I heard a rumor today which I can’t confirm, but hope that this post helps confirm or deny it.
New Orleans, though it is being hailed as a miracle district after the restructuring after Katrina, seems to be an unregulated mess of charter schools doing whatever they want.
So the story I heard was that at a charter school they held their yearly open admissions lottery. Now, after the lottery is held the winners don’t have to go there, but they have the ‘choice’ (as reformers like to say) so they meet with the school who explains to them what to expect.
I’ve heard that this is an opportunity for the charters to counsel out a kid or family who don’t seem like a good fit. One way to do this is to tell the family of a student with special needs that they don’t have the support for that child. Perhaps that child needs to be in a class with just 12 kids, and they don’t have a class like that — oh, and can we have that lottery ticket back?
But that’s not the big story I heard. This story, if true, is truly sickening. What I heard is that the charter school was explaining the schools expectations to parents who were not very educated themselves and didn’t really have their act together. They lived several miles from the school (another problem with choice) and the charter told the parent that if the student was late for school more than some number of times, the charter would call Child Protective Services and report the family. Of course this means that there could be the risk that the kids are taken into foster care.
So, what do you say, are you ready to sign here …
And the family decided that maybe this school wasn’t a good fit for their child.
If any readers of this blog can give me any details about stories like this or other actions which, in my mind, warrant a shut down of an offending school, comment here or e-mail me at garyrubinstein the-at-symbol yahoo.com