Charter schools no answer to education
It’s dumbfounding that a charter school is again being proposed for Schenectady. Have we not already lived through the grift that is charter schools?
To remind anyone not around for the past decades or unaware of this education de-form, charter schools are terrible for the public from any perspective. Charters draw immense public funding away from already underfunded districts like Schenectady. Charters operate independently of democratically elected school boards and are thus completely unaccountable to the community.
Admission is application-based, which means that charters skim the top layers of students, have no obligation to serve everyone, and thus charters leave school districts with less money to educate the students with the most need.
Their usually non-union teachers do not all need to meet the state’s teacher qualifications. Twenty-five percent close within five years, 40% within 10 years, and 50% within 15 years.
Schenectady itself has already seen that failure with the International Charter School’s closure a decade ago. The most damning reality of all is that charters do not even accomplish their primary claim: improving educational outcomes.
Of the charters that survive, and even with all the advantages, decades of data from across the country has shown that on average charters do not perform any better than regular public schools. As a private business operated at public expense and beyond any public control, charters represent the worst aspects of neoliberal capitalism.
To use a phrase: Schenectady needs a charter school like it needs a hole in the head.
Ensure accusations are in right context
As much as I have heard about sexual harassment in the workplace I can’t understand why after being governor of New York since 2011 this is suddenly coming to light now.
Surely this type of behavior was the same in 2011 as it is now.
I watched Charlotte Bennett’s interview with Norah O’Donnell and read the excerpts from the New York Times. There is no doubt she was shaken up. However, as a survivor of a sexual assault, it is easy to conclude that her radar in that perceived atmosphere or potential situation was pinging loudly.
I don’t doubt the conversations between her and Gov. Cuomo took place, but sometimes leaping to a conclusion that “He didn’t get what he wanted” (CBS interview) can be easily taken out of context.
I am sure many of us throughout our lives have asked some uncomfortable questions or made some off-color comments to either co-workers, friends and even family members. I also understand that flirting and sexual innuendo within conversations can be taken many different ways.
Is it really sexual harassment?
We also know a woman that had the courage to leave an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her children and go to a shelter. Bravery, to me, that is unparalleled. However more often than not, she would categorize many men as abusers. No doubt, once again, the radar was pinging loudly. When someone is disliked as Gov. Cuomo is to many, it’s easy to villainize him.
Minimum wage no match for NFL pay
Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, just signed a four-year contract worth $160 million. A minimum wage worker (paid $7.25 an hour) makes about $16,000 a year. At that rate he would have to work 10,000 years to equal Prescott’s four years.
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