Can you help to revise the HCP? I have my prof’s comments attached.
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24 January 2019
The Historical Conversations Project
Currently, the majority of the reformers in the education sector focuses on charter schools as
the solution to the challenges facing the education system. However, there is evidence showing
that the charter sector has more problems that the stakeholders in the education industry do not
consider. Charter schools receive public funding but operate privately by for-profit organizations.
Over the past 25 years, there has been an increase in the number of students enrolling to charter
schools with a majority of them registering more than 6% of the school going children in America.
Those who support the charter school system argue that they offer parents with an alternative to
the traditional schools. However, those who oppose the idea state that charter schools consume
essential resources that could be useful in traditional public schools. Also, the critics say that even
though some charter schools are successful and well-run, the majority of them are poorly managed
(Di Carlo). In some of the states, the charter sector in non-functional.
According to the article by Heilig, NAACP, civil rights organization in America, has passed
a resolution that demands a stoppage to the funding of the new charter school. However, this is not
the first time that the organization has expressed its interest in the charter schools as included these
reforms in its previous resolutions. The only difference is that the 2016 resolution included a halt
to the provision of financial support to the charter schools until they address the proposed concerns.
Some of these proposals by NAACP include subjecting the charter schools to similar
accountability and transparency standards as those applicable to the public schools. Also, the
government was not to divert federal funds meant for the public school system to charter school.
There was also an appeal for the charter schools to cease the perpetuation of the de facto
segregation of the children that are performing highly from those with high aspirations but have
not yet realized their talents (NAACP). As opposed to considering the serious concerns raised by
the organization, some of the pro-charter school groups criticized them.
During its initiation, the proponents of the charter school agreed to the adherence to
accountability and upholding higher standards about the freedom from regulations they enjoyed.
However, 25 years down the line, it is evident that the freedom from the regulations has led to
mismanagement, lack of transparency, and fraud as opposed to increasing efficiency. Currently,
the school charter sector operates like a business opportunity rather than a school. Statistics show
that one out of five charter schools are for-profit and the majority of them are channeling their
finances into for-profit management companies. They do not adhere to the required accountability
levels. The lack of strict regulations makes it easier for bad actors to take advantage of the charter
schools by using them as a chance of making the private investment. In other circumstances, people
have been using related-party transactions to embezzle public funds meant for charter schools and
channeling them into private business ventures.
Example of such cases includes the Ivy Academia charter school in Los Angeles where the
owners shared facilities between the charter school and their private preschool. Another area that
could result in fraudulent related-party transactions is between management organizations (EMOs)
and the charter schools. EMOs manage these schools while running other companies that could
offer services to the schools hence creating a conflict of interest. Example of such firms is the
Imagine Schools that runs more than 63 charter schools in America like Renaissance Academy in
Kansas City. The above cases show reduced checks and balances in the charter school sectors have
adverse impacts on the operation of these institutions. Despite the increase allegation of
mismanagement of resources by top players such as K12 Inc., only a few cases have resulted in
the dismissal of charter schools.
Charter schools cause diversion of public funds from public to charter schools (Hoxby and
Jonah). There are variations in how states fund their charters. Thus, the primary concern during
the examination of the physical drain from the public schools to charters relates to the savings
realized to the district schools if the students in charter schools returned. After the transfer of
district students to a charter school, there are still some costs in term of stranded costs that the
school will incur. The marginal savings of losing one student is not similar to the marginal costs
of related to losing the student. Hence, it is evident that charter schools consume resources meant
for public district schools (Cordes). When students join the charter schools, the district schools
must retrench some of its teaching staff as well as reduce offerings. Districts such as Oakland are
on the edge of their financial distress due to the diversion of public funds to the charters
New York calculates the amount lost according to the expenditure on each pupil. Thus, the
income of charter schools increases relative to the amount the general public is will to spend on
the children. The district will be able to save all the costs if the students go back. Majority of the
States lose a substantial amount to the growth of charter schools. Lack of mitigation of the
expenses related to the expansion of charter schools could result in financial insolvency of the
district. It is true that the increased growth of charter schools results in the economic problems of
The issue of debate is the extent to which the charter schools affect the cost to
district schools. In situations where the local students join charters from district schools, the latter
will have less expenditure on the remaining students.
There are different forms of segregation caused by the introduction of charter schools.
Charter schools have increased the segregation in the school system in the USA. Charters have
enhanced segregation through the removal of high performing pupils from the surrounding
schools but neglecting those with disabilities, slow learners, and those that require support in the
management of their behavior. Furthermore, charter schools contribute significantly to class and
race segregation. Majority of the students from black charter school enrolled to institutions with
high exclusion. In particular states, charters schools are used as white flight. For instance, in
Carolina, the number of whites in the public district schools reduced while increasing in charter
schools. The implication is that international charters such as Chinese American international
school serve the interests of the white students in a manner that is a racial imbalance. Majority of
the parents of the blacks and Hispanic students have continuously lamented on the limited
number of pupils enrolled in international Charter schools.
School charters do not accommodate or provide the desired support or services. Such schools
do not address the needs of the students with disabilities. Even though some of the environment in
the charter schools welcomes students with disabilities, the cases related to discrimination during
enrollment show the existence of a gap between public charter schools and district schools. Also,
students with autism and multiple disabilities are unlikely to be enrolled into international charter
Evidence also shows that charter schools do not recruit English-language learners (ELLs) students
in the same rates as the public schools. Only a small percentage of ELL makes up the total
population of the charter school. For example, international charter schools like Chinese American
international school enroll sharper students with better imitation abilities who have limited
difficulties to follow teachers and produce correct sounds. The setting is Chinese immersion with
majority of the teachers being native Chinese speakers and others native English speakers. The
study can conclude that majority of the charters engage in cherry picking considering the different
disparities as a whole. It is contrary to its initial objective of charter schools that were to enroll
students from all prospects and with different conditions. Some of the charters do not provide ELL
services to students or provide special education to people with disabilities. In other instances,
some of the charter schools have put in place restrictive behavioral codes that lock out the pupils
who are unable to control their behaviors.
Other international charter schools have high expectations that are out of reach to the
majority of the students. The trips could negatively impact on the health of the students and other
social aspects. Depend on funding from participants’ parents could lock out low-income
earners.The above segregation related to status, race, language, and ability negatively impacts on
the role of charter schools to provide quality services to the general public. Over the past years,
there has been an increasing trend of re-segregation in the public education sector with charter
schools playing a critical role in this process. It is true that the proliferation of charter schools
increases the risks of the current segregation levels (Logan and Julia). Charter schools aimed at
being diverse enough but they now find it difficult to achieve this goal. They should choose if
they want to become economically and racially diverse that serves the needs of ELL students or
not. The admission and management policies give charters the opportunity of choosing their
students as opposed to parents selecting their schools.
Supporters of public schools are working hard to close the traditional district schools. In the
majority of the states, the proponents of charter schools are successful in opening up new
institutions while the traditional public schools are closing. Currently, parents have to choose
between converting to charter schools or remain in their public schools and lose all the resources.
Although new chatters could result in the closure of more schools, the state is forcing their approval
due to the increased corruption in the sector. Initially, chatters were meant to promote innovation
by not only testing out new idea but also introducing them to the public district schools. However,
this is not forthcoming as international charters have not achieved this objective. There is a need
for finding ways of working collaboratively with school districts for benefiting all the students.
In the past years, individual charter public schools educational experiments were never a
challenge. But the objective of the charter school movement is the privatization of the k-12
education system in the USA through defunding of public schools to supporting charters. It is
certain that charter schools play a vital role in the education sector in the USA. Thus, there is need
of moving past the paradigm of charter versus district. As opposed to viewing charter schools as
adversaries, district schools should turn to them as collaborators to enhance the current USA
education system (Patrinos et al.) The portfolio model should offer greater autonomy by expanding
access to the schools that are not within the neighborhood. However, achieving this collaboration
is difficult as it receives opposition from the local teachers’ union. The states should put into
consideration policies that reduce the financial implications with the growth of charters in the USA
education system. The provision of transitional aid could provide a financial cushion with the
reduced school enrolment.
Obviously you don’t have any multimodal elements yet…in that sense this is not yet a full
draft. That said, you do excellent work in showing us HOW the charter system and its central
problems creating an adversarial not a collaborative relationship with traditional public schools is
working. And I love your ambition of particularizing this to HOW the international Chinese
charter functions within this system. But at present we have no details about this school and I am
confused about what exactly you are talking about. There is an international school that is
PRIVATE…but I’m not sure what charter school or schools you are talking about here and
would love to know. If you can find out how these schools are working in the US system and to
what authorities they are accredited for their charters THEN you can really develop the argument
you want to make as to how the international charter is functioning WITHIN the larger charter
problem. This would make a great opening lens. Ravitch certainly does talk about a Turkish
international charter operated by a Turkish opposition leader in exile in the US. If you could give
us the legal context of the international charter you are talking about, then I believe you would
really have a lot of power setting its dynamic in full context of the charter problem. Lastly,
whether and how you can contextualize the Chinese international charter…some more
development of history and historical artifact will enhance this engagement.
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