The Smear Campaign Against Charters

Dear Friends,

 An informative article regarding Charter Schools, written by Baker A. Mitchell.  Mitchell is a retired electrical engineer, former university assistant professor, and entrepreneur.  He founded Roger Bacon Academy, which manages four public charter schools in North Carolina that have a combined diverse enrollment of over 2,200 students.

 The Smear Campaign Against Charters

With a new school year ahead, the attacks on charter schools have begun anew. In North Carolina we’re hearing outrageous charges of racism. A public-television commentator claimed recently that “resegregation” was the purpose of charter schools “from the start.”

Meanwhile, parents are voting with their feet. Statewide enrollment in traditional public schools has declined four years in a row. Less than 80% of K-12 students now attend district schools. More than 110,000 are enrolled in charters and 100,000 in private schools. More than 140,000 are being home-schooled.

The suggestion that district schools are being resegregated through “white flight” to schools of choice is nonsense. North Carolina charters today have a slightly higher percentage of black students (26.1%) than district schools (25.2%). And those students aren’t assigned. Parents choose our schools.

It’s “certainly no accident” that critics invoke the Jim Crow era by referring to “segregation,” Lindalyn Kakadelis of North Carolina Education Strategies told me. “The goal is to stop the growth of K-12 education options at any cost.” Charter school critics “do not want families making educational decisions for their children. The system does not want to lose control or money.”

Charges of racism are intended to divert attention from the failure of traditional public schools to educate minority children. According to the most recent Charter Schools Annual Report to the North Carolina General Assembly, published in February, charter-school students at virtually every grade level and in virtually all student subgroups—white, African-American, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency—outperformed traditional public-school students in English, math and science at the end of the school year. The sole exception was high-school math scores, where results were mixed.

The Roger Bacon Academy, which I founded in 1999, oversees four charter schools in southeastern North Carolina that are among the top-performing in their communities. All four schools are Title 1 schools, meaning 40% or more of the students come from lower-income households. One of the schools, Frederick Douglass Academy in downtown Wilmington, is a majority-minority school.

We succeed where others fail because we do things differently. Our classical curriculum, direct-instruction methods, additional instructional hours, and focus on orderliness are a proven formula for successful learning.

I never intended to get involved in education. But after selling a company I founded, I began volunteering as a science instructor at Houston-area elementary schools. I met Thaddeus Lott, principal of Wesley Elementary, a high-achieving school with a predominantly low-income black student body.

I pulled into the parking lot and noticed a 6-foot-high barbed-wire fence around the school. I quickly learned the problems were outside. The students were well-behaved and academically advanced. They read Shakespeare, learned phonics, and memorized multiplication tables. The results were so impressive that Houston school officials accused the school of cheating on tests—then forced the superintendent out when the charge was proved wrong.

Charter schools do not seek to replace traditional public schools, but rather to complement them, providing alternatives to the existing system. Our way is better for some students, not all. Let parents decide.

The “resegregation” attacks are a continuation of a broader smear campaign that began last year. Parents and policy makers shouldn’t be distracted. Charters are doing well—and if they don’t, they lose their charters and are shut down, unlike failing district schools.

Tincy Miller

Former Member SBOE, District 12

Member 1984-2010

Appointed: Chair 2003-2007

Elected: 2013

Re-Elected 2014

Retired January 1, 2019

tincymiller35@gmail.com

www.tincymiller.com

Texas Sends to Governor Bill Banning Cities from Partnering with Planned Parenthood

Dear Friends,

A very informative article written on Planned Parenthood by Dr. Susan Berry, Dr. Berry is a conservative writer and contributor to Breitbart.com, she has a doctorate in psychology. She writes about cultural, educational, and healthcare policy issues. Shared by Donna Garner, a retired teacher and education activist    (Wgarner1@hot.rr.com)

Texas Sends to Governor Bill Banning Cities from Partnering with Planned Parenthood

Excerpts from this article:

The Texas State Senate voted 20-11 Friday to approve a House amendment to a bill that would ban state, county, and local governments from contracting or partnering with Planned Parenthood for any services.

The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

The Texas Tribune reported on the House amendment to Senate Bill 22:

The bill would prohibit the transfer of money to an abortion provider — but it would also bar the transfer of goods, services or anything that offers the provider “something of value derived from state or local tax revenue.” Abortion opponents worry that any money directed to abortion providers could be used to promote the organization in other important ways, like to finance advertisements or open a new clinic. They criticized Planned Parenthood’s $1-per-year rental agreement with the city for its East Austin clinic, which they’ve railed against as an unfair “sweetheart rent deal.”

“This bill just prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to support or prop up abortion providers,” said State Sen. Donna Campbell, the Republican author of the bill.

…Democrat State Sen. José Rodríguez said the bill would cause lack of access to HIV tests, cancer screenings, contraceptives, and other health care provided by Planned Parenthood.

[Planned Parenthood does not offer women mammograms.  State-run programs such as Healthy Texas Women do offer mammograms plus they have certified healthcare specialists who offer fact-based STD information, comprehensive healthcare, birth control, pregnancy tests, counseling, health screenings and treatment for hypertension/ diabetes/cholesterol, and prenatal care.]

Texas lawmakers, however, have increased funding for state-run healthcare programs such as Healthy Texas Women, which provides free or low-cost family planning services. Supporters of the legislation are seeking to divert women away from abortion clinics and their affiliates for health care and toward the state-run alternatives.

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The Texas House passed another bill Thursday, 84-67, that would penalize abortionists who fail to provide medical care to infants who are born alive following a failed abortion. That measure is also headed to the governor’s desk.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/24/texas-sends-bill-banning-cities-partnering-planned-parenthood

Tincy Miller

Former Member SBOE, District 12

Member 1984-2010

Appointed: Chair 2003-2007

Elected: 2013

Re-Elected 2014

Retired January 1, 2019

tincymiller35@gmail.com

www.tincymiller.com