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Ethics in Private Schools


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#21 Holy Cow

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:39 PM

I think it is very important to note that the entire concept of school choice (charters and vouchers) is not simply about "good" schools and/or "bad" schools. The idea of school choice should primarily be about parents having the option to place their child/children in a school that best meets his/her needs.

 

Let's use Providence High School and Clarksville High School as examples. Unquestionably, PHS has a higher ranking and would be called a "better" school than CHS given the way some on this thread have discussed the issue. If I have a child that learns better in a project-based environment that utilizes technology (New Tech - as is provided in Clarksville) than the environment at PHS, regardless of ranking, I would likely place my child in Clarksville Schools. Or if a one of our traditional public elementary schools in GCS offers more comprehensive services for my child with special needs than a local charter school, I will likely choose that GCS school over the charter school regardless of the "ranking." We even have a school of technology (Prosser) in our area that offers a choice for kids on the basis of diverse career and technical education course offerings that are there to meet the needs of kids who may not have access to those in their home high schools. It is not there to indicate that the high schools that send kids there are bad because they do not offer those courses. 

 

I do understand that someone may choose a school because he/she believes that school is simply "better" than another, or because a one school corporation has a board that someone disagrees with, but agree with the idea of school choice or not, it seems that it should be about kids getting an education in a place that best suits them. 


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#22 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:46 PM

I believe parents have been moving their kids out of GCCS to other alternatives for the past few years.   Silver Creek and Rock Creek are bursting at the seams and it is due to a large number of students from the Greater Clark district choosing to go there.   There are 3 Rock Creek buses that pick up students each day at Eastside Christian Church (across from River Valley) --- the buses are full to capacity.  Many other students are driven by their parents to either Silver Creek, Rock Creek, Community Montessori or Christian Academy -- and some schools in Louisville.   If you look at the enrollment in Greater Clark for the past few years, it has been stagnant -- in fact in some years it has declined.   I believe the current year shows a very slight increase (20 or 30 students).  

 

I am a product of GCCS and so are my children.  I know that GCCS has some great teachers and that kids can get a good education at Greater Clark.   So what causes parents to move their children out of Greater Clark?    There are a lot of reasons  but many parents believe they can get a better education at these other schools for one reason or another -- maybe smaller class sizes, more parental involvement, less testing, a board (in some cases) that is not elected and not paid and really does put students first, a school culture that better fits their child's needs, etc. etc. 

 

I believe we will see more and more choices for parents in the next few years -- both private schools and charter schools. I hope it comes soon.  When the bridge is finished and River Ridge expands, I think many new people moving to the area with children will look more toward Silver Creek than Greater Clark.  Many others will choose to live on the Louisville side of the river.   Greater Clark is going to have to do more than put up a billboard or put Chromebooks in every kid's hand to attract students.  As a taxpayer, I am not in favor of using TIF money for Chromebooks -- or passing a referendum to build newer schools.   I believe money needs to go to hiring more teachers and having lower class sizes --  that  is what would attract students.   With elementary classes approaching or, in some cases, exceeding 30 students, a lot of parents will look elsewhere  == Chromebook or not.   jmo


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#23 Tina

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:49 PM

I believe we will see more and more choices for parents in the next few years -- both private schools and charter schools. I hope it comes soon.  When the bridge is finished and River Ridge expands, I think many new people moving to the area with children will look more toward Silver Creek than Greater Clark.  Many others will choose to live on the Louisville side of the river.   Greater Clark is going to have to do more than put up a billboard or put Chromebooks in every kid's hand to attract students.  As a taxpayer, I am not in favor of using TIF money for Chromebooks -- or passing a referendum to build newer schools.   I believe money needs to go to hiring more teachers and having lower class sizes --  that  is what would attract students.   With elementary classes approaching or, in some cases, exceeding 30 students, a lot of parents will look elsewhere  == Chromebook or not.   jmo

 

I get post cards from NA-FC and GCCS to try to sway me.

They even offered... an open house!  :hyper:


Edited by Tina, 08 January 2015 - 07:49 PM.

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#24 Holy Cow

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 07:49 AM

I have some observations to make simply for the purposes of discussion. Think about some of the positions that people have taken over the years and you will see how some of the education reform positions of the past few years have changed the conversations and even positions over time. Let me start by saying that none of these comments are specifically directed at posters of CCC, but some may hit close to home.

 

For instance, look at school choice. We have folks who say that schools need more funding to lower class sizes, pay great teachers more, etc. Some of these same people extoll the virtues of a "money following the child" philosophy of school choice where schools have less resources if they have less kids. We even have a former superintendent who was publicly against charters and school choice, yet he has been actively engaged in trying to help a local coalition get a charter school approved for the GCS area. Along those same lines, many school administrators, boards, and patrons have spoken loudly against "choice" yet as Tina said, we see billboards, mailers, lunches during school breaks, and a number of other innovative marketing schemes to attract parents and students.

 

On another note, we have people, including school administrators who say that ranking or grading schools is really bad, or invalid, yet some of those same folks are the first to hold up the "grade" or ranking their school gets when it is a good grade. You can ride by schools and corporation offices all over the state (I have) and see "XXX School/School Corporation is an "A" School/School Corporation" banner hanging on the walls or marquees. 

 

I have no real point other than to say that from the research I have done, it seems that some of these things are contributing to our schools, administrators, and even patrons like many of us thinking differently.


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#25 Donna

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 08:25 AM

Former superintendent is passionate about education, and like me, prefers PUBLIC education.  The charter school proposal is about addressing the specific needs for middle school students that is not currently being met via public schools.  I'm "guilty as charged" in a lot of what you posted.  It's not about the banners or state money, but I really do want it to be "all about the kids." 


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#26 Holy Cow

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 08:46 AM

Donna, there was no accusation or charge. I am just observing that these conversations seem pretty complicated and are not black and white. 



#27 Holy Cow

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:01 AM

Donna, thanks for lead-in. You mentioned that you prefer "public" education. I have researched a lot about these issues. I have looked at information ranging from the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice to the information put out by the NEA and AFT which is openly against what was done for school choice in Indiana. Without me providing an opinion on the issue, it seems your comment begs some questions that I think are ripe for debate. 

 

The first question is, what is "public education?" At its root, is it an entity, which implies "public schools" (and let's not forget that all research and legal citations illustrate charter schools as "public schools") or is it the concept of "educating the public?"

 

That brings us to the second point for debate. If public education is an entity, then it seems that the first priority of the government is to preserve the entity (public schools). If it is the latter, it seems that the role of the government is to use by "all means necessary" (that is a citation from the Constitution of The State of Indiana that was one of the key points for the Indiana Supreme Court finding that the Indiana voucher program is constitutional) to educate the public. 

 

Question #1 is What does "public education" really mean?

Question #2 is What is the primary role of the government of Indiana in education? (I purposefully left the role of the US government in education as a debate for another day) 

 

Thanks for the food for thought!


Edited by Holy Cow, 09 January 2015 - 09:11 AM.


#28 Tina

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:18 AM

As a parent that very much supplements my childrens' education, I probably have a different definition of public education.  I believe public education is anywhere "the public" gathers to educate children.  I believe the public demands a certain return on investment from their taxes.  When it is a monopoly and one is forced to pay taxes to that entity with no consequences for them if they fail to properly educate, then what?  I'm not saying our public schools are horrible - but they leave much to be desired, especially in middle school.  

 

Competition has required them to consider the public's input (which includes students hemorrhaging at the middle school age)- and for that I am thankful.  If the state legislature changes the choice formula to include transportation, all school districts better be prepared!  I believe that getting the kids somewhere else is the challenge for some.  If the choice schools can offer transportation, many more schools will lose students.

 

I'll admit, I'm one that sees very little role for government in education.  I got a pretty excellent education from the Catholic schools in this area.  My parents sacrificed to send four of us to those schools.  If I feel my children aren't getting the best education they can from their public school, I have Rock Creek around the corner and St Paul just in town.  I'm thankful for that.

 

So really, I like that the money follows the students.  Otherwise many parents in a lower income bracket than our family would be forced into a government monopoly set up where many of the leaders care more about how to spend that money frivolously and on favors to friends and family than on actual education.

 

 Let me finish by saying that none of these comments are specifically directed at GCCS, but some may hit close to home.

 

As for the state on this choice issue, there are a lot of problems with the current set up, so it is far from perfect, by far.  As with much of government, when too much business gets involved, there are bad side effects.  Eli Lilly seems to have a strong say in how much choice is offered.


Edited by Tina, 09 January 2015 - 09:25 AM.

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#29 Donna

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:22 AM

Sorry, Holy Cow, I was responding to your statement of "some may hit close to home" regarding Chatterers!  I was not referring to you accusing or charging anyone of anything. 

 

Public education, as espoused from Benjamin Franklin, was based on the belief of communities pooling resources to educate youngsters for the betterment of the community.  However, it has become big business and bloated administrations.  School systems throughout the country now buy text books that espouse certain viewpoints at the expense of known history.  But, that's at the federal level.  Within the state of Indiana, we now have a governor actively trying to undermine an elected official that he does not like or agree with.  There is also a push (strong one at that!) to siphon off public Edu. dollars to mostly private schools, but that works only on those able to pay the high tuitions of private schools.  I checked in on those rates a few years ago, and, YOWSA!



#30 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:27 AM

Public education simply means education that is paid for (funded) by tax dollars --- hence "paid for by the public".   Charter schools are public schools because they receive funding from the State -- the same as the traditional public schools.   But Charter schools receive NO money from local government.  They receive no money for buildings or transportation which makes it difficult for them to get started and difficult for parents who want to send their children there to get them there.  Charter schools often uses different approaches to education than traditional schools and thus can be appealing to various students.  I like to think that Charter schools complement traditional schools. 

 

Too often the traditional schools look at Charters as the "enemy" --- taking dollars away from the traditional schools.  But the traditional schools think that they can provide a quality education to everyone and that they can meet the needs of everyone.  This is simply just not true.   For instance, while Jeff High may be a "great" school for some students, it does not work for everyone.   Some students do better in a smaller school --- some need more one-on-one attention -- some get "lost" in a large school and end up getting discouraged and perhaps dropping out.   This does not mean that the school is at fault -- it just means that Jeff High (or any other high school you want to pick)  may not be for everyone.   I know a family whose daughter thrived at Jeff High and loved it --- but their son was totally lost.  They ended up sending him to Christian Academy and he did very well.  That is why "choice" is so important and I wish the traditional schools realized this and would work with these schools rather than against them.  Education is NOT all about the money.  It is supposed to be about what is best for the child but too often school districts have the money in mind more than the child.

 

Most superintendents who are currently working in a traditional school setting are against charters because they believe they cause them to lose money.   It is sad that they don't realize that it would be much better for them to work with Charters.  I think we could accomplish a whole lot more in the education of children if the adults would learn to work together.


Edited by IntegrityMatters, 09 January 2015 - 09:29 AM.

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#31 Holy Cow

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:46 AM

Yes IM you are correct that the perception of many school administrators is that choices outside of public schools takes monies from public schools. Dr. D was one such person who once said in a newspaper article that such policies were "anti-public education."



#32 Donna

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 09:53 AM

I felt the same way, until I saw our "public" schools failing the middle school students. 



#33 Holy Cow

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 10:03 AM

Donna, can you help me understand your position? You seem very supportive of school choice, at least as it applies to charter schools, but described vouchers as siphoning funds from public schools. I am not being critical, but I do not understand how you see the difference between funds leaving traditional public schools for charter schools versus funds leaving traditional public schools for voucher schools. 


Edited by Holy Cow, 09 January 2015 - 10:10 AM.


#34 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 10:16 AM

The money follows the students -- as it should in my opinion -- when they go from one public school (including charters) to another.   When a parent believes that a private school is the better choice for their child (Christian Academy, Sacred Heart, Providence, etc.), and they cannot afford to send their child there, they may qualify for a voucher to help offset the cost.  Vouchers do not pay the full tuition at a private school -- in fact, the most anyone could receive is less than the amount a public school receives to educate a child.  (For example, GCCS may receive about $6000 per student from the state for a student; if that student chooses to go to Sacred Heart or Christian Academy and cannot pay the full tuition, they can apply for a voucher -- which is income based.  But the maximum dollars a student could receive in a voucher is about $4000 to $4500.   So the State pays less for this student -- and maybe nothing at all if they don't qualify based on their income.  The State therefore has more dollars available for education in general through the voucher program.  And the State can use these "extra" dollars to raise the per student funding that goes to traditional schools --- as they recently did.    



#35 Holy Cow

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 10:25 AM

From all of the investigating I have done, you are pretty close to 100% right, IM. I think the cap for vouchers at elementary level students is actually $4800, and the high school voucher is 90% of state tuition support of the home school district (and is not capped at $4800). Regardless, the state does pay less for voucher students than it does to educate traditional public school students. You are also right that the savings that occur are legislatively required to go back into the funding formula for traditional public schools.

 

Now here is some food for thought. What about local property tax dollars? If GCS or another school corporation loses students to vouchers, or charters for that matter, the traditional public schools no longer have to transport those students, yet they still collect local property tax dollars based on transporting the larger number of students. 


Edited by Holy Cow, 09 January 2015 - 10:25 AM.


#36 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 11:11 AM

Donna, can you help me understand your position? You seem very supportive of school choice, at least as it applies to charter schools, but described vouchers as siphoning funds from public schools. I am not being critical, but I do not understand how you see the difference between funds leaving traditional public schools for charter schools versus funds leaving traditional public schools for voucher schools. 

FYI Holy Cow -- don't be too hard on Donna!   She was anti-vouchers and charters a few years ago and I helped her "learn" why they were a good thing and brought her over to the other side!! ha   Sometimes people can be against something and not really know why or know much about the thing they are against.   I think there are a lot of people who don't understand charters and vouchers.  If they did, they may change their minds too.   Education is not a "one size fits all" scenario.   Just like some people prefer Target over Walmart -- or Meijer over Kroger --- choice is a good thing.   Traditional public schools can be very good schools but just may not work for everyone.   When they don't, then those students need another choice in my opinion.


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#37 rhouchens

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 12:34 PM

GCCS: #188 in Indiana https://k12.niche.co...nty-schools-in/

 

WCCS: #198 in Indiana https://k12.niche.co...ity-schools-in/

 

CCS: #256 in Indiana https://k12.niche.co...corporation-in/

 

Here are the rankings of the local school systems , I couldn't find anything on Providence, Rock Creek or Christian Academy , you can see how much each spend per student.


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#38 rhouchens

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 12:52 PM

How do private schools select their board members?



#39 Donna

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 03:46 PM

I couldn't help it, Holy Cow!  IM brought out the cookies and Kool-Aid!

 

Just kidding!  She and I would go round and round on this issue.  I thought I had a fairly accurate overview from a variety of news sources, but IM is persistent and pointed out other news sources for me to check out.  My initial fear was that this would be the beginning of privatizing education.  



#40 Holy Cow

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:13 PM

Thanks! I find these conversations very helpful. I appreciate your thoughts, IM and Donna. 


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