Charter Schools were originally intended to become laboratories that tried random ideas and by their results we could see what could work, and vice versa. However, under intense lobbying from investment houses, the charter movement has been co-opted into having its making money, as their prime objective. Therefore, the Departments of Education, willing enablers of these investment firms, tend to suppress any information that is harmful to charter school growth, while trumpeting only that which obfuscates the harm that charters can do…

But educational statistics are required for each school. We citizens are able to look at that and draw our own conclusion, completely independent of any interference by the current head of the DOE.

So I did a comparison between two charter schools well known to Delawarean educationalists. Kuumba and Moyer….
I got vertigo jumping from site to site so first let me put the info down here on one page…

comparison 1

Rather fascinating.

Barring significant variations in the selection of students, as in one taking only those out of prison, and the other taking only those by over achieving single mothers, the demographics are very similar. So what is different?

Here are the wide variations….

compasion 2

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What are some of the trends? If one takes out the huge difference in special education student numbers, and discounts the drain of special education scores completely:

{100% – 31% = 69% making the AYP scores more representative like this… (22-37)/69 and (3-22%)/69 }

or 31-53% for reading and 4-31% for math we see it matches similar trends for other low level schools in Delaware. Even without its special education students there is still a great difference in output between these two schools….

One seems to be in the mission statements. From Kuumba: Learning does not stop once students leave the classroom or the school. Kuumba Academy has forged partnerships with local universities and other educational and community organizations – i.e. the Grand Opera House, Delaware History Museum, Christina Cultural Arts Center, Delaware College of Art and Design – to create an extended learning environment for its students.

From Moyer: Moyer Academy continues to grow its academic and extracurricular programs.

Another seems to be in the amount of control being given to teachers. Kuumba School staff per admin. 16; Moyer 8. It appears that micromanaging is counter productive.

“What do you mean your scores are low. Tell me why your scores are low, what have you done today to raise your scores. Why can’t you get your kids to learn; I need a report in one hour on why you can’t get your kids to learn. A teacher is supposed to teach. If you can’t get your scores up by tomorrow we are going to have another long meeting. Can you give me just one reason why your scores are low compared to Kuumba’s? Why can’t you simply teach, you are a teacher right… And you can’t give me one single reason why you are not able to raise your kids scores!”

“Ok.. I have one reason…” “Finally good, what is it?” “I’m in here listening to you 2 hours every day and while gone, I can’t teach.”

Moyer micromanages its results downward; Kuumba lets its teachers teach. That is the fundlemental difference between these two schools. It’s the difference between top down management, and bottom up support. The latter works and the former doesn’t.

This comparison should be an eye opener to all those Broad educated reformers looking for work, as well as all those districts looking to hire principals. The reformers principles are counter productive. Lets’ do a list.

More administration —- counter productive
Doubling down ———- counter productive
Browbeating kids ——- counter productive
Eliminating tenure —– counter productive
Cutting back on teachs– counter productive

The lesson from Kuumba and Moyer is this. What works best is less interference. Give teachers time to teach and great results will happen. Teaching is about people, not tests. Teaching is about building relationships, not scaring the mental shit out of little kids. Teaching is about learning the full universe of human capacity; not reading and math on two standardized tests…. Positive environments yield positive results. Negative environments yield negative results…

Fixing education is as simple as getting Billionairea and politicians out of the way and letting teachers teach…

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