New Mexico Connections Academy Virtual Charter Wins Approval on Appeal to Secretary Skandera

Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing, a founding board member of the New Mexico Connections Academy virtual charter school and president of the Rio Grande Foundation, an organization dedicated to increased educational options for New Mexico students, expressed support for the decision saying:

Secretary-designate Skandera has taken an important step on behalf of New Mexico’s children by approving this charter school, the state’s 2nd virtual charter school. As both a founding board member of the New Mexico Connections Academy and a professional supporter of educational options, this is yet another step towards reforming education in New Mexico in a way that will improve student outcomes.

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6 Replies to “New Mexico Connections Academy Virtual Charter Wins Approval on Appeal to Secretary Skandera”

  1. Not having a relationship with N.M. Connections Academy, but advocating the State’s dysfunctional government schools be replaced, revamped or something effective done, I am thrilled that Seceretary Designate Scandera has approved the charter school. The current government schools should be found criminally liable for sentencing the majority of N.M. students to a life of lower level earnings capacity and a less than acceptable quality of life.

  2. The point is not to provide “options” but to provide an education. RFG knows everything about its profit-serving ideology, nothing about public education. In every instance of privatizing a public function in education or health, profits go up and quality goes down.

  3. I would add two points. One, advocates of charter schools, who pretend to care about education, refuse to learn–learn–from experience. So they reveal that their concern is not education, but commercial agendas. Two, charter schools, once they establish their commercial presence, are increasingly difficult to reform or shut down–the very complaints which advocates make about public schools.

    According, coincidentally, a NYT editorial today summarizes the state of affairs long known to concerned educators:

    The charter school movement gained a foothold in American education two decades ago partly by asserting that independently run, publicly financed schools would outperform traditional public schools if they were exempted from onerous regulations. The charter advocates also promised that unlike traditional schools, which were allowed to fail without consequence, charter schools would be rigorously reviewed and shut down when they failed to perform.

    “With thousands of charter schools now operating in 40 states, and more coming online every day, neither of these promises has been kept. Despite a growing number of studies showing that charter schools are generally no better — and often are worse — than their traditional counterparts, the state and local agencies and organizations that grant the charters have been increasingly hesitant to shut down schools, even those that continue to perform abysmally for years on end.

    “If the movement is to maintain its credibility, the charter authorizers must shut down failed schools quickly and limit new charters to the most credible applicants, including operators who have a demonstrated record of success.

    “That is the clear message of continuing analysis from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, which tracks student performance in 25 states. In 2009, its large-scale study showed that only 17 percent of charter schools provided a better education than traditional schools, and 37 percent actually offered children a worse education.

    “A study released this week by the center suggests that the standards used by the charter authorizers to judge school performance are terribly weak.

    “It debunked the common notion that it takes a long time to tell whether a new school can improve student learning. In fact, the study notes, it is pretty clear after just three years which schools are going to be high performers and which of them will be mediocre.”

  4. Thanks to Paul for his work toward getting NM Connections Academy approved. This sounds like a great option to add for New Mexico schoolchildren.

  5. @Michael Hays:

    > The point is not to provide “options” but to provide an education. RFG knows everything about its profit-serving ideology, nothing about public education. In every instance of privatizing a public function in education or health, profits go up and quality goes down.<

    How much lower can the "quality" of the US-adopted 19th-century Prussian model of public education fall before you feel its abject failure?

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