Being splattered on the front page of the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer is normally not a good thing. In today’s case, it depends on who you are.
If you’re the Chester Community Charter School, your spin of the story is to celebrate the confidence the receiver has that you’re so vital to the education of Chester’s children you get a contract extension to 2026 along with the okay to build as many school buildings as you like as long as you don’t build a high school. For those millions, I’d be celebrating, too.
If you’re anyone else, you read a story like this and just sit back, scratch your head, and ask how does this keep happening?
As the Inquirer says…
It also renews lingering questions about the intersection of politics, government and schools.
The politics stuff is way too complicated to cover in this post, but there’s never been a question that the moneyed interest of the state and local Republican party has a lot of influence on what goes on at Chester Community Charter. However, the Democratic led Chester school board president also vouched for renewing the term of the current school district receiver. I contend that if we could really follow the money, we’d understand it better by and by.
The government stuff is way too complicated to cover in this post. The state Department of Education urged that the receiver not be reappointed, and when he was reappointed he extended the Chester Community Charter School’s charter weeks later.
However, the state auditor, who has been on the Chester school district’s ass for years, was unaware of the revewal until he was told a couple weeks ago by the Inquirer and Daily News.
How stupid do they think we are?
Speaking of stupid, we now have to consider student test results, which isn’t too complicated to cover in this post.
The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams released in September showed that Chester Community had some of the lowest scores among charter schools in the region: Less than 16 percent of students passed PSSA reading tests in the last school year; 6 percent passed math.
The scores were lower than all but one of the four Chester Upland district schools that have K-8 students.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling our students stupid. I’ve been in the classroom as a sub and I’m working with kids in after school programs. Our kids are very bright but very under educated. They don’t have basic knowledge and don’t know how to pass a test. As a result, the paper trail of test scores indicates these kids are stupid. However, what it really says is these school are continuing to fail the kids and are rewarded for doing so with new contracts and permission to expand the ignorance.
The weasel words that come from the tongue of Peter R. Barsz, the court-appointed receiver for the school district, the Chester Community Charter CEO Dave Clark, and their All-Star PR guy Bruce Crawley, simply go in one ear and out the other when I read them.
It’s a damn shame how they do our kids. What do you do when you get tired of the lies, graft, and greed at the expense of our kid’s education and future?
I could go on, but no one is listening or cares.
We’ll just wait to see what Fred Green has to say.