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Argument: Charter schools are unaccountable and dictatorial

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Supporting quotations

Jordan Flaherty. "Rethinking New Orleans Schools". Wire Tap. August 9, 2006 - For public school advocates, the radical transformation of New Orleans' education system has created a new field of concerns. They worry that the transformation is taking place without much public input and consent. The new administrations running the schools are often inexperienced and unprepared to take over the New Orleans system. "They say this is an experiment," Tracie Washington, NAACP lawyer and education advocate, explains, speaking about the plans of advocates of charter schools. "Tuskegee was an experiment. We have reason to be suspicious of experiments," Washington adds referring to a notorious clinical study conducted in 1932 on mostly poor African-American men without their consent.

[...]The new transformation also changes the balance of power in the school system, radically altering the role of the school board and superintendent, who used to oversee 125 schools and currently oversee just five. Charter schools are unaccountable to the board other than in some basic standards.

Deborah Bach. "School Board digs in against charter schools". Seattle PI. December 17, 2003 - "It contends that charter schools have demonstrated only "minimal" positive outcomes for students, lack accountability and are sucking money away from the public system while contributing to the privatization of public schools."

Sarah Carr. "Parent blasts New Orleans charter school's expulsion process". The Times-Picayune. December 10, 2008 - Policy confusion

Expulsion practices vary at charter schools across the city, and there can be gaps in coordination with the Recovery School District, which ends up accepting many students expelled from charters.

The RSD's 33 charter schools do not have to alert the RSD every time they expel a student, although district officials often find out because they find new schools for many of those expelled. Most older students wind up at Schwartz Alternative; younger students usually are sent to an RSD elementary campus.

Last school year, at least 30 charter school students transferred to the RSD after expulsions. Over the same time period, the district expelled 262 students from the schools it operates directly.

The expulsion process varies from charter to charter, although all must hold a hearing and allow an appeal.

At one charter school, a principal makes a recommendation, and the school's governance board makes the decision. At another, the decision is left up to a specific board member. For the nine schools in the Algiers Charter Schools Association, the expulsion goes through a discipline committee, the principal and finally to the chief executive officer.

Tracie Washington, an attorney who is on the board of McDonogh 42 Charter School and oversees expulsion hearings there, said schools run into problems when they do not communicate clearly with families -- before and after an expulsion occurs. She follows up with the family and with the RSD to make sure the students are assigned a new school.

Amy Stuart Wells. "Where Charter School Policy Fails". The Problems of Accountability and Equity. (book)

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