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Recent Comments

Re: “BayTech Charter School Under Investigation

Many thanks for your candor and honesty. There are dedicated, passionate teachers at many schools and I hope that wherever you've landed, that you will continue to advocate for our underserved youth.

Posted by Oakland_mom on 08/10/2018 at 10:21 AM

Re: “BayTech Charter School Under Investigation

Charter teachers also cost less than district teachers because they have less experience and fewer/no benefits. On average, a charter teacher only stays 1-3 years at a charter school. High needs students generally do better in school when they are taught by experienced, credentialed teachers. Charter schools don't want to pay more for experience. Teacher churn is very high in charter schools; often they might start in a charter school, but then leave for a district school because the pay/working conditions are better.

Posted by Oakland_mom on 08/09/2018 at 2:33 PM

Re: “BayTech Charter School Under Investigation

Unfortunately, the dollars per student isnt a valid comparison between Bay Tech and district schools because the populations of these schools are different. The big difference is special ed; generally district schools have more expensive SPED kids, around 12.5% than charters do, at around 7%. So district schools not only have to spend more, they handle the more expensive disabilities that charters don't generally take. There are lots of support services that district schools pay (food, transportation, after-school, medical) that charters aren't required to provide. Graduation rates are gamed by skimming off the more expensive, harder-to-teach kids during the four years in high school. The state takes graduation statistics by looking at the cohort of 12th graders who have made it to the end, and then looking at how many students graduated. So if you start with 100 9th graders (for each school type), and the district school has 80 12 graders 4 years later, you look at that group of 80 and see how many grads you have. If 80 graduated, then you have a grad rate of 100%. Charters like Bay Tech might lose 50 students during those 4 years, end up with 50, and then graduate 50. Then, they still claim they have 100% grad rate. But they got rid of half their kids, and they didn't fill the empty seats. That's the key to this whole thing. District schools generally backfill empty seats. So, in our first example, 20 kids left the school but lets say the district fills those empty seats back up, so now you have 100 seats at the end. Now the grad rate is 80%. But BayTech doesn't backfill, so even though they lost 50 seats, they can still claim 100% grad rate. Then they compare themselves to the district and say they have a better grad rate, but they don't. This is a common practice that charters use to make themselves look better than district schools. Always question 100% grad rates, or very high rates. Always.

Posted by Oakland_mom on 08/09/2018 at 1:36 PM

Re: “BayTech Charter School Under Investigation

The infighting around which is worse, Erdogan vs. Gulen is disguising the fact that this school gamed their stats right before the charter renewal, particularly around the high school (9-12th graders). Testing irregularities, more than 50% attrition for the high schoolers (100% graduation rate!), etc. This school has one of the most vulnerable student populations in Oakland (more than 90% FRPL, 84% black/brown kids) and the adults in charge had no problem stealing from them, both educationally and financially. I'm sure that there are parents/students who attend the school and like it, but as an authorizer, OUSD should be ashamed of how this experiment turned out. Our kids deserve better.

Posted by Oakland_mom on 08/09/2018 at 10:18 AM

Re: “Turmoil Returns for Charter Schools

American Indian Public High is able to manipulate their test scores by essentially shedding the students it doesn't want. Other charters do this to game the system, but American Indian is one of the worst offenders. Between grades 9 and 12, more than half of the students leave the school. The school then uses the remaining 12th grade cohort to derive all of their manipulated statistics, such as test scores and graduation rates. The reality is that the school chooses the students, not the other way around.

Posted by Oakland_mom on 09/15/2017 at 2:41 PM

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