by David Safier
Ann-Eve Pedersen and I have recorded the second program for our new cable news show, Education: The Rest of the Story, produced by Carolyn Brown through Access Tucson Community Media. The first segment is online, and it's worth watching. Ann-Eve talks about a new charter school handing out fliers to her son and other children outside their middle school — to the children, not the parents — promising the kids $100 for enrolling in the school. "I see this as a natural extension of what happens when we treat education like a business," Ann-Eve says in the video. "Our children have become commodities."
The new charter is called The Rising School (subhead: "Rising to Achieve Greatness"). It looks like a BASIS clone, all the way down to the "diagnostic tests" students have to take after they're admitted. "[N]o one can 'fail' a baseline test and be kept out of The Rising School because of his/her performance on the test," the website says. What it doesn't say is parents can be discouraged from sending their children, telling them they will be held back a grade if they don't pass muster.
As for that $100, here's what it says on the website:
Earn $100! Any student who enrolls in The Rising School by August 5, 2013, spends the entire 2013-14 year at TRS, and finishes the year with 95% or higher attendance and a 3 or higher Civic Score will earn $100! Tell your friends about this opportunity, too!
And right under that is a link to a "Student Interest Form" kids can fill out if they want that hundred bucks. No parental consent is required on the form, though address and home phone are required.
You can watch the 3 minute video below the fold.