Is It ‘Morally Disturbing’ When Charter Schools Skim Highly Motivated Families?

By | October 19, 2019

At the 2000 Republican National
Convention the country got one of its first glimpses of a new type of public charter school. The slogans of our schools are not, “all of us can learn” but rather “all of us will learn.” The claim was that with enough rigor and devotion such schools could close the achievement gap between poor minorities and their wealthy white counterparts. There are no shortcuts. You’re here at 7:25, you stay until 5:00, you suffer through two hours of homework, you come on Saturdays, and you come during the summer. The shining example was the Knowledge is Power Program or KIPP. It’s a public school unlike just about any
you have seen before. There’s no more excuses, the school down the block can no longer say well what can we do? But skeptics pointed out that the families showing up at KIPP and other “no excuses” charters were self-selected. Charter schools by definition are not random collections of students. Students who choose to go to charter schools are likely to have more motivated parents. Every student, every parent, and every teacher must commit to KIPP’s regimen of long hours and hard work— —in writing. In 2006 a combative former New York City
Council member named Eva Moskowitz co-founded a new charter school network with the same approach. I think parents deserve in real time something better. Success Academy was KIPP on steroids. Trouncing many public schools and wealthy neighborhoods on the annual state exams. Enter the education writer and former public school teacher Robert Pondiscio, who spent a year embedded at a Success Academy in an effort to figure out just how these schools do it. In his new book, “How the Other Half Learns,” Pondiscio reports that the critics were right. Not only is the very act of applying to the lottery self-selecting, but Success Academy makes such rigorous demands on parents that it disproportionately retains the most highly motivated families. And that dissatisfaction brought as many as 5,000 parents to the armory in Washington Heights. The result is that an applicant’s chances of winning a seat at success in its annual high-stakes lottery aren’t as competitive as many had claimed. Pondiscio found that there are about six applicants for every spot. However because so many families drop out, the chances of getting offered a spot are actually closer to 50%. But for those that make the commitment the impact is transformative. And he argues that these kids deserve the same access to a great school that upper middle class parents finagle for their children, even if it means leaving the rest of their communities behind. Let’s be brutally honest, when you take that child away you’re damaging the public school system. But where do we get the right to treat anybody’s child as a public resource? I sat down with Pondiscio to discuss why he believes motivated families deserve the opportunity to exit their district public schools, which a New York Times reviewer called a “morally disturbing conclusion to his unsparingly honest book,” and his challenge to both supporters and detractors of the school reform movement. Robert Pondiscio, thanks for talking to Reason. Thanks for having me. Let me start with the question who is Tiffany, and why does she matter? Oh you’re going to try to make me emotional first question huh. Tiffany was a student in my second year
of teaching at PS 277 in the South Bronx and this was a little girl who, you know I like to just you know tell this story, she would come to school every day in her uniform. The building could fall down and Tiffany would be behind her her desk scribbling
away and when I pointed out to my special ed supervisor at the time that
look I’ve got this kid I’m not doing anything for her I’m basically ignoring
her and she said verbatim quote she’s not your problem meaning you know why
are you focusing your attention why you concerned at all about Tiffany she’s
delivering the results we need but at by the same token this was a kid who was
deeply bought into what we were doing so she ended up moving to Pennsylvania
graduating from a perfectly fine State University but I’ve been troubled for
the last 15 years like what could this kid have been if she were in one of
these so-called no excuses charter schools where you know she was pushed to
go not just to college but to a terrific College you know the ultimate
achievement gap in American life is in test scores it’s the leadership gap you
know we’d all be working for this kid with her incredible work at it so you
know the thesis of your is that Success Academy is the type of
school for the Tiffany’s of the world yeah I think that’s right so are the
success schools actually a random lottery are they random
how does had a success yeah this is complicated but it’s worth unpacking the
moment a parent raises his or her hand and says I want a charter school instead
of the neighborhood default public school I would argue that parent is
almost instantly setting himself or herself apart from the parent who
exercises no choice whatsoever you’re at least curious about what else is out
there so describe the average success parent then yeah and and again I’m gonna
keep saying this but this is also anecdote not right not data because the
data is just not available to my knowledge so I spent a year embedded in
a in a school in in the South Bronx literally across the street before I was
a student teacher and in the same neighborhood where I taught Tiffany and
others I went in a fifth or a second grade field trip at one point and I
promise you I’m not making this up there were more dads chaperoning that field
trip that I saw in five years of parent-teacher conferences in my old
school observably every morning you see father’s you see a couples married
couples or at least cohabitating couples dropping their kids off so a pattern
emerges and I got to know quite a few parents and the way I describe it they
are over-represented married employed almost invariably religious and/or
spiritual ambitious for their children what’s the level of minority 101 okay so
this is and you’re not describing people who are you know a kind of double income
highly professional white Asian yeah it’s not gonna happen in some other
neighborhoods with Success Academy it certainly is but the school that I was
teaching or embedding in in the South Bronx is is is not really gentrifying at
this point the way other neighborhoods in New York City are and you success
will say what is it it’s something like or you know where it seems that for
every slot at success there’s what something like forty students or you
know there was six to one there are six more applicants for every seat then
entering the lottery then then ultimately end up getting place why is
that a misleading well because and this is take someone packing to the the
enrollment lottery is the first step in the process once you so let’s say this
is from memory I think there were something like 17,000 applicants for
3,000 seats the year that I was in success 3,000 are immediately seated and
are told congratulations you’re in 7000 are told sorry no room at the end as it
were the rest which is another six or seven thousand are placed on a so called
likely list remember that term likely and this was all random assignment
absolutely 100% random so then the next step is you’re invited to a welcome
meeting which is kind of a little bit scared straight I mean to success
academies credit they could not be more clear about what they stand for and what
they will not stand for like they they will say the one person who I quoted the
book said this is not Burger King you don’t get to have it your way
there are uniforms that these are the hours we will suspend your kid as early
as kindergarten if they break our rules etc so they could not be more clear or
emphatic about their school culture that scares some folks away or if you don’t
show up to the Welcome meeting and you don’t reschedule then you were dropped
then comes to confirm your interest email then comes a uniform fitting day
then comes a dress rehearsal for kindergarten at every step along the way
some number fall away and and we don’t know why perhaps there are a lot of
other charter schools they decide no I’d rather go to that one than this one but
at the end of the day what’s undeniable is that your chances of getting in are
closer to one in two and because of this kind of aggressive acculturation that
goes on during this process my thesis on this and I think success somewhat
disagrees with this is you end up with a parent body of either true believers or
those who are willing to have their their parenting kind of molded a little
bit because because success makes prodigious demands on parents you’re
gonna read to your kids six books a week you’re gonna check the homework you’re
gonna fill out the reading logs you got to drop your kid off every morning by
7:30 you got to pick your kid up every day it’s I think 3:45 Wednesday’s a half
day 12:30 there’s no after-school there’s no transportation and again I
don’t want to paint the picture that this is being done deliberately to to to
to call the her notice but as a practical matter it’s just
easier to comply with these cool culture demands if you’ve got the bandwidth of
two parents or at least a support network well you’ve got somebody so if
you’re living at kind of chaotic disorganized life it’s just kind of hard
to do that yeah so and so this all goes towards
your thesis really that they’re not creaming students yes to get and we’ll
talk about the the results and how good people who go through the Success
Academy seem to be doing but that they’re creaming the parents yeah and
you know I’ll be honest Nick I wish I hadn’t framed it that way that they are
creaming or cherry-picking parents because at the end of the day those
parents are creaming or cherry-picking themselves right my more nuanced point I
hope is that it’s it’s not oh it’s the parents stupid
it’s the conditions the cultural condition the school culture conditions
that that self-selection sets in motion look you know if you have a just so
school culture with that is a high expectations very demanding etc you
can’t impose that on people you know you have to at least start with those who
want it or those who are willing to to have their efforts directed so in other
words this simply would not work to impose this on my old school or almost
any other school so it’s a more complicated thing than it’s the parents
it’s it’s the starting line it creates the the buy-in and that’s the key idea
that makes this this level of rigor and high expectation doable is Success
Academy representative of the Charter movement as a whole or successful
schools as a whole that’s a really great question I mean and I don’t think I have
a firm conclusion about this I think I asked the question in the book because
the entire idea of IDI reform for the last 20 odd years has been you know if
you have the right conditions every child can can learn at a high level
success academies results are so unusually good that it raises the
question is this a proof point or is this kind of the reverse perfect storm
that in its relative rarity proves that this really is not you know widely do it
well now what you’re talking about is different than the way that Eva
Moskowitz talks about what success does um and she says look our model will work
for 99.9 percent of kids that it is the school that’s transformational not
things that are happening before and after and things like that uh you know
other than that they do their homework is that just wrong Wow
I mean who might have disagreed with Eva Moskowitz I mean she’s created this
fantastic network of schools and I’m just you know some guy who sat in them
but yeah I kind of disagree with that or in other words the proof point there
would be will then take 99% 99.9% of students and they don’t do that and you
know this puts me in an awkward position because at the end of the day I’m
strongly supportive of what they do but I just don’t think that that’s what
they’re doing because if that is what you were doing
then you wouldn’t put those hurdles in front of kids you would just you do the
opposite you take the first hundred kids in the door and you’d fight like hell to
keep those 100 kids in the door so it’s it’s weird to me to think that you know
on the one hand you say that you can do this with 99.9% of kids but you have
these structures in place that and again I’m defending this that allow parents
ourself sort if that’s your theory then wouldn’t you want to prove that you can
do this with every child so I mean that’s an argument that success Academy
is really not representative of the Charter move of the schools that are in
the Charter movement because I think that’s right okay and and could you
disarrange could you contrast maybe briefly you teach at a school called
democracy prep what is its guiding ethos and is it as successful as success
academy what do you mean by successful I don’t really go with the option to well
define success downward sure this is this is why we could talk about this
till the cows come home the way we keep score and I’m using that phrase not
success the measure of the the standard measure of performance is test scores I
have a complicated relationship with test scores I don’t think that they are
necessarily the alpha and they’re certainly not the Alpha and Omega and
there’s other things and I’d like to look at as well so by rights I should
probably intensely dislike what I saw at success because to be brutally blunt
they put test-prep on steroids even the the curriculum is arguably even a bit
test preppy when it’s not test prep season yet I got to the end of this
experience and I found myself saying but you know I
like what I’m seeing here and and at the end of the day I think it had more to do
with what I what my bet would be their long-term outcomes and I described this
at some length in the book there is simply nothing in the experience or
history for a low-income family of color in this country to expect a good
relationship with a place called a school I mean it’s like the school where
I taught I mean it’s where you go to see how little is expected of you what what
your how narrow your horizons are so even though I don’t like necessarily
that they are test prepping kids at the wazoo it adds up to something powerful
so think of this you know you’re in a school and you’re a ten year old kid and
the test that’s that you’re being prepared for nobody’s telling you it’s
easy quite the opposite they’re telling you it’s hard you were surrounded by
adults who are pushing you you know it’s a tough love culture they’re calling
your parents every night to say how you’re doing on the most recent test the
practice tests and then lo and behold the testing day comes along and not only
do you do well you do really well you do better than kids in Scarsdale and
Jericho on Long Island so think what that means you’re now growing up in an
environment where I’m good at school everybody I know is good at school my
parents are in on it my their parents are in on it I think it just changes the
temperature so in a way I’m not even sure Moskowitz thinks about it this way
but while I don’t necessarily like the testing culture I think it’s a bit of a
game changer if I can use that cliche in terms of the relationship that a kid
feels like they’re having with their school like oh I’m good at this this is
gonna take me someplace and one would assume that general odds are one would
hope that generalizes beyond school I think well yeah if I can accomplish this
I can do other things but not only that I mean the way I like to say this is the
first and most impactful or first most important relationship a child has with
the Civic institution in this country is almost invariably with the school as
that one goes so goes the other all the others you know there’s a review of your
book and the New York Times ultimately said that you produced a morally
disturbing conclusion to an unsparingly honest book part of the morally
disturbing conclusion is that this is not for all people is that morally
disturbing to you you can look at a kid like Tiffany and say well
you know we need her in this failing school because she’s a good role model
to the other kids etc and when you take that child away and send her to a
charter school you’re damaging the public school system well you are let’s
be brutally honest I mean this is something we’re not supposed to say in
ed reform but is it and and and there’s data that suggests it’s not true but as
a teacher I know if you take Tiffany and three or four other kids like that out
of my South Bronx classroom my job is harder not easy don’t don’t tell me that
this is somehow gonna benefit me I would argue it is equally morally disturbing
to not allow those who are ready you know to be upwardly mobile to be fully
and well educated it’s it’s morally troubling that we deny that I mean my
frame for this is where do we get the right to treat anybody’s child as a
public resource in a sense what about those other kids you know I mean are
they you know do we just kind of write them off no no and also related to this
is the question of like is school actually that transformational because
part of the presumption of all of these debates is that you know school is what
matters not all of these other things it can be more transformational than it is
for for more students certainly and again I come back to the Tiffany example
school was insufficiently transformational perhaps what’s in 20
years we might have a different conversation the part of this book that
frankly my ed reform colleagues should not like is is where I take that idea so
you know there’s been a strong strain of thought for years among defenders of
traditional public schools you can’t compare these two things you can’t
compare the results of a traditional public school and a charter school and
it’s unfair and my answer is well that’s right
it is unfair but in the same way that it does not follow from that that therefore
we should not allow choice it does not follow from that that we should tell the
traditional public schools you should get as good a results as these schools
with self-selected parents so if anything that’s an argument for perhaps
more resources better training etc for for some folks in those schools but but
we have to acknowledge that they have when they say our job is harder there
lying your job is harder let’s you know focus a bit on the idea that it’s
morally troubling to allow certain people to escape a sinking boat or a
listing ship you know that is just not going anywhere is can you you people who
make that argument is it equally morally troubling to say no you know what the
real the morally good solution is to you know keep everybody in a boat that’s not
going anywhere or sinking right but Nick nobody says that to me nobody says that
to you I mean this is but isn’t that the argument when people say you know we got
it we got a reduce school choice because it lets people who are motivated to take
advantage of those choices get better outcomes look there’s a big iron eight
lurking in the room here which is if you are affluent white whatever you have
de-facto school choice right now if you have the means to pay private school
tuition or Catholic school tuition you can do that if you don’t you can at
least pick up and move to you know Scarsdale or Greenwich or somesuch where
your property taxes are functionally your private school tuition let’s be
really candid about that so if this is your theory of change then you need to
explain why this is a problem for black and brown people only in other words
when Eva Moskowitz comes up with a way to give a low-income black and brown
families the the functional level of choice that I have that you have well
then why is that a problem why is it only a problem when somebody does it for
them it hasn’t been a problem for decades and for the rest of us so
somebody smarter than me needs to explain how you can live with with with
those two opposing ideas in your head in the Wall Street Journal you wrote that
both sides are of the school choice of it are forced to be dishonest yeah in
arguments both for and against charter schools resorting to aspirational
politically pleasing narratives about what it takes to improve outcomes for
disadvantaged children if charter school or school choice
proponents are basically lying about the role that schools play in most people’s
lives that’s a problem I don’t think it’s doublet of public school
traditional public school supporters and teachers unions are saying like we can
do this we just need more and more resources that seems to be alive or
or misleading I think it’s a politically necessary lie I mean I don’t like
accusing people of lying but I think it’s the the practical politics here
demand that we be dishonest about that in other words support for charter
schools would probably suffer if they were perceived as a sorting mechanism as
you know the so-called poor man’s private school support for public
schools traditional public schools would probably suffer if we were honest and
say look we really can’t do this for every child right now I don’t have a
good answer for this to be blunt the only thing I can offer is we talk all
the time as teachers about meeting the children where they are it might be
helpful to start talking about meeting families where they are you know the
family that is that is drawn to a success Academy or another
high-performing charter school that does their due diligence that has that level
of investment and buy and they’re in a different place in their in their
American trajectory as it were then a family you know that is that is
suffering from any number of you know a parent in jail unemployment drug
addiction etc one of the things I think we do incorrectly in this work is we
tend to view urban communities through you know what I would call twin lenses
of dysfunction we either assume that everybody is broken and there are no
families like the ones that are drawn to to a Success Academy or we assume that
those who who are married employed religious ambitious for their children
we said we assume like I was told with Tiffany they’re not your problem which
is horribly condescending I mean either one of those is terribly condescending
but we don’t really differentiate enough can we talk uh so briefly you know one
of the knocks on Success Academy in particular is that it’s brutal you know
not just a parent yes I like okay you got to be doing your kids homework every
night you got to make sure they’re reading all these books you got to show
up when we yet you know pick them up drop them off all of this type of stuff
but that they were literally brutal to the kid there and and you know there’s a
kind of viral footage of a teacher berating a little kid yeah did you see
any of that sort of stuff and this is where I think we have really done dirt
to Moskowitz and Success Academy now look I’m not offended by the site
of kids marching in two lines in elementary school I’m not offended by
the idea that kids should set up pay attention make eye contact and look if
you take nothing else away from this book and spending time at Success
Academy you cannot mistake the deep authentic
investment that that teachers have in kids so very quickly say what is the
thing that Ed reformers who are kind of Pro you know uncritically or or maybe
not so critically in favor of charter schools and in favor of Success Academy
what did they have to take away from this and for traditional defenders of
traditional D actuals what is what’s the the main point that they really need to
grab it’s a great question and and at the risk of oversimplifying I think we
really have to focus on school culture in other words it’s not enough testing
isn’t enough even the sorting if you want to call it that isn’t enough kids
learn better when they are in an environment that valorizes achievement
if that’s what you’re trying to get high achievement and that’s really it’s
almost impossible for public policy to account for because we don’t allow
parents as a general rule to self sort we don’t allow absent of out your system
parents to pick a school culture that works for them so if school culture
really is the thing that drives achievement that’s a that’s a prodigious
challenge for the ED policy world how do we make that possible would you agree
that there’s a large concerted push back against charter so understand and as
part of that related to them over selling their impact no I think it’s
pure political expedience honest so what what are the forces there well I think
you know if you look at you know III I work for a policy shop but I’d you know
I’m not really the best policy guy I’m more of an instructional guy but it’s
unmistakable that if you look at the run up to the 2020 election the the
Democrats who are you know what the white house seemed to fall into two
camps those who are opposed to charter schools and those who are really opposed
to charter schools so you know the by my demands that by talking some of them
talk about I’m against for-profit charter schools which are a negligible
amount of charter school yeah you know I I don’t I’m not invested in a frankly to
even parse the differences what I know is that it’s its descend this
advantageous to to you know low income kids of color who have the
right now to take advantage of these environments and it’s just frankly just
weird to me that we have this category of school that has been making a
difference for some number of them and that at least one party is you know is
seems eager to throw them under the bus how do you evaluate whether or not you
know this particular choice model or this particular choice is worth kind of
pursuing I will admit that I have a fairly unsophisticated view of whether
or not choice works here’s how I view it did you get to choose do you like your

100 thoughts on “Is It ‘Morally Disturbing’ When Charter Schools Skim Highly Motivated Families?

  1. Soldierboy54b Post author

    "Where do we get the right to treat anybody's child as a public resource?" (16:15)

  2. Copy Paste Delete Post author

    Charters remove the teacher unions and their terrible protections for bad educators.

    Charter schools create an environment where like-minded parents who expect excellence from their kids can leverage the community for superior outcomes. Public schools could do the same thing with TAG and Magnet schools, but for their awful teacher unions and bureaucratic administrations.

  3. John Anthony Post author

    Two-parent families have more successful children? Who ever would have guessed that? lol

  4. Winston Groovy Post author

    So first the left wanted to decrease the achievement gap between inner city and suburban kids. Then, once an effective technique was found, they decried it as racist/unfair. How in the hell are we ever going to enjoy any progress in this country if the left keeps blocking efforts like this to help minorities? Efforts which, by the way, cost taxpayers much less than regular schools. Utterly preposterous.

  5. Denis Parfilko Post author

    Honestly Charter schools is just what happens when you apply Social Darwinism to a School

  6. Jim Leedy Post author

    Thank you Reason! Excellent analysis and while there are no easy answers, let people make choices and live with the consequences.

  7. Uncaptured Post author

    Very informative interview. My only complaint is the sound quality. It's not just a volume issue. Turn up the highs, drop the mids and lows, and then you'll have more room for a volume increase.

  8. Sergio Aguirre Post author

    Education is a mirror
    Parents who support and push their kids education, reap the rewards.
    The lazy losers, lose
    Merit matters

  9. Timefliesbye Post author

    Oh wow… kids that want to achieve something with parents that cheer them on have an unfair advantage over students who don't give a fuck and whose parents pass out drunk every night… my god what cruel injustice! Can you believe that there are some privileged parents who take the time to read to their young kids instead of doing heroine?

  10. Sarah Sheffler Post author

    Even the name of the video, it sounds like someone complaining "it's no fair! Just because they are willing to work harder doesn't mean they should do better"
    It's literally the American dream. Work hard and you Can do well. I hear people saying equality of outcome would be fair and they are SO wrong.

  11. white Post author

    Schools don't work, private teachers that work with 3 or 4 kids at a time whenever the kids want actually work, because the kids get taught only useful shit in their own customised individual way.

  12. Home Wall Post author

    So, keep the motivated down to the level of the unmotivated. Great idea if you hate liberty and equal protection, and instead prefer centrally planned, one-size-fits-all government youth education camps that strives for equal outcomes rather than outcomes from motivated action.

  13. hang da clown Post author

    13:35 and here's the problem… damn what a bias to have…

  14. Arthur Brogden Post author

    All "men" ARE NOT created equal. America tries hard to provide "equality" under the law; no-one ever, EVER promised equality of outcome. Quite simply; those parents and children self-selecting for the hard work it takes to succeed… are "Offending" the majority of the population that for whatever reason (primarily bad life decisions by the SINGLE parent) cannot or WILL NOT put forth the same level of effort and sacrifice.
    The only reason the Teachers Unions are so universally opposed EVERYWHERE is that it proves that a superior effort on the part of the Charter School staff; can and does produce superior results. That de facto their, the Unions efforts; do grave disservice to students forced into sub-par slowest speed group teaching models. That the Teachers Unions would then use their political influence to deliberately ensnare and entrap these students and families into remaining against their will in a sub par teaching environment is despicable.

  15. GeoFry3 Post author

    Work hard and you will get better results…
    Huh who would have thunk it

  16. GIboy1990 Post author

    This much I know. My future children will not be attending public school. I am a product of public education and therefore have the foresight and experience in public education to make an informed decision. I was both homeschooled and private schooled. My time in public education outside of athletics has done absolutely nothing in preparing me for success in adult life.

  17. GIboy1990 Post author

    What's morally disturbing is threating violence towards someone if they dont give you money based on the value of their property, and then telling them "you child must be educated here."

  18. Dame Anvil Post author

    Public school teacher means stupid, lazy, incompetent. They are hired and paid good wages to make a difference. And even when the tests are dumbed down their students still fail. ANY decent person who does not fit the bill (stupid, lazy, incompetent) are moving out in the first couple of years.

  19. John Palmer Post author

    I find it profoundly ironic that we have a political party that is for a women’s right to choose while the same time opposed to a parent’s right choose with regard to their child’s education.

  20. malrofo Post author

    They're just creating little robots. Fuck creativity, fuck sports, fuck competition. Just do what we say when we say how we say it. Pass the state tests then go out in the real world where tests dont mean a thing without practical knowledge

  21. Jonathan Basallaje Post author

    UBI would help stabilize those chaotic parents, so that they could support their children's education. Just sayin'

  22. Liberty Bro Post author

    I’d have washed out of Success Academy in about a week.

  23. Nonya Damnbusiness Post author

    What's morally disturbing is taking smart creative children and squeezing them through a wage slave factory.

  24. Fp Pro Post author

    You stop treating schools as a place to employ adults and start treating him as a place to teach children and this problem will go away.

  25. Son of Ode Post author

    9:34 Uhh… I figure not long ago. After someone become a parrent, he or she is going to be a doctor, a police, a priest, a lawyer, a chef, a teacher for his/her children, the other doctors, police…teachers are just a helper.
    One should not think relinquish their responsibility to be the teacher of their children to others when they sent their kids to school.


  26. WetDroiD Edition Post author

    You need to talk about IQ, sorry but it is a factor

  27. Son of Ode Post author

    Start with individu, then individu who have same intention formed a group. Education started from individu unit (home, family, parrents), then come the idea of school, where it is designed to help the intention of individu in education.
    Then for some people they forget, school is "to help", not the primary it is the secondary.
    From that some who forget, some got lucky some didn't; they children turn out ok.
    But to those who didn't forget, all their children turn out ok.


  28. TheHeretic2011 Post author

    I agree completely. Motivated children SHOULD be held back to the standards of the least motivated. That way the lazy students don't feel bad./sarc

  29. Son of Ode Post author

    18:32 choises are based on the idea of free will.
    With free will people can make good choice and bad choice.
    When people make good choice good for them, and when people make bad choice sorry for them, but just because there are people who made bad choice then that means choises are bad (free will is bad), lets teach each other about what is good and bad.


  30. Hirame Sensei Post author

    "Skim"? "Morally disturbing"?

    Public schools do not have a right to your children.

    Your children have the right to seek the best education possible.

  31. Son of Ode Post author

    23:19 what happened when public policy take away responsibility from individu. "Those who have the rights are those who pays for it" Pay the cost of education for your children (give your time and effort), don't give it away to the public.


  32. Michael Lowe Post author

    Promoting exceptional kids with motivated parents may have the effect of leaving the rest behind, but it helps them too. Not having the highest achievers in the same class allows the teachers to slow down and work with the kids that need more help. Teachers may deny this because they have to move at a slower pace and work harder, but if the kids need that, it is exactly what they should do. When they are doing their job right it should seem harder. I think this guy is missing half the story.

  33. maxjosephwheeler Post author

    They've found the right formula…..Motivated and Accountable PARENTS partnered with Motivated and Accountable Teachers/School Systems. Taking everyone to the NEXT LEVEL!

  34. Mike Betts Post author

    My sixth grade teacher was a former army captain and a religious man. There were occasions when we marched in formation for recess. And needless to say he took no crap from any of the kids. He was perhaps the best teacher I ever had. He woke me up academically.

  35. nukem bear Post author

    Not every child is gonna be a winner, the level of moronic children and adults of all races shows that it's a breakdown of genetics and society as a whole. Parents have been told that it's the schools responsibility to feed, care for, nurture, your children. Urban people have no morals, no sense of responsibility and want everything for free. Charter schools are saving the kids whose parents care about their children, they are not there to suck gov money for teachers unions and baby sit bad parents kids!

  36. Coletrain Post author

    "Where do we get the right to treat anybody's child a public resource". The state owns all of us, it's a cult. The true nature of the state always leaks through to those who are paying attention.

  37. Based in China Post author

    crabs in a bucket pull the ambitious ones back down

  38. Des Troya Post author

    I disagree, people leaving to charter schools doesn't hurt those left behind, they are putting more resources into growing what works, allowing more opportunities for more kids to change schools.

  39. Yellow/Blue _Austrian Watchman Post author

    Free markets free minds and competition

  40. Lord Ruxlin Hogie Post author

    God forbid that dedicated and enthusiastic parents be rewarded for their efforts.

  41. K ris Post author

    When I was in public high school, my teachers vehemently fought school choice for no reason other than they did not want “… to get stuck with a school of low achieving students because our district was cheap and felt that would occur”

    That isn’t an argument. Their employer being shit shouldn’t have any influence on anyone seeking a better option which they are paying for.

  42. kpoplove Post author

    Well aren't Charter schools "Public schools" just privately managed? There still consider public schools right?

  43. Watchmasterofkrieg Post author

    if it's immoral to "skim" highly motivated families isn't it immoral to do the same and more in college

  44. Christian stiltner Post author

    Educational eugenics. I have no problem with that.

  45. 1320crusier Post author

    Good interview. Oh, and why shouldnt parents who will do more for their kids be allowed to. The public school system is a shit show and charter schools provide an out for the families that will put in the work.

  46. Brandon McGowan Post author

    The DNC will combat anything that reduces government control. Even if it sacrifices the well being of children.

  47. Jipee Juhu Post author

    never forget that the parents sending their kids to charter schools paying for the public school through their taxes as well

  48. Nick Walkenbach Post author

    Honestly there should be the option of charter schools but we shouldn't write off the benefits of public education or ignore the disparity between charter and public schools.

  49. chessdominos Post author

    I got the feeling that was 2 hours interview condensed in 25 minutes.
    Is there more?
    Fascinating topics.

  50. Punit Modi Post author

    education is an investment, we should be able to control that investment however we choose, kids shouldn’t be forced to go into public schools if they don’t want to

  51. CJ Post author

    Controlling for IQ there is minimal difference in achievement between these charter schools and public schools.

  52. Scott Hedrick Post author

    How about putting less effort into deciding whether or not it is "morally disturbing" for parents who take action to improve their children's lives, and put more effort into making it easier for more parents to do the same?

  53. N Mil Post author

    Charter schools in the hood are a saving grace for motivated families who are trying to disassociate from the hood but can't afford to live in the burbs. Nonetheless, higher test scores and proficiency will only happen if and when the students are actually willing to do the work and be held accountable.

  54. Andrew Gonzalez Post author

    I’ve visited dozens of charter schools, and besides the few with crappy administrators, they were all perfectly fine and some even great. All the negativity is unwarranted and doesn’t even make much sense.

  55. David Diaz Post author

    This clown supports common core and uses an anecdote. Not today son….not today.

  56. Dorothy Walker Post author

    All charter schools 🏫 are not 👎 created equal. No unions means teachers and staff work from 7:00am-5:00 pm for embarrassing salaries.

  57. JOHN Q PUBLIC Post author

    They take kids who want to learn what is wrong with that. If the kids don't want to learn they do nothing but cause trouble

  58. Kevin Lee Post author

    Academia's program is now Marxist. The Hobbesian war of the people against everyone, the state of nature once rejected by American people.

  59. David Mikhail Post author

    No, what's morally disturbing is that the left wants to doom high achieving inner city kids and tear down what might be their only bridge to success simply because it doesnt increase the power they so desperately want flex on the general population.

  60. chigal09 Post author

    I don’t get this man’s complaint. The reason charter schools became popular because conscientious parents were fed up with the poor quality of government schools. So of course they self select. I worked as a substitute teacher in middle class school district, one district was the same district I attended in 80’s, it was not the same. In fact it was terrible. The curriculum was chaotic, with no real clarity. Some of the teachers were inept. The teacher’s that were competent, and knew how to teach, I did everything in my power to sub for them.

    The problem is having an entrenched government monopoly in education. The “quality” of a public school will always hinge on property taxation. Yet that will not mean a hill of beans if the education philosophy creates the kind of atmosphere where Tiffany, a dutiful, eager child who’s ready to learn is ignored. The unions are a political force that will not change even while the ship is sinking, and on fire.

  61. f chiang Post author

    Marxist ideology is that unequal outcomes is immoral. 1984 we need to hobble the smarter more motivated ones.

  62. gangisspawn1 Post author

    Charter schools in LR Arkansas have a minimum grade of 50%. Meaning if you never set foot in the class, never take a test, you get a 50%. Do just alittle bit and you pass. Much worse than pubic schools. Charter schools inflate their grades

  63. SAHbiochemist Post author

    We need to push this debate beyond school choice and discuss educational choice. Truancy laws are anti-freedom, put many kids and parents into a system they want no part of, harm the opportunities of those who do want an education, and have turned schools into child-care centers.

    It would be more honest to provide public daycare for all minors (and probably cheaper), than to pretend it's a school where meaningful learning occurs.

  64. DeShawn Michaelson Post author

    OF COURSE highly motivated students and parents will do better !! UNDER-motivated parents and students will get the result of their choices as well, and there is nothing immoral about that. Choices have results and that is the very essence of human life on this earth.

  65. lustar3232 Post author

    Gee, maybe if public schools pushed kids as much as charter schools do, there wouldn't be a need for charter schools.

  66. Gil Garza Post author

    The only difference between charter schools and other public schools is that they close bad charter schools. Bad public schools never close. Many parents get trapped in these schools and can’t leave even though they desperately want to flee.

  67. William Cowan Post author

    I went to a charter school and graduated high school. Honestly if it wasnt for that school I probably would have never graduated.

  68. MedoryK Post author

    We call them magnet schools around here. Quite the boons! Why poison and/or drag down motivated families with those who don’t? If anything, we need more!

  69. Geoffrey Van Pelt Post author

    What would happen if school administrators, public or private, were required to have their children go to a school in the district they manage? Would that provide a positive incentive?

  70. jcllings Post author

    Yes. I agree. However, what we don't want is kids jumping off of buildings like they do in Japan. I don't see why we can't have successful kids and also not jumping off of buildings though. This seems eminently do-able.

  71. jcllings Post author

    Imagine your kid goes to school, gets good grades and then goes to college. Get's out of college having chosen a technical field that should pay lucratively because, according to all reports, this field is in demand. Except it is… and yet it isn't. Your kid has chosen Computer Science only to discover that the STEM shortage was fake. It was a means to lobby Congress for access to foreign work visas and increased access to outsourcing. People less educated and less brilliant than your child but cheaper by 1/3. Your child languishes in the unenjoyment line FOR YEARS because these people are present and they don't belong in our market. Our market is a Capitalist Supply and Demand market. There is no such thing as a "Shortage". Only prices for talent that rich men would rather not pay. Immigration, in it's various forms, has only EVER been about flooding US labor markets. This betrayal brought to America by Big Tech.

  72. Kaui AhSing-Gray Post author

    ". . . where do we get the right to treat anybody's child like a public resource?" This, alone, seems to trump this entire question.

  73. Tom Forsythe Post author

    Ivan Galamian was a gifted violinist. His family had the resources to send him to the best teachers in Europe. Just another example of the rich getting all the benefits, right?

    Because Galamian was given such an excellent education, he was able to revolutionize violin pedagogy, making it easier for everyone to learn the instrument. The whole world benefited, not just the rich kid.

    Similarly, giving highly motivated kids access to the best schools will benefit all of us.

  74. Phil 556 Post author

    Excellent view into the charter school dynamic. VERY informative! Great video!

  75. BARBELL SAMURAI Post author

    a lot of people commenting are missing the point, they think charter schools are showing the success of the free market in education when it is just self selecting the 'right' kind of families, families whose children would do well no matter what school they go to.

  76. Couch gaming news Post author

    My school turned into a charter and now it seems the students are actually learning.

  77. Scott Richards Post author

    I have been involved in multiple public schools for a number of years and it is always the 2-3 problem children that consume 95% of a teacher's time and energy. We absolutely must add discrimination in our schools and stop pretending every kid is the same. We don't need to ignore the problem children, we just need to give them a different system then the others. But we are too concerned with appeasing teachers unions and distorted visions of "equality" to find real solutions.

  78. Twin Mommy Post author

    No, it is morally disturbing when unions trap motivated families in schools with delinquents and morons.

  79. Calvin Deng Post author

    To a public school, your kid is just a seat in their government farming machine. Public schools are not incentivized in any way to make your kid better, until charter schools started eatting their lunch. This just illustrates how ill prepared a public school is to compete with a competitive market.

  80. Sweet Cheeks Post author

    Let’s ignore all the smart kids and then when their generation grows up let’s import foreigners to do jobs that our kids could have done if they were educated properly and then let’s shame that generation for being lazy and stupid. Sounds awesome , super sustainable 🙄

  81. John Sheppard Post author

    The Statists (Leftists) hate Meritocracy.
    All of their theories ($$$) go out the window.

  82. Some Random Fellow Post author

    10+ hours, 6 days a week, all year around. Now that's morally disturbing. Nobody is capable of studying that hard, let alone subjects that they are not interested in.

  83. Blazing Tiger Post author

    I did way better in charter schools! The district system screwed me because we moved allot in our city, so the school district forced me to go to specific schools.

    Side note my friend Brittany lied about where she lived so she could go to our high school, and she graduated, I had to move to a ghetto school and I got beat up and ended up dropping out.

    Our public schools are crap! And saying “giving kids a better option will hurt the already failing schools” is a immoral argument! How can you care more about money for a school (administration and staff) than you care about the education a child receives?

  84. Arwyn Post author

    Some kids have shit parents. It's unfair so we have to handicap kids with good parents.

  85. carguy Post author

    If she is amazing she doesn't by need an amazing collage. That is all academics think life is about, rank of schooling. You are the lossers of our society. You add nothing, you build nothing, you employ so few and you sell education like a drug dealer.
    Education means very little compared to effort and talent. In our family two cousins are Stanford grads and one is a lawyer, two no collage and one has no ged or diploma.

    Here's the outcome at 40:
    No ged, no collage, to dimploma: $1.1 million a year as a tech executive.

    Ged only: $600k a year Ceo
    Stanford lawyer: $60k year self practice
    Stanford degree: yoga instructor

  86. DVG45 Post author

    What is this guy talking about jesus–writer is all over the place

  87. Sudhir Kakar Post author

    None of this is 'morally disturbing' (besides the penchant of progressives to posture, recklessly)….motivated parents should have channels to manage their kids education. This is a win win.

  88. Sudhir Kakar Post author

    The is a slippery slope to grey tasteless soups…force fed, at that. "How dare you pursue excellence !….how dare you separate from those without will power, talent, desire, capacity, luck….j'accuse !!"

  89. passingliaison Post author

    The argument against Charter schools, especially ones like the one mentioned in this video, essentially boils down to the same idiotic argument as the redistribution of wealth argument. Those with the motivation, drive and desire to succeed must be held back or punished for their ambitions to serve the wants and desires of those who aren't willing to put in the effort.

    Those schools show that if a family has the push to succeed and the desire to prove oneself and the willingness to work hard nothing can hold you back. Not race, not gender, not economic class, nothing. It's a direct slap in the face for any within the victimhood scam, the grievance industry, and the identitarian movement. They show you can succeed if you're willing to fight for it.


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