tv [untitled] CSPAN June 20, 2009 9:00am-9:30am EDT
. >> go ahead. >> i'm calling to reply to the woman who called earlier about gay people and them choosing their lifestyle. i totally disagree. because no one ever complained about or no one ever taugged about how straight people choose to be straight or straight people choose to love the opposite sex. so why should gay people have that kind of cannot atation whenever they're talking about it? gay people love gay people, like other gay people because that's naturally how they are. that's naturally how they are. and to bring the bible and all those other stuff into it is just a weak defense, in my opinion. . .
of the previous presidents have done in so along. it reminds me of what roosevelt did. i think he's doing a fantastic job. i want to address the ignorance that has been portrayed from some of the previous callers. first of all, what the president does, his hands are somewhat tied. he's not a dictator to come in here and say that is how it will be and that's it, everybody has to follow suit. our country doesn't work like that, which is what separates us from dictatorships. people thinking, he will say all right no gay marriage. that is not going to happen. to me, it is the separation between something critical in the u.s. something like separation between church and state. host: we have to stop there because we are running out of time for this segment. when we come back we will
discuss charter schools with nelson smith with the national alliance for charter schools. we will be right back. >> roosevelt put aside 240 acres of wild america. now people talk about environmentalism and green movement, roosevelt is becoming the key figure to understand that he was the only politician of his day to absorb darwin and understood biology and bird's migratory patterns and meeting habits of deer and elk and antelope and actually did something. >> sunday on q and amp, the first of 24 hours with dauing las brinkley for two hours of wilderness warrior. >> every weekend the book cd has
the latest books and authors on c-span2, childbirth, golds, visionaries, garden of eden to today. there is a collection of 600 short stories. he talks with john dinkas. afterward, it airs sunday night at 9:00 eastern. john talbot exposes the myths about the recession and what it will take to recover. and jay richards on why he thinks [inaudible] is the best way to end poverty. >> the end of overeating. f.d.a. commissioner david kessler says americans can control their eating habits. much more books and author this weekend on book tv. the website has the entire schedule and great new features
including streaming video. archives that are easy to search and simple ways to share your favorite programs. booktv.org. >> "washington journal" continues. >> nelson smith is the president and ceo of the national alliance for public charter schools. first up, what is a charter school? why have the populations grown over the last couple of years? guest: that is first of all a public school. it is a public school that is in lieu of a traditional school district. it is held through performance of a contract, which is called a charter. it is subject to the federal laws that other public schools are. they're free are to integrate for the high accountability, they can make quick decisions and move nimbly to serve the
kids. as a result they're freeing to try things and try strategies that other public schools cannot. host: at publiccharters.org they serve higher schools. >> 47% nonwhite, 45% free and reduced price lunch in other public schools. why is that? guest: a lot of the charter schools are in cities. an increasing number in suburbs and rural areas. the bulk are in urban settings. there are more families than we can certainly have, about
365,000 names on waiting lists for charter schools around the country. we have to try to expand these faster. host: another stories from the u.s. news.com. this is from stanford university. comparing reading and math for the charters in 16 states. the u.s. charter for students said that the research found that 37% of the charter schools posted math gains that were below what students would have seen had they enrolled in traditional local public schools. there is a misunderstanding about the findings last week. what you find is if you look at it over time, the performance of the kids in charter schools turn up and outperform more than kids in traditional public schools.
the main finding is one we have known for a long time which is in any group or analysis of charter schools because they're so different, starting at different times and so forth, you will find some that are outperforming at an amazing rate. >> you find bulk of schools doing it on less money and other constraints. at the bottom, you find a group of charter schools that vary from state to state that are not performing well. it is part of the charter model to have high accountability and say they should go away. that is part of the charter model to say if you are not serving kids, they deserve a better education and the school should be put under better management. host: we have nelson smith with us, the ceo of the national
alliance of public charter schools. if you would like to get involved in the conversation you can call ... or go to c-span.org or a tweet on twitter. let us know what you think is happening. are you concerned about the numbers we talked about from earlier, that with the charter schools, that we might be returning to a separate but equal kind of a situation? guest: no, i'm really not. remember, the separate but equal issue was resolved in the supreme court in brown vs. board of education. every child deserves an
education on the level playing field as their peers. we think giving parents the choice to enroll their child in a school of their choice, it might be the better education than the case of the neighborhood school they're zoned to, that we are acting right in the spirit of brown vs. board of education. the most important thing is if the child gets a good education. the child has unlimited opportunity. that is the paramount value that we see in the charter movement. host: instead, why not put the money and effort into approving the already-established mainstream public schools rather than separating these kids out into the charter schools? guest: first of all, the separation is done by choice. the parents decide they want to enroll the child either down the street or whether it is across town in the charter school. people ask why not put the funds into the other public schools. the fact is that the great
preponderance of money goes into traditional systems. if you look across the country, charter schools are actually underfunded on a per people basis by about 22%, compared to the pupils in traditional district schools. a lot of that has to do with the fact that charter schools don't get support for their facilities. which of course public schools get through the state capital fund. the argument that we should put all this effort into just the public schools, it overlooks the fact about funding, but it also overlooks the potential that charter schools have. you see this happen in a number of places. you can create this race to the t top. host: our first call is from odenton, maryland. you are on with nelson smith. the ceo for the national alliance for public charter
schools. caller: good morning. i was listening to your description of some of the characteristics of charter schools where they are more focused. i suppose the reason why they exist and continue to is because they're effective. my skwe, if these are indeed publicly funded institutions that are behaving much like we expect private institutions to behave, why would the public education system not organize the structure all their public schools this way? any school should be focused and structured and strive for excellence. i will hang up and take your answer online. guest: that is a great question. i always said the idea of chartering is a way to deliver public education at scale. you are seeing this happen in a few cities. in d.c., almost 40% of the kids are in public charter schools. the central office has about 15 people in it at the public
charter board. i said if you have schools held at high standard, schools of choice, accountable for performance, performance-based contract, funded on an equitable basis and funded for all, we would be happy with that public education system thp today, those are schools called charter schools. host: from maryland you are on the line for the democrats. caller: i was a teacher at a public school and a private school. one of the things i noticed between the two is that in public schools, particularly the poor performing public schools, there is a big correlation between student discipline and academic performance. and none of these low-performing public schools, a lot of them are penalized financially if they have so many students who are suspended from school for
discipline problems. this is what is causing a lot of public schools to be trapped -- not just to be, but problems to teaching a classroom. and if -- i think if the politicians or the government would relieve that burden from public schools about how to discipline the kids a little more effectively, then i think a public school would be as successful as a charter school. i know when i was in a public school and they brought in a new principal. he basically put the law down as far as discipline was concerned and the school's test scores improved. guest: you raise a lot of interesting questions in that one question. we do find that by federal dat acharter schools are safer than other public schools in terms of incident reports and so forth.
if you look under that what you find is not harsh punitive discipline, but a culture of expectation for the kids. you also find charter school the are smaller than other public schools, although not by definition. you find the teachers, principals around parent say they know my child's name. there is a personal relationship that makes some of the more punitive kinds of discipline necessary in the best of our charter schools. there is no question we have to be rigorous about enforcing discipline and make sure teachers can teach without having to be interrupted and having side shows in the classroom. they don't get there by rigid rules but having a different culture. >> philip is a former charter school student on our line for independen independents. caller: ok. i went to a charter school near
the airport in atlanta. that was not a very enjoyable experience for me. you could tell they barely had any funds. the bathroom, the stalls, the walls that were being torn down. the water fountain didn't work. the food was horrible. you could tell it was old. it wasn't fresh at all. host: did you make another choice? did you go to another school. caller: i did i went to another school. it was a public school. it was a lot better. to comment on what you said a minute ago about how somebody said a minute ago about how there are less incidents at charter schools. when i was in sixth grade at a charter middle school, it was -- it wasn't a good experience with the students either, nor the
teachers. one teacher made racial comments. you could just tell. you could tell that there were bad seeds. most of the people in my school were predominantly black. host: how would you compare the education at this school versus the charter and public schools? caller: we had a choice. guest: you mentioned that the facilities were terrible.
often -- only 13 states do any of the states provide the kind of funding needed to charter schools to keep up and renovate and lease great facilities. that is a chronic problem we see around the country. the third thing is speaking generally. 4,600 charter schools and some of them won't work. you know, if parents are not able to get the kind of change in the school, then the authorizer of the school, probably the school board in adlanta, needs to look -- atlanta, needs to look if that school is performing or not. if it is not serving kids, there is a remedy, the revocation of the charter. that is why we talk about the charter model, because it is accountable, although, you will find places where an individual school has problems. host: we have the tweet from
blueg bluegun006, what are charter schools doing to help kids out of jurisdiction? guest: a few allow interdistrict transfers and they provide transportation. but that is not the norm. a charter law will say you can choose any school within your particular city. if there is a question on your jurisdiction, you might look at our website, public charters.org. there is a state association in every state. call or e-mail and ask about how the state law operates there. host: back to the phones. schol on the -- scott on the line for republicans. you are on with nelson smith. caller: good morning. mr. smith, i think you hit on two things that i see as really important. one is accountability and there is none in the public schools. and then importantly, setting the expectations.
i mean the schools -- my son graduated this year, my daughter graduated two years ago from public schools. there is more rules, more rules and more people to enforce the rules. these are high school students, lined painted on the floor, stay on the line, keep their mouth shut. eat in the cafeteria, nobody allowed to talk. that kind of a thing. how are you preparing anybody for anything except prison with those kind of rules? the expectations are set so low, what do you expect? people will perform to where you expect them to. on the accountability side, that is the big problem. that is the difference between charter schools, i think. school boards are not there to represent the parents. school boards are there to protect the administration nowadays, unfortunately. host: mr. smith?
guest: school boards are typically elected. running schools and overseeing schools, managing schools, versus overseeing schools, that is two different tasks. in the charter environment, we have a group that manages the schools but then you have an authorizer that will hold them accountable. when a school board is managing their own schools they're deal wealth superintendent. they have to disentangle themselves with what is going on. host: richard on the line for democrats. go ahead. caller: hello? host: go ahead. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i'm an african-american male here in south carolina. i have predominantly had good associations with different caucasian males and females in charleston, south carolina.
and about the schooling system, the way that i feel about it is that there is seems to be a confusion in the details. we need to work together bipartisan across the board, with each other, republicans and democrats, quit bickering. president obama cannot fix the whole world by himself. he can't do everything by himself. that is ridiculous. one person can build a house, but if you have many people building a house together you can build it better and faster. that is what we need to do. also, about the charter schools. if the people who are in these scientific institutions and these different upper level
colleges like princeton and yale and what have you, if they were so much more intelligent than everyone else, then why do we have global warming? host: hard to argue any of that. you used the word "bipartisan." at the federal level this has been a -- guest: president obama ever since he was in chicago before in favor of charter schools. we will have a national conference on monday and talking about charter schools and turn around and transformation. we want people to understand it is a movement that has support of both sides of the aisle. host: the national charter schools conference ruins june 21st-24. what are the key elements up for discussion at this conference?
guest: as i said & one of the first ones will be secretary duncan's speech about transforming the public schools around the country. the potential of charter models that are doing that, taking over schools that are not serving kids. we have a lot of keynote speakers. michelle reid talking about her plans. joe clieklein talking about wha is doing in high-performing charters. and do something we haven't done before. take a lot of the attendees to capitol hill. the building behind you there, rob, and talk about charter schools and tell their stories, individual school founders and operators and teachers and teachers, why is it important that the congress knows about charter schools? it is important because congress, first of all, provides the federal funding. they have to provide the policy.
in congress, there is a certain amount of misunderstanding. not everybody seems to know they're public schools. unless you understand that they're a new kind of public school than any other kind of support or policy discussion, becomes kind of puzzling. the best thing we can do is really put faces with the concept and let members see who are running the great schools in the districts. host: leon on the line for independents out of fresno, california. caller: i got a quick question for you. i'm puzzled. what brought the demise of our public schools to where they are now? was it bonds, the boards, was it apathy. the high school in florida produced the mayor of jacksonville. we had golf, drycleaning, we had
arts, we had a variety of different programs for high school. we had over 1,500 black students. today, i look around different parts of the country, they're cutting out band, cutting out home ec. they're cutting out a lot of stuff. what brought about the demise of public schools? guest: well, i wish i had a quick answer for that one. it is a historical phenomena. you mentioned some of the things that are being cut now, particularly in this tough economy. i do think, seriously, that one of the things we're witnessing, the old model, the industrial-age model of the school district that has a strong central bureaucracy that dictates downward to the school is not surviving economically in other ways as well. i think that explains some of why when cuts have to be made
they are affecting the kinds of vital programs you talked about. the things that make school boards work for kids. we think a model that has a lot more central bureaucracy and puts the funds, the resources and decisions at the school level near the kids is more efficient for the long run. >> california, molly on the line for republicans, go ahead. caller: yes, i was concerned when you supported obama as being supportive of the charter schools inspect is the president that did away with vouchers in d.c., some of the worst schools in the nation. whenever i hear that president say anything, his actual plan is to do the exact opposite of what he's doing the american people. it is a very scary thing. don't quote him. # because everything he plans
to do is a lie for what he really wants to do for this count country. guest: charters are not vouchers. charters are public schools in this country. folks on all sides of the political spectrum come at it differently. there is a broad space in the middle for an agreement about schools of choice that are publicly funded and held accountable. that is the basis of the charter model. host: do gets have to get tested? guest: no. there are too many kids wanting to go, so there is a lottery. we would like to be able to create more schools so all the families that have gotten in the lottery are waiting and waiting to have an otu
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