Anti-charter school stance and for what and why?

December 6, 2010
By

Recently at English High School, a student with a weapon brought about six police cars and officers to the school for what was almost a lockdown.

When all was said and done, a pellet gun was confiscated from the student.

The student was expelled.

The pellet gun incident last week, added to a number of others that are disturbing and having to do with violence and gang activities within the school, makes some of us wonder?

Would we want our sons and daughters at English High School?

Those of us who live here and felt we would be doing our children an injustice by sending them to Lynn’s deplorable elementary schools, have been forced to place them in private schools.

Now that high school is approaching, we are looking again at Lynn.

Do we choose for our children the Lynn public school gulag?

There is the matter of low reading scores, teachers protected by a union that cares less about excellence than it does about benefits and salary, lower hours and more compensation, safety and the lack of a system that does not seek excellence because it does everything it can simply to survive.

Ask any of the gung ho dedicated teachers working in this beleaguered system if there are teachers that should be put out to pasture.

Ask them about gang activity and violence inside the schools.

Ask them about the public school system they are toiling in – a dead from the top down school system that is more like a prison gulag dedicated to survival than anything else.

Some of us who live here would prefer an option to police chasing down guns during the school day or teachers attempting to cater to education in 52 languages with the largest part of the student population unable to read or write meaningfully in the English language.

What to do?

If you are a parent with common sense who cares something about the future of your kids, you’d hope and pray the local Superintendent of Schools and the School Committee and even the mayor of the city would endorse and fight for a charter school.

Not in Lynn.

In Lynn, all the highly paid administrators who try to pass themselves off as educators are being enriched with their salaries, benefits, vacations, sick days and bloated pensions. They look right in the eye at parents hoping for a choice and tell them, “NO.”

There is only room in Lynn for the tired, slowly but surely failing public school system – and if you don’t like it, move out or send your kids to parochial school.

The ship is sinking. We need all the money to attempt to keep the sinking ship afloat.

New ideas, excellence, safety, smaller classes – choice – these can’t be offered.

At a meeting held at the Lynn Housing Authority November 29 and attended by Superintendent Catherine Latham, Mayor Judith Flanagan-Kennedy, Senator Thomas McGee and a diverse group of children and their parents hoping for a charter school OK to be issued by the state to Joanne Civitarese and Del Hathaway, not much was done to aid these folks in pushing their application. They are the people offering the Lynn Preparatory Charter School.

They are the people offering safety, excellence, smaller classes, English as a first language, and teachers who will work longer hours for less in pay.

They are the people offering something other than the police chasing down guns and gang members in public schools nearly bereft of hope.

Lynn’s leadership ought to get its head out of the sand.

You can’t be an ostrich these days.

Some of us wishing we could send our kids to Lynn’s public schools are disappointed by public officials fighting against excellence by standing against charter schools.

Educators and administrators running Lynn’s public schools would rather go down with their sinking ship than to give others a choice in the matter.

That’s sad. But that’s the way it is in Lynn.

  • Colleen

    Charter schools seems to be a way to lighten the overwhelming burden of the current immigrant population of Lynn. There are too many demands right now on the school system to thrive. Charter Schools seem like a fantastic way to spread this huge neediness around and create great learning environments for all. I hope more charter schools are created in Lynn!

  • Chris

    At no point in this article, did you list any stats that back up your agruement. your simply listed your biased opinion of lynn english based on yourself graduating from Marblehead. We cant all have graduated in Marblehead where the only gang is the glee club. Yes Lynn does have various problems, with drugs, gangs, and violence. But what you fail to mention is the various things that Lynn English does well. From Athletics, all the way down to education, Lynn English is the best high school in Lynn.

  • Bob

    It is interesting that you completely fail to mention the REASON that the school board and city denied this particular charter (i.e. private to charter conversions are not allowed). Lynn has already approved the KIPP school’s charter for a high school so they are obviously not anti-charter….please fact check next time.

  • Lisa

    ABSOLUTE INLFAMMATORY OPINION. As a veteran Lynn Public School parent, I have seen the good, the bad, the innovative and the successful. My children received an education that enabled them to go to college, weed out the undesriables and make opportunities happen. They had and still have deep connections with teachers and administrators who have served as life mentors and friends. Yes, LPS has its problems but there are MANY dedicated professionals. However and more importantly, is the structure of public education and its requirements. Charter schools are NOT public schools and they do impact the budgets of struggling districts. What is needed here and across the country are innovative Community Schools. The Ford School here in Lynn, in one of the most troubled neighborhoods, produced a sustainable and viable project over the past 20 twenty years. The failure of the Superintendent, Mayor and School Committe to support and replicate this model highlights the need for elected officials to be on notice by the voting public. And, to not allow more charters that further drain public resources. I can not believe anyone would pay for something that they can not use. Charter schools do not have to keep a failing or troubled student, they simply return him to the already shortchanged public classroom. Keep the privatly funded private and publically funded for all.

  • WeTeachYourChildren

    Mr. Resnek,

    Don’t be afraid of pellet guns. Your outrageous, hateful, inaccurate, desperately hopeful article shows that you have no idea how excellent our schools and classrooms are. It saddens me that you would bring up minor events to make a larger point that is rooted in elitism, arrogance, and plain ignorance. KIPP and charter schools often fail to make the mark that you’re hoping for. They also fail to deal with ESL and SEI/LEP populations, children with Autism and Aspergers, most special needs children, and most SPED populations, which our public schools do excellenty with on a daily basis. Your dream world of Lynn’s children having the money to attend private schools or Lynn having the public money to support charter schools (as well as being able to attract private funds for charter schools) is rooted in a cloud of delusion that you’ve obviously had too long and continue to daily pound in your elitist paper. English High has one of the best reputations for safety and discipline, but you think that bringing up a pellet gun will somehow make your point that a high population school is somehow immediately unsafe. Shame, shame, shame on you. I ask you to visit every school in Lynn and look at the faces of the children and teachers, then look at our populations, and all the work we do, and then make your case. Take a year inside the schools to take notes and really make your case. Thirty or three hundred new charter schools won’t be able to do the job that our teachers do for your children and mine every day. And if you think our schools are run by gangs and are hanging by a thread, come down to my school (or any one of our schools) any day of the week and I’ll show you what an excellent job our teachers and students do. Please take this Christmas season to realize what kind of population Lynn has, and what kind of hardships our children and teachers face, and the real, tangible evidence there is that shows that we do the best possible job (college rates, MCAS scores, graduation rates). Charter schools have their place but are not a cure all. Public schools need help and money, and not the continual pounding of the drum from mouthpieces like you. While the upper class watches “Waiting for Superman” and feels shame for sending their kids to private schools (as well as a quick, silly hope in charter schools), the reality is that most of the population sends their children to public schools. You know this and I know this. The problems we have are rooted in class problems and for all the work we do as public teachers, we deserve a hell of a lot more credit than you will ever be able to give, even if you recount your love for charter schools and take the time to really see the excellence in Lynn Public Schools. Come down and spend a day with my kids and me any day.

  • Smith

    I wish I did graduate from Marblehead instead of Lynn English. Lynn English is far from the best school in Lynn. You must not have attended Lynn English, the school that you have to tuck in your shirt, sit on the stairs for lunch becasue there is not enough seats, and not to mention the biased adminastrators. And the athletic program is an embarrassment with the coaches that have been suspended. And an athletic director who is useless. So next time you want to say Lynn English is the best school in Lynn get your facts right.

  • Anonymous

    Read the facts! Charter schools have failing rates and are no better than public schools. They suck money out of the school system your taxes pay 60 percent of.

    Please stop reporting like your a blog!

  • Anonymous

    Its a sales pitch. They are no greater than any other school. Look at the scores for charter schools, and you might change your mind.

  • Anonymous

    I bet your real name is not even Colleen. When clicking on your profile picture, 1/1/11, your name changed to Mary.

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