Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment


   CHARTER SCHOOLS will be the topic of discussion this Saturday, January 5, at 11 a.m. in our inaugural Show on "Indiana Talks." We shall shoot at a familiar place—Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue, in Broad Ripple.

   Russ Simnick, president of the Indiana Public Schools Charter Association was considerate enough to respond to he blog I posted yesterday and disagreed on several points I made. I will respond to his points as follows:

   1) The first charter schools were in Minnesota, but the concept was developed by Ray Budde. He was a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. (I went to Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha nationals in student congress there in 1974. The Union Building was eleven stories tall and had a bar on the top floor. The drinking age of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was 18 for everything. I loved Massachusetts.) So you are right about where the first charter schools were opened, but that was not my point.

   2) My statement about studies was accurate. You are correct to say the studies to which I refer did not address Indiana’s charter school. I did not say those studies were specific to Indiana. I cited them for having examined operations of charter schools. I appreciate the information you provided about Indiana’s charter schools and will review that between now and the Show. (I’d like to review the material this evening for tomorrow’s blog, but purchased a new computer and—well, you know what that means. I will have to enroll for two days in an online mechanical engineering program to learn how to hook up the monitor to the computer, etc.)

   3) Thank you for calling me out on the for-profit argument I made. I will look at our Hoosier statutes. If I made a statement about Indiana charter schools that was legally and factually inaccurate (and from what you say, I did), I apologize. I will check the statutes.

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