MSSLB – High Performing Charter School suspensions

Many Suspended Students are Left Behind (MSSLB) from high performing charters schools, according to numerous newspaper articles.  Just search “‘high performing charter school’ suspensions” online, and you’ll see what I mean.  Here’s one such story from “The Atlantic”.  There is concern that at least some high performing charter schools are achieving better test scores because they have forced out lower achieving students through repeated suspensions.

In Florida, bill HB 5105 would spend $200 million to create “schools of hope” based on bringing into the state high performing charter school operators from across the country.  But do legislators understand how these schools go about becoming high performers?  If these schools are created here — or in your own state — what happens if students are forced out with repeated suspensions?  Do they go back to failing public schools that are operating with far less funds — for example, minus $200 million?

If charter schools are given this kind of public funding, then they must be required to display the same transparency and rules that public schools must follow.  Otherwise it is not a fair comparison and the term “high performing” just becomes another way of saying “unfair”.

A Gorsuch Plot

U.S. Supreme Court justices are usually on the court for a long time, especially as average lifespans have increased.  It is a top judge’s job to make difficult decisions based on the law of the land — the U.S. Constitution.

With the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court many, particularly Republicans in Congress and President Trump, seem to have already concluded that his decisions will follow a consistently conservative line — maybe even plotting higher on the graph than former or current Supreme Court justices (see Ideological Leanings… below).  But will a graph (plot) of his ideological leanings continue along a straight line or veer over time?

It is interesting to note that since 1950, even most conservative justices have had more liberalized leanings (downward trajectory on the chart at bottom) later in their appointments.  Why is that?  Oliver Roeder theorizes on fivethirtyeight.com, a site well known for opinion poll analysis.

NEWWorthy would like to introduce one more possible reason: empathy.  The Fivethirtyeight list touches on similar issues, but they don’t mention empathy explicitly.  Perhaps it is because not everyone agrees upon the place for empathy in making Supreme Court decisions.  According to various articles, like this one in the Huffington Post, President Obama appeared to believe that empathy had a place in the Supreme Court.

Will Justice Gorsuch’s leanings plot follow a similar curve to other conservative justices?  I guess we’re going to find out.