September 21, 2017
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Comments for: Political mailer makes inaccurate claims about charter schools

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  • Anonymous

    The fact is that Mr. Bowen is the appointee of an administration that demonizes public employees unions and would rather privatize the entire state government than raise another cent in taxes to fund public institutions. Since direct school privatization is politically impossible, Mr. Bowen’s policy defunds public schools with a “seperate but equal” system, rather than fixing existing problems. The sooner these people are out of office the better. 

    • Anonymous

      I think if people just simplified here they would understand a bit more. I lived in an area that the schools weren’t even meeting the basic standards for learning. I had no choice in schools so I had to work approx. 70 hours a week to get my children in a private school as the other local schools would not take them because we were “out of their district”. I would have LOVED to have been able to save all that money and the 1.5 hours each day on the road getting them to school and back!  All this is giving us is a choice. Not everyone can afford a private school as much as many might think not all private schools have “rich families” some are there with fund raising opportunities that allow several children to get a scholarship and others like me find themselves in a position that they make more money than the minimum allowed for a scholarship and not enough money that makes it comfortable to send their kids to a private school. Gee, I think I just described the Middle Class. We can change this state if we would stop thinking about everything so negatively! Give it a chance, you just might change a poor class child or middle class child’s life by giving them the ability to choose a place they can actually learn from and take forward and make a difference in the world  as adults. 
      I applaud Governor LePage for thinking out of the box…someone has to.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, not an educator, not a student.  But it seems to me Mr. Bowen’s definition of ‘not private’ would include Maine’s largest private employer, Bath Iron Works.

    BIW and many other private corporations contract or charter (same thing) with the government to provide a service or product. 

    Chartering schools sounds like privatization to me.

    Let’s not redefine private.

  • Anonymous

    I love political mailers, regardless of which side they are advocating. When you mix them with unsolicited junk mail and put them in your wood stove, they throw great heat for a couple of minutes. Maybe I should let both major parties know that I am ” undecided”. I might be able to forgo buying firewood this season. 

  • Anonymous

    The Republican running for highest office doesn’t even have the honor and integrity to be honest in his ads — you think these little PACs and groups are going to be honest? 

  • Anonymous

    Some of the respondents here should do more homework before posting. Though there may well be other reasons to question the LePage administration’s overall approach to education, Commissioner Bowen is not wrong here. Charter schools are not “privatized” schools, though some school districts do permit corporate management of such schools. Charter schools may be started by teachers, non-profit groups, other government entities (such as universities) and must be managed on a non-profit basis. They must also meet all state standards for public schools and students must pass state-mandated tests. Charter schools have long existed in numerous other countries. They simply represent an alternative approach to public education. Private schools are an entirely different proposition.    

    • Anonymous

      Corporate management of schools = privatization.
      Church or religious group sponsorship of schools = privatization, religious type.

      • Anonymous

        By that definition public schools would be socialist, right?

        • Anonymous

          And therefore privatized schools fascist. Again by definition.

          • Anonymous

            And public colleges like Penn. State aren’t?…..hope you get to testify at the trials of all the public officials who covered up Sandusky’s abuse. 

        • Anonymous

          Maybe so, by the broadest of definitions.  Are you in favor of elitist private schools?  Product of one?  Hardly a good fit with your apparently conservative/libertarian views.  The rise in public education through the centuries of our existence is a prime factor in the nurture and growth of democracy.

          • Anonymous

            I am not a libertarian by any means and definitely liberal on social issues but I don’t buy into the bashing of the Charter School concept. It has little to do with elitism or privitization and everything with parents’ rights to look for the best educational opportunitites for their kids. There are plenty of examples of poverty level parents sending their kids to charter schools. I have seen this system work in other countries, where public schools must compete with charter schools, with improved outcomes as the result.  The notion that education can only function under  local control should be relegated to the past. Stale thinking doesn’t suit the left any better than the right.   

          • notateapartier

            Right, and over the past 20+ years, 41 other states and DC  have had charter schools, to varying degrees of success, so far.  Oversight is important. 

          • Anonymous

            Except that our Democracy was a product of people who were educated in religious schools and colleges run by religious orders, and to a certain extent still is—check the backgrounds of the Supreme Court Justices or all of the people who graduated from Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin now being elected to public office.

        • Anonymous

          If you mean the schools are publically owned, then yes, it’s socialist. Privitization is not the best option here. Adding a profit motive to education is not always a cure-all. Look at the NCAA and for-profit college scams for example. Fixing existing schools should be the priority.

      • notateapartier

        Charter schools cannot use religious instruction or activities, just as any other public school. 

  • Anonymous

    Charter, or more honestly, for profit school, are being bought up by investors as they are returning over 10% on the investment. Guarenteed taxpayer funded income generators. Profit centers whose sole reason to be is profits, not education. Made Jock and Olympia millions.

    • Anonymous

      Which begs the observation that they must be thriving, viable schools worthy of investing in…….or would you prefer to invest in schools that lose money and perform poorly? 

  • Guest

    Charter schools and school choice benefit the haves. 

    • Anonymous

      Which begs the question on why in every portrait I’ve seen of charter schools, the children they serve are largely poor and minority…..unless you’re a Democrat and these really are the ‘haves’? 

      • Guest

        The charter schools I’ve seen have the children of the wealthy.
        School choice is not fair.

        • Anonymous

          According to the National  Center for Education Statistics, only 37% of the students were white; while 30 % were Black, and 26% were Hispanic. The percentage of charter schools which were high-poverty was 33% and only 19% were low poverty.

          Bowen is correct and only reflecting official USDOE statistics found at http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=30

          Not saying you’re ignorant or a union troll; but it sure looks like it!

  • Anonymous

    When I begin to see applications for Charter Schools that would specialize in educating our 504 students, special education students as well as our “we don’t need no education” students–all for the one price of current per student cost–then I might say “bring them on”. 
    Removing the “easily educated” from the mix in public schools leaves what? And without the per pupil income received for educating these students, do you honestly believe the remaining public school population could still be educated for the same cost? No! 504, Special Ed etc costs much more than standard ed. With taxpayers still footing the bill for the Charter students, those remaining in public schools would raise the cost to the public schools necessitating that the districts go to the taxpayers for more money. By the way, that more money they would be asking for would have a direct correlation to the “profit” siphoned off by the charters. Oh, I forgot, charters are non-profit. OK, lets rename profit “the cost of doing business”.
    At the current time we do indeed have school choice. It is called a “Superintendent’s Agreement”. If you as parent believe firmly that it would be in the “best interest” of your student to attend a different school you need only bring the matter to your superintendent. If she/he disagrees with you, simply appeal to the Commissioner. He would be happy to overrule the superintendent and send your child wherever you want to take him. At least this would keep our tax dollars in public schools that are overseen by people you elect to the school board.
    I say this all with my tongue part-way into my cheek. So please, when harpooning me, keep that in mind.

    • notateapartier

      As they are public schools, charter schools cannot discriminate.  They have to accept ALL students who apply, up to capacity. After that, students are accepted on a lottery basis.  This means that all students with special needs are to be accepted and accommodated. The only way that there can be discrimination is if a school does specialize in serving students who have special needs or are “at risk”.  

      • Anonymous

         They however can counsel out parents by claiming they don’t have the resources to care for their student or that the school is not a good fit for their student.  This is one of the reason that Charter Schools kick out 10 times as many students (proportionally) as do their public school counter parts.  Despite this gaming of the system, Charter schools drastically underperform public schools.  Anybody who supports charter schools is either a fool, has an axe to grind, or stands to make money by the privatization.

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