AISD Superintendent Carstarphen’s Excellent IDEA


Predictably, the AAS editorial board has come out in attack mode against AISD Superintendent Carstarphen’s excellent idea, to “farm out” AISD education to IDEA Public (charter) Schools.  This fight is about teacher employment contracts, true accountability, and money.

IDEA schools have no magic bullet.  But charter schools, in general, do have two “magic bullets”.  They can reward teachers according to their effectiveness, and can hire or fire teachers quickly, if needed The second is that they can structure the school environment, school day, and school year for the benefit of the children, rather than for the adults.  As a result the Texas Education Agency [gave] the entire system of IDEA Public Schools an “A” (Exemplary) for the 2010-2011 academic year. AISD was given a “C” (Academically Acceptable).

The editors then moved on to “accountability”.  IDEA CEO Tom Torkelson lives 300 miles away!  Thank goodness that we have highways, airplanes, telephones, and the internet!  The real issue of accountability is consequences.  If IDEA’s Austin school doesn’t maintain its grades, AISD will close it; not so traditional AISD schools.  “Accountability” is meaningless without consequences.

But the bottom line is money.  “[The AISD] trustees should demand …[more explanation] before diverting millions of dollars [sic] in taxpayers’ dollars.”  Hmm, the “taxpayer’s dollars?”  I’m a taxpayer, and I have no control over those dollars.  How is it that they are “mine”.  AISD currently “controls”, and so “owns” the money.

But the “purpose” for the dollars is to give to AISD kids a good education so that they can become productive members of our city and state.  If IDEA can do that effectively and efficiently, then g’it ‘er done, Ms. Carstarphen!

6 Responses to “AISD Superintendent Carstarphen’s Excellent IDEA”

  1. Marina Says:

    I would urge anyone who believes that IDEA can come do a better job at this school then the teachers they have in place now, to come visit the campus and meet these students. Listen to some of the obstacles they’ve had to overcome JUST to be where they are today. They’re some of the most remarkable kids I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. My daughter is now a proud Eastside Memorial Panther. She’s always been a good student in addition to participating in drill team, volleyball, basketball, soccer and band. And prior to this August, she went to school in the Rio Grande Valley and we lived half a mile away from an IDEA Academy. She, along with her brothers (who graduated already) had the option of attending IDEA, and all three said no! And this year, at Eastside Memorial, she is doing phenomenal! And I have to say that if it were not for the schools caring, loving and supportive teachers, this transition could have been very difficult for her academically.

    IDEA is a good fit for some, but not for all, and, as a parent who’s always looked out for my children and EVERY OTHER CHILD who’s come through my doors each year, it is not a good fit at this campus!

    • Chanramani Says:

      //சட டக கல ல ர வன ம ற ய , அவ வளவ எள த க ய ர ம மறந த வ ட ம ட ய த என பத த ங கள அற வ ர கள . அத இந த ய அளவ ல , ஏன உலகளவ ல தம ழக ம ணவர கள க க எப பட ஒர தல க க ன வ உண ட பண ண யத என பத ய ம அற வ ர கள . அப பட இல ல ய ன ல ஒர சட டக கல வ பய ல ம ம ணவன ன தந த என ற ம ற ய ல ந ன அன பவ த த வ தன ய ம , எங கள உறவ னர கள நண பர கள ன பதட டத த ய ம தங கள க க ச ச ல லக கடம ப பட ட ள ள ன .//இந த பத வ எழ த வதற க உங கள வ ட உங கள மகன க க தக த என ற ந னக க ற ன .சட டக கல ல ர ம ணவர கள ன ரவ ட ய சத த ற க சட டப பட ப ப க க ம என ன த டர ப ? ஜ த வ ர வர ம ரவ ட ய சம த ன ம வட டங கள பலகல ல ர கள ல நடந த க ண ட ய ர க க றத . ஆன ல அவ வ ளம பரப பட த தப படவ ல ல . அங க ஆண ட த ற ம ஓர ர க ல கள வ ழ ம கல ல ர த டங க ம ம தங கள ல . இதற க அக கல ல ர க கல வ க ரணம ? அவ கள சட டக கல ல ர கள இல ல . ம ணவர கள ன ரவ ட ய சத த ல இறங க சம கக க ரண கள உந த கள . அவ ப க ம ப த இவர கள ம ற வ ர கள . ந ற க. ஒர ச ல க ழ ம ணவர கள இவற ற ல இறங க ன ர கள . அன வர ம அல ல. அத ஆண ட ச ன ன ச சட டக கல ல ர ம ணவர கள ம வர ஐர ப ப வ ல நடந த ஒர சட டப ப ட ட ய ல உலகளவ ல வ ன ற ர கள என ற த ர ய ம ?ச ன ன ச சட டக கல ல ர பல சட ட ம த கள ப பட த த ர க க றத என பத த ர ய ம ?அப பட ய உங கள வ தம சர ய ன ற ல , சட டம பட க க வ ழ வ ர இக கல ல ர ய த த ன தவ ர ப ப ர கள ய ழ ய சட டப பட ப ப யல ல. உங கள பத வ சட டக கல வ ய ப பற ற யத க மட ட ம இர க கவ ண ட ம . சட டக கல ல ர ய ப பற ற இர ந த ல அதன ப ர ள வ ற .கட ச ய க,எந தக கல வ ய ய ம இன ற எவர ம அத ல ம த ய க உலக க க ச ச வ ச ய ய வ ண ட ம என ற ந க கத த ல பட ப பத ல ல . எல ல ப பட ப ப ம ஒர ச த ட டம . வ ல , க ன ற ய சம பளம . அரச உத த ய கமன ற ல ந ற ய க ய ட ட . அத க ரப பவன . மற றவர ன ற ல ப றர எப பட ஏம ற ற சம ப த க கல ம என ற த ன .கல வ இன ற ஒர கட ச சரக க .Dont confuse the subcjet and the behavior of students. Dont confuse between the college and its students.Both are different.

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  2. Stacey Smith Says:

    AISD can structure the school day and school year in much the same way charter schools do in order to provide students more time on task. There are creative ways to provide that kind of time in a way that provides the students more academic time without the intense burnout and “churn and burn” working environment, which leads to high teacher attrition rates. High teacher attrition rates are linked to poor performance rates in regular public schools.

    What regular public schools in AISD and most other public school districts DON’T have in their working structure is the right to dismiss, expel, or counsel a kid exit the program because of any variety of reasons: the work is too hard, student isn’t attending tutorials, too many absences, won’t comply with the dress code. And you don’t have to exert this privilege too many times in order to get positive outcomes from the rest of the school population.

    This kind of privilege is likely the powerful variable in the success of charter schools. If it WEREN’T, schools like IDEA would be more than willing to relinquish that privilege, relinquish the lottery system, and simply take over a school in an attendance zone, teach all kids, in the same way other public schools do. But they won’t because past efforts by charters to do this have been failures.

    For charters to boast that their successes are based solely on the variable of great teaching and no-excuses culture are dishonest, at best. Appallingly deceitful is more like it.

  3. Jim Says:

    IDEA is taking over a school in an attendance zone now in East Austin, so it would seem they *are* willing!

    • Anonymous Says:

      They are absolutely not taking over the attendance zone, only providing those parents in the Allan attendance zone first “choice”to opt in or out. And, by the way, most families opted out. Why? The teachers. The teachers. And the Allan teachers. When families found out nit one Allan teacher would work for IDEA, many families opted out. IDEA will not even start with a full pk-5 elem, for fear the quality won’t be there…those are Tom Torkelson’s words. IDEA is shipping out all 3-5th graders to surrounding schools. This is not a practice that public schools generally have at their disposal. Stop making apples to apples comparisons with true public schools. Reasoning behind the small-scale charter school success is a smoke and mirrors game.

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