Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Senate takes another swing at charter schools

The Lieutenant Governor just issued the following press release:

JACKSON – The Mississippi State Senate today approved much-needed education reform by passing legislation to allow public charter schools to operate in the state, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves announced.

The Senate amended House Bill 1152 to allow public charter schools to open in Mississippi with approval from a newly created independent commission. The bill, which passed 31-19, heads to the Mississippi House.

Public charter schools will be funded with existing dollars from the federal, state and local levels. The funds within the current Mississippi Adequate Education Program will follow a student to their school of choice.

“It’s time to change the status quo and give parents a choice in their children’s education,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “For far too long, we have had students trapped in failing districts with no options for a better education. This legislation can change that.”

Public charter schools could be allowed in any district in the state. However, the local school boards of districts rated as “star” or “high performing” by the state Department of Education also would have to give a stamp of approval to any charter school seeking to open within those top districts. The bill is similar to a plan approved by the Senate in February. However, this version allows school boards of districts rated as “successful” also to approve charter schools over the next four academic years.

Charter schools are public schools that operate under a contract that allows administrative freedom and flexibility in exchange for exceptional levels of results-driven accountability. Students attending public charter schools must comply with provisions of the Mississippi compulsory school attendance law, meet health and safety standards, and adhere to state testing model. This legislation does not require charter schools; it simply gives a community the option to support a public charter school to enter into their district.

The newly created commission will be comprised of appointees from the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the Superintendent of Education. The commission will consider applications from charter school providers with a proven track record of success.


Anonymous said...

WOW. Kim Wade takes DEMOCRAT Dorsey Carson to the woodshed today for opposing charter schools.

Anonymous said...

I thought Dorsey Cardon lost his election ...

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Tate Reeves because behind the scenes Loome has gone off the deep end in anger and vitriol!!!

Curt Crowley said...

Has the Lt. Governor cleared this with Speaker Disaster and Tommy "Two Chins" Weathersby?

Anonymous said...

Nancy Loome email to her cult April 11, 2012 @ 7:29 PM:

I want to give a tip of the hat to Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. Speaker Gunn has been working hard behind the scenes to negotiate a good charter school bill. He has met regularly with representatives to hear their constituents' concerns and to try to create workable solutions. I remain hopeful that, in conference, a good charter school bill can be negotiated.

If Gunn works to water down this latest charter effort to meet the demands of the public school brown shirts then we'll all know which leader of which body, House or Senate, is truly in favor of charter schools.

Anonymous said...

What lovely manners Ms Loome has and we all know name calling is an effective way to persuade others.

No wonder the bill is having trouble!

Memo to Nancy, address the concerns of those who oppose the bill and treat them with respect rather than as the enemy and you just might win enough of them over.

"The art of diplomacy is letting someone else have your way"

Dorsey Carson said...

I have never spoken with Kim Wade, although I did respond to a post that he made on my personal Facebook page (a post that ironically expressly supported commonsense charter school legislation). With the exception of "virtual" online charter schools, I have never been opposed to charter shcools in underperforming areas, where they have been shown to be effective, so if he says that I am then he should start letting facts catch up with his mouth. It sounds like I am not missing anything by having never listened to his show.

Anonymous said...

What's the point? There were five House Republicans on the Education Committee who would not vote for any charter school bill. Combined, the House Republicans only have a four vote advantage (63 to 59). That means they can only lose one vote to the Democrats and maintain a majority assuming all Democrats oppose the bill. But, as stated, they have already lost five Republican votes. What am I missing here?

Anonymous said...

Dorsey jack boots to the Loome drum.

Anonymous said...

11:03 - not arguing, but trying to answer your question. You are missing the fact that not all Dems are necessarily going to vote against it. And not necessarily are all members going to vote. There are five - or more - Republicans that voted or would have voted against the bill that was in the House Committee. Some changes were made when Tollison provided his amendment in the Senate trying to overcome some of the opposition.

There are other Republican votes possibly against the bill. The question is - how many will finally vote against it if it gets to the floor, and how many Democrats will vote for it. Putting the bill on the floor will give a definitive answer.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to understand that how students are selected matters.

Most charter schools use a lottery so there is no guarantee that if you have a charter in your district that your child will get to attend. And, demand quickly exceeds the number of students who can be accomodated.

Will our charters have a focus/mission?

Who will manage our charters? Will they be managed at the State level or local level?

Can existing private schools apply to become charters? This is done in many places.There are pluses and minuses to that approach.

What will be the minimum requirements and who selects the curriculum?

Do we have figures on what start up will cost for a charter and/or if one will meet the basic needs of a failing district?

My grandchildren are in a district with charter schools and I don't get the sense that parents understand what is involved. Also, the school system in their district is NOT doing better. The newspaper is full of " new plans" to improve the charter system. Part of the problem involves placing children in the school best suited to meet their needs.

Then, you are looking at children in the same families going to different schools and the logistical difficulties that creates.

Districts with charter schools see a growth of charters because demand is high. So, charters become specialized. There are charters that do immersion in a foreign language and parents in the early grades have to agree to teach in the native language at night until the children become fluent. Of course, selecting that kind of school early carries some problems as changing from one charter to another is challenging if not nearly impossible.

I just don't get the sense that this has been thought through with a long range vision in mind. If it is to work, there are plenty of models out there of success and mess!

It'd be nice to learn from the mistakes of others for a change.

Anonymous said...

"It'd be nice to learn from the mistakes of others for a change."

But, but, what about our 'heritage'? ;-)

Anonymous said...

The troll is back.

Anonymous said...

11:18 OK - enlighten us. Tell us what is so great about ranking 50th out of 50 states in all educational measurements since, wel, since they started measuring these things.

Those that defend the status quo are the reason nothing improves here. Forget charter schools, just keep doing what you've been doing if you're happy being the worst in education.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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