Wednesday, December 03, 2008

P & C Editorial Sense on Drayton Hall Charter

Soon we will know if today's meeting of the Charleston County School Board of Trustees to reconsider Drayon Hall's charter status made any progress. We'll see, in fact, if they followed the law.

A pointed editorial in Wednesday's paper [see Back School Choice Options], indicates that

"The law includes a provision that allows a district to reject a charter conversion on financial grounds but requires more than a mere declaration that the loss of funding will have an adverse impact. Charter school regulations require that districts specifically demonstrate "a direct negative impact on students." A district also must show specific options it considered to counter that negative impact, but to no avail."

Well, Superintendent McGinley? Let's hear about those options you explored.


Anonymous said...

Well, what do you think of our new school board now? Not only do they go back on their campaign promises less than a month after they are elected, they appear to be setting themselves up for more legal battles. If they are worried about a $2 million overpayment to Drayton Hall Elemetary if it converts to a charter school, what about CCSD's legal expenses over the last couple of years?

Is there any example of a charter school these people will vote for? The board majority's arguments might carry some weight if they would offer an example. So far they are on record as simply "anti-charter". Until they do, it's about retaining control and not about giving parents a choice or improving educational opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Approving the charter for Drayton Hall only improves educational opportunities for Drayton Hall. What about the three other schools that will have to take on the overflow when Drayton Hall begins to accept students from all over the county, as charter schools do. How about the extra traffic on 61 that this will cause, as well. There are many schools that deserve more money than they get, should they all become charter schools and bankrupt the district? Does that help all of the students of Charleston County?

Anonymous said...

All those issue, including the extra money, are red herrings and a smoke screen to hide the real issue. Drayton Hall parents want to take charge of their school and to be in a position to be innovative with their curriculum. CCSD isn't interested in thinking creatively. Here's something to think about. CCSD is fighting change. These parents and faculty members want change. The extra money is a fact, but it isn't what's motivating them. Ask yourself what's motivating CCSD's opposition. If it was about being fair with other schools then they would have approved the funding model they have been talking about for the last 5 years. CCSD is standing in the school house door again.

PS....If you want to know how much new traffic congestion will be generated or overcrowding at adjacent schools, you need only to look at Orange Grove. It didn't happen. I don't buy any of the scare tactics of district administrators and school board politicians. They also said the new math and science charter school would favor one race over another. As it turned out, it is the most racially balanced school in Charleston County. What are district officials saying now? This is the same anti-charter campaign with the same old disinformation being used against a different school group.

Instead of encouraging parent involvement, CCSD is working hard at developing a reputation for opposing organized parents and community support.

Babbie is right. If they keep this up CCSD may find charter groups eventually will give up. That will also leave a lot of disappointed and angry individuals pushing hard for school vouchers.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you, but Orange Grove is shipping students to Springfield Elementary even though they are not at their charter limit of 725 students. They are sending all of their problem students there and it is beginning to show. It's pretty easy to have good scores when you send off all of your bad students. What creative control do they want? I have only heard foreign language and music. Sorry, that's not very creative. All schools should have those. Also, if you guys really want change, maybe schools should band together against the district. As opposed to having singular schools fighting to bankrupt the district.

P.S. If you want to talk about disinformation. Talk to Arthur Ravenel. He is lying to everyone when it comes to how the charter really works. He has told me, personally, that charter schools will only accept students from their own attendance areas. However, charter schools must accept students from all over the county. Imagine how some parents will feel, when their students get shipped to another school when they don't make the cut through the lottery.

Anonymous said...

I suggest if parents and teachers at Springfield are really that concerned about its future if Drayton Hall goes this way, they should consider going charter, too. It would become one more good choice for West Ashley parents and for the rest of Charleston County.

Orange Grove isn't at its 725 "charter limit" because it is still in its temporary location in N.Charleston. It will reach its maximum capacity after it moves into its new facility next fall. Orange Grove still has its original attendance zone so it can't turn away any students who live there.

If Springfield is getting a spillover from OG, it's made up of either those who don't live in the OG zone or those who choose not to attend OG if they do live in the OG attendance zone. If Springfield doesn't want these students and they don't live in the Springfield area, the issue should be taken up with the Constituent Board and CCSD. They are the ones who approve transfers. It's either that or Springfield needs a principal with a backbone.

PS: I'm not an OG or Drayton Hall parent, but I do support good charter schools.