Here is the law about charter schools.
b) Charter schools shall fulfill the following purposes:
1. Improve student learning and academic achievement.
2. Increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on low-performing students and reading.
The super Tuesday night recommended a controversial new charter school be allowed to open up in District 2 at the beach. Superintendent Vitti said if the school was trying to go into neighborhoods that had low performing students he would not have recommended it.
You can listen to his own words at the 3:06:30 mark but to sum up he said, Charter Schools USA does a pretty good job with affluent kids but shouldn’t go anywhere near poor kids and if there application would have had them setting up on the Westside or the Northside he would have put his foot down and denied it.
And you know what nobody on the school board blinked.
Where is the special emphasis on low performing students there? The super says they have no business being around low performing students but recommended the school for approval anyways. He in effect said, you know what I am just going to ignore that part of the law.
Furthermore this means the super and board have willfully violated the law numerous times.
I can’t imagine Vitti or the school board can claim ignorance either as the following is taken directly from the school board’s agenda item.
Expected Outcomes Charter schools are expected to: improve student learning and academic achievement; increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on low-performing students and reading; and provide parents with sufficient information on whether the child gains at least a year’s worth of learning for every year spent in the charter school.
The super and board feel they can just ignore special emphasis on low performing students because hey, screw it, lets just make our friends rich and outsource our kids futures to for profit companies and it doesn’t matter that they arguably do a poor job when compared to the city’s public schools.
Charter Schools USA has been opening up schools in our affluent/middle class neighborhoods for the last couple years and when they have set up in our poor neighborhoods they have performed poorly, worse than the public schools in those areas which leads me to believe that even if the schools in the middle class neighborhoods are doing well they have to be doing worse than the public schools there.
Why would the superintendent and board vote to break the law? Well Fischer has taken thousands of dollars directly from charter schools USA so he has a financial reason to do so. Smith-Juarez has very close ties to the charter school industry too.
The superintendent during the meeting implied he is just going along with the state board and department of education who routinely approved charter schools despite what the law says but he too seems to have predilection for charter schools as well.
I think the real reason though is there is a quorum on this board that would privatize and destroy our public schools given the chance and the superintendent is enabling them.