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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SLPS to Open Its Own Charter Schools?

The Slay for Mayor re-election website posted an interesting item today. The writer mentions a Suburban Journals article that featured quotes from St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams:

According to the Sub Journal reporter, Dr. Adams said the public school district could open five charter schools of its own next year. He said that these charters, like the public charter schools currently attended by about 9,000 of the City’s children, would have autonomy in their administration and governing board and more flexibility in their school days and types of curriculum.

Does this possibility merely coincide with the current facilities management planning process and its potential to generate massive school closures?

Read more here.


Anonymous said...

Per your question: My guess would be no, this is not a coincidence. It takes time to formulate a plan like this, and most probably conusltants were consulted, planners were planning, etc., all of it paid for by our tax dollars. Shut out of the process, and made to pay for it, with no oversight or transparency. What does that, and other aspects of City governance sound like? Oh, right, the way TARP was handled. Very authoritarian. No one representing the children or the parents, or those of us, while not having or wanting children, who still want to see every child from age 4 up to age 18 educated to become responsible and contributing members of society. Unlike the sponging pols and their hired lackies in the company of MGT, and, while we're at it, Alvarez and Marsal. Remember them, folks? Veni, vedi, vici. Without any contributing assistance from us, the people. Oh, to be sure, at the end of the process they allowed us to COMMENT at "organized forums", but were we allowed, at the very least, to observe the process as it was happening? NO! Were we part of the process which decided which gems of our architectural heritage were sold off, with air conditioning in 11 of the 14 buildings, again paid for by us? NO! BTW, has anyone heard of anything approaching the level of scrutiny public schools receive being applied to charter shcools? No? Thought not. This whole thing has been presented as a fait accompli, a done deal. Schools will be closed, and there's not f***ing thing we can do about it. This is government in America in the 21st century: the people on the outside looking in, shut out of the system and buildings for which we paid, and told to like it. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that Mr. Slay, et al, were a junta of right-wing idealogues who were plotting to dismantle public education in our City. One final question. Does anyone think we as a people, St. Louisans and Americans, could have come as far as we have as a City and a Nation if it were not for public education? I triple-dog dare you to answer that question in the negative.

Anonymous said...

Might be a dumb question, but, how many city students are there, public, private, and charter, total?

Anonymous said...

To the question about how many school kids there are in the city of St. Louis, public, private, and charter, I'm guessing the number is about 35,000.

St. Louis city skews older than the population of the region as a whole. At 35,000, about 1 in 10 city residents would be a school aged youth.

Re. the SLPS opening its own charter schools, that just seems strange. Don't like our regular public schools? That's okay, step right up and try our new charter school! It's way better than our old school!

Isn't the idea sort of a total admission of defeat?

Anonymous said...

Rough numbers:

18K students in regular public schools in the SLPS

10K students in magnet schools in the SLPS

9K students in public charter schools in the City

7K students in the interdistrict transfer program to county public schools

7K students in parochial/private schools

unknown number of home-schooled kids; drop-outs; kids enrolled in schools outside St. Louis or in county schools under phony addresses

Anonymous said...

regarding whether opening charters is an admission of defeat or strange, it depends on what the goals are. charters are not bound by the same constraints as the public schools such as curriculum, testing, and interesting things such as administration and staffing (i.e., can be non-union).

If you look at what Adams did in New Orleans prior to coming here, it's no surprise that he would be inclined towards the district sponsoring their own charter schools.