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 Response Page - Wilson - Nathan  Interview -      


These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the 
Bill Wilson and Joe Nathan  Interview of
11-16-2012.
 

OVERVIEW

Giving families an array of educational choices and providing quality public school options are important strategies for improving education today, according to Bill Wilson and Joe Nathan. The concern about chartered public schools serving predominantly a single race or ethnicity overlooks an important fact, they contend. They argue there is a vast difference between segregation that results from forcing parents to send their children to a clearly inferior school because of the color of their skin and an apparent lack of diversity in some chartered schools that results from parents choosing a particular, high-performing chartered school for their children. They believe educators should stop asking whether district or chartered schools are better and start working together to learn from the best-performing schools, whether those are district or chartered schools. 

For the complete interview summary see:  http://bit.ly/W9OGw2

Response Summary:  Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed by Wilson and Nathan. Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

1. Integration less important. (7.2 average response) The issue of racial integration in public schools draws people into conflict at the expense of addressing more important problems.

2. Achievement trumps integration. (8.4 average response) Prohibiting children from attending certain schools because of the color of their skin is illegal today, but the achievement gap has become a real and serious problem for minorities that should take precedence over integration concerns.

3. Choice trumps integration. (8.0 average response) Although the practice of racial segregation of schools is now prohibited, families' rights to choose their children’s schools should be honored irrespective of the impact on racial segregation

4. Preference implies value. (6.9 average response) Significant preference by minorities for chartered public schools is a strong indicator of the value of the charter school movement.

5. Neither inherently better. (8.3 average response) However, neither chartered public schools nor traditional public schools is inherently better. Each can learn from the other.

6. Integration goals should be met. (3.8 average response) Because integration of schools remains a prime objective, chartered schools should meet the same integration goals as traditional public schools.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Integration less important.

0%

18%

14%

32%

36%

22

2. Achievement trumps integration.

0%

5%

14%

32%

50%

22

3. Choice trumps integration.

0%

9%

14%

32%

45%

22

4. Preference implies value.

9%

9%

23%

23%

36%

22

5. Neither inherently better.

0%

5%

9%

41%

45%

22

6. Integration goals should be met.

23%

32%

18%

23%

5%

22

Individual Responses:

Ray Ayotte  (5)  (7.5)  (5)  (5)  (7.5)  (2.5)

Dave Broden  (7.5)  (10)  (5)  (5)  (10)  (7.5)

1. Integration less important. Clearly integration can continue to be a focus rather than attention to the quality and content of education process. The focus needs to be on the individual student and the students as a whole not on an issue that is not directly education.

2. Achievement trumps integration. This statement is a powerful argument that must be viewed and addressed both as achievement and as ensuring racial integration at all times. There must be a whole view of how the two factors can be addressed together.

3. Choice trumps integration. The overall objective in my mind is to enable the schools to reflect the racial mix in the area and across school options.

4. Preference implies value. This can be made a question-are charter schools preferred due to social or educational value to the student or both?

5. Neither inherently better. If competition in schools is the objective to raise quality and content then the type of school is not important and they both should be gaining in quality and education value.

6. Integration goals should be met. This must remain an underlying objective but at some point the quality of education as an option should become a factor. The issue is how to address this factor.

Chris Brazelton  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (0)

1. Integration less important. The speakers addressed this well.  If quality educational choices are available and accessible to all, then this is not a return to pre-1960's segregated America.

2. Achievement trumps integration. As long as all schools promote respect and conflict resolution skills, and no one is excluded who wishes to attend, we should be focused on what works.

6. Integration goals should be met. Integration was needed in its time. While race and ethnicity and other irrelevant criteria should never exclude someone from exercising school choice, and a culture of respect for all must continue to be a key ingredient of any school, quality education for all children must be the prime objective.  No one, adult or child, wants to be treated like parts on an assembly line.  We are born with unique talents and aptitudes and while core subjects are very important, they may not be what motivate all children to learn.  Also, children need problem solving skills and do better if they develop critical thinking skills.  Teaching to tests with a focus on only core subjects will only increase the number of children tuning out and dropping out.  Some children learn through other means, and cutting funding for the arts is a mistake.  All of our attention, public schools, charter schools, administrators, teachers, parents, legislators, school boards must be on what works.  Does technology work for teaching certain subjects to children in schools that can't afford to dedicate a teacher to that subject?  Use it.  Do some children learn kinetically?  Use that.  Do some children need immersion in English before they are ready to learn other subjects?  Do that.  Technology is being developed that can supplement for hours what a teacher can do in the limited space and time of a school classroom.  Return on investment?  Studies show the numbers are there.

Don Anderson  (2.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (5)  (7.5)  (7.5)

David Dillon  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (0)

Virginia Eernisse  (2.5)  (10)  (10)  (0)  (10)  (10)

1. Integration less important. I guess my question is to ask for a definition of "important problems," for society? every child?  What about the child who has learning issues like IDD.  Do they get to go to Charter Schools and are they protected as they are in the Public Schools.  This looks awfully like creaming.

2. Achievement trumps integration. If a Public School District has a policy that says that a child may attend any public school in the district, then the issue of school catchment areas is moot except for transportation that becomes a barrier, not where there is public transportation, but in suburbs where there is no public transportation and the low income parent would have an expense and school hours issues around their own employment.

3. Choice trumps integration. As long as other issues are taken into consideration, such [as] intellectual disability, and [as long as] the Charter School cannot cherry-pick their students.

5. Neither inherently better. If the Public Schools would partner with a Charter school on the same campus, then they could learn from each other and not have to duplicate the outrageous administrative cost for two schools.  The problem is that they have different rules and traditional public schools have to teach every child, regardless.

6. Integration goals should be met. Unless you are going to live in a segregated society, I believe that you need to have the opportunity to have classmates who are different than yourself.  You cannot make individuals be/make friends, but you can provide the opportunity for that to happen. If you use my money for educating children then every setting should have the same rules about that issue.  I see a place for Magnet//Career High schools, but I truly believe that young children need exposure before they are indoctrinated to see only their needs.

Anonymous   (2.5)  (10)  (2.5)  (0)  (10)  (5)

Kelby Woodard  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (2.5)  (0)

Scott Halstead  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (2.5)

Carolyn Ring  (8)  (8)  (8)  (5)  (8)  (2)

Attendance and motivation to learn continue to be key to learning.  Concerned parents who value education and teachers who have motivational strengths are the best indicators of students' success whether in a public or charter school.

Roy Thompson  (7)  (5)  (5)  (3)  (5)  (5)

Parental participation seemed very important in the success of schools.  Is the possibility that charter schools serve as a "screen" leaving youth without parents or other supportive persons for some of the public schools to deal with.  Gen Mills, 3 M, Apple and others do not succeed without selection of top personnel.

Roger A. Wacek  (10)  (5)  (10)  (10)  (5)  (5)

Wayne Jennings  (7)  (8)  (7)  (8)  (8)  (6)

A thoughtful discussion of ethnic schools and ways to advance education. I liked Nathan’s 6 points as having potential for better schools. I also liked that schools need to be judged on more than test scores. A host of other non-measured attributes determine a person’s future.  As for single race schools, I observed intimately for seven years how the TIZA Academy served its parents and the boarder community effectively, though consisting of predominately Muslim students. I’m not as worried as I once was over “segregated” schools as long as students are voluntarily enrolled with modern accountability means in place. I’ve long felt that students in all white schools are short-changed as future citizens and workers for a mixed ethnic world—even more so than students in all minority schools for that same world.

Tom Spitznagle  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (3)

Fred Zimmerman  (5)  (5)  (9)  (8)  (8)  (2)

Our family has housed more than ninety foster children, most of them minorities. There is little doubt that the education for many children, of all colors, is not of stellar quality. Rather than focusing on the skills gap by race or economic segment, we should vastly upgrade the quality of all US schools. US schools compare unfavorably to schools in most industrial countries, in part because the school years are much shorter here with limited meaningful homework. Teachers, like people in other professions, should work a full year and they should have a broader and deeper base of knowledge. This presentation may be of interest:

http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/Paving%20the%20Way%20for%20a%20Better%20Economy%20F2.pdf?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=508580&part=2

Al Quie  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (0)

Excellent interview.

Chuck Lutz  (7)  (8)  (8)  (9)  (8)  (9)

Tom Swain  (5)  (8)  (8)  (5)  (10)  (5)

Robert J. Brown  (10)  (10)  (10)  (8)  (9)  (1)

Lyall Schwarzkopf  (8)  (9)  (8)  (7)  (7)  (3)

Larry Schluter  (3)  (4)  (3)  (4)  (6)  (8)

It appears that they feel a student should be able to choose their school based on the ethnicity but only some ethnicity I am sure.   There are some children that cannot go to their neighborhood school because it is not balanced enough and now they are talking about going to a specific that is based on race or ethnicity.  I believe we have some conflict here.     

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Charles Clay,  Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon,
Joe Mansky,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and  Wayne Popham 


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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