There is this weird argument that the defenders of school privatization come up with when one their schools gets caught cheating.
“See,” they will say. “The system works.”
Being so dumb you get caught doesn’t mean the system works. It means the system doesn’t work and once in a while somebody over reaches and gets busted.
Take the New Orleans Recovery School District where all the public schools went charter after Hurricane Katrina.
Competition to the charters from public schools is forbidden.
That happened when then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pronounced Hurricane Katrina the best thing to happen to New Orleans.
All the teacher union contracts were voided.
Landry-Walker High School’s 2013-14 test results were so amazing that some New Orleans education insiders doubted they were valid. More students at Landry-Walker than at Lusher Charter, a selective-admissions school, aced geometry. In biology, the school was fourth-best in the city.
Skeptical of the numbers, the school’s parent organization, the Algiers Charter School Association, launched a 16-month investigation — without telling Landry-Walker’s principal — into what some feared could be widespread, teacher-enabled cheating. The association undertook a detailed analysis of student performance, hired outside lawyers and, for the spring 2015 round of testing, placed independent monitors in every single examination room at its flagship school, according to internal documents.
When the 2014-15 test results came back, Landry-Walker’s scores fell off a cliff. The percentage of students getting top marks in geometry fell by 51 points.
Charter school hucksters immediately cranked up the spin.
From the outside looking in, it appears that the system is working to ensure that parents and the community get honest information on how their kids are doing in school. In the isolated cases where concerns are raised about test results, they must be investigated thoroughly, and cheating safeguards should be reviewed.
Actually it appears the the all-charter school district in New Orleans has a school that got caught engaging in massive and sytematic cheating in order to deny honest information on how their kids are doing.
And got caught for going too far with it.
That’s not a system that is working.