I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NJ 101.5 Makes You Dumberer

I was just running around doing school-related work after school today (it's a cushy job, dontcha know), and forced myself to listen to the Jersey Guys discuss charter schools on 101.5.

Do people really believe that talk radio keeps them informed? How is it possible that one guy (the other guy pretty much does the weather and says "good point" while the the first guy does a bad Howard Stern imitation) could know so much about so many topics?

Wouldn't it be a good idea to have on a couple of folks who study education issues to talk about this? Or are talk radio hosts really as arrogant as they appear? Do they really think they know about charter schools because they read a few newspapers?

Because this guy couldn't have been more clueless. No, charters don't out-perform neighborhood schools - not when you account for student populations. And there are many charters that just fail outright. No, it doesn't cost the same amount to educate every child; that's why "skimming the cream" into charters makes it more expensive for neighborhood schools to educate their remaining students. No, that school on 60 Minutes doesn't outperform neighborhood schools - the report itself said so, and the principal himself admitted it. No, NJ schools are not failures; not by a very long shot.

And, no, The Cartel is not a serious documentary; it is a pathetic joke.

At one point, a caller and the host went on for a bit about parents "having options" and "being good consumers."

I'd hasten to add that media consumers should follow that advice as well.


Anonymous said...

I believe this is Chris Chrities station of choice. Of course, these are clowns and they're not at all educating the public. I always say did Chris Christies get permission from these guys. LOL

Anonymous said...

I listened to this also and I was so furious I had to turn off the radio. Their callers are sheep, and anyone who dares try to talk sense or logic gets LITERALLY shouted down and insulted.

What they were saying made NO sense. Their argument was this: If a kid moves out of district, then their money goes with them, why are schools upset about this?

It takes half a second to figure it out: let's pretend there are ten kids, and the cost to educate them is 25,000 each. (I'm just making up numbers to make math easier). That's 250,000 dollars. Say two go to charter schools and take 50,000 out. Now, those eight kids need to be educated on the same 200,000 as they were before for 250,000. The same amount of teachers, buses, supplies, heat and air conditioners need to be used. Clubs and sports still need to be paid for. But now, there's 50,000 less for ALL the same educational experiences.

I was tempted to call in and ask them specifically how one kid's "allotted" money is spent SPECIFICALLY on that kid (as they seem to think), but I would have just gotten shouted down, so what's the point?

Anonymous said...

Casey Bartholomew is an ignorant, uniformed man. He spews his ignorance on a daily basis because he knows NOTHING about education. Ray is nothing but his sidekick who never disagrees with Casey's lies. They are both in Christie's pocket.

steve said...

I just could not listen to 101.5 anymore...they are so one sided... and of course I have the option to not listen...but I also realize that they are there to create controversy and slant comments to instigate. Even knowing this, I can't stand to listen. Any time these guys want to really know how a classroom is really run, have them visit my classroom; or better yet, have them try to teach at my school for a month, that would shut them up!

Anonymous said...

A new charter school is opening in my area. It offers something that I look for (smaller classes). I was very enticed... Then I read their website. It was clear in the description regarding transportation:
"In-district Students: Students from the sending districts will be transported to the school. Students living within two miles of the school may or may not receive transportation to the school, at the discretion of the sending district. The sending districts' policy in this regard must be the same as their policy for busing students to regular district schools.

Out-of-district Students: Students from other NJ districts will be offered two options from their local school district. The first option is to accept a stipend in lieu of busing, which can be applied to the cost of transportation arranged by the student’s family. The other option is that the family can contribute the difference in cost between the stipend ($884 in 2009) and the cost of busing. An out-of-district student should receive a letter the first week of August which asks if the family wants to choose the stipend or instead pay the difference for busing. The cost of busing per student varies based on how many families opt in. If they choose busing, families may be asked to pay the non-refundable difference in advance, as the district has to enter into a contract to provide this transportation. "

Then I looked into how many students can attend "Each kindergarten class has 12 students, and each class in subsequent grades has 16 students."

After reading this it became very clear that if a sending district has 8 kids they are now paying for those 8 kids to be transported when those 8 kids could have been combined with several others on a current bus route. After this I decided not to proceed in looking at this option. I think Charter schools are going to kill our town school budgets... For very little benefit to our children.

Duke said...

Steve, I guarantee you - NOTHING could shut these guys up. It's what they do.

Duke said...

Last Anon - good point, hadn't thought much about transportation issues.

All Anons - thanks for leaving your thoughts - good stuff.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the Charter Schools are going to kill school budgets. I am a retired educator and of course my bias it for public education; however I also feel there is alot of waste at the administration level. This needs to be addressed. I am concerned that my tax dollars are going toward travel budgets, clothing allowances for already overpaid superintendants and not to the students. I am also concerned that Charter Schools are not being help to the same standards of public schools. The core curriculum standards and highly qualified teachers should follow my tax dollars.

Duke said...

Did you know, last Anon, that charters can skirt the superintendent's salary cap?


(Don't any of you commenters have names? ;-) )

Bob said...

Now you can tune into WFAN & hear former Jersey Guy knucklehead Craig Carton pretend he's a regular dude & talk about "man-ing up" when he wasn't man enough to apologize to Dick Codey's wife after insulting her on the air. When you're a big enough ass on the radio, you get a promotion.