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Charter Schools

May 6, 2009|

Representative Euguene O'Flaherty talks about lifting the cap on charter schools...

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

We're -- do this at speaking of -- and so pleased and nothing but nonsense atop the bottom. Monday to Friday factored -- -- -- I'm excited that we're gonna talk about schools schools vocational education red white and better education Eugene O'Flaherty is a Democrat from Chelsea represents Chelsea and and a piece of child star maybe ala chose not. Was asked to address eight -- crowd of charter school parents. And proponents who while lobbying the legislature to lift the statutory -- charter schools are permissible here in Massachusetts but there's a limited number of them. And it becomes very controversial as people proposed the idea so -- clarity is with us to talk about charter schools welcome represented about clarity. Oh. Okay -- -- are you representative. Issa is -- yup absolutely so you well you among many others. Were asked to address this group of parents who frustrated. By the cap on charter schools many of them we -- we read at least. Represented about long waiting lines are waiting lists parents. -- -- hoping and praying to get this on a daughter to a child. What is the situation right now what is the captain and what's the justification other then. Teachers unions now want anymore. Well in 1995 our first child to school opened appeared Massachusetts currently we have probably a little over 20000 people students obviously that are in charter schools. But I think the more compelling number is that there are 21000. Children that are on waiting lists four charter schools throughout the state of Massachusetts. The reason why this is a topic is that currently the law on the statute requires. That any school district whether it's Boston or Springfield or whole Leo core some of the other larger urban communities or even smaller communities. Once the decide to have a charter school in the district if the spending. For that charter school or charter schools plural. Reaches 9% of the total district's spending. Then they cannot -- open up. Another charter school within that district he's he's okay even if they having enjoying good academic success that especially it would saying that this is to stop success with charter schools. Well I I wouldn't I said I wouldn't say it that way I would say the the opponents you'd have to ask them with their rationale is for it but the way that it was put in place the statute requires as I said once it reaches 9% they cannot open up anymore charter schools hence the reason for. The bill that I filed and also senator Hart filed. Which would require. That. That cap of 9% be raised to 20% buoyed -- is anyone bumped into the 9% cap that's a pretty big cat has Springfield. Boston Chelsea. Many other communities in Boston or already there have maxed out that's -- legally allowable charter schools that's correct and that's the reason why. The bill is. Is being advanced -- being supported and certainly -- we hope that it eventually get some attention passes. Who would allow those communities that -- reach that -- where you literally have parents banging on the -- is to get their kids into those schools. In I just want to point 02 sort of set the foundation for this discussion there was an incredible study that was done recently. Certainly -- supported what all of us have been advocating for for many years. But the Boston foundation did a study recently. In that studied I think made readily apparent that charter school students are in fact exceeding. The expectations. That were Leo for them. They are excelling in math and English in particular. And the MCAS scores are are are. Going through the roof. Some of them closing the so called achievement gap by the not among -- between -- between minority students and and and white students so Latino and black students are doing much better in China school settings for the most part. That's correct and that's part of the reason why I've labeled this as a civil rights issue of the 21 century it is absolutely incredible to me. Do you have of in terms of -- schools the ability. Two clearly and statistically now advance. Minority students in terms of their abilities of math and English in this scoring abilities and -- Through the -- school study you'd see that if they are put into that environment. Those rigid expectations. Are met and they -- actually exceeding let me just point the so -- -- we recently had a situation with the compared. Once you get to the sixth grade English out of school you can no you no longer entitled to go to the charter school in the seventh -- you have to go through lottery process. So in essence because of a lack of space. Well it's that's a way that the system operates and -- ordinary. Every seat in you don't get the seat automatically -- -- through a lottery system. But I just want to point the suffer for charter school students that weren't together in the sixth grade up until the sixth grade. And then once they reach the six grade. They went it will lottery so student -- gets the lottery he gets to continuing the charter school. Student -- does not get the lottery he has to go back into the into the traditional public schools. The student that was that won the lottery by eighth grade. Those in Boston those lottery winners were on average close to the Brookline public school's performance. In mathematics. That is an absolutely. Astonishing. Statistic in fact and the citizens didn't. Make it into the lottery were actually. Only. At the average -- of the Boston public school so we now have statistics. That support. In essence the rhetoric. That has been taking place for quite some time around this issue there's always been a deviation to talk about funding. To talk about traditional public schools losing resources. I think that we beyond. The argument as far as I'm concerned about the value of charter schools. And now the argument needs to turn to the discussion needs to turn to how can we make these. Part and parcel of our educational system. Let me just challenge -- -- those conclusions you come to -- because all we hear from the other side is that because. Charter schools work in a vacuum. They're not force necessarily to deal with that and -- diverse student body the public schools need to educate everybody. Charter schools get to take a subset -- populations well they sure. That that those stats are in a fair comparison what's your response to that. Well I think that what needs to be done is for those communities whether it's special education or students with disabilities and the list goes on. That it needs to be better communication within those districts with -- -- schools and -- needs to be. Realized by the parents that regardless of their child's predicament whether it's special education or disability. That they are entitled to go to that public charter school charter schools are public schools. You you charter schools do not exclude anybody well under it's a law license a lot of so so so you you cannot just say that we're gonna pick this person pick that person it is literally. Done in a very -- understood it Justin term. And understanding the numbers that those numbers that would have less meaning if there's a lower percentage of Bob. Multi -- -- by at -- you know kids dealing with bilingual issues or cultural issues -- in recent immigrants or special letter what have you. If those. I would concede that point however you don't throw Libby BO with about a dollar and material is recommended I just want to understand the number of short and this is an area China schools there's two areas that I think of charter schools. In energy policy we you can actually bring together both the left in the right. In developed I believe. It is in essence agreement. Between of the left in the right on the issues of charter schools in for that matter and energy policy. Represented a -- Gino Flaherty Democrat from Chelsea is our guest with -- about shot -- schools and the step to the legislative maneuver our attempt to lift the cap on charter schools with taking calls your calls at 6172666868. Let's go to Don as calling from bed they've done as you're on the air with representative Eugene -- clarity. Good morning about how it's good morning. I am kind of fortunate -- my remaining optimistic about artists for its third grade is spend -- for four years. And I tell everybody that he has private educational for -- there are any problem. He they're great -- and you have to realize that they have every lie like this testing on the sixth grade for questions -- inspiring. In the third grade so I of those fortunate and it's all apologies here. What we're trying to keep to -- artists because that is completely holding back the children. You could be getting blown that up. And as -- did you as a parent have any theories as to why there's a restriction on the number of these seats available white Weis is charter schools are held back. Apparently Massachusetts -- -- -- are going to see I'm a slump and I mean honestly it's one point and education is -- mean. Literally means. Actually donors to give credit where credit is due Massachusetts is actually -- a leading states on this notwithstanding this. Frustrating restriction that represent total clarity spoken about where we of one of the more ambitious State's heavily punch honest. Well ambitious in as far as it's gone in in Darien who are not allowing the success to spread so it done as is confusion is is certainly understand -- feel like I'm more of your calls with representative of clarity coming up on 680 WRKO. This is such an exciting conversation I had I love that. Topical -- this going to share with the -- what's been going on during the break that you get the news and all the rest that stuff. -- -- you know Larry represented both Larry you're not come up yeah. They have so animated on this education issue as -- at twenty for a century civil rights issue that represented about clarity has. As he has described that and a -- call 6172666860. With taking. Your calls before we get that pros call it just want to make sure I'm clear -- so that all of us are on the same page H out of school and any community. Accept students buy lottery. Ian if in fact it's a special -- student is an applicant to -- a multi -- bilingual disability student that -- school is obliged. To. To accept that. Child the child it is a lottery may have may not win the lottery but once. Once they get through them lottery in the successful side doesn't matter that they have a disability that's my shot -- schools -- legally. Obligated as is the public schooled on the street Estrada schools are public schools correct with a public school funding stream let's go to -- I have before I just want to say one thing that I've learned about represented -- clarity that this guy's a lunatic how hot hot. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Trying to expand charter schools there are limits in the state I I will say this because he can't and want to maybe he wouldn't. That that the democratic power structure is so partnered with unions than education comes second the relationship with the unions comes first. And it seems to me the representative of clarity is part of a movement which now the president claims to be part of to want to expand charter schools improve education even if if they risk their partnership with the unions. It Obama has been given some very very strong words of encouragement on this merit pay child schools all the like I think he sees the frustration in the hot break particularly in minority communities all across the country. When his son -- daughter is not getting the right challenge and the right. -- -- startling moment politically where the the Democrats who always depended on the partnership with the teachers unions and have neglected children and curse children to. Two lifetimes without a decent education because of that partnership are now getting to a point where. A critical mass is developing where is he maybe awards going to break or maybe they're just successfully can sever. That bond. Everybody should watch this because it's really exciting time to be part of -- represented vote forty's at the front of it. I'm Margaret west for good morning -- WRKO. I ringing good morning Margaret. U I I you know and very impressed with the woman that -- And I support and it's critical the actors when my children caught in them. Years ago and although we made their public schools are there is in their models. For example the longest days -- a lot more it's the land you know it's true and -- properly are you complaining. I know I'm kinda say that. It's important -- as the that the and it won it. You have to change the way it is that leopard you can't say that putting money into this well help but you know if. Leg -- -- harder what we're looking for the market place to be able to dictate there's a new model school in the marketplace cure your market is saying we want more and the power structures -- you can't have more. And I am act that the rain with that what I'm saying is that just polling numbers are at -- was. Not at all. We should expand the number of chart but like apathetic it is. What in the first. And -- in the track -- That that's going to determine how much we connect me. Yeah and also -- and other important -- -- you re taught is that special. What is the first spend -- topic charter school expenditure on national pet -- I I -- you know one might audit. Thank you want to do it it's why. Okay those those are good questions I'm not I'm not color were your concerns -- because what this is about is transitioning over the point of doing charter schools was incubating new ideas if the new ideas are working -- -- you don't -- separate budgets it's the same -- you transfer the money over to the ideas that are working but let's sell it represented -- -- -- those very good questions and I appreciate you calling in this morning and certainly -- I'm glad to hear that you are supporter of charter schools conceptually. The devil is always in the details in the arguments that I -- the last decade in the legislature in my colleagues. I tend to be around funding issues believe it or not there has been consensus and agreement that the concept of charter schools is is understandable by both sides. The double is always in the details and unfortunately it boils down to money money. It's always money and vote is there a disparity between the per pupil spending in a charter school in town acts. And a regular school and -- of that school system in town acts like rather talk about a much different disparity -- in 2004 we arrived in legislative compromise on this issue whereby if feast charter school student was going to which out of school. The traditional public school -- that district would receive the first year that charter school was gone 100%. Of the funding for that seat with a student not being there the second year that we get 60% of the funding for that student not being there. And the third year they would get 40%. Of the funding for that student not being there are so and they complain about the loss of revenue I think that's the disparity that's frankly that we need to focus and see you want to get rid of that graduated -- a money transfer issue -- 100% of the dollars following the child in year one. I think that that should be the case however the transitioning did need to take place because the argument was that with that student gone there -- certain expenses -- -- costs fixed costs and it's just like politically it's just ask. 100% of the dollars -- go to the charter school but the public school that no longer has student -- I'm left to -- public school about the child's school. Public schools still gets the funding attributed to make. -- -- school those two -- here almost doubling the costs are a bit nervous doubling it and then this you have that lied about that the represented to grab second you for the public -- 60% of the -- funding. That -- percent then for four years later you get zero for me so where is -- extra money come from -- from when it comes from the state. This is providing us in terms of champ Dennis that's how -- At the status -- credit. Did get this to try -- -- yuppies that's the disparity that needs to be focused on in the -- gods destroy you saying there should those transition -- shouldn't be there or urgent -- no I'm not saying that I'm saying the -- certain fixed costs they made their arguments the superintendent some in the school committees in the others however called aside human very vividly in 2004. But what I'm saying is is that it shouldn't continue and I feel that it's very generous the same -- it would seem to me that there's a huge benefit of the school that loses the child who goes -- -- charter school. They're getting extra money and their costs are going down as they lose students at the of their if you were -- Carrasco. Across really I disagree with rivers inaugural clarity and you're your costs really don't disappear. Yet twenty students in the class not to left for a -- -- get a team without it across -- all the privacy jet because only the -- just as applause as a district you have to you know 2000 students and you divide it by twenty and that's how many teachers in. 6172666. Seats sixteen we've got. A good conversation going to join in atomic toxic CD WRKO. Time for me -- -- you about the B and you know what I'm gonna talk to about I know you're ignoring you nutritional needs -- everybody does it have -- -- myself from time to time and then what happened you become rundown that we have this crazy thing this pandemic and -- the -- you're immune system everything -- hospital the -- he is what to do look for natural supplements that contain everything you need and the guy who turned me -- this is Mike Martino clarity with Todd Feinberg atop the -- On veterans forum we oh my god it's been nonstop in the studio with darkened discipline education instruction shadow schools parents all excited. Going to get to your calls as many as we can before represented growth clarity -- to go we've already got a promise from a he's going to come back and stay on this topic. Bill from Quincy -- that -- -- the what Todd -- -- clarity. Good morning my element why it's. A long -- public schoolteacher with a different perspective. My feeling is that we as a society. Have outgrown public school model. And the respect that I'd say they act is I don't think the public would put up where it. The government owning restaurants so owning up clothing stores. People would rail at the right you're going to a restaurant it would be -- by the government and provide. -- its service so. -- -- I'm public school employee -- see sort teachers but I also seen. Eight is that I would not want my son -- -- to be in their the so. It really like to see this schools turned over to its teachers and let them sick or or around. Depending upon the quality of their performance by the students to be able to vote with -- A buildup yeah that's what the charter school movement is about is it up. Absolutely about -- I don't see any reason for public. Well in general I think everything should be proud that. Well lady you you may be correctly and are going to get from here to there without some kind of -- -- to ride and it seems to me that. Some movement like the charter schools job title yet the young and in and it's not privatized charter schools are public schools I don't know that semantics and -- terminology but it is important when you debate this issue charter schools are public -- I'll absolutely bet that the part that he's lookin' for is that there -- entrepreneurial marketplace -- to some extent. Where it's the date they get their life from the commitment of the community and in studio and a guy and he would anyone who got a -- school license is going to lose -- if they have nobody -- student showing -- and so people have voted in -- and they're going to lose it if they don't produce if you remember the -- years -- license and the accountability is is certainly there Mikey -- -- -- RW -- -- good morning. Good morning gentlemen gene thank you for your service this is a great great thing to hear about I wanted to focus of buried deep -- aspect of this differential outcome based on the lottery. That -- seemed to to really reduce the significance of the idea that I reported what I'm guilty of believing it myself. The parents are huge factor that the -- who tend to send their kids to private schools charter schools a poke the holes of the same character for help the kids at home. And make that's what this kid. Mike is a wonderful point -- -- I just want to clarify for strokes remain out of heard it that you were talking earlier about kids who get severed from their charter school experience that going in seventh grade. And that the ones who remain in the charter schools do vastly better than the ones who have to go back into the regular public schools. And I I think Mike's make an an interest in extrapolation I'm -- that. Making it very interesting point and I think it's critical to understand based on the recent study that was done. Do the parents of charter school students get more attention from the parents that's arguable obviously by the parent sending that. Kidd to the school they are aware of the school their way to aware of the board of trustees of the mission of the school. But this recent study debunks the myth that it is just the parents' involvement that actually results in the charter school public school student doing better. The analysis of the recent MCAS results show. That when you take the students and you put them into this environment. We're and it's our -- where it's there's accountability -- this requirement that they can do just as well as this suburban counterparts sharp and that is statistically proven in the recent analysis that was done by the Boston foundation in 2006. Study by the department of. So that's an argument that's put forth. A myth that's put forward by the failed school movement which is fighting the charter school movement. And it's important get reality out there and let you get the stats to back it up pales in Vermont next NW RK -- for representative Eugene O'Flaherty. Hi how are you daily I just as a -- didn't need to got a lot of charter school. What advocating an eight -- percent increase. Your education budget or 2%. Race. 2% population is being hurt by night for that money would need the increase spending. A 100%. Opera is saying circuses. Are your chill. Is that what you really want. Well actually we can debate of both the the mouth and we can talk about the numbers all we want from me for ten years. My argument has always been brought to the wayside because of the fiscal issues. For me the file larger issue is that generation after generation in particular in inner cities. Mostly black and brown children being relegated to a system that -- doesn't have any great expectations for them. So for me if you want to talk about money that's fine -- -- right back to -- talk about the generation to generation of folks that are relegated to second class citizen status because of the educational system. They find themselves and because they don't have any money they cannot choose a private or parochial school the charter school is an opportunity for them to have those expectations -- In the -- do you -- or a Democrat just said -- kotsay then take I would say and those guys my hero you know what -- -- -- -- -- -- like integrated -- are well represented about clarity is a great guest but the -- the best moment of all of this is to pod once again his learning their common sense yes. Is this guy is fighting and -- our search for the Democrats endeavor I'm very excited. Richard in Cambridge -- WRKO. Good morning great Joe. It's worth -- represented. He ever going to promote charter schools seem to be very positive and you can do out of Britain -- -- did escort a lot of your opinions and a country gets sent to do what do you have any information though what. They're -- could -- schools is actually doing to the public schools. How would a loss of revenue affecting public schools. They they they benefit revenue wise Richard. That this loss of revenue thing is bizarre. Well a there of course there -- numbers are reflecting that I think you get two different stories on but I think the the main point should be that if anything it's encouraging. Public schools and charter schools -- public schools and we keep saying that because it's it's it's terminology that's important if to say traditional encourages -- traditional public schools to focus on in terms of replication anything that they can learn from the charter schools and that's the whole point here. On in the business world if you will if you manufacturer product or you develop a way of doing something. Others will look at it two replicated to see if they can also produced the same results just practice that is the beauty and try to schools as you just said mr. speaker you can learn the best practices. And that should be -- and the only party being heard as far as I can tell from charter schools is teachers unions switches. Why they're concerned about losses of revenues representative Eugene -- flyer. Democrat sounds like -- it it should be a southern thing on something like that with the -- and as great -- great -- going to continue to stay in this -- and by the -- sir congratulations to -- could close friend senator Jack have to be in a cosponsor on -- you know we're always a political Sally wants a quick answer a question do charter schools take MCAS exams and and results on that yes or show -- well yeah they do as well they do better. They actually. Done so well that they are in the inner cities now comparing them to their suburban counterparts are a representative of clarity on all jobs schools have done that some have Roxbury prep from and I'm reluctant to admit has gone past -- school. All right we've got another exciting hour talk radio coming out and quantities.