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Old 06-29-2009, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 31,367,700 times
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I'm, currently, teaching in a charter school in Michigan but looking for something better (I'm in the metro Detroit area). I would appreciate hearing about other's experiences in different charters. I'm not happy where I am but I don't want to jump from the fryng pan to the fire because something sounds better.

If you don't feel comfortable posting information publically, feel free to send me a direct message.

Thanks
Ivory
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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My daughters went to a school in Southgate, MI .... It's called Creative Montessori Academy. They both LOVED that school and all the teachers in it. Both of them are currently in High School now, but miss their days back at that school. They BOTH wish that the school would someday bring in a High School so they could go back there. I'm not sure if they are hiring or not, but I haven't met a teacher there (or student, for that matter) that doesn't like it. Good luck with your hunt for a school that fulfills your dreams.... Creative Montessori Academy on Northline Rd. (btwn. I-75 freeway and Dix Hwy.) in Southgate... Good Luck!
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:53 PM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 24,556,797 times
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Charter schools in Michigan? There are probably a few good ones...The ones I know (6 grade and up) all were in it for the money. Zero accountability academically and only answered to a hand picked board made up of investors or family members...
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 31,367,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Charter schools in Michigan? There are probably a few good ones...The ones I know (6 grade and up) all were in it for the money. Zero accountability academically and only answered to a hand picked board made up of investors or family members...
Actually, all charter schools are accountable academically. Charters get the same scoring that all public schools get and have to make AYP.

I agree they answer to a small board or family members. Whether that's good or bad depends on the board or family. I know of one charter that has a beautiful facility, smart boards in every classroom, a state of the art lab facility, multiple computer labs, etc, etc, etc... because the family that owns it runs it like a business. They even pay their teachers well but they're serving kids from the inner city and have some serious discipline problems to contend with so I'm not sure it's worth it. We have one teacher here who chose less pay here over discipline issues there. When I talk to their teachers at conferences, they cojmplain about the disrespect they get from the students.

I'm asking because I'd like to indentify the good ones. Ones where they don't promise books and then not buy them. Ones where they don't promise a consumable supplies order and then not order it. I really want out of where I am but I don't want to move only to find it's worse elsewhere. I have the misfortune of having undesirable certs. Charters are the only schools hiring single subject experts. Districts want the more flexible general certs.

Right now, I'm stuck with either teaching chemistry with boring lectures and videos of others doing experiments or spending hundreds of dollars of my own money on supplies. I've already spent $200 this year. My husband has put his foot down and said he doesn't want me spending one dime more. That means we won't be doing the labs I spent the summer putting together on the promise I'd have chemicals (which works out to about $3/student). Teaching without books in classes that have lots of lower level learners....I don't even know where to begin. These are not kids who learn best through lectures but what else to I have? I'm not spending $3000 to buy books for my classes.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:04 AM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 24,556,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Actually, all charter schools are accountable academically. Charters get the same scoring that all public schools get and have to make AYP....(shortened)

Not when they (some) are able to manipulate the testing and "influence" the outcomes.

When is the last time a teacher knew of a student with a 75 FSIQ passing the MEAP? I have seen it happen...
As for finding the "good ones" I do not believe they exist in MI...I have taught at several charter schools (including the one you are (were) at) in the suburbs and the inner city..each had one thing in common--Teach with what they give (very little) and pass the MEAP by any means necessary...

Even here in NC, where the district has and does (until this year due to slices from Raleigh) spend money (over $3000 for my class last year) I have spent close to $1000 for extras I found the kids would benefit from..and I have just 6 students...
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Old 09-27-2009, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 31,367,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Not when they (some) are able to manipulate the testing and "influence" the outcomes.

When is the last time a teacher knew of a student with a 75 FSIQ passing the MEAP? I have seen it happen...
As for finding the "good ones" I do not believe they exist in MI...I have taught at several charter schools (including the one you are (were) at) in the suburbs and the inner city..each had one thing in common--Teach with what they give (very little) and pass the MEAP by any means necessary...

Even here in NC, where the district has and does (until this year due to slices from Raleigh) spend money (over $3000 for my class last year) I have spent close to $1000 for extras I found the kids would benefit from..and I have just 6 students...
Charter schools have no greater ability to manipulate test scores than regular schools. Do schools cheat? Yes and they get caught too. But that's not limited to charters.

I have to agree that the attitude is "Teach with what they give (very little) and pass the MEAP...". Not sure about the any means but I know my classroom instruction is centered around the tests (MME and ACT for me). I teach chemistry and physics and have to give multiple choice tests because the big tests are multiple choice. It makes no sense to give a multiple choice physics test and sometimes makes no sense to try and test a chemistry concept (at least while they are learning it) in a multiple chioce format.

There are other policies in place that force us to concentrate on failing students instead of students who could excel. It's not that we don't care about students who pass the tests. It's just I have nothing left to give them. I prep for three lab based classes, on a shoestring, and have an intervention list I have to go through with each student who is not passing my class with a C or better (and that's a lot of my students). On top of that, all of our tests go on line so I have to take the extra time to learn the software (it's taking me a while) and get the tests constructed. (I know this doesn't sound like much but when you already don't have enough time to do what you need to do any more demands just push you over the top).

When all is said and done, I probably haven't thought about my A and B students all day long other than to smile when I grade something for them and my C students only hit my radar when they become D students. It's not that I don't care. I just don't have time.

I'm saddened to hear that you've worked in several and they're all like this. Hopefully, the economy here will start turning around next year and I can make a move back into engineering. With my certs, charters and private schools are my only choice. If this is what I'll face in all of them, this job isn't worth it.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:46 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,302,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Charter schools have no greater ability to manipulate test scores than regular schools. Do schools cheat? Yes and they get caught too. But that's not limited to charters.
Totally agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
If this is what I'll face in all of them, this job isn't worth it.
You posted earlier in this thread about a charter school in which the teachers are well paid and the classrooms well equipped.

Clearly, then, that is not what you will face in all of them.
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,387 posts, read 31,367,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
Totally agree.



You posted earlier in this thread about a charter school in which the teachers are well paid and the classrooms well equipped.

Clearly, then, that is not what you will face in all of them.
That one that I know of serves inner city kids and has serious enough discipline problems to need full time security guards on each floor. They pay enough and fund their classrooms well enough that I could stay with them long term but I'm not sure I'm cut out for the kinds of discipline issues they have. I have a friend who works there and she says it's pretty rough until about mid October. By then they have expelled the worst kids.

Honestly, I haven't heard of another paying what they do and doing things like giving you a room budget (money to spend on whatever you want for your room). I don't hear anyone else chiming in here about how great the charter they work for is. I know we're not the only two Michigan charter school teachers on this board. Maybe the only two brave enough to say something. There is no tenure at charters. They can fire you any time they wish to. I understand the one I work for will fire teachers if they find someone who will work cheaper (usually let go in June when that happens) or they just interview a candidate they like better than you. I figure it's only a matter of time before they interview a candidate better than me. If I was among the best, I wouldn't be in this crappy job.
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