You’re excellent listeners. And the reason we came to visit, A, we wanted to get out of the White House; B, we wanted to see you guys; but C, the other thing we wanted to tell everybody is that this kind of innovative school, the outstanding work that’s being done here by the entire staff, and the parents who are so active and involved, is an example of how all our schools should be.POTUS, on a visit to a "public" school yesterday in D.C.
The President read to 2nd graders yesterday. Last time our President read to second-graders, I spent a very long day on Liberty Island waiting for the injured children that never came, so excuse me for being a little touchy here.
The school that Mr. Obama uses as "an example of how all our schools should be" is the Capital City Public Charter School (CCPCS) in D.C.
Political folks will point out that public charter schools are open to everyone, with students picked by lottery independent of ability. And that's true.
Parents of children at the CCPCS must volunteer 20 hours per year at the school. That takes care of a few single parent families.Political folks will point out that the CCPCS has demonstrated that children can succeed in their environment. And that's true.
There are only 25 sixth graders, 25 seventh graders, and 25 eighth graders. The student-teacher ratio is 12: 1, which is wonderful. It is also very expensive.How do they do it?
Gates Foundation.Walton Foundation.Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation.CartierCapital OneCity First BankComcast CableDonatelli & KleinGraham FundHattie M. Strong FoundationMarpat FoundationNational GeographicNational Home Library FoundationPayless ShoeSource FoundationThe Sallie Mae FundRadio OneSusan W. Agger Family Fund of The Community Foundation for the National Capital RegionTarget StoresThe Washington Post Educational Foundation
To be fair, my high school gets money from the local Bloomfield Educational Foundation, and I think we got some bucks from Adidas. At least I hope so, since we have an Adidas banner hanging in the foyer.
We turned down Channel One a few years ago because we valued our children enough not to force them to watch commercials on school time. Go us.
Political folks will assure you the lottery system for charter school admission is random--and it is. It randomly selects from a large pool of applicants. The pool of applicants, however, is not random.
Over 60% of the District of Columbia Public Schools students qualified for free or reduced lunch in 2002-2002. (I'll update it if I ever find time to ply the quantitative waters of that district.) 43% qualify for the same at CCPCS.
Mr. President, it's apples and oranges. Bancroft Elementary School is a skip and a throw from the CCPCS. Over 80% of Bancroft's students qualify for reduced lunch prices. They're working hard there to provide a decent education for an impoverished group of kids who mostly speak Spanish.
I want to know how Bancroft does it.
I want to know if anyone at the national level has a clue about teaching kids.
I want to know how Mr. Obama is going to get my class sizes down to 12 students.
Mostly I want powerful people at high levels of government to stop playing us in the trenches.
The CCPCS sounds like a wonderful place to send your children. Money can buy a decent education. Involved parents have a tremendous influence over their children's success.
Mr. President, we already know that. What about the rest of us? Why not pay a visit to a truly public school in your neighborhood. Then we can talk.
(Fair disclosure: I am still steaming over the games Mr. Arne Duncan played with his test result numbers last summer when he came to Washington for a chat. He is either aware of his gamesmanship and plays us for fools, or he believes his own nonsense, which scares me even more.)