Madison, Wisconsin has been a showcase for the sort of irresponsibility fostered by teacher unions: falsely calling in sick, exploiting young students as demonstrators, and even using fraudulent doctors' notes. Meanwhile, just southeast of Madison is the City of Chicago, where Urbanprep, a charter school for inner city black males, has once again succeeded in getting 100% of its graduates into college. Boyce Watkins, PhD, outlines what goes into this success story:
Urban Prep has a unique set of hurdles. It is in a troubled part of the city, and only 4 percent of the incoming freshmen could read at grade level. With hard work and persistence, the students who could not read at grade level four years ago are now on their way to college.
"I never had a doubt that we would achieve this goal," said Tim King, the school's founder and CEO. "Every single person we hired knew from the day one that this is what we do: We get our kids in to college."
From the day the students enter high school, they are prepared for the next step. They have a college counselor from day one, and their first field trip is a visit to Northwestern University. Their school day is longer than that of students who attend other schools. The school's voice mail has a student saying, "I am college bound," before the caller is able to dial an extension.
Charter schools are generally nonunion, as I assume Urban Prep is, particularly because its school day is longer than normal. Dr. Watakins, a man who demonstrates alongside Al Sharpton, makes nary a whisper about unions. But clearly, the students and staff are highly motivated to achieve. The one size fits all model of public education, with no incentives for excellence for teachers (and no penalties for slackers), simply fails too many students.
Hat Tip: Greg Richards