Kids Not Products
Kidsnotproducts.org is a subsection of the www.voice4choice.org and www.personalizedlearning.org website, which has been established to be a strong voice for student-centered public school choice, public charter schools, and Personalized Learning Public Charter Schools. This Kidsnotproducts.org subsection is intended to be a direct, counterpoint voice to the propaganda website, kidsnotprofits.com, which has been established by several public charter school hater groups using false and misleading allegations against public charter schools with the intent of undermining public school choice for parents and students and killing “the competition” of public charter schools nationwide. Don’t be fooled and seduced by desperate measures from desperate people trying to hold on to a broken education system that is failing way too many of our children.
Hundreds of thousands of parents and students are leaving district operated public schools each year, of their own free will, to choose public charter schools largely because most districts are outright refusing to change their education system and programs to meet the needs and interests of 21st century learners. Many district administrators and their schools remain largely beholden to the obsolete, century old, industrial age, one-size-fits-all, factory assembly line-like model developed in the late 19th and early 20th century. This model, even with its predominantly overcrowded classrooms and rigid approach to learning, works well for some students. But this outmoded approach to learning continues to either fail outright or underprepare way too many students for the challenges and needs of the 21st century. Parents and students, in response to this chronically failing system, are instead choosing public charter schools largely because public charter schools are proving flexible, adaptable, innovative, and responsive to the needs of 21st century students. Public charter schools view public education as a service and their students as their customers!
Enter the charter school hater groups. The charter school hater groups pretend to represent the public education interest at large. But these groups are not interested in supporting parent and student public school choices that are beyond their absolute control. To undermine and sabotage alternative choices, they have launched a sinister, coordinated, wide-spread, negative propaganda campaign to demonize and villainize public charter schools across the country. However, this attack is not just an attack on public charter schools. This is a direct attack against you, the people, and your fundamental right to choose which public school is best for your children’s success. This is a direct attack against your freedom and liberty, and is, in reality, a veiled attempt to reinstate a pre-charter school, monolithic, monopolistic, and oppressive public education system that forces your children to attend their district operated public schools with no other options that may be better suited for your children’s educational success.
Parents and students, don’t be fooled. A public education system without choices beyond district operated schools is not in the best interests of you or your children! Look at the chronically failing results of the district-operated public school system. Those results are real! It is estimated that district-operated public schools have been outright failing, underserving or underpreparing from 1/3 to ½ of all public education students for decades. Why else would hundreds of thousands of parents and students annually be seeking, of their own free will, the public charter school choice instead?
These facts are alarming enough. Don’t believe the propaganda lies about public charter schools. This false and misleading narrative’s primary purpose is to instill public doubt and fear, and to undermine parent and student public school choice.
This battle truly comes down to you, as parents and students, standing up for your fundamental rights to public school choice and to seek the best opportunities for a successful, high quality education. Demand your right to public school choice, equal access, and equal opportunity to quality public education in your communities. Stand up for your freedom! Stand up for choice! Equal access and equal opportunities to quality education in all communities is best achieved through parent and student choice, and must include public charter school choices that are independent of absolute district control. Stand up for public charter school choice! Stand up for quality education that puts your children first! Stand up for quality education that personalizes learning for your children! The alternative is unacceptable. The absence of choice is oppression!
As part of their negative propaganda campaign, these charter school hater groups representing the status quo have created a website called “kidsnotprofits.com”. This website contains outrageous false claims, status quo propaganda talking points, and blown out of proportion allegations claiming that the charter school movement is predominantly motivated by profit seekers. It is simply not true. The fact is that only 2% (about 25 of 1200 public charter schools in California) are operated by for-profit companies.
On behalf of the thousands of sincere, dedicated public charter school administrators, staff, teachers, parents, and volunteers that are dedicating their lives to putting the needs of students first in action every day through public charter schools and guiding hundreds of thousands of students to education success annually, a majority of students whom have either been failed outright or underserved by district operated public schools, we say bulloney to these false allegations! This petty propaganda campaign thrust upon the public by the charter school hater groups is offensive and a personal affront to the thousands of hardworking professional educators whose lives are dedicated to doing what is best for students. Treating students as products and pawns rather than as respected customers does not serve the needs and best interests of parents and children. Therefore, we say kidsnotproducts!
The district-operated public education system, to which the vast majority of all public school students must conform, is modeled, at least indirectly, by the industrial age factory mindset prevalent during much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Factory, assembly line oriented, this system is designed to move, in conveyor belt fashion, millions of students (products) through a rigid, mechanistic learning process with inflexible delivery of curriculum (one-size-fits-all), adhering to predetermined schedules (dictated by bells), and managed by a single foreman (called a teacher) per designated station (subject specific classroom environment). Rigid conformity to the system is the driving paradigm. Little or no consideration is given to the individuality of these student “products” and their unique attributes, talents, gifts, creativity, needs, interests, challenges, dreams, goals and aspirations. And what happens to those significant numbers of students who are not able to conform to this rigid system? They are labeled in one way or another as “rejects”, judged as unable to make the “quality control” grade, and are either thrown on the “scrap pile” or voluntarily dropped out when the scrap pile loomed as their certain future.
Remarkably and tragically, the vast majority of district operated public schools have not adapted, either by choice or necessity, to the changing demands and needs of 21st century society, nor to the diverse needs of its students. Instead, many fight tooth and nail to simply maintain the status quo, in spite of a tragic track record of failing way too many students and condemning them to a more challenging and challenged life. That is the ugly truth.
Public charter schools are succeeding, in large part, because they truly honor and respect students (and their parents) as their valued customers, not as products of an inflexible, inhumane system. Charter schools, by nature, can only succeed if parents and students choose them, so there is an inherent incentive for public charter schools to serve their customers successfully and provide a higher quality educational service. Districts can learn from and adapt to this service-oriented, customer-based, 21st century approach to education delivery and thereby improve their schools and programs to better compete with public charter schools. That is the intent, for the greater public good, of including public charter schools in the public school system. Yet, most of the status quo establishment simply refuses to learn and adapt, and refuses to even remotely consider students as their customers.
All students must be honored and respected as unique and gifted individuals; supported to pursue their own individual dreams, passions, interests, and aspirations; and guided to reach their greatest individual potential in life. The public education system as it exists today is a long way from honoring, respecting, supporting, and guiding all students as individuals. In order to get there, the education system itself must be transformed from a predominantly static, system-centered delivery system to a flexible, adaptable, student-centered delivery system. Profound disruption to the status quo education system and profound change is needed if we ever hope to improve the quality of our public education system and truly ensure that all students have equal access and equal opportunity within all communities to choose a public schools that gives them the best chance to succeed. Public charter schools are the vehicle to help drive that profound change.
Parents Take Action
Ten steps to take control of your future and be a voice for public school choice
- Demand from your local school district Board and Superintendent to change their education system to Put Students First in practice and create a more flexible and adaptable education delivery model that meets the needs of all children.
- Demand from your local school district Board and Superintendent to approve several independent public charter schools to give parents and students a variety of choices in public education beyond those just offered by their school district.
- Demand that your local School District empower parents and students to decide which public schools best meet their needs.
- Join the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) Families. Go to http://ccsafamilies.org/ for more information
- Contact your local Assemblymember and demand that he or she support parent and student public school choice, public charter schools, and Personalized Learning Public Charter Schools. If you do not know who your local California State Assemblymember is, go here: http://assembly.ca.gov/
- Contact your local Senator and demand that he or she support parent and student public school choice, public charter schools, and Personalized Learning Public Charter Schools. If you do not know who your local California State Senator is, go here: http://senate.ca.gov/
- Volunteer and participate in rallies that demonstrate solidarity in favor of public school choice, public charter schools, and Personalized Learning Public Charter Schools.
- Research carefully those running for your local District and County School Boards and determine whether they have been and will be a strong voice for parent and student public school choice, not only through lip service, but through their actions. Use the power of your vote to choose only local School Board Members who strongly believe in parent and student public school choice. If you care about the quality of public education, do not simply vote the party line.
- Research carefully the candidates running for your local Assembly and Senate seats and determine whether they have been and will be a strong voice for parent and student public school choice, not only through lip service, but through their actions. Use the power of your vote to choose only local School Board Members who strongly believe in parent and student public school choice. If you care about the quality of public education, do not simply vote the party line.
- Research carefully those running for your state offices and determine whether they have been and will be a strong voice for parent and student public school choice, not only through lip service, but through their actions. Use the power of your vote to choose only local School Board Members who strongly believe in parent and student public school choice. If you care about the quality of public education, do not simply vote the party line.