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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

BOE: Charter schools a topic again

One of the criticisms of charters is that they
expel problem students, whereas public schools can't.

At the public comment portion of Tuesday's Plainfield Board of Ed business meeting, resident Sam Cooper, who is an advocate for PAAAS, commented on the charter school situation.

In her reply, Acting Superintendent Dr. Caryn Cooper remarked that Queen City Academy, which is a K-8 charter school, was asking the state for permission to expand to a K-12 school.

Sam Cooper remarked that perhaps the District could find an attorney who has a record of success in opposing charters to help the city in this matter.

In reply, Acting Superintendent Cooper pointed to Elizabeth, where she said they had been successful in rebuffing charter -- particularly that district's development of magnet schools and by buying up vacant properties that would be suitable for use by charters.

It seems to me that her remark betrayed a lack of any clear strategy by the Plainfield district in this regard.

First of all, if PAAAS is not a "magnet school" -- no matter what you call it -- then what would be?

For some reason there is an almost palpable resentment of PAAAS and its principal Dr. Angela Bento. In fact tonight a visit by Colorado Springs educators and their reactions to the success of PAAAS and its best practices got a cameo mention by Dr. Cooper, who could not even bring herself to mention Dr. Bento by name, only referring to "the principal".

Secondly, it would be idle to think that the Plainfield district -- which faces a perpetual and growing deficit (this year's figure being bandied about is $11 million) -- would ever have the resources to buy up buildings to keep them out of the hands of charter applicants.

Tomorrow I will take up some themes that could be part of a strategy to put charters on the defensive.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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