I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

20 December 2011


I know people involved with the Rocketship schools, and I don't doubt their good intentions.

I doubt their understanding of children.

Any schooling that requires a nine-hour day - which Rocketship does - will be successful on standardized testing.  I have no idea why this is a question, really.  Anything that gets drilled enough will get memorized and regurgitated at the appropriate time and location.

I just don't consider that learning.  I don't consider it child-centric, or a good test of whether technology in the classroom works or if teachers should just work twelve hour days by contract.

If your goal is high test scores, it's a working model.  If your goal is high-achieving students who write well, are confident, read with ease and discuss it with depth, it's not.

Neither is our current public education system, really - not because it's not a long enough day or technologically advanced enough, but because it is not intended to be so (and is certainly not funded to be so).

Ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact that too many of the people running charter schools don't think much of their fellow man, especially the poor, and aren't really interested in an active, informed citizenry.


caroline said...

The most positive view I can imagine of those charter edupreneurs is that they believe they've found the answer (which goes hand-in-hand with believing that experienced teachers are lazy/greedy/deadwood idiots whose expertise and opinions should be disdained) -- and they think they have a win-win wherein they can enlighten low-income kids with their miracles and make a buck too.

I've been following these people and their activities closely for more than 10 years. One thing I now believe is that they all are morally obligated to send their own kids to the schools they run and tout (this includes commentators/pundits/editorial writers etc.), or be publicly pilloried and ridiculed as hypocrites.

Somehow I don't think all the folks gushing over Rocketship have THEIR kids in schools with 100 kids in front of computers with one para in charge.

E. Rat said...

That's generally what I ask the merry KIPPsters: when they will be signing their children up for a first-year teacher working eighty hours a week. I think they fervently believe that low-income children's lives and families are so low-functioning that six days a week at a military-like academy is the only thing that will save those children from themselves/their bad neighborhoods/their dysfunctional families. This alarms me, because it's very hard to teach children you don't particularly trust, whose families you consider incompetent, and whose neighbhorhoods scare you.

A number of the people involved with Rocketship came out of Alum Rock UESD at a time that district was under more than one state audit, had Board shenanigans and a Superintendent of the Month program. I think that their experiences color their expectations for education, too. They've also forgotten that there were some things in Alum Rock working just fine, and that two or three years in a district might not give you the widest frame of reference.