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I'm watching 'Waiting for Superman' right now


Guest Dulcimeramy
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Guest Dulcimeramy

and I've had a lightbulb moment. I AM SUPERMAN.

 

By classically homeschooling my children, I am educating four low-income boys who were born in a trailer park to a mother who only had a high school diploma and a vocational certificate.

 

I am rescuing them from a cycle of poverty and ignorance.

 

I am Superman. If you are providing a much better education to a child than he would receive at his local public school, you are Superman, too.

 

Feels good to know that.

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:grouphug:

Thanks. We are low income, too. Aaand...I can't believe I am admitting it here, but that #2 school I talked about on that other thread was where I went to get my GED after I moved away from home. Yup, high school drop out here, daring to attempt to homeschool my kids (and myself) with the education I wish I had received.

 

I haven't seen the movie. But can I please call myself Wonder Woman instead?;)

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I agree!

 

I liked watching the documentary because I'm obsessed with education, but I thought it could have been done so much better! It was really depressing, wasn't it?? I felt so sorry for the kids who really wanted it and didn't make it into the good schools. Most of them do not have the option to homeschool because the parents have to work just to make ends meet. I also think there is a prevailing idea that you have to have had a really great education yourself in order to educate your children. I have a Master's degree, but I do not feel that I am very well educated. I'm learning SO much right along with my son. Honestly, there's nothing I'd rather be doing than working on lessons, reading, and learning with my son.

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I agree!

 

I liked watching the documentary because I'm obsessed with education, but I thought it could have been done so much better! It was really depressing, wasn't it?? I felt so sorry for the kids who really wanted it and didn't make it into the good schools. Most of them do not have the option to homeschool because the parents have to work just to make ends meet. I also think there is a prevailing idea that you have to have had a really great education yourself in order to educate your children.

 

It did feel to me that one defficientcy of the film was not offering one family that considered home education as an alternative to either "winning the lottery" and getting into the "dream school" or seeing their hopes for their children dashed into hopelessness when the wrong number came up.

 

The film offered no option of a parent taking the reins and either "home schooling" or even "after-schooling" in earnest (as opposed to just trying to offer some help with homework).

 

I sat though the film thinking: some of these people could home school. I had quite a discussion after the film with one of the teachers from my son's school after the film. He and his wife homeschool their children and it was past 1 in the morning (on a school night) before we stopped yapping and realized we better get home :D

 

Bill

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and I've had a lightbulb moment. I AM SUPERMAN.

 

By classically homeschooling my children, I am educating four low-income boys who were born in a trailer park to a mother who only had a high school diploma and a vocational certificate.

 

I am rescuing them from a cycle of poverty and ignorance.

 

I am Superman. If you are providing a much better education to a child than he would receive at his local public school, you are Superman, too.

 

Feels good to know that.

Me too!

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and I've had a lightbulb moment. I AM SUPERMAN.

 

By classically homeschooling my children, I am educating four low-income boys who were born in a trailer park to a mother who only had a high school diploma and a vocational certificate.

 

I am rescuing them from a cycle of poverty and ignorance.

 

I am Superman. If you are providing a much better education to a child than he would receive at his local public school, you are Superman, too.

 

Feels good to know that.

 

:hurray: :hurray: :hurray:

 

Well done Superman!!!

 

Bill

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It did feel to me that one defficientcy of the film was not offering one family that considered home education as an alternative to either "winning the lottery" and getting into the "dream school" or seeing their hopes for their children dashed into hopelessness when the wrong number came up.

 

The film offered no option of a parent taking the reins and either "home schooling" or even "after-schooling" in earnest (as opposed to just trying to offer some help with homework).

 

I sat though the film thinking: some of these people could home school. I had quite a discussion after the film with one of the teachers from my son's school after the film. He and his wife homeschool their children and it was past 1 in the morning (on a school night) before we stopped yapping and realized we better get home :D

 

Bill

 

Yes, the movie made it seem as if their ONLY hope was for their number to be called.

 

They did show one mom sitting around the table after-schooling and I thought that was great. It seems that most parents are encouraged to read to their children and that's about it. In fact, I don't know a single parent that does anything academic above and beyond home work that is sent home from ps. Obviously these parents exist, because you are here. :) Honestly, I think most of it is either a lack of energy or a lack of knowledge about what's out there.

 

I met a mom from my son's soccer team who complained constantly about the ps failing her daughter. She said her daughter was in 4th grade and could not read because she's dyslexic and the school was not helping. She said that the ONLY program that could work for her daughter was a $500 remedial program and the school would not provide it. I spent quite a bit of time talking to her about several reading programs that I thought would benefit her daughter that she could do herself. I told her that I would not count on the school fixing this issue and that if I were her mom, I would take the matter into my own hands and would teach her to read. She insisted that she could not do it without this $500 program (I don't remember the name of it). Week after week, she came to soccer and complained and was SO UPSET about the fact that her daughter could not read, yet she would do nothing productive to help. She would spend hours writing letters and emails to the school, talking to lawyers, etc. I just couldn't understand it. So many parents believe that they are just not capable of solving some of these issues themselves.

 

I would LOVE love LOVE for someone to do a good documentary about home schooling. Maybe it would be a good project for a budding film student.

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Yes, the movie made it seem as if their ONLY hope was for their number to be called.

 

They did show one mom sitting around the table after-schooling and I thought that was great. It seems that most parents are encouraged to read to their children and that's about it. In fact, I don't know a single parent that does anything academic above and beyond home work that is sent home from ps. Obviously these parents exist, because you are here. :) Honestly, I think most of it is either a lack of energy or a lack of knowledge about what's out there.

 

I met a mom from my son's soccer team who complained constantly about the ps failing her daughter. She said her daughter was in 4th grade and could not read because she's dyslexic and the school was not helping. She said that the ONLY program that could work for her daughter was a $500 remedial program and the school would not provide it. I spent quite a bit of time talking to her about several reading programs that I thought would benefit her daughter that she could do herself. I told her that I would not count on the school fixing this issue and that if I were her mom, I would take the matter into my own hands and would teach her to read. She insisted that she could not do it without this $500 program (I don't remember the name of it). Week after week, she came to soccer and complained and was SO UPSET about the fact that her daughter could not read, yet she would do nothing productive to help. She would spend hours writing letters and emails to the school, talking to lawyers, etc. I just couldn't understand it. So many parents believe that they are just not capable of solving some of these issues themselves.I would LOVE love LOVE for someone to do a good documentary about home schooling. Maybe it would be a good project for a budding film student.

 

I tutor the dd of a neighbor and friend. This kid struggles soooo much in school, but is really quite bright. She has a diagnosis of PDD-NOS and her learning curve just seems so atypical. She's responded wonderfully to WTM style copywork/narration/dictation. She's now a pretty terrific creative writer, but it took many moons of using narration as a starting point. The typical school cirriculum was definately NOT designed with children like her in mind. Her mom, who stays at home, has been resistant to any mention of homeschooling. It's more a cultural thing than an economic thing. I think she thinks her family and friends would disapprove, so she spends an inordinate amount of time complaining about the school's failure. A school that's rated as a 10 on the Great School's site by the way. Some folks just do not want the responsibility - for whatever reason. Sad but true.

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and I've had a lightbulb moment. I AM SUPERMAN.

 

By classically homeschooling my children, I am educating four low-income boys who were born in a trailer park to a mother who only had a high school diploma and a vocational certificate.

 

I am rescuing them from a cycle of poverty and ignorance.

 

I am Superman. If you are providing a much better education to a child than he would receive at his local public school, you are Superman, too.

 

Feels good to know that.

 

That's wonderful!!!

Ooh, I feel fabulous now :lol: (as I sit in my trailer eating grapes I got with food stamps since dh is working & in school F/T, lol). Superwoman!!!!!!

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Yes, the movie made it seem as if their ONLY hope was for their number to be called.

 

They did show one mom sitting around the table after-schooling and I thought that was great. It seems that most parents are encouraged to read to their children and that's about it. In fact, I don't know a single parent that does anything academic above and beyond home work that is sent home from ps. Obviously these parents exist, because you are here. :) Honestly, I think most of it is either a lack of energy or a lack of knowledge about what's out there.

 

I met a mom from my son's soccer team who complained constantly about the ps failing her daughter. She said her daughter was in 4th grade and could not read because she's dyslexic and the school was not helping. She said that the ONLY program that could work for her daughter was a $500 remedial program and the school would not provide it. I spent quite a bit of time talking to her about several reading programs that I thought would benefit her daughter that she could do herself. I told her that I would not count on the school fixing this issue and that if I were her mom, I would take the matter into my own hands and would teach her to read. She insisted that she could not do it without this $500 program (I don't remember the name of it). Week after week, she came to soccer and complained and was SO UPSET about the fact that her daughter could not read, yet she would do nothing productive to help. She would spend hours writing letters and emails to the school, talking to lawyers, etc. I just couldn't understand it. So many parents believe that they are just not capable of solving some of these issues themselves.

 

I would LOVE love LOVE for someone to do a good documentary about home schooling. Maybe it would be a good project for a budding film student.

 

Totally off on a tangent, but what programs do you know to teach a dyslexic child to read that cost less than the $500 one?

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Totally off on a tangent, but what programs do you know to teach a dyslexic child to read that cost less than the $500 one?

 

 

I talked to her about the programs I'm familiar with such as Phonics Road, and other O-G programs as well as Elizabeth's website, etc. My biggest piece of advice to her was to come here and to talk to other parents of children who were dyslexic to find out what worked well for them. I know there are a lot of parents here who have successfully taught their dyslexic children to read, and I knew she would find help here. I asked if she had a chance to check out the forum and the answer was always no. This forum is amazing to me. Whenever someone asks for advice on how to get started with home schooling, I always send them here.

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I talked to her about the programs I'm familiar with such as Phonics Road, and other O-G programs as well as Elizabeth's website, etc. My biggest piece of advice to her was to come here and to talk to other parents of children who were dyslexic to find out what worked well for them. I know there are a lot of parents here who have successfully taught their dyslexic children to read, and I knew she would find help here. I asked if she had a chance to check out the forum and the answer was always no. This forum is amazing to me. Whenever someone asks for advice on how to get started with home schooling, I always send them here.

 

Ahhh. Yes, the special needs board is a great help to lots of us. Most true O-G programs *are* very expensive. I asked because I have a 10yo dyslexic non-reader and was curious what programs you would recommend that were inexpensive. I would recommend Barton for a parent with no teaching experience, but it costs a lot more than $500.;)

 

Okay, end of sidetrack.:D

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Ahhh. Yes, the special needs board is a great help to lots of us. Most true O-G programs *are* very expensive. I asked because I have a 10yo dyslexic non-reader and was curious what programs you would recommend that were inexpensive. I would recommend Barton for a parent with no teaching experience, but it costs a lot more than $500.;)

 

Okay, end of sidetrack.:D

 

You know, I think it may have been Barton. Is it around $1200? I may have pulled the $500 from thin air to imply an amount that she felt was exorbitant. Barton sounds VERY familiar so I'm guessing that was it.

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You know, I think it may have been Barton. Is it around $1200? I may have pulled the $500 from thin air to imply an amount that she felt was exorbitant. Barton sounds VERY familiar so I'm guessing that was it.

 

It's $250-350 per level and there are 10 levels. Most people buy one level, use it, then sell it used to purchase the next one. I can't do that because I have more than one who will use it, but I will get my money's worth!;)

 

We've done the "O-G spinoff" programs and they just don't work.

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Week after week, she came to soccer and complained and was SO UPSET about the fact that her daughter could not read, yet she would do nothing productive to help. She would spend hours writing letters and emails to the school, talking to lawyers, etc. I just couldn't understand it. So many parents believe that they are just not capable of solving some of these issues themselves.

 

I've had a similar experience, in that parents pay out the yang for the tutoring my employer provides...some people take out educational loans. They ask me what they can do to help their children with language arts, and the fact of the matter is, most of my students who are remedial do not read for pleasure, nor are they read to. So many concepts are intuitive, self-evident to a degree, if you love to read and value a well-written book. So I say, "Read to your child, no matter his or her age. Read something s/he couldn't read on his or her own." They don't have time. "Check out audiobooks and listen to them in the car, or let your child listen to them at bedtime." And it's perfectly clear in their eyes that they are not willing to go to the library. They just won't do it. I'm talking bright, educated, successful people. Not everything is a service, but I think there are people who look at education that way. There's a wall there. It never occurs to some (not all) parents how important modeling and support can be...much more important than knowing everything.

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Totally off on a tangent, but what programs do you know to teach a dyslexic child to read that cost less than the $500 one?

 

Recipe for reading, $25; I would recommend it to homeschooling moms or afterschoolers or super motivated regular moms.

 

People who do not have experience teaching might find it a bit of a steep learning curve, I would either recommend they watch all my phonics lessons and then try it or save up their money and do Barton.

 

(And, the occasional dad, but most of the time, it is mom doing the schooling.)

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I've had a similar experience, in that parents pay out the yang for the tutoring my employer provides...some people take out educational loans. They ask me what they can do to help their children with language arts, and the fact of the matter is, most of my students who are remedial do not read for pleasure, nor are they read to. So many concepts are intuitive, self-evident to a degree, if you love to read and value a well-written book. So I say, "Read to your child, no matter his or her age. Read something s/he couldn't read on his or her own." They don't have time. "Check out audiobooks and listen to them in the car, or let your child listen to them at bedtime." And it's perfectly clear in their eyes that they are not willing to go to the library. They just won't do it. I'm talking bright, educated, successful people. Not everything is a service, but I think there are people who look at education that way. There's a wall there. It never occurs to some (not all) parents how important modeling and support can be...much more important than knowing everything.

 

And that is terrible! Some things are so simple to implement. Maybe parents don't think those things will help fast enough, so they'd rather pay for tutoring? I don't know. None of those things will help a dyslexic child to read, of course, but they are still good things to do. Tutoring your own dyslexic child can be very, very frustrating. Honestly, if I had the money, I would pay someone with O-G training and experience to tutor mine. I would *not* pay one of those chain places for tutoring though!

 

Another thing that Susan Barton points out - many times a dyslexic child has a dyslexic parent who just doesn't realize it (even bright, educated, successful people.) They don't read with/to their dc because they don't like to read - especially out loud. Or they struggle through homework with the child already and the thought of adding another 45+ minutes of tutoring in addition to the homework (due to tiredness or behavior struggles or whatever.)

 

Many, many people do have that idea that only professionals should do certain things. They don't know enough about phonics, for example, to teach their child, so they don't. They don't realize there are programs they can use to teach themselves first and then they can teach their children.

 

Getting back to the "Waiting for Superman" topic, though. It isn't that easy for many, many people. You can't just give the parent Singapore Math or OPGTR and tell them to do it themselves. The charter schools in question aren't just offering a good education - they work to change the entire lives of the students. In many cases, the sub-par education they are hoping to save their dc from is the same sub-par education they received.

 

Homeschooling parents are a rare breed.;) We see things differently than the general population.

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I was struck by that too. The family in the affluent neighborhood got into the school they wanted but they certainly could have homeschooled, but it never came up. There were just no other options presented; these kids were hopeless.

 

Another thing I didn't understand is this. If there is such a huge demand for these high performing charters, why aren't they expanding like crazy? I understand it is a huge challenge to create a charter but if Mr. Canada and the KIPP guys don't have the connections to make it happen, no one does. Kipp schools are opening in various states, why not several in NY?

 

I understand that charters taking over neighborhood schools sends people into an uproar, but what if they took the kids from that neighborhood - literally take over the school and the students already in it? If there were enough for each child who wanted a spot to get one all of this heart break and the protests would end. Every child could get a good education.

 

The bureaucracy is maddening.

 

There are 2 KIPP charters in NC. Until this week, NC had capped the number of charter schools at 100 and limited schools to no more than 10% growth per year (unless they applied for a waiver.) What are NY's rules regarding charters?

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Another thing I didn't understand is this. If there is such a huge demand for these high performing charters, why aren't they expanding like crazy? I understand it is a huge challenge to create a charter but if Mr. Canada and the KIPP guys don't have the connections to make it happen, no one does. Kipp schools are opening in various states, why not several in NY?

 

I understand that charters taking over neighborhood schools sends people into an uproar, but what if they took the kids from that neighborhood - literally take over the school and the students already in it? If there were enough for each child who wanted a spot to get one all of this heart break and the protests would end. Every child could get a good education.

 

The bureaucracy is maddening.

 

I don't know why either. Here we have a plethora of charter schools with new ones being built. I love love LOVE all the options--many charter schools, virtual schools available through different districts, relaxed HSing rules, or PS (and I think you can go to any in the state--you aren't stuck in your home district). It's FABULOUS and I honestly don't know why things are so different in other states (I assume it's related to funding & politics per usual).

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Recipe for reading, $25; I would recommend it to homeschooling moms or afterschoolers or super motivated regular moms.

 

People who do not have experience teaching might find it a bit of a steep learning curve, I would either recommend they watch all my phonics lessons and then try it or save up their money and do Barton.

 

(And, the occasional dad, but most of the time, it is mom doing the schooling.)

 

I've seen it and I know phonics (inside and ouside, upside-down and backwards), but I wouldn't consider it sufficient for a moderately to severely dyslexic child. My 6th grader can read on grade-level (since we did SWR and REWARDS), but not easily enough to process textbooks and other more technical information. We're moving onto Barton because his needs are greater, so hopefully it will help. Despite all of the above work and programs, he still couldn't pass the Barton Level 2 post-test.:tongue_smilie:

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I don't know why either. Here we have a plethora of charter schools with new ones being built. I love love LOVE all the options--many charter schools, virtual schools available through different districts, relaxed HSing rules, or PS (and I think you can go to any in the state--you aren't stuck in your home district). It's FABULOUS and I honestly don't know why things are so different in other states (I assume it's related to funding & politics per usual).

 

It is. I am glad it is changing in NC. Here in FL, the charters are different - under the direction of the local school district? Why bother with charter schools then?

 

The good charters in NC have waiting lists a mile long. My ds has been at one of the best since he was in 5th grade - he graduates this year. Duke University has a higher acceptance rate than his school!:lol:

 

I have 2 of mine in the lottery for one school and most likely will put the middle 4 in the lottery for another near where we are moving. We'll most likely homeschool, but I want to keep our options open.

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It is. I am glad it is changing in NC. Here in FL, the charters are different - under the direction of the local school district? Why bother with charter schools then?

 

The good charters in NC have waiting lists a mile long. My ds has been at one of the best since he was in 5th grade - he graduates this year. Duke University has a higher acceptance rate than his school!:lol:

 

I have 2 of mine in the lottery for one school and most likely will put the middle 4 in the lottery for another near where we are moving. We'll most likely homeschool, but I want to keep our options open.

 

Good luck with the lottery, and yay for your ds!!

 

We should find out if dd got into round 1 of the lottery at either of two charter schools next week.

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Do you think that some of the charter schools do well because they require a concerned and involved parental figure just to get in on the lottery and those children are more likely to succeed in the first place? Those who don't care or aren't paying attention won't bother to enter the lottery? It also reminds me of children in other countries who will walk for miles in order to attend school because education is valued and hard to come by.

 

It also seemed to focus mostly on the lower income districts. What about the inequalities between the middle class children who are attending schools rated as a 5 when just a few miles away in a more affluent area, the schools are rated as a 10. Is it fair that those with more money are receiving a better public school education? I was also dumbfounded about the district that killed the plan to pay teachers 6 figure salaries if they agreed to forgo tenure. There must be more to the story there, because I just couldn't understand.

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Yes, I assume it is some bureaucratic nonsense like this but the movie didn't address that. They could have. Pointing out a problem is only half the battle. You need to suggest a solution and tell people how to get there.

 

This is a start, I think - getting the issue out there in the general population. Change only comes when people realize there is a problem. I'll watch the movie and see if it is much different than the book, but the target population of the KIPP schools and other schools like it don't have political power to make it happen. The book has a whole section on "What You Can Do" - it covers ways to volunteer, websites of nonprofits that work on these types of issues, etc. It's going to take the intervention of those who *do* have political power to make changes.

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I've seen it and I know phonics (inside and ouside, upside-down and backwards), but I wouldn't consider it sufficient for a moderately to severely dyslexic child. My 6th grader can read on grade-level (since we did SWR and REWARDS), but not easily enough to process textbooks and other more technical information. We're moving onto Barton because his needs are greater, so hopefully it will help. Despite all of the above work and programs, he still couldn't pass the Barton Level 2 post-test.:tongue_smilie:

 

I also wanted to say that you were different from the mom that I mentioned in the fact that you have researched, and studied, and tried various programs to help your child instead of just sitting back and waiting for someone else to do it. Barton may end up being the only program that would work for her child as well, but how would she know if she did not put forth the effort?

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Do you think that some of the charter schools do well because they require a concerned and involved parental figure just to get in on the lottery and those children are more likely to succeed in the first place? Those who don't care or aren't paying attention won't bother to enter the lottery? It also reminds me of children in other countries who will walk for miles in order to attend school because education is valued and hard to come by.

 

At least here, the parents are expected to volunteer at least 40 hours a school year for every child they have attending, and most charter schools do not have bus systems. Parents definitely have to be more involved to send their children to a charter school. Many parents don't even know the charter schools exist, even here.

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The district didn't kill it. The union was too scared to even allow a vote on it. The teachers should have protested and kicked out their union reps. Can you imagine paying dues to an organization that is suppose to advocate for your interests but won't even allow a vote on something like that??!!

 

Where was the outrage from the teachers?

 

Yes, I could use some work on my narrating. :D I wondered that about the teachers as well. What were the teacher's views on this? If I were one of the teachers in that district, I would have been doing the happy dance at the prospect of being able to make 6 figures as a teacher. This is why I thought there must be more involved than I picked up on.

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Do you think that some of the charter schools do well because they require a concerned and involved parental figure just to get in on the lottery and those children are more likely to succeed in the first place? Those who don't care or aren't paying attention won't bother to enter the lottery? It also reminds me of children in other countries who will walk for miles in order to attend school because education is valued and hard to come by.

 

It also seemed to focus mostly on the lower income districts. What about the inequalities between the middle class children who are attending schools rated as a 5 when just a few miles away in a more affluent area, the schools are rated as a 10. Is it fair that those with more money are receiving a better public school education? I was also dumbfounded about the district that killed the plan to pay teachers 6 figure salaries if they agreed to forgo tenure. There must be more to the story there, because I just couldn't understand.

 

I think that does have a big part of it - it does take effort and work outside of the norm to try to get into a charter school. However, the KIPP schools and other schools have kids coming in at the 5th grade level not anywhere near grade level, so they have to be doing something different as well. The parents are the same parents of the children who were not achieving in K-4, KWIM?

 

Affluent areas versus middle class areas are a little tricky - I would check the rates of Free/Reduced lunch and ELL to get a clear picture of the schools. It may be that the middle class school has more kids who aren't really "middle class" (which is subjective anyway.) Also look at the education levels of the parents. Does one school pay more than the other (assuming different districts)?

Edited by Renee in FL
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I also wanted to say that you were different from the mom that I mentioned in the fact that you have researched, and studied, and tried various programs to help your child instead of just sitting back and waiting for someone else to do it. Barton may end up being the only program that would work for her child as well, but how would she know if she did not put forth the effort?

 

That is true. For me, it's a personality thing.:D I research and analyze things to death - it's what I thrive on. I put them in school this year because I was burnt out and we were struggling, but it didn't make me sit back and wait for them to do things. It did make me realize that if I was going to have to do all this work and taking them to therapy, etc. then I might as well hs!:lol:

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I've seen it and I know phonics (inside and ouside, upside-down and backwards), but I wouldn't consider it sufficient for a moderately to severely dyslexic child. My 6th grader can read on grade-level (since we did SWR and REWARDS), but not easily enough to process textbooks and other more technical information. We're moving onto Barton because his needs are greater, so hopefully it will help. Despite all of the above work and programs, he still couldn't pass the Barton Level 2 post-test.:tongue_smilie:

 

:grouphug:

 

I hope it works!! I have "real" friends who like it and know there are also a lot of people here who love Barton and can't say enough about it. I have seen one level and watched their movie and it does look good, I just hate seeing people spend that kind of money if the $25 option will work.

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I would LOVE love LOVE for someone to do a good documentary about home schooling. Maybe it would be a good project for a budding film student.

 

This was exactly what I was thinking after I watched the movie. Especially one about academically inclined homeschoolers (as opposed to unschoolers, who seem to be on every show I see about homeschooling) or at least gave a balance. Now who is going to start this project?

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I also wanted to say that you were different from the mom that I mentioned in the fact that you have researched, and studied, and tried various programs to help your child instead of just sitting back and waiting for someone else to do it. Barton may end up being the only program that would work for her child as well, but how would she know if she did not put forth the effort?

 

:iagree:

 

And, the effort is even more admirable with that many children. My 2 with no learning disabilities make me tired!!

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Another thing I didn't understand is this. If there is such a huge demand for these high performing charters, why aren't they expanding like crazy? I understand it is a huge challenge to create a charter but if Mr. Canada and the KIPP guys don't have the connections to make it happen, no one does. Kipp schools are opening in various states, why not several in NY?

 

I understand that charters taking over neighborhood schools sends people into an uproar, but what if they took the kids from that neighborhood - literally take over the school and the students already in it? If there were enough for each child who wanted a spot to get one all of this heart break and the protests would end. Every child could get a good education.

 

The bureaucracy is maddening.

 

I'm sorry, I have to speak up here. Superman was a very slanted documentary (although I'm glad it was made)....and it's dangerous to just see one documentary and then make decisions on that.

 

You see, there's one *little* (that was sarcastic) fact that "Superman" didn't mention - only 17% of charter schools outperform public schools. A full 83% perform the same or worse than the public schools.

 

I quote here:

 

"According to a landmark study by the generally pro-charter Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University, only 17% of charter schools outperform regular public schools in math gains, while 37% do worse and 46% do about the same." You can read the full report at the link.

 

And if you read the report, you'll see a pretty complex picture. Some state's charter schools do better (on average), some do worse, some student populations tend to do better, but lump all the charter schools together and they lag public schools slightly.

 

Another survey found that turnover at KIPP schools was over 60% over a 4-year-period...and that most of the students who left were the low-performing ones...so of course their numbers look great - they get the parental-involvement, motivated-student-body to teach.

 

I'm not against charter schools at all. Public schools need the competition. But I do get tired of the "oh-let-s-just-do-this-and-everything-will-be-fixed" mentality of politicians and documentary-makers. There are no easy answers, however much we may want to believe it.

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I'm sorry, I have to speak up here. Superman was a very slanted documentary (although I'm glad it was made)....and it's dangerous to just see one documentary and then make decisions on that.

 

You see, there's one *little* (that was sarcastic) fact that "Superman" didn't mention - only 17% of charter schools outperform public schools. A full 83% perform the same or worse than the public schools.

 

I quote here:

 

"According to alandmark study by the generally pro-charter Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University, only 17% of charter schools outperform regular public schools in math gains, while 37% do worse and 46% do about the same." You can read the full report at the link.

 

And if you read the report, you'll see a pretty complex picture. Some state's charter schools do better (on average), some do worse, some student populations tend to do better, but lump all the charter schools together and they lag public schools slightly.

 

Another survey found that turnover at KIPP schools was over 60% over a 4-year-period...and that most of the students who left were the low-performing ones...so of course their numbers look great - they get the parental-involvement, motivated-student-body to teach.

 

I'm not against charter schools at all. Public schools need the competition. But I do get tired of the "oh-let-s-just-do-this-and-everything-will-be-fixed" mentality of politicians and documentary-makers. There are no easy answers, however much we may want to believe it.

 

I thought I remember it saying something about only 1 out of 5 charter schools do better than public schools (or something to that effect)?

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I thought I remember it saying something about only 1 out of 5 charter schools do better than public schools (or something to that effect)?

 

As averages, that may be true, but the comparison needs to be made of the charter school in question and the regular ps the students *would* have gone to. I agree about the turnover and that is well-known - if you aren't putting in the effort, can't put in the effort, or other things go wrong, you won't be able to stay. What I want to know is how much further ahead are the students who do stay then those who don't get in? That would tell us how much difference a school really makes. What is the graduation rate, college acceptance rate, etc. of the top students at the local high school compared to the charter school?

 

Charter schools are not all created equal, no doubt. The study is flawed, however, because it doesn't compare apples to apples. You have to break down the comparison by race, socioeconomics, and disability. Just comparing charter averages to state averages won't help. The comparison has to be within the same community and/or within the same subgroups. In addition, charters (in my experience) get better the longer they are around.

 

I looked at the NC Report Card for Gaston Prep (a KIPP school) and the results were astonishing (comparing to state averages.) Looking at the results compared to the local high school? Even more astonishing. The economically disadvantaged student percentage was the same at both schools, but the level of achievement at Gaston Prep was *double* that of the local high school. Some of that is going to be attributed to only the students who perform well enough to stay, but at the same time the school is still mainly minority and poor - two things that correlate with lower achievement.

 

I wish they would conduct more analysis so that accurate conclusions can be made. Not all charters are of the KIPP variety. One charter in Chapel Hill, NC (which is the best school district in the state) is a *vocational school*! Why? Because the high schools are geared towards high achieving, academically-inclined students. Those who don't fit that mold don't have any other options. Other charters are arts-based, or focus on things other than super-strong academics (social justice, montessori, etc.)

Edited by Renee in FL
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Yes, the movie made it seem as if their ONLY hope was for their number to be called.

 

They did show one mom sitting around the table after-schooling and I thought that was great. ......... Honestly, I think most of it is either a lack of energy or a lack of knowledge about what's out there.

 

I met a mom from my son's soccer team who complained constantly about the ps failing her daughter. She said her daughter was in 4th grade and could not read because she's dyslexic and the school was not helping.

.........

Week after week, she came to soccer and complained and was SO UPSET about the fact that her daughter could not read, yet she would do nothing productive to help. She would spend hours writing letters and emails to the school, talking to lawyers, etc. I just couldn't understand it. So many parents believe that they are just not capable of solving some of these issues themselves.

 

 

So agree with you. In our last neighborhood, a number of the parents in our "very good" elementary were struggling with several issues, including the new math program. They did lots of afterschooling.

 

But many folks rail against "the system" rather than taking things into their own hands, whether that's afterschooling or tutors or homeschooling.

 

I just told dh tonight about the stats for WI that a surprisingly large % of 7-8th graders there are below a reasonable level for reading. His response was that at some point it's up to the parents to care and help get their kids on track. That's what we did with ds when we noticed he was struggling in K. Regardless of whether you trust your ps or are busy or don't feel competent, at some point "you" have to recognize that it's your child and you have to step in.

 

Kudos to you, OP, for being your kids' Superman! (Supermom!) :001_smile:

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As averages, that may be true, but the comparison needs to be made of the charter school in question and the regular ps the students *would* have gone to. I agree about the turnover and that is well-known - if you aren't putting in the effort, can't put in the effort, or other things go wrong, you won't be able to stay. What I want to know is how much further ahead are the students who do stay then those who don't get in? That would tell us how much difference a school really makes. What is the graduation rate, college acceptance rate, etc. of the top students at the local high school compared to the charter school?

 

Charter schools are not all created equal, no doubt. The study is flawed, however, because it doesn't compare apples to apples. You have to break down the comparison by race, socioeconomics, and disability. Just comparing charter averages to state averages won't help. The comparison has to be within the same community and/or within the same subgroups. In addition, charters (in my experience) get better the longer they are around.

 

I looked at the NC Report Card for Gaston Prep (a KIPP school) and the results were astonishing (comparing to state averages.) Looking at the results compared to the local high school? Even more astonishing. The economically disadvantaged student percentage was the same at both schools, but the level of achievement at Gaston Prep was *double* that of the local high school. Some of that is going to be attributed to only the students who perform well enough to stay, but at the same time the school is still mainly minority and poor - two things that correlate with lower achievement.

 

I wish they would conduct more analysis so that accurate conclusions can be made. Not all charters are of the KIPP variety. One charter in Chapel Hill, NC (which is the best school district in the state) is a *vocational school*! Why? Because the high schools are geared towards high achieving, academically-inclined students. Those who don't fit that mold don't have any other options. Other charters are arts-based, or focus on things other than super-strong academics (social justice, montessori, etc.)

 

Sadly, DC was set to be a great experiment for charters and other options for students with the local teachers for the most part on-board with the variety of new efforts. After decades of very poor school options for most of the city's wards, parents were excited, it looked like things were turning around. And then politics reared its ugly head and the kids are "sol" as the saying goes. Same ol', same ol'. In this apples to apples comparison, most of the charter and alternative options would've been ahead of what's now available. And several of the dismal failures in charters had given officials some better guidelines to watch for. The children don't wait around for things to get fixed, they grow up. :sad: :(

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Actually the movie did cite statistics about poorly performing charters, and noted that most charters scores are equal or lower than the ps. This is why I was specifically talking about high performing charters.

 

Charters give parents and students choices. Kids should be able to choose between vocational schools, art schools, science oriented schools and college prep schools. As this becomes normal I think it will help to encourage more and more parental involvement. Choice is empowering to people and gives them hope.

 

I just watched the movie (happened to see it at the RedBox) and it was very different than the book. The movie focused more on the stories, while the book focused on the statistics and solutions.

 

I'll admit that I cried at the end of the movie when they didn't get in. I can't imagine feeling that my child's only hope was dashed with the last number called.

 

What about the parents of the kids who didn't get in. Can't someone help *them*? Several in this thread have posted that homeschooling should have been an option for at least one of the students. What about other options? It seems that there ought to be a non-profit to help parents figure out other options. So the charter school is out because your child wasn't chosen. What could be done? Most parents probably just didn't know what other options are out there - they had heard of the charter, so they applied. There are private schools, boarding schools, magnet schools, etc.

 

The one little girl's mother didn't speak English well enough to help her with homework. Her father wasn't educated enough. I bet there is someone out there, in her area, that would be able to mentor her as she heads toward a math and science field. But a connection has to be made (and maybe will be made now with her, but there are plenty of others who didn't have a movie made about them.)

 

I was left with the feeling that there was *plenty* that could be done about these problems, but it didn't involve money. It involves time from those who have the knowledge to help. It involves advocacy from those who can. I just can't accept the idea that those who didn't "win the lottery" are stuck with the failing school they are assigned to.

 

I think that it isn't just that some schools are better than others. I think that some schools are "harmful" to their students and aren't "neutral" in the sense that a high achieving student just won't achieve as highly. How many high achieving students in those failing schools simply "give up"?

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Guest Dulcimeramy
I just watched the movie (happened to see it at the RedBox) and it was very different than the book. The movie focused more on the stories, while the book focused on the statistics and solutions.

 

I'll admit that I cried at the end of the movie when they didn't get in. I can't imagine feeling that my child's only hope was dashed with the last number called.

 

What about the parents of the kids who didn't get in. Can't someone help *them*? Several in this thread have posted that homeschooling should have been an option for at least one of the students. What about other options? It seems that there ought to be a non-profit to help parents figure out other options. So the charter school is out because your child wasn't chosen. What could be done? Most parents probably just didn't know what other options are out there - they had heard of the charter, so they applied. There are private schools, boarding schools, magnet schools, etc.

 

The one little girl's mother didn't speak English well enough to help her with homework. Her father wasn't educated enough. I bet there is someone out there, in her area, that would be able to mentor her as she heads toward a math and science field. But a connection has to be made (and maybe will be made now with her, but there are plenty of others who didn't have a movie made about them.)

 

I was left with the feeling that there was *plenty* that could be done about these problems, but it didn't involve money. It involves time from those who have the knowledge to help. It involves advocacy from those who can. I just can't accept the idea that those who didn't "win the lottery" are stuck with the failing school they are assigned to.

 

I think that it isn't just that some schools are better than others. I think that some schools are "harmful" to their students and aren't "neutral" in the sense that a high achieving student just won't achieve as highly. How many high achieving students in those failing schools simply "give up"?

 

These are similar to my own thoughts as I finished watching the movie. I absolutely cried, too. And the boy who 'won' the slot at the urban boarding school...his Grandma was brave enough to choose to believe it was a victory, and she did her crying off-camera, but I cried my eyes out for him and for her.

 

I thought Francisco's Mama would have be an awesome homeschool mom if she didn't also have to work to provide food, clothing and shelter for her boys. She was right about what she needed: a good school where her positive afterschooling support would be effective.

 

The little girl who wasn't even allowed to go to the graduation ceremony. Oh, my word. That was cold. If I had been the director of that school I would have worked something out for her to finish the year. That scene was right out of A Little Princess. Miss Minchin comes in and says, "Your mother is poor now. Take off that school uniform and go away."

 

American children should not be trapped into a poor future, and the answer shouldn't have to be (always and only) money.

 

I want to be part of the solution when my children are grown. I want to open a classical/Charlotte Mason school and search for students who only have the obstacle of poverty. My school will be for gifted children of low-income families who live in poor school districts, but only open to children who have full parental support.

 

I can't do a thing about kids with learning disabilities or uncaring parents. I have no expertise there, and no solutions.

 

I can understand poor-but-loved-and-smart, so I will direct my energies toward those children. I know they are out there, and I believe I know how to find them and offer help.

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These are similar to my own thoughts as I finished watching the movie. I absolutely cried, too. And the boy who 'won' the slot at the urban boarding school...his Grandma was brave enough to choose to believe it was a victory, and she did her crying off-camera, but I cried my eyes out for him and for her.

 

I thought Francisco's Mama would have be an awesome homeschool mom if she didn't also have to work to provide food, clothing and shelter for her boys. She was right about what she needed: a good school where her positive afterschooling support would be effective.

 

The little girl who wasn't even allowed to go to the graduation ceremony. Oh, my word. That was cold. If I had been the director of that school I would have worked something out for her to finish the year. That scene was right out of A Little Princess. Miss Minchin comes in and says, "Your mother is poor now. Take off that school uniform and go away."

 

American children should not be trapped into a poor future, and the answer shouldn't have to be (always and only) money.

 

I want to be part of the solution when my children are grown. I want to open a classical/Charlotte Mason school and search for students who only have the obstacle of poverty. My school will be for gifted children of low-income families who live in poor school districts, but only open to children who have full parental support.

 

I can't do a thing about kids with learning disabilities or uncaring parents. I have no expertise there, and no solutions.

 

I can understand poor-but-loved-and-smart, so I will direct my energies toward those children. I know they are out there, and I believe I know how to find them and offer help.

 

And I could help poor and LD kids because, well, I have a couple of those.;) As for parental support - that is key. It also means that many kids are not going to get anything at all because of who they were born to. That is why I like what Mr. Canada is doing - I'd like to see the differences 20 years from now when today's young children have children. Can an entire neighborhood be changed by education?

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Do you think that some of the charter schools do well because they require a concerned and involved parental figure just to get in on the lottery and those children are more likely to succeed in the first place? Those who don't care or aren't paying attention won't bother to enter the lottery? It also reminds me of children in other countries who will walk for miles in order to attend school because education is valued and hard to come by.

 

 

No. Or mostly no. There I said it. :001_smile:

 

My dd is at a public charter this year. Attendance is by lottery only. There are NO admission requirements though they cannot do a lot of accommodation. There are all minorities and social classes represented at the school.

 

For background...one comparison between the charter and the school she would attend looks like this:

SAT scores at her school for 2010, w/94% of students taking it = 1636 (8th in the state, I think)

at the other hs, w/58% testing = 1420

 

I thought it would be this great supportive atmosphere where the parents really wanted the kids to get this great education and would do what it took to get it.

 

And a few (a very few) do.

 

Most don't give a rat's hiney. They SAY they do but they don't actually DO anything. The students are worse. This has been a disappointment to me, I was kinda psyched to be all into the whole school thing, lol. The upper class students and parents are by far the worst offenders. :glare:

 

What makes the difference?

1. the curriculum - Core Knowledge for the youngers and neo - classical for the high school. You take what they tell you to - electives are sparse. Very. No carp classes exist at all. All classes are Honors or AP.

You graduate with 4 History, Science, Math, and English credits, 2 Latin creds, 2 Logic creds, and 1 Rhetoric w/senior thesis cred. Or you do not graduate at all. They also do world travel.

 

2. The teachers - if they don't teach they get fired. End of discussion. Really. I have seen a lot pf pride from the teachers - they really want to facilitate learning. They haven't got a lot of choice in the matter, lol.

 

3. The Headmaster - a former homeschooler. He will move heaven and earth to git-r-done. lol

 

4. The students - they do the work OR they go to tutoring every.single.afternoon until they learn the material. This one really, really stings. lol Also if you cheat or harass someone, etc. then you are gone...

 

5. NO teaching to the test.

 

In this area, it's not the parents or the students, really. It's just that learning is almost unavoidable when you set up the right conditions. :001_huh:

 

I just more of the people here knew what they have! They looove it when the stats come out and look so good, but they won't make their kids behave! They care enough to choose the best school, but then they do the bare minimum. It's just sad.

 

Georgia

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