually worked with this excellent marksman.

      • snark-lurker

        a gun dog with a dog-gun live round in the chamber?

    • Shanzgood

      GSR test should clear that up, right?

      • snark-lurker

        What is GSR and is it contagious?

        • Antonin Dvorak

          Gun Shot Residue.

          • snark-lurker

            thx

        • Shanzgood

          Gunshot residue!

    • Martini Ambassador

      Where was the good dog with the gun that might have intervened?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      The idiot camo hat is a tell.

    • The Librarian

      She better wash that man right outta her hair asap.

    • Longstreet63

      Who’s a good shot, then? Yes, you are…

    • Groundloop

      “When police tried to question Diesel about the shooting, she replied ‘You’ll never take me alive coppers! Top o’ the morning Ma!!'”

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47dba02110eb344a3cfffbf84064b8cb3f128941054a061683e2c0f5f96eea73.jpg

    • anwisok

      “he thinks the mischievous pup “jumped on the night stand where his gun was sitting and it went off.” Proof that he’s a Responsible Gun Owner: he had the gun loaded, safety off, on the nightstand, so it would be in easy reach if some messican broke in while they were sleeping!

      • Villago Delenda Est

        You’ve captured the gestalt of the situation marvelously.

  • Lizzietish81

    And of course Americans will simply continue to vote to keep this going, because we don’t actually care about children or education

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IpYOF4Hi6Q

    • Longstreet63

      Hey, if education is going badly, we can just stop. That money could be spent on tax cuts for the rich!

      You’d think they’d realize that these days, illiterates make poor soldiers.

  • Longstreet63

    Odd. Totally unforseen that if you start passing out money based on benchmarks, the benchmarks get met regardless of the cost to the core mission!
    Whoda Thunkit?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      VA had the same problem. Financial incentives seem to have a corrupting influence on people. Who would have thunk it?

      • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

        And GA – there was that big scandal where teachers and principals in Atlanta were falsifying and altering test scantrons to inflate scores and avoid being tagged as “low performers”.

        • Villago Delenda Est

          Metrics can be helpful, but it’s very easy to go apeshit with them and lose all basis in reality very fast. Because there are so many things that are important that can’t be put on a spread sheet. This is where you need people with critical thinking skills and some comfort with grey areas to be running the show.

          It’s no coincidence that people like the deserting coward and Donald, who have lazy undisciplined minds, if they have minds at all, love to do everything by metrics.

          • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

            Yeah – we do take student achievement into account when evaluating teaching staff. But it’s not the be-all/end-all of the evaluation (I think it’s around 20-25% of the overall scoring, and only for teachers who are either in their third year of probationary status or post-probationary). The state wanted student achievement to be half of the evaluation, and we told them that was unrealistic because every classroom is different and we shouldn’t punish a teacher who either receives a classroom that wasn’t effectively taught the year before or is working with severely impacted students.

          • Villago Delenda Est

            I mean, it’s like people are unique individuals or something!

  • TJ Barke

    #grateagain
    #sickofwinning

  • Michael R
    • Villago Delenda Est

      Ah, speaking of lazy minds…

      • Beanz&Berryz

        And he’s a political rocket scientist compared to DJT…

    • CogitoErgoBibo

      “Potatoe.”
      -Dan Quayle

  • The Librarian

    Spawn 1 graduated from an alternative school, but it was a public one. Her teacher was fabulous. No nonsense and spawn buckled down and really did well. However, there are private charters around here are that just “show me the money”. Shameful.

  • DahBoner

    “A Dumpster fire a day keeps the Mob Waste Disposal people away”. –Sign on DeVos desk, probably
    https://media2.giphy.com/media/3o6Zt8k5kj15wGRqVi/200w.gif

  • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

    Having worked in the belly of the beast, I could not have said it better myself.

    “I can’t even begin to say we have this all figured out,” she said while giving ProPublica a tour of Aloma High, another charter school the company runs in Orange County. “But every day we get better at it.”

    The assholes who run some of our urban districts are quite fond of excusing their un-scientific and 90s-era management reforms with, “I am SO for the children, that my insincerity and lack of awareness doesn’t matter, so allow my school to be authorized.”

    I’m not kidding.

    • Skadi

      For what little it’s worth, I know more than a few good education professionals who would say the same thing.

      Not to a reporter, unless you pulled their shoes and socks off and tickled their feet, but still.

  • bookish

    The Soufan Group, Center on Nation Building.

    McMaster may reorganize: The new national security advisor is reportedly considering another reshuffle of the White House foreign policy team that would give him control of homeland security and full access to the military and intelligence agencies. Meanwhile, McMaster is reportedly worrying some influential figures in the Trump administration, including Steve Bannon. (NYT, Politico)

    http://centeronnationalsecurity.us11.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=85c3b78d73a97cc0aeb73a203&id=7275d876f8&e=c6e07fd6d5

    http://centeronnationalsecurity.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=85c3b78d73a97cc0aeb73a203&id=b189a736b6&e=c6e07fd6d5

  • Panika MCD

    related topic:

    listening to these bills on inappropriate relationships between students and teachers in TX and the bills don’t apply to fucking private schools.

    • Longstreet63

      You mean Private Fucking Schools.

      • Panika MCD

        it applies neither to the Inc. nor private fucking schools in general.

    • anwisok

      In fairness, they are FUCKING schools. You even said so!

      • Panika MCD

        yeah, but it’s supposed to be metaphorically screwing other students by diverting tax funds from public schools–not literally fucking their students.

    • marxalot

      Of course not. Basically no laws, regulations, standards, or Federal Titles apply to private schools. Didn’t you know that?

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Well, they want to push Jeebus on the little dears, and the Constitution has something to say about that. As in “Don’t.”

        • therblig

          the repubs will amend that to “Please don’t. Unless you want to”

      • Panika MCD

        yes.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      Oh, for God’s sake…so hey, if your charter school teacher wants to bang you – not a crime. But you pee in the wrong bathroom they’ll hang your butt from the flagpole.

      • Panika MCD

        public charters are covered.

      • Panika MCD

        parochial schools: not covered.

        • theblackdog

          Sounds like the Catholic church knows where to transfer some of their priests in the future.

          • Panika MCD

            they were supportive of the bills being applied to them. begs the question of why they weren’t. slippery slope?

    • CogitoErgoBibo

      True story: 20 years ago when I was studying for the bar in Florida (of course), that state’s laws said that it was only improper conduct if the victim was female. The ultra-sarcastic BarBri teacher rolled his eyes and said that for boys, it was just considered “furthering your education.”

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Isn’t it all just statutory rape?

      • Panika MCD

        no. statutory can refer to a person turning 18 and all of a sudden it’s a crime to get it on with their high school girlfriend. student-teacher relationships have a higher threshold because the teacher is in a position of power over the student.

        • Beanz&Berryz

          Thank you! You are right…

  • marxalot

    Anybody watched “Pump Up the Volume” lately? Also, having worked for one of the tutoring-service companies made possible by NCLB, everything involved in public education and private supplements to it is fucked, so this saddens and angers but does not surprise me.

  • CogitoErgoBibo

    …Sunshine High School, a for-profit charter located in a strip mall, just a couple doors down from a liquor store.

    More of a feature than a bug, if you ask me, for students and teachers alike.

    • Longstreet63

      Convenience like that doesn’t come cheap.

      • dshwa

        Iswydt

  • Mr. Blobfish

    DeVos is on it!

    • dshwa

      DeVos is in on it!

      FIFY

      • Villago Delenda Est

        ALL THE UPFISTS!

  • Mr. Blobfish

    See? The system works.

    • Longstreet63

      You don’t think a permanent underclass of cheap labor just happens, after all…

      • Mr. Blobfish

        Those tomatoes aren’t going to pick themselves.

        • Alternative Pony Ron

          We’re at work attempting to create self-picking tomatoes. That should solve several problems at once.
          – Andrew Puzder

  • BadKitty904
  • Jgb979

    Gosh it’s almost like adding a layer of for profit bureaucracy might only incentivize shittier rather than better educational outcomes.

    Soon they can be shipped off to sunshine university prisons.

  • Antonin Dvorak

    What is worse is there have been talks on and off pushing to publish teacher’s names in the paper along with their class’ test scores. Which would only force schools to fake scores to avoid public shaming.

  • SmokinGood

    I worked for a year as a teacher at one of those dumping ground charters. Let me assure you, they are just as terrible, if not worse, as you might imagine. Also too run by a complete asshole who would make jokes, TO THE TEACHERS FACES, about how little he was paying them, while hiring his whole extended family to the top levels of administration. Seriously, nothing more than an obvious scam for taxpayer money. But completely legal, somehow.

    • Shibusa

      NYer did an article a while back about Jeb’s charter schools in FL. It sure seemed like a money-making scheme for his very generous campaign donors.

      • ViveLaPersistence

        And our schools already sucked even before we got inundated with charter schools. As will surprise no one, Jeb! only made things worse.

    • BadKitty904

      Thanks to the Republican Party.

      • janecita

        Let’s not forget that Bill Clinton was a big champion of charter schools. Democrats hands aren’t clean in this whole mess either.

        • Oblios_Cap

          Really, Bill was more Republican-lite than Democrat.

          • Skadi

            There was a story that ran in the funny papers about a Republican who fell into a coma under the Carter administration and woke up when GWB was in the White House. Upon hearing about Bill Clinton, he assumed he must have been a (very successful) Republican president. He was terribly bewildered by the reveal, to say the least.

        • Sandy Beaches

          I think there is a difference between public non-profit charter schools and privately owned charter schools. The top three schools in my immediate area are all charter schools. The one my kid attends has a population that is 22% minority, a 17% economically disadvantaged population and a 98% graduation rate. I’m very pleased with the education she is receiving.

        • BadKitty904

          No, they most certainly are not. But the GOP is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the prime mover in this scam.

  • Shibusa
    • Shucky Ducky

      That is some premium panda.

  • boyblue122

    OT – More Putin key foreign embassy workers mysteriously dying

    https://twitter.com/webradius/status/834806861710884865

    • Villago Delenda Est

      This is like the plot of Fatherland, set in a world where the Nazis didn’t lose WWII. Heydrich is busy killing off all the participants at the Wannsee Conference in order to clean up things before a state visit to Berlin by President Joseph Kennedy.

      • janecita

        That was such a good book, except for the ending, I hate ambiguous endings!

        • Villago Delenda Est

          I didn’t see it as ambiguous. Xavi led the Gestapo east while Charlie was going west…with all the documents. Charlie got into Switzerland, and Xavi found the bricks in the grass that proved that Auschwitz existed. Then Xavi ended his own life to avoid whatever terrors Globus had planned for him.

          YMMV, of course :)

      • Oblios_Cap

        Curiouser and curiouser…

    • BadKitty904

      Just keep this in mind, Republican collaborators…

    • Sardonicuss

      That’s four since the election.
      Maybe this is whey the Repubs refuse to investigate Russiagate…they are waiting for all the players who know anything to be knocked off.

    • Sophia

      If they keep going at the current rate we won’t have to worry about the Russians. there won’t be any left

  • jesuswasablack
  • Asterix

    Business has been bitching for decades they cannot find well educated employees, which is why they have to hire illegals for the dirty work and H1B’s for everything else. Perhaps, if they paid their fair share in taxes in the communities they are in and work with their communities on education issues they wouldn’t have this problem. Trumpians get rid of the Ferin workers and our kids get back to a real education. We don’t need businesses running education, we need businesses paying their taxes and mentoring kids in their first jobs.

  • goonemeritus

    We did the same thing by encouraging knuckleheads to move to Florida.

    • therblig

      a problem that global warming will soon remedy.

  • Michael Smith

    I think that effective public education is a very difficult political proposition in our country. And I suspect it is because students who struggle actually require more resources (and, thus, money) than students who do well. And this is anathema to our current culture.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      This is analogous to the “10% rule” I learned in the Army…10% of your troops will take up 90% of your time.

    • clubseal

      It’ll probably get a lot worse before it gets better, given that the people in power are generally anti-intellectual and think that the Bible should be more prominent in education.

    • Thiazin Red

      Part of the issue is that we allow people to vote on school budgets. Every idiot who thinks they know better can block funding.

  • azeyote

    well i guess if you graduate from one of these for profit schools you can go to Trump U.

    • therblig

      if you’re good at stealing other kids’ lunch money, you can even teach there.

  • bookish

    Schedule of Trump and administration speakers at CPAC.

    http://nbcnews.to/2mb5Jqh

    • Antonin Dvorak

      How does he not already own it?

      • bookish

        Apparently there is some conservative resistance to the alt-right folks Trump has brought on board.

        • Thaumaturgist

          What I like about 304 is that you know where he stands. My iPhone tracks his iPhone so I know where he stands, moment to moment.

        • Anna Rompage

          I heard one of the main organizers of the event speak about the alt right… Talk about pretzel logic, but basically it came down to free speech as long as it wasn’t condoning criminal behavior, like Milo…

        • Edith Prickly

          Yep. They want True Believers and they know Trump’s loyalty is solely to himself.

      • weejee
  • Wild Cat

    “Well, dropping out of elementary school to sell apples on the street was good enough for my grandfather. I always enjoyed how he tried to read us a bedtime story—it was so funny that he couldn’t read the word ‘bough.’ And man, did his hatred of the coloreds turn us on! So damn straight my kid’s going to a Charter School and will not be indoctrinated by socialist public education into thinking the Earth actually revolves around the Sun!”

  • bookish

    Teenage inauguration singer puts Trump on the spot.

    http://nbcnews.to/2mgwpTw

    • ViveLaPersistence

      Too late, sell-out bitch. I hope his check bounced.

    • Thaumaturgist

      Just one moar “celebrity” sticking her nose in politics.

  • So you’re saying a for profit school preyed on the poor and powerless in order to make the most money they could from the system while providing the bare minimum services they could get away with providing?

    That’s unpossible and clearly something we should implement on a nationwide scale.

    • ariel_gee_398

      “[Preying] on the poor and powerless in order to make the most money they could from the system while providing the bare minimum services they could get away with providing” is the story of every industry ever in the dreams of Republicans. It might as well be in the official party platform.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      (please clap)

    • weejee

      Just like privatizing roads and prisons.

      • Dudleydidwrong

        Or the presidency.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      But, what about that Invisible Hand?

  • Paperless Tiger

    Somehow they’ll manage to twist this into another argument against public schools.

  • ViveLaPersistence

    I can’t….I just can’t.

  • mailman27

    I’m sure the reason hedge fund managers are leading the charge for charters is because they always really just wanted to teach.

    • schmannity

      Because they can’t do?

  • schmannity

    Won’t someone think about the profits?!?

  • Nounverb911

    OT
    This seems to have happened last night. (Though I haven’t found any other mentions of it yet).

    https://twitter.com/brittontaylor/status/834600160281841665

    • Moebym of the Returners

      How can we be a nation that calls itself free?

      • Villago Delenda Est

        ICE is the American Gestapo.

        • Jenny

          I was at my kid’s school this morning. The secretary, a teacher, and the principal were talking about a student who wasn’t coming back to school because the kid’s dad was picked up by ICE.

          The teacher asked if they had to turn students over to ICE if they came to the school.

          The principal said I don’t know what choice do we have?

          That’s when they noticed I was watching and they went to a conference room.

          It is true, there are no rules about it. I plan on writing the school district about adopting a resolution to keep the kids safe from ICE. It might not get anywhere but at least it needs to be recognized as a real possibility.

          • Moebym of the Returners

            That haunting Hillary campaign commercial is flooding back. “Can we stay?”

      • Shoto

        ♫ Freedom isn’t free, it costs folks like you and me… ♫

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVkTmnJkAN8

    • Antonin Dvorak

      Oh for fucks sake.

    • NastyBossetti

      To what end?

      • Celtic_Gnome

        Let’s see. The federal court in the northwest was responsible for killing the travel ban, and the President’s a thin-skinned dick. I’m sure we can dress this up with some scary national security talk.

  • Moebym of the Returners

    Return of Social Darwinism.

    • Lord Jim

      Social Darwinism is ostensibly about playing the hand you’re dealt and may the best player win. Rethugs are more about stacking the deck. Point of clarification – Social Darwinism is inhumane, evil, horrible, terrible, and no good.

      It’s funny, when conservodroids talk about the government trying to ameliorate the effects of unfettered capitalism, it’s all “the government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers”. Except when it comes to for-profit schools, I guess…

  • weejee
  • NastyBossetti

    I work for an educational technology company, and the relationship between school districts and public charter schools is kind of baffling to me. We sell some products district-wide on a per-student basis, meaning a district pays us for every single student or they can’t buy that product. Enrollment numbers include students in public charter schools, so districts pay for students attending charter schools. Yet some districts don’t give charter schools access to the system (even though, again, they are paying for the resource for those students), while others do. I won’t say which route this district goes. You can probably guess.

  • bookish

    http://nbcnews.to/2ltiB9G

    Public-facing documents scrubbed from the White House’s website shortly after President Donald Trump was inaugurated — including White House visitors’ logs, waivers of ethics regulations and a host of other records — still haven’t been replaced, fueling advocates’ concerns about the new administration’s transparency.

    During the first week of February, 31 databases — reporting legally mandated White House payroll reports to Congress, budget documents, White House visitor records and public response documents — were removed from the White House Open Data portal, the platform created to disclose information about 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and its operations.

    • RobKanC

      But atleast it’s not emails on private server. I am sure this is all worth it.

      • Moebym of the Returners

        Or a woman who likely stopped having PMS about twenty years ago. Can’t have her rock steady temperament leading the nation.

  • Nounverb911
    • boyblue122

      Republicans pretending they want nothing to do with white supremacists

      • dshwa

        He broke the cardinal rule: Don’t say it out loud.

        • boyblue122

          he said something about white power out loud at CPAC?

          • dshwa

            You can dog whistle it to your heart’s content, but you can’t flat out say the racist/antisemitic things.

          • Querolous

            Dog whistle, yes. Vuvuzela, no.

        • Skadi

          There was a poem in (I think) the Washington Post some years back–

          Republicans feel anger unconcealed
          Because Trent Lott revealed what he revealed.
          They’d always reassured the racist clods
          By speaking code, festooned with winks and nods.
          But Trent Lott blew the gaff: for once he’d spoken
          The world could see the Southern race-code broken.

        • Villago Delenda Est

          “You’re supposed to use a dog whistle, not an air raid siren, schmendrick!”

      • AnnieGetYerFun

        Also, trying to make them out to be liberals.

    • Anna Rompage

      And to think, just a couple of hours ago he was proclaiming to be feeling so very welcome there…
      http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/neo-nazi-richard-spencer-finds-celebrity-at-cpac-i-feel-very-welcome-here-nobodys-punching-me/

      • Sophia

        Huh, guess someone removed the Welcome Mat

    • weejee

      / faints

      • theblackdog

        Belly rubs please!

    • Anna Rompage
      • MizzMazz

        And if you have autoplay on, you get to hear KaC dismiss feminisim on the next lip. She first off says how the younger generation doesn’t like labels, and continues with the tired old man-hating, feeling sorry for yourself shit, and how her mother raised her on her own, without alimony or child support, like that’s a good thing.
        I had to raise my son without child support or alimony, and it wasn’t a good thing. We struggled and we suffered, and that wasn’t a good thing.

    • Thaumaturgist

      Milo & the slippery slope

      • BearDeLaOursistance

        Lube libelz!

    • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

      WTF is a let wing fascist collective? Quote from article: “Shortly before he was removed, the American Conservative Union’s Dan Schneider gave a speech in the ballroom specifically condemning the alt-right as a “left-wing, fascist” collective.”

      • dshwa

        Lol what?

      • Beanz&Berryz

        The same thing as calling Obama a fascist and a socialist in the same slur… A random poo-fling of names with abso-fucking-lutely no philosophical sense beyond the Nazi Party having had “socialist” in its name.

      • Anna Rompage

        You do know that the Dems are the folks who created the KKK, right? /s

      • Alternative Pony Ron

        ‘Left-wing fascist collective’ is the verbal equivalent of a matter-antimatter reaction. The whole sentence should have disappeared in a burst of high-energy grammar rays.

        • Lord Jim

          How did it cross the event horizon?

          • Alternative Pony Ron

            Good question, since the event was cancelled at the last minute.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Just for show. He’s fine, just indiscreet.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      But, I paid extra for the Punch A Nazi Panel.

  • bupkus23

    Perhaps I don’t pay enough attention to “local” TV news, but since I’ve moved into the Orlando TV market ( while an hour and a half’s drive from Orlando and Orange Co. ), I haven’t heard much of anything about failing schools. I think I may have heard mention of that “educational achievement” award won by Orange Co. schools, but not much more….

    FloriduhMan don’t wanna know….

  • Jenny

    Jesus fucking christ the kid managed to get an education and job skills in Texas?!?! STOP FLORIDA! YOU’RE MAKING TEXAS LOOK GOOD!

    • ViveLaPersistence

      As a Floridian, that factoid was a bullet to my heart.

  • beingreleased

    Maybe they’ll talk about this report on Fox News so that Trump hears about it.

  • calliecallie

    Glad this came out now, because yesterday we were talking about the possibility that Betsy DeVos might have a soul after all, and I assure you she does not. This is right up her alley.

    • Anna Rompage

      Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but I wonder if her “opposition” was just a PR ploy to gain a little credit among normal everyday Americans…

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        Ever since the “All the Bad Things Happen When Jared Is at Temple” stories, I’ve sort of assumed all stories about Trump’s people doing anything remotely positive are leaks meant to mitigate negative perceptions.

      • calliecallie

        I expect you are correct. We should keep our eyes open for more of that effort to “humanize” these Trumpanzees.

        • Dudleydidwrong

          Right. Can’t humanize inhumans any more than you can turn a shit sandwich into a gourmet delight, no matter how much mayo you spread on it.

    • BadKitty904

      Betsy DeVos has a bank account. That is ALL she is concerned about.

      • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

        She “believes in” (her) “account-ability”

      • Lord Jim

        Bank account, soul. To-MAY-toe, to-MAH-toe.

  • zerosumgame0005
    • Sandy Beaches

      Holy shit! That is incredible. And, oddly soothing, too.

    • W🗻🐩O🐦🔰W!!!!!!!

    • Alternative Pony Ron

      For some reason it made me think of Katamari. Coincidence?

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    You’re burying the lede, Dok. USA Today published actual journalism?

    • hendenburg2

      Don’t worry, it’s not like they actually wrote it…

      • AnnieGetYerFun

        Or read it, apparently.

    • Historicat

      It was a mistake and the person responsible has been let go.

    • doktorzoom

      Yeah, it’s the “USA Today Network”, which I gather is like a consortium of reporters from the remaining real papers owned by Gannett

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Sunshine High School, a for-profit charter located in a strip mall

    Because education is just another consumer good. Fuck.

    • Shoto

      Oliver tore into charter schools last year.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_htSPGAY7I

      • Skadi

        I…

        …I work at a charter school. I’m so sorry. I needed the money.

        *pulls bag over her head*

        • Dudleydidwrong

          Look, good teachers are good teachers wherever they are, and there are kids at that charter school who need you and who you help. No need to apologize. I’ve been retired from teaching for 20 years and I still miss the classroom. Thanks for your service.

          • Doug Langley

            ^^ this ^^

        • doktorzoom

          It’s OK. Before I got this sweet dick-joke gig, I taught for a couple years at ITT Tech, then escaped to a community college. I still feel guilty.

          • Paul

            Ya gotta feed Kidzoom. Period.

  • bookish
    • Villago Delenda Est

      They still don’t get that “socialist” was just a marketing term. Dumth to the Nth degree, they are. The Night of the Long Knives purged the movement of anyone who took the “socialist workers” part of the name seriously.

      • h4rr4r

        I wonder what they think of the DPRK.

        • BearDeLaOursistance

          Not big fans of the theory, but they probably love the practice.

      • TJ Barke

        Boggles the mind. They are willing to accept that at face value, but deny that the alt right, which self identifies as being right wing are definitely just pretending…

    • TJ Barke

      Because the left is hotbed of fascist racism…

      • Alternative Pony Ron

        It’s the way they say ‘comrade’ in that sneering tone.

    • Red Bird Ω

      Just another lie their supporters will use.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      No, YOU’RE the real Nazi! See? It even has socialist in the name!

    • HazooToo

      Left wing? How do you accuse a group that self-identifies as alt-RIGHT of being left wing? Is this more “liberals are the real racists” bullshit?

    • Alternative Pony Ron

      Because ‘words’ no longer have ‘definitions.’ They’re just thrown about until something sticks.

      • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

        Thank goodness!*
        This clears the way for Vogon Poetry to really take off!

        *This is the Alternate-Definition of “Goddamn everything”

  • h4rr4r

    “They create little islands of segregation,” Fedders said. “If they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, it’s unclear why we have them at all.”

    That is exactly what they are supposed to do. I think you confused what you want with reality lady.

  • Nounverb911

    Ooh, look who sobered up enough to speak.

    https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status/834814647593205760

    • Latverian Diplomat

      So, did they drag the old guy out of the pickle barrel to float a trial balloon, or could he just not resist the chance to jump in and be hugely wrong about something?

      • Villago Delenda Est

        I think it has more to do with taunting the “Freedom Caucus”.

      • dshwa

        I’m not sure he’s wrong. They can bitch about paid protesters all they want, but I think there’s enough nervous reps (particularly as gerrymandering continues to take a beating in court) that they won’t be able to come to a consensus, particularly with the freedom caucus wanting to simply burn it down.

        • Latverian Diplomat

          I hope he’s right, and it’s certainly possible, but I don’t see it as the most likely outcome yet.

    • JustDon’tSayDieInJail

      Did he make that kissy face like that one time?

    • Usedtobeyellerdawg

      Did he follow it up with a nice long Foster Brooks style belch?

  • bookish

    Facebook helps fund CPAC.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/facebook-aid-cpac-courts-conservatives-235256

    As the Conservative Political Action Conference kicks into gear Wednesday, it will do so with Facebook’s financial help and tech expertise. The company is donating $62,500 in cash to the event, a spokesman confirmed to POLITICO. It also plans to teach conservative-leaning candidates there how to use its platform to reach new voters, and it will hold a happy hour for up-and-coming conservatives.

    • Red Bird Ω

      Ugh. That’s why I don’t trust Zuckerberg.

  • Crystalclear12

    Now they just need to work out a transfer program between the charter schools and the private prisons and process will be complete!

    • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

      “The student has left to pursue a stable lasting position in the Justice Department!”

    • Usedtobeyellerdawg

      Just change “private prison” to “charter university” and, Viola!* you have a fantastic metric for graduates going to higher ed!

      *Playing “My Heart Bleeds for What This Country Used To Be.”

  • Jan_in_the_pan

    In Ohio, schools just expel their poor students, or transfer them to Ecot. One of the many reasons why I don’t teach anymore.

  • bookish

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/02/23/white-nationalist-richard-spencer-booted-from-cpac/21720344/

    White nationalist Richard Spencer was removed from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Thursday, after he was labeled “repugnant” by a CPAC spokesman.

    Thursday’s CPAC events were less than three hours into motion on Thursday before security escorted the National Policy Institute head from the building.

    While Spencer reportedly had a ticket to the event, director of communications for the American Conservative Union Ian Walters says “he is not welcome” at the conference.

    • nightmoth

      Saw that—major opportunity to punch a nazi LOST! Unfortunately, CPAC has also decided to re-name the “alt-Right” as “left-wing fascists.” (see discussion below) Right-wing, left-wing, stick a fork in that bird, it’s done.

  • Holly

    OT but fucking fuck! Sorry about this kids but FUCK! Kellyanne the Moran A Idiot just came outta the doghouse at CPAC to hurl the following at us “turns out that a lot of women have a problem with women in power, like me”! Yeah, that’s it….I have a problem with your “power” Kellyanne.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      I have a problem with Nazi beeyotches, Kellyanne.

    • Sophia

      No she got it wrong. I have a problem with morons in power

    • TJ Barke

      I’m pretty sure the problem is with disingenuous lying shits.

    • Resistance Fighter Astraea

      I’m pretty sure the women she’s talking about are at CPAC.

    • NastyBossetti

      As a woman, I have a problem with unrepentant assholes in power. I don’t take gender into consideration in my desire for unrepentant assholes to not be in positions of power. Because feminism!

    • Lance Thrustwell

      She has POWER over the truth. It is her bitch!

      • Usedtobeyellerdawg

        You got to admit, she can bend a hard fact like a pretzel.

    • Bebecca

      No Kellyanne, we hate liars whether they’re men or women. And we really hate liars that think they’re smarter than us and we won’t notice. We’re intolerant that way.

    • KaC thinks she has any power? lolz. Cute!

    • BearDeLaOursistance

      Of course I don’t like her power. It doesn’t have a consistent voltage, and it’s subject to random surges. It’s going to destroy all our democratic devices!

      • JustDon’tSayDieInJail

        And for some reason it can’t generate any light.

    • sgt. jmk of the résistance

      I saw that on the Twitters… it seems to me that the only problem I have with women in power is that there aren’t enough of them.

      I’d like to remind the Blueberry Princess that there is one woman, in particular, that 65 million Americans thought should be in power, and who would have been were it not for the shenanigans of Kellyanne and her crew.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Her “power” to parrot and excuse the statements of the likes of Trump and Cruz is not actual power. At best it is a particularly cheap example of empty celebrity.

  • theblackdog

    This doesn’t shock me unfortunately.

    I spent my high school years out in rural Arizona and they basically operated their charter schools in the same way. The low achievers, special needs students, and the “disciplinary problems” (e.g. any Native American students) were shunted out of the regular school district and to the charter school. So of course our school looked better now because all of the kids who could drag down test scores were gone.

  • bookish
  • Jeffocaster in the desert

    I always get SO angry at this. Public Schools do not exist on a level playing field to be compared, criticized against charters, vouchers or anything else school “choice”. It is just a way for the upper middle class shits to fund getting their kids out of public schools. Then they advocate cutting real estate taxes which are the public school funding source. I was on a school board for four years and it is all shit. The Republican Legislature passed Standards of Learning (SOL-shit out a luck) to make the public schools look bad in Virginia. When I ran I quoted Jefferson. “No public education, no democracy.” FUCK ALL THESE SELFISH ASSHOLES! Emily Couric, our state senator, (Katy’s sister, yes that Katy) made the charters hold lotteries for students to get in so the elitist parents weren’t guaranteed after their work to establish the charter their little darling got in. It killed charter schools for the most part in Virginia.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    It’s a rule of management that if you introduce “performance measurements” people focus on hacking the measurements.

    So if you focus on things like trends in achievement scores, without the context of how the student body changes over time, or allow withdrawals that don’t count as drop outs with no follow up as to whether they were effectively drop outs, then this is what you get.

    I don’t have the answers, but I do know that quality of public education in a specific school district is not something an MBA can explain to you with a few statistics on a single PowerPoint slide.

    • Jeffocaster in the desert

      Yes. I think measurement is a complex challenge. I am a big advocate of letting teachers figure the best strategy for students. It is the epitome of local control, something the Republicans are so fond of (not really)

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Yes.

        You do need some sort of tracking of outcomes, just to identify ineffective teachers and administrators (a problem that is greatly exaggerated in extent, but not nonexistent). But that data has to be used in context and with intelligence.

        I’m of the opinion that, conventional wisdom to the contrary, we should throw money at the problem. Not into tech or privatization, but staff and facilities. Smaller classes, better teacher training, more teachers aids etc.

        For about five minutes, Finland as a role model was the hot topic in education reform, then when it became clear that a large part of what they were doing differently was treating teaching as a profession, and also keeping class sizes way down compared to the US, “reformers” stopped talking about Finland.

        • Villago Delenda Est

          “Throwing money at the problem” seems to work with National Defense, but nothing else, in the GOP universe.

        • mfp

          nothing will change the education landscape in this country unless and until it is funded equally everywhere, by federal law, and also probably thru federal tax supplementation….the entire system of basing public school funding on real estate value and property taxes absolutely and forever guarantees inequality of education

          i could add my standard ‘it aint rocket surgery here, people’–but evidently, it is

  • Red Bird Ω

    When you add to this insanity the fact the many public school teachers have demonstrated a bias against black and brown students and tend to steer them into lower performing classes, you have to wonder if it isn’t all planned.

  • Teecha

    This breaks my heart.

  • aureolaborealis

    I worked at an ‘early college’ charter school a long time ago. ‘Early college’ meant that kids could take college classes as part of their high school curriculum. Those early college courses? Let’s say a kid is due to take Introduction to Algebra in high school. At an Early College® charter school, that kid can take Intro to Algebra as a college course. The teacher is hired as an adjunct through the local institution of higher education to teach the Intro to Algebra class he would have taught anyway. He teaches during the normal time, so he gets paid by the school district and the local institution of higher learning. PLUS, because he’s going above and beyond, he gets a sub to cover for him while he preps for the “college class” he’s teaching. The kid and the kid’s parents are overwhelmed with the kid’s awesomeness at getting college credits in high school. (“We had NO idea we had a genius on our hands!”)
    AFTERTHOUGHT: Intro to Algebra is a developmental course at the university, so those credits don’t count in any way toward a degree, not even as electives.
    It’s win-win!

    • JustDon’tSayDieInJail

      Glad you got to the afterthought, because through the rest of your post, I kept thinking, “How does Intro to anything count toward a degree?”

  • huh. It is almost as if forcing our schools to adhere to for profit but tax payer sponsored testing companies in order to keep their accreditations is in turn forcing those schools to hide its dirty laundry in for profit but tax payer sponsored charters. Imagine my surprise.

  • Bitter Scribe

    I read that report, and yes, it’s every bit as infuriating as advertised.

    The concept of charter schools as dumping grounds for low achievers is really just a distillation/intensification of the whole reason private schools generally have better results than public ones. It’s not because of “competition.” It’s because they can keep the low achievers out in the first place.

  • NastyBossetti

    I had a conversation with one of my neighbors the other day where he indicated that he thinks dumping the students who aren’t doing well somewhere else is a GOOD idea. He also said that bad students parents’ should be incentivized to help them by, you know, maybe not paying them as much welfare money if they don’t make sure their kids do their homework. I did my best to help unpack all the assumptions he was making, and what he was actually saying, and he seemed to think about my points. I don’t really know this guy. Just someone who says hello when I’m walking my dog. But all the sudden we were standing in the street talking about charter schools, welfare, poverty, war, abortion, sex education, religion. Kind of a whirlwind. He told me I should run for office. (You don’t know me, but trust me when I say that is hilarious.)

    • Historicat

      The Wonkette caucus would be amaaaazing.

      • NastyBossetti

        I like the not-caucus in the not-comments.

    • Lord Jim

      Thank you for your service. I’m completely serious.

  • BearDeLaOursistance

    “Accelerated Learning Solutions”? Guess ALS is bad for your neurons in more ways than one.

    • Lord Jim

      Poor Lou Gehrig.

  • mardam422

    You could knock me over with a feather. I mean, who could’ve predicted something like this? You’d have to be the love child of Nostradamus and a Ouija board to have figured this would happen, amirite?

    • Lord Jim

      Who could have known that for-profit schools might dump poor performers for the sake of the bottom line?

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Yep. Unless you can add a column of figures representing Profit, it is almost unknowable, except through necromancy.

  • nightmoth

    interesting. Our school district is patting themselves on the back because they just started a charter school for teenagers “who are not doing well in high school, have children, are working part-time,” according to the local news. So has ProPublica tapped the underlying reason? IMO, not everyone is “college material,” or at least they shouldn’t be: I know kids who graduated from State U. who should never have been admitted. Their daddies could afford tuition, though, so they sailed through with a consistent “gentleman’s C.” What I fret over is the expensive private charter “Christian” schools where the kids don’t learn science or critical thinking skills.There are 3 of those within 30 miles of me.

    • ahughes798

      I agree with you that not everyone is college material. At least at that age. I think we need to bring back vocational schools…people will always need their cars fixed, electrical things and houses wired, heating and air conditioning, carpenters and wood workers, etc. When I quit high school, it was because I was sick of being bullied. Going back to school was the last thing on my mind. Almost 20 years later, in 1995, I got my GED.
      Finally, and rather suddenly, in 2008, I WAS college material. Sometimes it takes a while to become “ready” for college. It took me 31 years. That’s why I think there should be a required gap year between high school and college. You CAN get burnt out on school. It can take a while to figure out what you really want to do…basically, we’re asking 17 year old kids to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives(decide their career path) and I just don’t think most of them are mentally ready to do that. Your brain isn’t even done growing at that point.

      “D’s get degrees,” also, too.

      • nightmoth

        Excellent thoughts on the subject, and congratulations on going back to school! I’m a big supporter of having a gap year. I was an “A” student, did exceptionally well on the SAT, but I was a sheltered only child who was not emotionally ready for college. I knew it, too, but when I begged to take a year off between high school and college my parents were opposed. I still pulled in the grades, but I floundered with relationships. I was in arrested development, to put in generously, until I was in my thirties!

        • ahughes798

          I paid a pretty heavy price for quitting high school. I lost my best friends, who were disgusted with me, and the respect of my father, forever. Don’t know why…went straight out and got a full time job at a factory, with full benefits, paid overtime, and a lot of it. I was relatively well off by the time I was 18, compared to my peers. People are weird. I was relatively immature, that’s for sure! And weird.
          Then when I was 18, I moved to Hollywood to be in a band. Not much accomplished, but lots of FUN! Moved back to IL, been here ever since.
          I went back to school, worked hard, and was on the Dean’s List every semester. But it was different this time because I WANTED to go to school.

          • nightmoth

            I think what you did sounds darn mature! Wish I’d done what was best for me, instead of what was expected. I’m sorry about your Dad. His reaction had everything to do with him, though: doesn’t reflect on you.

          • ahughes798

            Once you’re done with school, every year is a gap year, so don’t feel badly about it! It was a different time, and women, even in the ’70’s had less choices than they do now.

  • Aaron Wise

    8% graduation rate with a 41:1 student to teacher ratio.

    How is this even legal?

  • Mehmeisterjr

    I took a virtual mosey around the Sunshine High campus via Google maps.

    There is a liquor store, something called Trick Shots Billiards, and a cash advance store. You can almost see the ivy growing on the walls.

  • Panika MCD

    sounds like Mello went not to a regular high school, but one of the many schools with either an early college high school or technical program that works with Dallas CC.

    if these fucks really cared about kids, they’d make an accountability system that wasn’t A-F (TX adopted this a couple years ago and it’s like: what do you tell an A student in an F graded school? “you got the BEST F!”)–for which the main argument is: I, as a legislator or parent, am too stupid to understand what words like “exemplary, acceptable and unacceptable” mean! (to which TX State Sen. Kel Seliger once said, “I understand what ‘exemplary’, ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ mean because I went to Bolger High School!” which is now a middle school and the replacement, Randall HS, isn’t even ranked by US News and World Report.)

    another thing they could do is to keep the alternative learning within the school. we did that at Westlake–one of the best public schools in the country (yes, even in TX). our self-paced program, which Prima Brother did, had a fucking wait list. and the 540 program actually worked for Alien Brother Gollum. (the standard model worked really well for yr Panika because she learned in 3rd grade that she could tell her teachers when she was bored.)

  • Celtic_Gnome

    In conclusion, low-achieving kids have always been disposable. But at least now we’ve found a way to make giving up on them profitable while boosting the prestige of decent middle-class schools for white kids, and that’s how we’ll Make America Great Again, the end.

    The above paragraph is the reason America has stopped being great. We went from a country populated by Americans to a country populated by American Units.

    And a Unit’s value is negotiable.

  • r m reddicks

    Commodification of education is only effective for the cheap and quick money grubbers.

  • Smibo

    This microcosm is representative of the Republican ideal for education, nationwide.

    Basically, it’s “Hey! Teachers! Leave “those” kids alone”.

    All in all, they’re just a bunch of dicks in the halls…

    …of power. (shudders)

  • Zyxomma

    This made me so angry I couldn’t read it all. I’m going to bed soon, and I want to sleep tonight.

  • Skaarphy

    Maybe the worst thing about the Trump presidency is that such flaws in the system, that are so obviously wrong, very likely not only won’t get addressed and mended but exacerbated.

  • Fleurbleue

    Why the surprise? A permanent underclass is needed by conservatives. To work for low wages and have no bargaining power.
    This is a quick and dirty way to make it happen.

  • bobbert

    Betsy will fixit.

    (note: sarcasm)

    • HooverVilles

      noted and appreciated!

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