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Dear Readers: Blount Today to close
Charter schools in a suburban area - which has two of the top performing school systems in the state. Now that is an interesting concept. The idea behind a charter school it to help underperforming systems reach higher academic standards. It is not meant - nor should it be designed for - parents who want a private education for their children but do not want to pay the tuition. If public education is that bad, then remove your child from it. There is nothing keeping them here. If you do not want your tax dollars going into the local school system, then leave. You have that choice. The founding director, Mrs. Bradley, implemented the ITI and Susan Kovalik model. Of course her school was chosen as a model school for Kovalik because Blount County has paid Susan Kovalik and her company thousands of dollars to implement the system. This is not a distinction given by an unbaised agency. Kovalik is a company trying to sell their education reform. It only makes sense they will be giving "awards" to their best customers. Since it was put into place at Mary Blount, has anyone measured the success? If you look at the state test scores for Union Grove Middle (which used to be William Blount Middle) the impact of the ITI/Kovalik model is minimal at best and fails to create lasting learning on those items which are tested and deemed the most important by our State Department of Education.
Charter schools, especially in affluent suburban areas with high performing schools, make great sense as a solution for public education (I hope the sarcasm from this statement is evident!). Take away funding from school systems, only allow a select few to attend the charter school, and sing their praises! This does not solve the solution for public schools, it only creates an inexpensive way for complaining parents who do not get their way to have private school benefits without the private school costs.
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