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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:02 am 
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Interesting but rather frightening article from the BBC site about Charter schools in the USA, apparently being canvassed here...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8585171.stm


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:26 am 
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I found that article very interesting Nou, thank you for posting it.

I have to admit (as I have done previously) that I'm rather taken with the idea of lotteries for schools.

When you have no options for getting into a good school and the only way open to you is a failing school you would grab the chance of your name being pulled out of a hat to attend a good school. I can fully understand why these parents are keen on the system.

Equally I can understand that if you're sitting pretty and almost guaranteed a place at your school of choice (I say almost, because nothing in life a 100% guaranteed!) then you wouldn't want to give that up to be thrown into a lottery free-for-all with everyone else.

I always feel in these things money will usually out and those with the least are usually left with the least.

I would give serious consideration to voting for anyone wanting to introduce this sort of system here in England.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:42 am 
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SD have you read the full sutton report on how they propose the lottery system? I think its in their research section and its the world apart report. If i am honest it left me quite confused and honestly didnt feel the lottery they were proposing would work. I have read a lot more other sutton trust reports which are normally well researched and detailed but I am afraid this one, I think is one of their shallowest paper I have ever read, apart from just some facsinating facts that some of the most elite comprehensive only have a pass rate of 35% but people would rather have their kids learn with their own.

What I found is that its really a suttorn trust election manifesto and in the concluding paragraph they mention it. Along the way they look at what the different party policies are and then look at the positives and negatives. The truth is lotteries may look great but so far that research lacks much substance on how exactly it will be done and for that reason I shall call it pass. I have some little knowledge on US charter school but will have to read that bbc document first when i get some time.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:44 am 
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Interesting idea.....what is your opinion on sibling places and banding?

I live just to the west of central London and most "good" schools round here are faith schools who select on religious commitment with a few places for those living very close - which are of course expensive areas.

I found some interesting stats for the only non faith comprehensive school in our borough. The school is not great but a lot better than those in neighbouring areas. Basically it indicates that if you don't well in the admissions test and don't have a sibling at the school you are less likely to get in.....

Number of applications received: 915
Places were offered as follows:
2 places offered to children with a statement of SEN
59 places offered in Band A: 7 siblings and places offered up
to 2.1089 miles in category (ii) By the end of June all places in
this Band were offered a place from the waiting list.
120 places offered in Band B: 50 siblings and places offered up
to 1.4938 miles in category (ii)
59 places offered in Band C: 36 siblings and places offered up to
1.2586 miles in category (ii)
Category (ii) were children who attended a X Borough Primary School
Number of appeals heard: 27 Successful appeals: 0


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:55 am 
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The report states that the Charter schools operate totally outside normal school admissions. So it is an additional chance to gain a place, like an indie application.

It would seem to be a very different option to lotteries as part of the normal school admissions round.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:09 am 
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Some of the chater school in the US have been successful academically but everything else remains the same and the getto and gang culture is very much alive. One charter school that I have heard of is in Baltimore has metal detectors (note that these are more common in the us in certain areas) because the kids bring guns to school either to protect themselves or to protect their family. They have to wear mesh and see through backpacks so that everything they contacin can be seen and pupils have been reported to have all kind of raunchy s-e-x in the schools. In addition most of these charter schools are mainly BLACK school in areas which are highly disadvantaged like Baltimore with the highest murder rate so its very much people keeping to those of their own and that just increases racial divison . Infact I would NEVER want my child to be in one of them charter school. That BBC report is too glossy :cry:

Personally I wouldnt really look to the US for a more equal education. Its much more elitist than we have here. Schools are funded by districts and you can only go into a district school where you pay your taxes (there really isnt any choice, you jus go to the nearest school). That means wealth districts have gigantic budgets and therefore great schools. The poor schools which are in poorer areas are left with modests budgets and and education poor. Private education is BIG business in the US for this reason, the poorer districts have dismal schools. Those on modest incomes that I have spoken to and live in poor districts (because they cant afford the house prices) often resort to private education which comes in all sorts of shapes, styles and colour. Some church private schools cost from as little as $7000 p/a and for some its the only choice than failing schools and moving would cost much much more expensive

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:23 am 
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No Sherry, I haven't read the report from the Sutton Trust.

I did read the article posted on this thread and also other articles (note, these are not in-depth reports so only scratch the surface) which is why I like the idea. that said, I may not like the reality when (IF???) these ever get off the ground over here, but I think it's important to keep all options open.

Wasn't there an area in England (Brighton??) who have introduced a lottery system for their schools? Do we know how this works out?

I would never propose anyone to be entered into a lottery for a school which they didn't want in the first place. I would very much like it to be the parent's choice of which school/s they would like their child to be 'entered' for - similiar to what we have now, except the results would be by lottery instead of distance.

I have to say I have great difficulty understanding inner cities (I'm making assumptions here that's where most of this culture is - guns, knives etc), so please forgive me when I don't understand how bad the youth culture is out there. We are very naive and spoilt living where we do, I should probably liken it to back in the 60's/70's with a tiny bit of drugs thrown in now and then. It is probably because of that, that I cannot comprehend your worst nightmares. I'm sorry.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:45 am 
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mitasol wrote:
It would seem to be a very different option to lotteries as part of the normal school admissions round.

They use a lottery system when the school is oversubscribed and most are.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:14 pm 
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Snowdrops wrote:
Wasn't there an area in England (Brighton??) who have introduced a lottery system for their schools? Do we know how this works out?


http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/5038528.Hundreds_disappointed_by_school_lottery/?ref=mr

Looks as though it works much the same as any other system really. What made the scheme controversial locally was that the council introduced very restrictive catchment areas which severely limited which schools you could apply for. It was said that they'd effectively created a ghetto by restricting access to the better schools to the more prosperous areas while less well off areas had to make do with poorer schools.

Personally I feel it would be helpful if successful schools were given more scope to expand (grammars are expressly prohibited from expanding, by the way), at present any attempt to expand a successful school generates a torrent of objections from less successful neighbouring schools and authorities. I don't see why protection of mediocrity should take priority in this way.

Mike


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:36 pm 
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mike1880 wrote:
Personally I feel it would be helpful if successful schools were given more scope to expand (grammars are expressly prohibited from expanding, by the way), at present any attempt to expand a successful school generates a torrent of objections from less successful neighbouring schools and authorities. I don't see why protection of mediocrity should take priority in this way.

Mike


I really dont understand that too yet many failing schools are allowed to expand and yet no one wants to be in these schools. They are spending £34million on one school in my neighbourhood which is a really a bad school. Right now I understand its about half full so I wonder where they expect the extra kids to come from for their state of the art academy.

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