Morrie Schneider 
Member since Apr 25, 2017


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Re: “BASIS Charter School News From Phoenix

I agree with much of what was posted by "Fraser." I probably have a fair idea of what makes a school work for different students. I taught in a variety of public and private, as well as Australian schools, in my 37 years in the classroom. As was pointed out by "Fraser," her daughter got a good education from a BASIS middle school. Not so much her other children. The daughter "packed the gear," as I heard Marine Drill Instructors say when I went through OCS at Quantico, Virgnia, about 60 years ago. The daughter had the intelligence and the motivation to do the advanced work required at the BASIS school. Apparently, he other children did not. Which brings me to another point: in the early 1960s when I got out of the Marine Corps, I was fortunate enough to find a job teaching high school English at the Shoreline School District, north of Seattle. The administrators at Shoreline at that time "tracked" kids, mostly depending upon their test scores and grades, but also on written assessments by their former teachers. Kids who scored high on standardized tests, had good grades previously, and received favorable assessments from former teachers were placed in either the "Intensive" or the "Honors" classes. For both these classifications, it was possible for teachers to assign more complex and difficult reading material, especially for the so-called "Honors" students who made up less then 5% of the school population. They "packed the gear." Later I taught in schools where students were not segregated according to their test scores, etc. I found it was next to impossible to challenge the brightest while providing assistance to those who found any kind of abstruse learning material impossible to master. While teaching in Australia, I saw what happens when schools "weed-out" students in the first few years of high school so that in grade 12 a teacher would have a class of no more then a half a dozen students. Finally, as "Fraser" pointed out, a BASIS school may be a perfect fit for one child and not so much for another. The question seems to be: what is the cost, both financially and sociologically, for Charter Schools to drain off public funds for a small minority of students who "pack the gear." One might ask, Wouldn't that student who "packs the gear" prosper just as well in a public school when the school offered the kind of "tracking" I mentioned earlier?

Posted by Morrie Schneider on 04/25/2017 at 4:07 PM

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