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Author Topic: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school  (Read 4714 times)

Hilary

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Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« on: November 11, 2010, 09:14:33 PM »
D&C story:

City schools superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard has been a strong proponent of bringing more charter schools into Rochester, saying on numerous occasions that he wants to help more of the privately run programs open in the city.

Now, it looks like his wife K. Brooke Stafford-Brizard will be leading one of those schools. She is working with another area educator to apply to open an all girls charter school that will draw students from the city school system.

“We have the vision and the passion and we’re working on the application,” said Laura Rebell Gross, who is working with Stafford-Brizard. “We’re really just at the beginning.”

Stafford-Brizard and Gross have been working with the Young Women’s Leadership Network — where Gross serves on the board — on their proposal. The pair will have to submit an application for a charter to the state department of education. Gross said they are currently working on the application, which is due in January. They hope to open the school in 2012.

Superintendent Brizard and Gross said that they were trying to keep it out of the media until their application was in.

“They are working fast and furious and making some powerful connections in and around the city,” Jean-Claude Brizard said.

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Hilary

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2010, 08:53:58 AM »
Later story with more details:
Organizers of a new all-girls charter school aiming to open in 2012 have been busy amassing supporters in the city of Rochester.

But they already have one high-profile local education leader behind their effort — City School District Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard, who also happens to be married to one of the new school's would-be founders.

Brizard makes no secret of his support for charter schools, saying that he wants to help more of the privately run programs open in the city school district. Now, K. Brooke Stafford-Brizard could lead one such school, drawing students and state money away from city schools and raising questions about a potential conflict of interest. "We have the vision and the passion and we're working on the application," said Laura Rebell Gross, who is partnering with Stafford-Brizard.

Stafford-Brizard and Gross have been working with the Young Women's Leadership Network, known nationally for opening the first single-sex charter school in the country. Gross also serves on the network's Board of Directors.

Gross and Stafford-Brizard must file an application with either the state education department or the SUNY system. Gross said they are currently working on an application.

Both Jean-Claude Brizard and Gross said they were trying to keep the proposal quiet until the women submitted the application. But word of the proposed school started circulating in the community after they hosted an informational meeting with a number of high-profile community leaders to try to win support for their effort several weeks ago.

The meeting occurred at the Brizards' house after the group went to see Waiting for Superman, a new documentary about the public school system that has been criticized for glorifying charter schools.

"They are working fast and furious and making some powerful connections in and around the city," Jean-Claude Brizard said in an e-mail.

Charter schools, which are run by private boards but paid for with public dollars, have always been somewhat controversial.

Supporters say that they give parents options and create competition that forces traditional public schools to do better, something especially important in school districts that have struggled to turn around failing programs. The federal Race to the Top program gives financial incentives to states that make it easier for charter schools to open, something that prompted New York state this year to relax its rules and enable more programs to open.

"It clearly, at least as it was presented, has been a very successful project in New York City," said Anne Kress, president of Monroe Community College who was at the informational meeting.

But research has shown that not all charter schools are effective, and the vast majority does not post better results than traditional public schools. Some are plagued by financial and organizational problems. And in high-poverty districts like Rochester, charter schools have been criticized for siphoning off the best students, whose parents are engaged enough to submit an application to a charter school.

Stafford-Brizard's involvement also raises questions about the role the superintendent might play helping get the school off the ground.

"It certainly raises the issue of whether it is a conflict of interest," said Dan Drmacich, a former principal with the city school district.

Although the city will not have any influence over the charter school's application, Brizard has said recently that he wants the district to offer the programs more support.

His wife's school could benefit from any of those incentives.

Stafford-Brizard did not respond to requests for comment, but candidly addressed the issue of her marriage to the superintendent at last month's meeting.

"She talks about it very freely," Gross said. "She's definitely doing this on her own and with her own connections.

"I have every confidence that it's going to be a wonderful school."

Stafford-Brizard has her own career in education research, including a doctoral degree in education from Columbia University.

She worked as the director of strategy and evaluation in the New York City school system and said when she moved to Rochester that she planned to look for work.

The Brizards have previously addressed the issue of her involvement with educational groups that do business with the school district.

Stafford-Brizard has done work with a consulting company run by former superintendent Manny Rivera that has a contract to offer tutoring services to struggling students.

When asked about the contract, Superintendent Brizard said that his wife is entitled to pursue her career, regardless of his position.

TLANKES@DemocratandChronicle.com
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SKuykendall

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2010, 12:08:54 PM »
On the one hand:

Quote
Stafford-Brizard did not respond to requests for comment, but candidly addressed the issue of her marriage to the superintendent at last month's meeting.

"She talks about it very freely," Gross said. "She's definitely doing this on her own and with her own connections."

On the other hand:

Quote
Both Jean-Claude Brizard and Gross said they were trying to keep the proposal quiet until the women submitted the application. But word of the proposed school started circulating in the community after they hosted an informational meeting with a number of high-profile community leaders to try to win support for their effort several weeks ago.

The meeting occurred at the Brizards' house after the group went to see Waiting for Superman, a new documentary about the public school system that has been criticized for glorifying charter schools.

The school does sound really good. And certainly Brizard's wife has a right to develop her career.  I also don't think there is anything inherently wrong with the superintendent supporting the formation of charter schools. 

I do think Brizard probably needs to elaborate on what he has said to the D&C though, in that there is definitely a discussion that needs to happen here.

There is a difference between being friendly to charter schools and being married to someone who is going to run one.  The first simply implies a lack of hostility, a willingness to borrow charter-school innovations, and a willingness to cooperate with charter schools every once in a while when a common project arises.  The second implies either some level of assistance or very rigid boundaries between work and marriage.  (Is Stafford-Brizard really going to refrain from asking her husband for advice when she needs to generate support from community leaders?  Will the community leaders be willing to, and able to, forget that she is the wife of the superintendent?  Will she ask her husband for advice if she needs to make use of vendors who also work with the RCSD? And will those vendors be willing to alienate the wife of the superintendent by driving a hard bargain with her school?) 

I don't think Brizard will be able to combat the perception that he more deeply invested in the charter school movement than he has been before -- and so just bluntly dismissing questions with the assertion that his wife has the right to her own career is probably not a good idea.

I kind of think this would be a good moment for Brizard to have an in-depth discussion about the relationship between the RCSD and charter schools -- and with RCSD parents as well as high-profile community leaders. 

I don't think anyone would argue with the premise that charter schools can be very innovative and can pioneer techniques that other schools can later adopt -- and so no one could really criticize Brizard for seeing their potential. 

That doesn't mean there aren't some real questions about how expanding the role of charter schools would affect RCSD schools, though.

The two big questions are, of course, the role charter schools play in reducing the number of unionized teaching jobs and the role charter schools play in creating various forms of segregation in the RCSD (by racial group, socio-economic status, level of parental involvement, and lifestyle).  Both of these issues have the potential to seriously alter the educational landscape for the RCSD. 

I think, too, that people are justifiably uncertain (and even nervous) about what a school district with a great many charter schools would look like.

Certainly, the more involved Brizard becomes in encouraging and supporting charter schools, the more urgent it becomes to get answers to questions like this from him.
 
Would it be a district where charter schools were able to cater to and innovate around the specific preferences of different groups of parents and the specific needs of various kinds of students -- and so would it be a given that, if you, as a parent, looked at the wide array of charter schools, you would be certain to find one that was a better fit than your public school was?  Would this mean that the public schools were only expected to educate students whose parents didn't care enough to do any research into what was best for their children?  Would the superintendent be comfortable with this?  Would we, as parents, be comfortable sending our children to schools run by someone who envisioned such an educator-of-last-resort role for district schools?   

If students were to leave district schools in large numbers and enter charter schools, how would this impact staffing in district schools?  Can we reasonably assume that this would be dealt with through attrition, that as teachers retire, they simply wouldn't be replaced and that no additional cutbacks would be needed?  Would this inability to add young teachers to the teaching force result in our having an aging staff in public schools and a much younger one in charter schools?  How would this impact the quality of instruction, the cost of insurance, the pension system?  Or would layoffs be required?  If teachers were being laid off from district jobs, would they be able to find work at a comparable salary in charter schools?  What would it mean for the RTA's negotiating position if teacher salaries outside the RTA were decreasing?  How do we feel about the prospect of teaching jobs being, on average, less remunerative?

Brizard seems to recognize the strengths of charter schools (their innovative potential and their flexibility, in particular).  I would like to hear him talk about how the RCSD schools will compete with these strengths -- what the RCSD schools can bring to the table that would outweigh these advantages.  What they do better than the charter schools do, thus causing people to choose them over charter schools.  In short, given his position, I would like to hear him offer some criticism of charter schools.  If a superintendent praises charter schools for their innovation and flexibility, without balancing that out with some description of where charter schools fall short of district-school standards, it does sound a bit like: Come to my schools if you want an inflexible, innovation-free education for your child.

So, how does he envision this competition and coexistence?

I am hoping answers will be forthcoming.....Brizard is always interesting and charming and very compelling, so I am sure that, when he starts answering these questions, it will be a discussion well worth listening to. :)


Santosha
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Brizard

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 09:49:39 PM »
Dear Santosha,

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your post. My support for charter schools is nothing new. In a June 2008 Speaking Out piece in the Democrat and Chronicle, I wrote “As the superintendent of a large public school system, I support Charter schools, Charter Management Organizations, our Urban-Suburban program and other choices for students that bring or will bring a portfolio approach to providing options for our city and its residents. It will create competition and keep our system agile and responsive.

Giving schools room to innovate is critical to radically improving achievement. I am not talking about runaway autonomy or anarchy. Rather, I am calling for giving a level of flexibility (within state and federal laws) to school teams that have demonstrated a capacity for getting the work done – either through practice or through a rigorous application process. We know that our 19th century model does not work. Giving schools room to innovate outside of the box that we have created for schools will help us understand what we need to do to recreate our education system.”

As an executive in NYC, I was part of the office that vetted charters before submission to the Board of Regents. Currently, our Office of School Innovation under the expert leadership of Mary Doyle is in the process of creating a District/Charter Collaborative Compact. Thus far, many of our leaders in the city including charter operators have fully engaged in the process. The purpose is to commit district and charter leaders in Rochester to improve the ways we work together and influence each other for the benefit of all students in the city. 

My wife Brooke and her partner in this work, Laura Rebell Gross, are gifted educators and the school they aim to create will be an affiliate of a very successful network of schools. The flagship school in East Harlem has had a graduation rate above 96% for years with 100% of graduates going to college for its full ten years of existence. The college persistence for that school is nearly 80%. No urban or suburban school in our county can boast this type of success. To deny students of this city that type of success, I feel, is unfair. My wife chose the charter route specifically to avoid conflicts of interest since the authorization, funding, and accountability structures are all independent of the district.

I look forward to continuing this dialogue.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Jean-Claude
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cmarshall

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 11:33:29 AM »
Having had a child go through sixth grade in a charter school -- I think charter schools are a wonderful option - though honestly not for every student. 

I think it is absolutely time we start to think about the children in the system rather than the adults.  If it was anyone other than Brizzard's wife - there would be no controversy -- the concept would be embraced.  Let's embrace this great idea and think about the things that could be accomplished for the children and stop worrying about who is behind the idea.  We need to consider how we can best help the children in our community and embrace the adults that are brave enough to try something new.
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SKuykendall

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 05:06:51 PM »
I'm so glad the superintendent is very responsive to parents -- it is really nice to see that he is willing to answer questions from parents and to do so promptly and punctually.  (Thank you, Mr. Brizard, if you should happen to be reading.)

I am hoping that there will be an ongoing dialogue about the role of charter schools in the city -- and I really am intrigued by the idea that they can cooperate as well as compete.

In response to the suggestion by another member of the discussion board, though, that we just embrace the potential of charter schools without asking questions about them, I think that might be a bit unwise if applied too widely.   

I can't imagine why responsible people would embrace a pretty radical shift in the local educational landscape without asking what things will look like during and after the shift.  That would seem rash rather than optimistic.

I also find it difficult to agree that we shouldn't ask or even worry about conflicts of interest in the city schools.  (I am assuming the suggestion that we ignore questions about conflicts of interest only applies to the schools -- and not to the entire public sphere.)

If a school board member started a charter school, should the population of the city just think about the things that could be accomplished for the children -- and not worry about who was behind the idea?

What if RCSD principals were to begin serving as paid consultants to charter schools?  Should we worry then about conflicts of interest?

I am certainly open to discussion as to whether or not it is a conflict of interest for the superintendent's wife to open a charter school -- but I have to say that I am a little shocked by the idea that parents should, for the sake of the children in Rochester, refrain from even talking about whether or not it is.

I do think the superintendent's ideas are interesting -- and find the idea of healthy competition (or healthy cooperation) instead of angry conflict appealing.

I think I just would like to hear more about how the students who are attending RCSD schools can benefit from the proliferation of charter schools before I feel completely comfortable with the idea of our having a superintendent who actively supports the formation of charter schools.

I understand that students who attend charter schools (sometimes) benefit from the opportunity.  If the superintendent of the city school district is actively involved in supporting the expansion of charter schools, though, I think we need concrete information on how this benefits the students who don't attend them.  Otherwise it feels a little like we have hired someone to turn off the lights after he's finished closing things down.

I do hope the dialogue will continue.  The ideas are intruiging and Brizard is engaging and always has interesting things to say.

Santosha
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Howard Eagle

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2010, 10:40:18 AM »
Dear Superintendent Brizard,

Although I'm still waiting for a response from you and/or your secretary and/or your Chief Of Staff regarding an inquiry of nearly three weeks ago --- it's good to see that you found the time during the busy holiday season to personally respond to (presumably) another RCSD parent.

The discussion between you and Ms. Santosha is interesting and provocative  (to say the least). I could not agree more with her very thoughtful point that "if [you are] actively involved in supporting the expansion of charter schools --- [as concerned RCSD parents and tax-paying community members in general] --- we need concrete information on how this benefits the students who don't attend them. Otherwise it feels a [lot] like we have hired someone to turn off the lights after he's finished closing things down." I'm anxiously looking forward to reading your response to Ms. Santosha's excellent point.

Also, as it relates to the "critical" need to "give schools room to innovate" --- Dr. Adam Urbanski has suggested that one way of approaching this critical need is by affording "regular" RCSD schools the same or similar kinds of autonomy and flexibility that charter schools enjoy. If you can find the time --- I would be most interested in reading your response regarding Dr. Urbanski's suggestion.

With regard to "the process of creating a District/Charter Collaborative Compact, [which] many of our leaders in the city including charter operators have fully engaged in" --- I am very curious to know whether or not credible efforts have been made to include/involve RCSD parents in the engagement, especially since "the purpose is to commit district and charter leaders in Rochester to improve the ways we work together and influence each other for the benefit of all students in the city." The reason why I'm raising this is because I believe unequivocally that parents and guardians, along with educators and anyone else who is genuinely concerned about OUR children's best interests --- have rights and responsibilities to be involved in every major decision-making process designed to produce much-needed, effective, fundamental change, improvement and success for OUR children.   

I am very interested in additional information about the "flagship school in East Harlem," especially information concerning whether or not its student body, demographics, funding and other types of support are comparable to those of the average school in the RCSD, which I suspect is not the case, but if I'm wrong --- that's great. I would offer all of us a word of caution relative to so-called "innovation" and attempts to emulate and/or  transpose or transplant models of success: One thing that's critically important is for us to always make sure that we are (as the saying goes) 'comparing apples to apples' --- as opposed to (for example) --- comparing 'peanuts to watermelons.'

In my humble view, with regard to your wife's and her partner's endeavor --- whether or not they will be able "to avoid conflicts of interest" --- is yet to be seen. However, again, in my humble view --- it is the right and responsibility of parents, educators, tax-payers in general, and anyone else who claims to have OUR children's best interests at heart --- to pay very close attention to any and all endeavors that claim to be "for the benefit of  students in the city."

I wish all, and especially the indigenous people of this land, happy thanksgiving.

Howard J. Eagle

 
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friedman1

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2010, 02:15:25 PM »
Santosha brought up some critical questions that we should all pay attention to when considering this potential conflict of interest. A willingness to engage such questions about public conflicts of interest is crucial, as there is much potential for ethical abuse if the issues are left unaddressed. Brizard argued that "My wife chose the charter route specifically to avoid conflicts of interest since the authorization, funding, and accountability structures are all independent of the district." I suggest we closely scrutinize and examine this statement. In terms of authorization, a charter school operator in NY State is initially granted a charter by the NY State Board of Regents or the State University of New York Charter School Institute. However, in terms of funding and accountability, I'm curious as to what role the RCSD would or wouldn't play. I think it's important to learn the truth behind a statement such as this, as it would be misguided for us to think that the district will not have some influence over the ultimate outcomes for a charter operator receiving funding and students from RCSD. As Mr. Eagle convincingly argued, "...it is the right and responsibility of parents, educators, tax-payers in general, and anyone else who claims to have OUR children's best interests at heart --- to pay very close attention to any and all endeavors that claim to be 'for the benefit of  students in the city." Let's all commit to learning more and engaging this issue further as we move forth.
 
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PamintheWedge

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 07:34:23 PM »
sometimes rochesterians really frustrate me with their obstructionism  :(
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Hilary

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 09:14:08 AM »
What do you mean?
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PamintheWedge

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2010, 05:30:29 PM »
we aren't the warmest city for innovation. naysayers abound. for instance, if a person - and frankly i don't care who they are- wants to start a school that will be partly privately supported, and partly funded by per pupil expenditure from the district it draws students from, and it is open to the public for free and with free access to all within that district, then i say, hello, best wishes and welcome to our urban setting.
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Hilary

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2010, 11:05:06 PM »
Well, I have to agree with Santosha here that it is important for parents (and others) to ask questions, about conflicts-of-interest and other issues as well. There are too many disreputable companies trying to start charter schools and too many corruption scandals involving charter schools, not to mention just plan bad charter schools -- and far too little education funding to go around -- for us just to say "Sure! Anyone who wants to start a charter school can have our money."  If a private company wants to start a school all by itself, fine, I won't ask questions. But if it's taking my taxpayer $$$, it  had better be prepared to make a full disclosure.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 11:07:34 PM by Hilary »
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Howard Eagle

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2010, 10:21:25 PM »
PamintheWedge,

It's very doubtful that the proposed charter school will provide "free access to all within [the] district."


Hilary,

With regard to your latter comment --- I could not possibly agree more.
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SKuykendall

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2010, 01:33:41 PM »
A couple of things:

Pam, I don't think parents should ever be asked to say, "Oh, welcome to the school district.  Do whatever you like.  We don't want any information and we won't ask any questions.  We're just here to cheer you on."  There is a difference between asking for details and being a naysayer.

I am certainly not saying that Superintendent Brizard's wife should be criticized for, or discouraged from, opening a charter school. 

I am saying that, given the superintendent's increasingly active role in helping to encourage or establish charter schools, it is absolutely essential that he explain in substantial detail how he envisions charter schools improving the educational outcomes of the students he has been hired to serve: the students who attend RCSD schools. 

He should do this in order to reassure the parents who send their children to RCSD schools -- if for no other reason.

I am actually a big fan of Mr. Brizard's.  I love his commitment to providing educational opportunities to the students in the RCSD and I love the way he manages to make political issues personal and compelling.  I love the way he identifies with the students in the district and very much appreciate the fact that he refuses to accept the idea that no one should expect decent educational outcomes for poor students -- and am very glad we have a superintendent who can and will personalize his opposition to that by saying that he would not have cared to hear anyone say that about him when he was a recently-arrived immigrant from Haiti and a student in the public schools.

I understand that his enthusiasm for charter schools in general, and for his wife's charter school in particular, stems from his determination to provide Rochester's children with educational opportunities which are not mired in defeatism and recriminations which seem to focus on how children should have chosen parents who own more books.

I do think, though, that there is a discussion that needs to happen where the Superintendent's support for charter schools is concerned.

I am hoping that a lot the answers to obvious questions will become very clear very soon -- that, for instance, we will hear more about Mary Doyle's charter-district collaboration efforts.

In the meantime, in response to Superintendent Brizard's comment about the charter school movement -- that "it will create competition and keep our system agile and responsive," I think there is quite a bit of merit to the theory, but there is also the question of execution.  I would feel better about the theory if the verb tenses had been different, if we were told that the competition from charter schools has been keeping our system agile and responsive, instead of that it will

RCSD schools have been encountering competition from charter schools for more than a decade now -- how has the district, under Brizard, responded to this competition?  How has this competition benefited the students in RCSD schools?  Will the district be more responsive in the future?  What will drive this increased responsiveness?   

I am not privy to information about the inner workings of other schools, so I can really only look at my daughter's school in order to assess this competition=agility+responsiveness equation.  And it is hard for me to see how competition from charter schools has resulted in agility and responsiveness where her own school is concerned. The competition is there, and creates rather problematic attrition, but the sort of district resources her school needs in order to respond to this competition are simply not forthcoming.

Children can enroll at Franklin Montessori at age three -- and receive an excellent full-day preschool program that includes breakfast, lunch and transportation.  Because of the popularity of Montessori methodology, the school attracts a fair number of middle-class children to the pre-k program -- a good number of RCSD teachers' children, but the children of other white-collar professionals as well.

A fair number of these middle-class parents, when it comes time for their children to start kindergarten, remove their children from Franklin Montessori.  One of the more popular destinations for these middle-class children is GCCS, a charter school.  Parents give a variety of reasons for making the switch, but most of the reasons center on discomfort with the school's location in the Franklin building.  And while I have certain issues with this dynamic, these issues aren't really relevant to the question of whether charter schools make the RCSD more responsive and agile.

(As a brief aside, though, I don't think RCSD schools should all exist for the sole or even primary purpose of indulging the preferences of middle-class parents -- but when we talk about charter schools creating competition for RCSD schools, we are talking about charter schools drawing away the students whose parents are most aggressive in their pursuit of a high-quality schools.  Middle-class parents might be seen as bellwethers in terms of the effects of competition, as middle-class parents do tend to be fairly aggressive in terms of school selection.) 

I have heard several teachers say that this attrition has a substantial negative impact on the success of the school.  The reasons for this are a little on the technical side, but easily explained to, and understood by, the district administration.

If the RCSD had responded to the issues that make Franklin lose students to charter schools by addressing these issues (and had similarly addressed the issues that caused students to leave other RCSD schools for charter schools), I would be sold on the theory that competition will create agility and responsiveness, and would consider the proliferation of charter schools to be an unmixed blessing for the students who remain in the RCSD. 

My only concern, in fact, might be that charter schools could wind up falling victim to the success of the competition they created -- that, having served their purpose by creating competition, agility and responsiveness, they would no longer be necessary and would find themselves without students. 

This model does not seem to resemble the reality I have observed in the RCSD.

For the past three years, the parents at Franklin Montessori have been asking that the school be relocated to a building that is not shared with a large number of high-school students, for obvious reasons.  For instance, yesterday my daughter got home from school an hour late because the school was locked down at dismissal time due to a weapon scare. 

For the past three years, the district has hemmed and hawed and said, "Yes, probably, maybe."  Everyone in the district agrees that the lockdowns and fire alarms are off-putting, that fairly noisy squad cars and fairly noisy teenagers do not make a good impression on prospective parents (or sometimes even current parents).  Everyone in the district agrees with the irrefutable logic that it is a bad idea to educate sixteen-year-olds in a building where there are ten times as many sixteen-year-olds as there are five-year-olds.  And yet, at present, there are no concrete plans to move the school, or at least none that have been communicated with the parent body.

If the superintendent had met with a group of high-profile community leaders to discuss ways to move the public Montessori school out of the basement of a high school building, I would have been delighted.  I am just (and hopefully understandably) somewhat less delighted by the fact that he met with high-profile community leaders in order to help create competition for her school -- as much as I really and sincerely do understand his enthusiasm for creating good schools and life-changing opportunities for children in the city.

I certainly do not object to Mr. Brizard's wife or anyone else starting a high-quality charter school.  I just want to understand, in concrete terms, how the assistance that Mr. Brizard may wind up lending to these efforts will improve my daughter's education (and the educational opportunities of all the other children in RCSD schools), as I do not presently have any plans to enroll her in a charter school.

If we are going to use the corporate model of competition, let me offer this analogy: Competition certainly keeps corporations agile, but the board of directors might object if the CEO were meeting with investors on behalf of his competitors rather than on behalf of his own company.  They might, at the very least, ask the CEO for the details of his strategic response to this unquestionably beneficial competition -- for specific examples of ways in which things were, as a result of this competition, going to improve for the company that employed him.

I think it's a reasonable question and, really, I do feel that taxpayers and voters have the right to ask questions -- just as stockholders do.

Santosha 
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CoolGrrl28

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Re: Brizard's wife wants to open city charter school
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2010, 11:07:09 PM »
A couple of things:

... I do feel that taxpayers and voters have the right to ask questions -- just as stockholders do.

Santosha

Wow! Excellent post/comment! Hoo-hoo! <standing and clapping>
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