Charter School “Midyear Dump” Tactics

This is an interesting must-read comment by one of Diane Ravitch’s readers. He talks about the “midyear dump” that often occurs in some charter schools as a means to improve the odds of school test scores. This is one of the games being played in Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top, and it’s his SLAM DUNK on devious ed reform tactics. It is ruining many students’ lives, mischaracterizing teachers, administrators and schools. It is causing the doors to public schools to be slammed shut, and it is crippling communities. My, how deeply those ed reformers care about the education of children….just warms my heart.
“Case-in-point: AUDUBON MIDDLE SCHOOL, out here in the inner-city of LAUSD, in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. DeWayne Davis, the principal at LAUSD’s Audubon Middle school, wrote Dr. Diane Ravitch a letter which Diane posted on her site. In this letter, Dr. Davis condemned the “midyear dump” of students from the nearby charter schools. Every year, just after winter break, there are about 168 or so kids that have left those charter schools—either kicked out or “counseled out”. I can’t recall the exact figures, but he said about 162 of those are FBB (Far Below Basic)—kids who score low because of being innately “slower”, non-cooperative, “Special Ed”, newcomers to the country who are brand new to English, those students just plain not willing to work hard, from distressed home lives, foster care, homeless, etc.

Davis tells about the great difficulties that teachers have in their efforts to absorb these charter cast-off’s into their classes. For the next month or two—or for even the remainder of the school year—teachers and the pre-existing students report varying states of chaos as a result of the nearby charter schools engaging in this despicable “midyear dump”.

Of course, think of the effect this has on Audubon’s scores—they go DOWN—and on the nearby charter schools—they go UP.


“It is ridiculous that they (charter operators) can pick and choose kids and pretend that they are raising scores when, in fact, they are just purging nonperforming students at an alarming rate. That is how they are raising their scores, not by improving the performance of students.

“Such a large number of FBB students will handicap the growth that the Audubon staff initiated this year, and further, will negatively impact the school’s overall scores as we continue to receive a recurring tide of low-performing students.”

One teacher activist explained this phenomenon with the following analogy:

“It’s like you have two oncology (cancer treatment) practices:

Oncology Practice A
Oncology Practice B.

“Oncology Practice A only accepts patients with Stage 1 cancers, carefully screening out those with Stages 2, 3, or 4 cancers. They send the latter down the street to Oncology Practice B. If one of the latter happens to sneak by this screening process, they likewise are immediately referred down the street to Oncology Practice B. If they advance from Stage 1 to Stage 2, they are also kicked out the door and dumped on Oncology Practice B.

“Meanwhile, Oncology Practice B, by law, MUST ACCEPT ALL PATIENTS who show up in their waiting room, and are banned from doing what Oncology Practice A is doing—again, being selective at the outset to only accept the Stage 1 cancer patients, and doing a later screening out to maintain that their patients are exclusively Stage 1.

“Well, low and behold, as things play out, the ‘data’ shows that Oncology Practice A has higher cure rates and higher remissions, while Oncology Practice B has a greater percentage of patients who are relapsing, having to undergo multiple surgeries, enduring extra rounds of chemotherapy, etc., and of course, dying.

“Proponents of Oncology Practice A then claim, ‘Look at all that’s wrong with all Oncology Practice B. Their patients are suffering, not being cured, and even dying. And then look at how wonderfully we’re doing here over at Oncology Practice A.’ ””

Comment by Jack


Education “Reform” with David Sirota

Corporations are making BIG money off of school children.

“The truth is that the largest funders of the education reform movement are…cut-throat business people

making financial investments in a movement that is less about educating children than about helping education

reform funders make a lot of money for themselves.”

Journalist, David Sirota, explains what’s really going on in education “reform” in this video…