Wednesday March 2, 2016
Presenters: Charles S. Strauch and Thomas M. Connor
Moderator: Neil Funnell
Neil Funnell opened the meeting and set the framework for the discussion. Each presenter would have a 15 to 20 minute background positioning. After each had presented , questions & answers would then begin. Audience was asked to hold questions until after the formal presentations.
Neil framed the ethics discussion with four factors to be considered.
CHARLES STRAUCH: Charles earned his B.S. in industrial engineering from Lehigh in 1957. He has enjoyed a successful career as a businessman and entrepreneur in a variety of technologies in the tech sector. Mr. Strauch is actively involved in promoting national K-12 public school choice, and currently serves on the board of the New York City-based Success Academy, a network of 36 charter schools.
Items Discussed: Key Facts/Concepts:
K-12, S.C. Ed.:
-Believes in public education
-Summarized current status of SC -private & public funding.
What are charter schools ?
-Big diversity in charter schools from large communities to rural areas.
-SC has 68 charter Schools
Education is a National Crisis
-75% 8th & 12th graders unable to Write proficiently
-US ranks last in college completion among 18 countries
-High school dropouts 2010 account for $337 billion lost earnings in their life times.
Success Academy is in NYC
-18,000 applicants for 500 slots
-Uses public buildings & raise private money for programs
-Longer school days focus on breadth of subjects.
NYC, Chicago and Detroit:
- Pitched battle between politicians/unions & parents
-Unions heavily fund politicians
-Success Academy is working with limited space
Success Academy Results:
-Top 1% all New York schools In Math.
-Top 3% of all N.Y. C. Schools in English/Language Arts
Charter Pro & Cons
-public school choice for parents
-Classic disruptive model -Start small, prove model, build success
-private sector support-self serving motive
-Public fiscal inefficiency
-Not a student cross section
-Less money for district & classrooms
-Less political transparency & state/local control.
THOMAS CONNOR is a graduate of Clarion State College in 1965, received his M. Ed for Administration and Supervision at the University of Maryland, receiving a PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. He later served as Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent in Pennsylvania Public Schools, finishing his active career in Washington School District in PA., and currently chairs the Board of the children’s Center.
-Size of district doesn’t change results.
-Parents need to care about their children...#1 issue
-Public education needs to do a better job of helping parents understand
Key to improved public education:
-Early Childhood education is Fundamental to success
-Beaufort County 64% have a high school degree. Need to break the underperformance cycle
School Boards are a Key:
-to be a school board member in S.C. you must be 21, registered to vote & live in the district.
-It is recommended to elect all board members at large /stop local bias
School Administrators SC :
-Does not need a degree
-All expelled kids have to be in school.
-Many of the rules the public Schools do not benefit kids
Parents are key:
- They need to be engaged/need to understand education & its importance.
Is it Better to Non-Union:
-Unions happened due to the way that Teachers were treated.
-Charters have limits, but public must have space for all kids.
Major Stumbling block/Public: Government control & politicians are the major problem.
hat is the ethical issue of Education?
Open teacher positions is a real ethical issue
-Finding young black elementary male teachers to hire. They work, but have gone on to other work.
-Trying to tell district how to teach when they have limited to no Experience.
FOCUS ON WHAT TO TEACH, NOT HOW TO TEACH.
TEACH FOR AMERICA: - Good program...big turnover.
Our thanks to Charles and Tom for their outstanding, detailed and clearly presented discussion of these important issues. They certainly drew a large crowd, with excellent audience participation Thanks also to Neil Funnell for Moderating, Isam Sakati for being our Sergeant at Arms and to John Patten, who not only recruited our speakers, but provided us with these notes from our HHI Ethics discussion.
Gerry and Neil