Thursday, August 25, 2005

Virtual Charter School Ruffles Feathers

Let the games begin.

You may have read the front page Oregonian hit piece on ORCA, Oregon's first and only virtual charter school. The article was about what you'd expect from the O - time and again it chose phrases intended to invoke negative feelings.

Right off the bat - the opening sentence:

"SCIO -- This tiny Western Oregon farming town is about to become home to Oregon's first public school run by a private, for-profit company."

As if the most important thing about a new way of educating kids is the fact that somewhere someone might make money doing it. Smelling salts please.

I think it might be more important to point out that in a very short period of time ORCA has enrolled more than 650 students in its virtual school program, despite the fact they have been actively marketing for less than a month. Obviously there is a huge pent up demand for what they are offering.

Did the Oregonian bother to quote even a single parent who has signed his or her child up for ORCA? Nope. Apparently not really interested as much in what positive benefit might come from a new and innovative way to teach kids as they are in pointing out ad-nauseum that there might be profits involved.

As if nobody is making any money on traditional schooling. All the textbook companies, of course, are non-profit organizations, right?

And teacher unions.... they don't benefit financially at all from the current system, right?

OH WAIT! Maybe I'm on to something here. Turns out that the teachers ORCA hires will not be part of the teachers union. That means no annual alms to union bosses. If ORCA enrolls 650 students, then it will need 13 teachers. It plans to grow to as many as 3000 students, which means 60 non dues-paying teachers will be employed.

They can't let such a dangerous idea spread, which explains why the OEA put so much weight behind insisting that their lapdog Peter Courtney push through SB1071.

Perhaps they can't kill ORCA, but they can make sure that there will be no others.

1 comment:

Lumpy said...

Well when I retire from the military, I can now find a place in Oregon to teach without becoming a NEA union stooge. Maybe the Oregon legislature should pass a Right To Work Law, so I am not forced to join a moronic union and pay for their stupidity. Oh well, until then, there is always Scio. I guess I need to call my state senator.