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Rob H.

Great post here that shouldn't be seen as making excuses. Rather, we need to be able to talk these issues in all of their complexity. We know that community schools can work, partnerships with universities and community orgs can work. Market principles won't.

Rob Helfenbein

“Most research studies agree that charter schools are, on average, no more successful than regular public schools; that evaluating teachers on the basis of their students’ test scores is fraught with inaccuracy and promotes narrowing of the curriculum to only the subjects tested, encouraging some districts to drop the arts or other nontested subjects; and that the strategy of closing schools disrupts communities without necessarily producing better schools.” ~Ravitch

Susan Adams

It also stands to reason (although I am unaware of any research yet to back this up) that the fast approaching chaos of closing and reopening schools and the constantly changing constellation of charter school choices will be confusing for families-the very families reformers claim to care about-and communities. There has long been research suggesting that one of the most difficult and stressful changes humans must manage is changing jobs and schools. Add to this the stress of the uncertainty of the stability of all this school "choice". In light of charters closing with increasing frequency (e.g. Stongegate), sadly it is a sensible question in Indianapolis to ask how long we can expect any given school to exist. Students in more stable communities do not have to wonder if their school will stay open long enough for them to graduate. Other communities outside of and surrounding IPS count on schools as institutional pillars for generations, not until funding runs out or until test scores don't pan out. This institutional stability is assumed elsewhere and sorely needed in IPS communities. It cannot be replaced by charter schools managed by businesses located elsewhere.

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