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Thursday, May 05, 2016, 10:39 p.m.
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Public profile for JakeTidmore

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JOHN BRUMMETT: Kurrus' dilemma May 5, 2016 at 9:02 p.m.

Ran outta space, so let me finish here:
Am done with this post. Have said more than enough. And I've only scratched the surface on the amount of data that supports my arguments.
Finally, there are a lot of teachers as good as I was and more that are even better. I was rather ordinary when I look back on the group of teachers I worked with over the years. You just do the best you can with what the parent(s) send to school. It's the same thing that charter teachers do.
So, I guess what I'm telling you is this: if all we teachers are working to do our best (and the research shows plenty of pluses for public schools in that regard and enough to show that charters are in the hunt likewise when it comes to teacher effort), then why in hell do we have to spend extra to support a dual system that segregates children into haves and have nots? Where's the fairness in that??

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JOHN BRUMMETT: Kurrus' dilemma May 5, 2016 at 9:01 p.m.

I think I'll stick to studies that look at a broad range of data (several systems) rather than a small subset. It is bad and flawed statistics to use a very limited data set to make a very broad statement about the system as a whole. Having taught some statistics, I hate to be the one to tell you moz but the flaw is in your limited viewpoint and the erroneous assumption that what happens in Benton, Arkansas, is what happens as a rule everywhere else.
Indirectly, you have also proven Kurrus' point about the errors of having a dual system. The best comment I've seen is that you work to make ALL schools excellent. Any other plan is a poor alternative that serves in itself to segregate the students.
I would also encourage to read a report about charter schools posted in The Washington Post which I linked a few weeks ago. Sadly, too many of the charter schools are not truly open in their enrollment - many of the students that public schools serve are not able to attend charters because they don't have the facilities for them or the special teachers able to teach them; excessive and difficult paperwork requirements make it hard for the parents of children who need it the most to correctly file their applications; many students with behavioral issues are basically blacklisted; and there are more roadblocks that unscrupulous charters use to prune the field to those they prefer.
Again, I would caution you not to parrot standard charter propaganda and to really investigate the cons as well as the pros. I've spent 10 years plus studying the research on education programs and it's not hard to spot bad or limited data, erroneous statistical work, or unsupported claims.
I do understand parents wanting the best education for their children. I do not understand those who fail to want such for ALL children. I do not understand the unwillingness to check out extraordinary promises when it comes to the education of children. I especially do not understand the vicious and often misleading attacks that some researchers do against public schools.
It is not easy to recognize bad statistics and logical fallacies - thus do some less than reputable "educational reform" sorts attempt to fool the public about charters and public schools. They are simply hired guns out to serve their masters -- not to serve ALL the children of this state.
And....there are good LRSD schools that are also excellent alternatives to charters. I posted the data on that recently. It is a shame that some people falsely think otherwise. It's a shame that this paper often promoted such a false belief.

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JOHN BRUMMETT: Kurrus' dilemma May 5, 2016 at 6:48 p.m.

Civility noted.
I listed the research. It shows the data regarding charters and segregation effects. It's there in black and white. (No pun intended....)
My credentials in this argument: had one son in LRSD (now is a professor in NY state); taught half of my teaching career in LRSD, usually in schools that had very large numbers of poor & reduced lunch, significant special education numbers, often 90% black enrollment, little parental involvement. Strong union involvement and was recognized for achievements in raising test scores for these children.
At one of my final functions at school, a tearful parent stood up and thanked me for recognizing the abilities her daughter had and helping her change from a failing student to one making A's.
I had a neat trick in getting the academically challenged students involved: When they showed any aptitude in doing a certain task, I made them an Expert in that task. When others had questions, I'd tell them to check with our Expert. If something about the task came up in class and an answer was needed, I called out for my Expert.
Toughest moment: teaching Algebra to a young pregnant girl who did her basic math by counting on her fingers. I watched her figure out 9 x 7 by making seven sets of 9 marks and then counting them out to find the answer. In. An. Algebra. Class.
Been retired for over 10 years. Am an irascible a$$hole on the best of days but still generous to a fault. And when it comes to educational issues, I have several file folders on various education topics. Even though I lean one way often, I do try to keep a balanced look wherever possible. I do love to use solid research in an argument.
Quote for the day comes from Hannah Arendt, German philosopher:
"What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core."

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JOHN BRUMMETT: Kurrus' dilemma May 5, 2016 at 5:38 p.m.

A chinese proverb for Johnny Key:


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JOHN BRUMMETT: Kurrus' dilemma May 5, 2016 at 5:13 p.m.

In summation: no clear evidence for or against the benefits of competition; clear evidence against charters regarding segregation effects; clear evidence against charters regarding reduced role of parents in decision making for the schools; clear evidence against charters for being on the whole less effective than public schools (Stanford study); clear evidence of the inordinate of money charters cost us to run a dual system (see charter cruise article listed earlier).
I would suggest that one considers an outmoded word: cooperation. Also google "cooperation vs competition in education". Among many research articles and reports, this one stands out:
ht tp://ww w.charleswarner.u s/articles/competit.h tm
In summary: cooperation brings out the best, competition brings out the beast.
Here is a good look at both sides:
htt p:// u/blog/career-tech-ed/competitive-classrooms-vs-cooperative-classrooms-pros-and-cons/
Summary: recommends a balanced use of both with a clear understanding of rthe pros and cons of each. For example, here are the cons of competition:
*Some students may become frustrated and even apathetic if they fall too far behind the rest of their classmates.
*Earning high grades and teacher approval may come to be seen as more important than actual learning.
*Getting along with others is de-emphasized.
I will admit that I'm very pro-public schools and am leery of the propaganda that distorts the reality of charters. It is often more promise than it is results. I am keenly aware that LRSD has suffered greatly from white flight (evidence based), from attacks by the media and the Walton School of Education Reform, and from heavy-handed legislation to take away decisions about and for LRSD from its patrons and parents.
I see some fine sentiments marred by ignorance and hypocrisy, often by folks who parrot the propaganda rather than study the research.

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JOHN BRUMMETT: Kurrus' dilemma May 5, 2016 at 4:45 p.m.

Here's a more knowledgeable person on the competition issue - Baker Kurrus
“The Arkansas Constitution doesn’t guarantee anybody the right to pick between two public school systems. It says you must have free and appropriate and efficient schools. It’s idiotic to have two systems if all you're doing is offering two systems.”

He continued: “Look at who’s enrolling.” He refers to the difference in race, economics and achievement in charter schools, particularly two — eStem and LISA Academy— recently allowed further expansion. “We are giving people an opportunity to segregate. They do it themselves. But the state facilitates it. And you can’t justify it in my opinion.”

Kurrus said no competition is guaranteed by dual school district choices. "You just have two state systems, both state funded. That’s not efficient and I just don’t get it.”
Some people believe in the myth of competition and charters. Here are some articles about charters & about competition that should enlighten folks to the troubles being hidden by charter advocates:
ht tp://knpr.o rg/desert-companion/2016-03/chartered-cruise
ht tps://dianeravitch.n et/2016/05/04/kipps-dark-secrets-revealed-by-center-for-media-and-democracy/
ht tps://dianeravitch.n et/2016/05/03/stuart-egan-how-the-north-carolina-legislature-and-governor-are-destroying-public-schools-and-the-teaching-profession/
ht tps://ww w.the74million.or g/article/fact-check-are-washingtons-charter-schools-harming-the-states-traditional-public-schools
Here is the summary from this particular article:
"Based on evidence from districts across the country and interviews with several researchers, the conclusion defies a simple us vs. them characterization: Charter schools are unlikely to have significant negative effects on student achievement in traditional public schools — and may, in fact, have small positive effects on nearby schools. At the same time, there is research indicating that charters may in fact harm school district finances.
Taken together, the research tells a story that’s far more nuanced that what you’ll hear in the us vs. them debates now rippling across the country: We can’t assume that charter schools have either negative or positive effects on traditional public schools, and generally whatever impacts exist will be small, as measured by test scores. Many studies find either positive or zero impacts, while a small number have shown negative effects. "
The fact is we don’t have to guess about the consequences of the national expansion of charter schools. We need only turn to a large body of relevant research showing that charter schools, on average, don’t have an academic advantage over traditional public schools (Gill et al., 2007; Gleason, Clark, Tuttle, & Dwoyer, 2010), but they do have a significant risk of leading to increased segregation (Booker, Zimmer, & Buddin, 2005; Gulosino & d’Entremont, 2011).

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Arkansas GOP says loyal will sign on to Trump bid May 5, 2016 at 10:53 a.m.

I see that the sales of nose plugs to the GOP diehards is going well. Anything to help them deal with the odiferous Donald.
Hopefully, in a few weeks, both political camps will settle down and deal with the issues.

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Letters May 5, 2016 at 8:01 a.m.

Addendum: from ARTimes
The Arkansas Public Policy Panel announces a "teach-in" on public education in Little Rock from 6 to 8 p.m.. tonight at St. Mark Baptist Church, 5722 W. 12th St.

Jitu Brown, national director of Journey for Justice, will talk about state takeovers and privatization of public schools elsewhere in the U.S. and grassroots opposition to such movements. The Walton Family Foundation pushed for legislation in 2015 that would have allowed the state takeover of Little Rock schools for management by private corporations, but a coalition of groups blocked the bill. The Foundation has continued to be a primary backer of lobbyists and others working to push any many children in Little Rock into charter schools as possible.

At the meeting tonight, participants can talk about the experience in Little Rock under state control. The state Education Department has resisted communication with residents about decision-making. The current superintendent, Baker Kurrus, has worked in the community, but he's been fired by Gov. Asa Hutchinson's education director, Johnny Key, a former senator with no previous experience or training in education administration.

A coalition of groups is sponsoring tonight's meeting in hopes of continuing organization of a student, parent and community group to lead to a return of local control, with an elected school board as most of the state enjoys.

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Letters May 5, 2016 at 7:54 a.m.

Medlock's rant is erroneous in many regards but it should be noted that Obama's 2009 remarks were specifically directed to then Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona.
What Medlock fails to note is that Asa and Johnny are failing to listen to the American people, the good folks of the LRSD who are tired of the state jerking the district around. And as such, Hutchinson and Key are losers.
The fact that the writer finds Brummet to the left is only because the writer reveals himself to be on the extreme right - a position from which nearly everyone is on the left but a select few with a narrow vision.
It's a common mistake among the ignorant. It's like the joke about one religious sect believing that they're the only ones who made it to heaven. They get put in the section reserved for the self-righteous hypocrites so they don't infect the others.
If Medlock is an example of what his school district produced, then I suspect he didn't pay attention in class very much or worse.

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A remarkable story May 4, 2016 at 6:55 p.m.

I notice that the editorial offers no facts to counter the Atlantic article. No data, no research, no effort by the writer to get off his duff and actually look into the issue. Kurrus made the same point the Atlantic did about charters and he was the guy whom the editors couldn't praise enough over a year ago.
Put heaven forbid if you dare bring out the true facts about charters because these shill editors will yap and bark like the true lap dogs they are. All noise, sound, and fury. Little or no facts - just condemnation for not following the party line. Joe Stalin would be proud of these goons.
Slak dropped a big turd in his punch bowl, took a big drink, and said: "Aaaahhhh." The profundity meter went under the scale.
“Я нічого не боюся. Я боюся тільки причетності до ідіотів.”

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