Saturday, November 22, 2014

NYC school chief lies to smear charter schools. It's the ideologues way

Fariña fibs

If you can’t beat ’em — make up excuses. And who cares if they’re true?
That seems to be Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s preferred method for dealing with charter schools that put the traditional schools she oversees to shame.
“There shouldn’t be a whole movement [of students] out of charters the month before the test,” Fariña said Thursday, implying charters push out weaker kids to inflate their average test scores. 
She also warned against charters admitting only high-scoring students, whom they recruit by sending them “postcards.”
One problem: There’s no evidence for either claim. None. In fact, charters retain students, even lower-performing special-ed ones, at higher rates than traditionals. 
And it would be hard (if not impossible) for charters to know which kids to recruit, since individual scores are not public.
Spokeswoman Devora Kaye told The Post Fariña’s comments didn’t “refer to the majority of charter schools.” She insisted her boss “is committed to uplifting all our children.” 
But Fariña made her views clear back when she opposed giving charters space: “We need space for our own kids,” she said. Charter kids, that is, come second, even if they’re no less public-school students than kids at traditional schools.
On top of this, the mayor — Fariña’s boss — is well-known for his anti-charter hostility and on Friday backed up his chancellor.
Of course, Fariña’s falsehoods about charters are a backhanded admission that the schools she runs are being outperformed. 
But how much better our schoolchildren would be with a chancellor who spent her time copying what works instead of making excuses for what doesn’t.

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