Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Charters without champions

The Department's new charter school proposal confirms an insight from my favorite fictional President. Jed Barlet told an imaginary student audience that "Decisions are made by those who show up." 

The KDE revisions reflect careful consideration of feedback from those who have already shown up to lead.  Unsurprisingly, that feedback and the resulting legislative draft offer charter schools less flexibility than the earlier House Bill 109 amendments.

That's because, in this state, strong political voices in favor of charters are remarkably hard to find.

Kentucky does have a few seedling groups (mentioned here and here,  for example) that may someday become forceful charter advocates--but they haven't done it yet.   

If they've registered legislative agents, the Ethics Commission hasn't posted that information on-line.  

If they're creating membership rolls and accepting donations, they aren't doing it at websites I can find. 

If they're mobilizing to support the Senate amendments, the KDE draft, or any other charter legislation that could be considered this year, they're doing it very, very quietly.

Meanwhile, the Department is negotiating--as it should--with those who are available to negotiate.


  1. "The department are negotiating--as it should--with those who are available"


    There are tremendous resources available to legislators, including a trip I arranged and financed to tour a charter school in Indianapolis. EVERY legislator was invited and received a follow-up phone call. Too few accepted the invitation.

    There are numerous national resources available to the KDE and your committee. Have you reached out to them. I'd be happy to arrange the meetings.

    The reason there is little support in the legislators is teachers unions. The KDE, JCTA, etc., along with the Kentucky School Boards Association are putting tremendous pressure on KDE and legislators to kill Charter Schools even if it means walking away from $200 million dollars. These are the same groups constantly complaining about underfunding.

    30% of our students drop out. Over 50% of our graduates need remedial education to get into our own state universities, including a recent public school Valedictorian. This is nothing short of disgraceful.

    There is no effort by your committee or KDE to look any further than the teachers' union contracts for innovation.

    In my opinion both your committee and KDE have an obligation to be more proactive in your efforts to learn about education options like public charter schools.

    If you continue with your current mode of operation, you will continue condemn our commonwealth's children to poverty, obesity, and ignorance.

    With all due respect,
    Phil Moffett

  2. Could you perhaps put me in contact with some of the educators who would be interested in starting charter schools next year?


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