Denied: California Green School’s charter revoked

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This is a story about a charter school in my town of Chico, CA that had its charter revoked last night by the school board. I used to serve on that board, and I would have voted to pull the charter too. Of course, I never would have voted for it in the first place since the premise wasn’t sound to begin with. When a “green school” can’t make it in liberally thinking California, you know it had to be bad.

Excerpts from the Chico Enterprise Record:

By ROGER H. AYLWORTH-Staff Writer
Posted: 08/18/2011 12:25:47 AM PDT

As of this morning, there is no more Chico Green School.

On Wednesday night, after hearing impassioned pleas to give the charter school one more chance to prove its worth, the Chico Unified School District board of trustees, on a split vote, decided to revoke the school’s charter effective immediately.

Chico Green School received its charter in 2009, and opened its doors to students on Sept. 7, 2010.

Two days later, Chico Green received its first demand it fix things from the CUSD.

Through the following months, the school was accused of failing to produce a curriculum that met state standards, and failing to provide coursework that met the admissions requirements for the University of California or the California State University system.

The Chico Green School’s board of directors was also accused of various violations of the state’s open meeting law, the Brown Act.

In June, the school was also denied accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the agency that accredits schools.

Full story at the Chico Enterprise Record

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82 Responses to Denied: California Green School’s charter revoked

  1. D.Marshall says:

    Now let see the charters pulled for those school boards that push Intelligent Design

  2. Wayne Ward (truthsword) says:

    Even if they meet all the requirements as such the school above could not seem to meet? What it must be like to live in fear and desire to shut down anything disagreed with…

  3. James Sexton says:

    “The Chico Green School’s board of directors was also accused of various violations of the state’s open meeting law, the Brown Act.”
    ===========================================================
    A bunch of delusional greens trying to avoid sunshine laws? Whodda thunk it?

  4. James Sexton says:

    D.Marshall says:
    August 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Now let see the charters……..
    =====================================================
    How helpful and relevant to the discussion. Do you have any other meaningful contributions or are you just a one-trick-pony?

  5. PhilJourdan says:

    Even then it was still a split vote. There is hope yet for California being the home of idiots.

  6. BJ says:

    At least the Intelligent Design people insist on everything being called a “theory” and don’t insist anything is “settled science”.

  7. Keith says:

    D.Marshall says:
    August 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Now let see the charters pulled for those school boards that push Intelligent Design

    Absolutely right, kind of. Science is about empirical testing of falsifiable hypotheses to come to an objective truth, not about the flimsy reinterpretation of tired articles of faith that either don’t stand up to scrutiny or are intentionally impossible to disprove.

    Isn’t that what you meant? You’re seeking consistency it would seem, so I assume it is…

  8. kim says:

    To my limited understanding, charter schools are supposed to provide accountability by contract among teachers, students, and parents. So who broke the contract? The school’s board of directors? Watts up with that?
    ================

  9. jorgekafkazar says:

    Once again, “greens” have judged their performance by their intentions, not their actions. They’ll undoubtedly find someone else to blame.

  10. Brad S says:

    From what I’ve seen those who come out of faith based schools have a better education, are better people and behave better than those who don’t, especially as teenagers.
    I find most atheists are an intolerant bunch.

  11. Anonymoose says:

    “That board has 60s days to take action…”

    Well, if they’re living in the 60s then it might be cool, man.

  12. kim says:

    Brad S @ 12:02

    Atheism is intellectually intolerable; it requires as much faith to believe in the non-existence of God as in the existence of God. Agnosticism, AKA skepticism, is defensible. But it has its limits, too. Who believes nothing, is nothing.
    ======================

  13. crosspatch says:

    Well, keep in mind that the charter wasn’t pulled because it was a “green” school preaching the AGW nonsense, it was pulled because it failed to meet state requirements.

    Now that said, there are a lot of people who would want to believe that because the school had such a mission, that the requirements should be overlooked. As for the “intelligent design” schools, if a parent VOLUNTARILY wants to send their child to such a school AND it meets the state requirements, I don’t have a problem but if it should fail to meet the requirements of a general education, then sure, its charter should be pulled too.

    In other words, lets keep in mind the reason for the charter being pulled. It wasn’t because of the theme, it was because it wasn’t meeting general requirements.

  14. LamontT says:

    The problem that Charter Schools tend to have is that if they are publicly funded they must operate under most of the same rules as a regular public school. There are some, just some, exceptions to the rules that a charter school has.

    Most of the people who start and run charter schools don’t actually know the law they have to operate under. They just kind of assume that charter schools don’t have to follow all of the laws regarding public institutions when that isn’t true. And they often bump into this if they and have problems. Now most do learn how to manage the rules in a year or two but some just seem oblivious to the fact that they are a public institution and must follow the law and rules like everyone else.

  15. Mark Wilson says:

    I have never understood why so many people react so violently at the mere mention of the Theory of Intelligent Design. Take the standard definition of the Theory of Evolution, remove the word random, and you have ID.

    Is ID proveable? No
    Is Evolution proveable? Maybe, but the proof is so difficult that you might as well call it impossible.

    Get a life. Learn to allow others to have an opinion that differs from yours. As long as they aren’t requiring you to believe as they do, they aren’t harming you.

  16. Mark Wilson says:

    Green Schools,

    If they can’t make it there, they can’t make it anywhere.

    Apologies to Old Blue Eyes

  17. Tom in Florida says:

    After browsing their website I still don’t get the reason for using the term “Green”.

  18. Joe says:

    Meanwhile, how many students did they brainwash, er, fail?

  19. Bruce Cobb says:

    Chico Green School: Declared DOA.

  20. Blair says:

    What kind of courses are offered at a “Green School”?
    Recycling, Polar Bear Counting, Light Bulb Awareness, Bicycle Worship, Anger Management?
    Be afraid.

  21. Gilbert says:

    D.Marshall says:
    August 18, 2011 at 11:07 am
    Now let see the charters pulled for those school boards that push Intelligent Design

    Intelligent Design is not the antithesis of evolution. ID is a not unreasonable response to the claim that evolution proves God doesn’t exist.

  22. Alan Watt says:

    I’m sure people who live in the Chico area have a lot more background information, but based on what was written in the article, I don’t think we can draw any conclusions at all about this action vis-a-vis Global Warming acceptance. In most places charter schools of any stripe are treated with hostility by the public education establishment (the cartel).

    It may simply have been that the Chico Green School board of directors were not diligent enough meeting the letter of the law and became an easy target for forces which wanted them gone for other reasons. It’s also possible the enrolment in a school apparently devoted to promoting a “Green” agenda was insufficient to support it.

    Given the AGW message has thoroughly infiltrated both public and private educational institutions at all levels, I really don’t see how shutting down one charter school is going to make a difference.

    I’m also torn over relative risks of having students who, while totally indoctrinated by Green/AGW groupthink, can at least still read and write verses some students from public schools who are effectively illiterate. Not a happy choice, so I for one am not ready to celebrate.

  23. Russell's Teapot says:

    Dear kim,

    If anything is ‘intellectually intolerable’ about atheism it is because you are intolerant.

    If you’re going to be intolerant of something you should at least make an effort to understand what it actually is.

    Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity. It requires no faith.

    Agnosticism and scepticism are not the same thing.

    Dear Mark,

    Evolution is an observable, demonstrable fact. The Theory of Evolution is the explanation of the fact.

    Dear Anthony,

    I will continue to read this WUWT, which is by-and-large excellent, but I will not be venturing into the intellectual wasteland of the comment section again.

    Very sad.

  24. Jeff says:

    The school claims to develop children into “citizens of the world.” I would respectfully submit that any school which has its instructional foundation in a legal non-entity is bound for trouble.

  25. crosspatch says:

    Evolution is absolutely provable. Antibiotic resistance by bacteria are one evidence. Domestication of various foods and animals are another. Even “heirloom” varieties of things are much different than the wild version.

    We know very well that through a process of selection, we can change a species or a variety within a species. In nature, nature does the selection. That’s why polar bears turned white from their original brown. Lighter bears were more successful hunters in the arctic, would have had more offspring, and would have lived to produce more cubs. Eventually the population of bears becomes white because a brown bear would be seen by its food a mile away.

  26. Richard Sharpe says:

    kim says on August 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Brad S @ 12:02

    Atheism is intellectually intolerable; it requires as much faith to believe in the non-existence of God as in the existence of God. Agnosticism, AKA skepticism, is defensible. But it has its limits, too. Who believes nothing, is nothing.

    Let’s see what happens if we play the word change game:

    Anti-Invisible-Pink-Unicornism is intellectually intolerable; it requires as much faith to believe in the non-existence of the invisible pink unicorn as in the existence of the invisible pink unicorn.

    I personally find some/most outspoken Atheists to be people I would rather not know (not getting into names though) but I think there is a serious flaw in your statement.

  27. Chris says:

    So, the propaganda has been stymied in that particular neck of the woods, but there are many more forests to search yet for the rotten timber.
    Well done CUSD! And let’s hope that your children will come out of this awful example of educational mismanagement unscathed. May take a while, but youngsters can take it.

  28. Mark Wilson says:

    Some here confuse adaptation with evolution.
    Prove that evolution caused single celled life forms to clump together to create multicell life forms.
    Prove that evolution caused the cells in multicell life forms to specialize so that they could form organs.
    Prove how evolution caused these multi-cell lifeforms to create bi-sexual evolution.

    All adaptation has shown is that in life forms with a range of capabilities, those lifeforms with capabilities that best match the current environment will eventually come to dominate.

  29. Mark Wilson says:

    Russell’s Teapot says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    You read something by one or two posters that you disagree with.
    From that you declare that the comment section is an intellectual wasteland.
    From that you declare that you will never be back.

    And to think. You actually had the gall to lecture others about intolerance.

  30. Re: Mark Wilson 12:26 pm

    Take the standard definition of the Theory of Evolution, remove the word random, and you have ID [Intelligent Design].

    An interesting agument which I shall remember.

    After reading Rare Earth (Ward & Brownlee, 2000) I have become firm in the belief:
    “God does indeed play dice with the Universe. Whether God occasionally plays with loaded dice is an open question.”

  31. Ric Werme says:

    I went off and read the article. It didn’t list any of the complaints, just that there were many complaints and directives. Does anyone have specific examples of what they did poorly and how well graduates did getting into college? Or where’s the beef in “After reciting a laundry list of alleged deficiencies in the school….” Your newspaper didn’t list a single item. Are the newspaper’s readers interested in being told the conclusion or is it that they can’t decide for themselves?

  32. stephen richards says:

    Brad S says:

    August 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    From what I’ve seen those who come out of faith based schools have a better education, are better people and behave better than those who don’t, especially as teenagers.
    I find most atheists are an intolerant bunch.

    As an avowed atheist who has been a member of the Mormon faith and the church of england and now lives in deepest catholic secular france I object to all the ridiculous comments about athiests. I became a non-believer when I started to study science. You see, science informs you to become skeptical and once you become skeptical you start to look for evidence and when you find no evidence or very week evidence you become “a non believer”. Simples.

    No athiest ever went to war to fight for his beliefs, now did they ? The vast majority of past wars have been fought on religious grounds including the latest, AGW. So stop criticising my friends and look in your mirror. Are you the normal hypocritical beliver or are you an open minded, skeptic.?

  33. Russell's Teapot says:

    Mark, I didn’t say I was tolerant. I’m clearly not. I merely pointed out that the assertion that ‘atheism is intellectually intolerable’ says nothing about atheism and something about the person that wrote it.

    My future avoidance of the comments is not based, as you seem to think, on a few statements in this post – I’ve been reading WUWT for years. I’m just tired of sifting through off-topic dross in the comments. If I wanted to read the talk section of conservapedia, I’d go there.

  34. James Sexton says:

    Russell’s Teapot says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Dear Russell,

    Did you just start reading at the point where Kim made the statement or did you entirely ignore the antagonistic comment at the top of the page? Its ok to disagree with Kim’s posit, but I find it irrational to complain her and Mark’s comments when the impetus for such comments sits atop of this page.

    Nothing to say about that one? Well, probably wouldn’t help the intellectual environment in the comments page, anyway. BTW, if you’re going to wade through other areas of intellectual wastelands, it would probably be useful for you to understand there are several parts of the evolutionary theory which are demonstrable, but there are also parts that are not. ID in its general terms, is not incompatible with evolution.

    It could be if you worked on raising your bar a bit, you could see the value of other people’s comments here. Sad? You betcha, its sad.

    Best wishes,

    James

  35. H.R. says:

    “The Chico Green School’s board of directors was also accused of various violations of the state’s open meeting law, the Brown Act.”
    ========================================
    That’s a black mark against them and man, are their faces red. I’m sure if they can convince the board that they can redress the shortcomings, they’ll soon be back in the pink. (Sorry about the purple prose.)

  36. The vast majority of religion based charter schools seem to be able to satisfy the minimum academic and regulatory standards and thus maintain their charters.

    This charter school experiment dedicated to the green religion appears to be different. Perhaps they, like so many of their co-religionist brethren , believed they didn’t need to follow rules designed for inferiors.

  37. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “Chico Green School received its charter in 2009, and opened its doors to students on Sept. 7, 2010. Two days later, Chico Green received its first demand it fix things from the CUSD.”

    The moral of the story is that charter schools are not “independent” and are being hobbled by increased involvement by teacher’s unions and public school districts. It is very simple to see that a charter school which provides a superior education with far less spending than the public schools is a threat to the teacher’s unions. At this time, per student spending in LA area public schools is over $10,000. How is that working out for California? Are California’s taxpayers really getting a $10,000 education for their students? Any institution can do better with half as much. And home schoolers outperform them all.

  38. Mark Wilson says:

    “No athiest ever went to war to fight for his beliefs, now did they ?”

    Tell that to the Soviets.

  39. Mark Wilson says:

    Russell’s Teapot says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I thought you swore you would never come back?

  40. Keith says:

    Mark Wilson says:
    August 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I have never understood why so many people react so violently at the mere mention of the Theory of Intelligent Design.

    Hi Mark,

    I can only speak personally, but I’d suspect I’m not alone in that the issue I have with the teaching of ID is that it belongs not in the science curriculum but the religion curriculum. Belief in a God or creator is the ultimate expression of faith and, as such, shouldn’t be seen as being subject to the rigours of scientific interrogation. It has its place in schools, but not in the science lab.

    It’s not a scientific theory; rather it’s a theological revision of creation incorporating much scientific knowledge developed over the ages, but retaining a faith in a creator that started it all, a gap that (barring Harold Camping being correct) will never be filled by empirical evidence.

    It does scientific integrity a disservice to give a free pass to a theory that can never put up its central tenet for forensic investigation and falsification. Similarly, it does spirituality and faith a disservice to teach as empirically proveable something which should require an acceptance that not all answers are attainable. ID is not incompatible with science, but it isn’t science. I doubt we’ll ever know the origins of this universe, so it takes a faith of some kind to settle on an answer in one’s mind (or an acceptance of that question not having an answer).

    Evolution does an excellent job in explaining the development of life in its many forms and guises. ID adds little in scientific terms, but incorporates the role of a creator that made it all possible and gives a guiding hand. That aspect can’t be tested, and should therefore be saved for discussions of faith, spirituality and identity.

    Personally, I see the null hypothesis as being that there isn’t a sentient being or God as creator, and see the alternative hypothesis as unproven and unproveable. I fully respect the right of others to see it very differently, faith being an utterly personal experience. Because of this, I just want ID to be framed in appropriate manner.

    On the matter of the school being zapped, I dare say the reasons will emerge in due course. However, the excerpt “the school was accused of failing to produce a curriculum that met state standards” raises the not-unfamiliar suspicion of just how academically rigorous the greenies are. Why learn the facts when you can just browbeat other with emotive nonsense?

  41. Russell's Teapot says:

    James,

    I started reading at the beginning and yes, I did note the troll post in passing. I didn’t complain about Kim and Mark’s post; I pointed out common (often wilful) errors contained in them and then complained (I’ll even concede that it was in an inflammatory way) about the comments being an intellectual wasteland. I stand by that assessment – there are many of us outside of the US that find it incredibly damaging for polarised politics and conservative religiousity to appear to go hand-in-glove with scepticism in relation to orthodox CAGW science and policy.

    Also, if you go back and read exactly what I said you’ll see that I didn’t say that the ‘Theory of Evolution’ was demonstrable – I said that ‘evolution’ was an observable and demonstrable fact.

    That’s it; I’m done explaining myself.

  42. D. J. Hawkins says:

    Russell’s Teapot says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm
    Dear kim,

    …Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity. It requires no faith.

    Not so. Atheism is active denial of the existance of God. Its greek root means “to deny the gods”. At least understand what it is you are. Lack of belief is agnosticism. Its greek root means “not known” or “unknowable”.

    …Evolution is an observable, demonstrable fact. The Theory of Evolution is the explanation of the fact…

    It is entirely possible I missed the news story where evolution of one species into another was documented as it happened. I’d be grateful for a reference. No, fossils don’t count. Time lapse photography would be nice though. Documentation of the genetic and morphalogical changes would be good. Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.

  43. Alan Watt says:

    Followup to previous comment.

    I did find a more detailed article on the complaints of the CUSD against Chico Green and many of the seemed extremely petty. I also found another summary on a blog devoted to exposing problems with charter schools that mentioned the school had 50 students. One of the CUSD complaints was Chico Green had accepted 11th graders — apparently they were only supposed to have 9th and 10th graders. The same blog said there had been “considerable turnover” in the directors.

    This really seems like a school that just didn’t attract enough students to provide adequate administrative continuity, especially facing a hostile district establishment. There was apparently considerable internal friction between faculty and directors.

    From the Oroville Mercury-Register on August 16:

    “On June 30, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the agency that
    accredits schools, advised the Green School its program had not been approved. ”

    This was another complaint of the CUSD, stating Chico Green students would be at a serious disadvantage getting into California universities. Although that is hardly material if they aren’t allowed to have 11th and 12th graders in the first place.

    As I said earlier, this will have zero impact on the effective transmission of the AGW message into young skulls of mush everywhere.

    Meanwhile, here in Atlanta Georgia, years of investigation have established that teachers and administrators undertook extensive cheating on standardized tests (CRCT) to boost scores. Bonuses were paid as a result. The recently resigned Superintendent has denied any knowledge of, or participation in this cheating, but because of her contract, her legal bills will be paid by the Atlanta Public School system. Attempts to discipline other APS employees implicated in the scandal will cost millions to work through the elaborate disciplinary procedures mandated by union contracts. I predict most will keep both their jobs and their bonuses.

    It’s hard to cheer the closing of one 50-student school that may have been obsessed with the Green agenda when we can do nothing about a system with 50,561 students held hostage to unaccountable teachers and administrators, while failing to impart the bare minimum essential basics of education. That’s the charter which really needs to be revoked.

  44. Crito says:

    Chico, eh? Yeah, I threw back a couple of beers or more at Madison Bear Garden and other dens of iniquity in Chico in the late 70′s early 80s. I was always shocked to learn that peple with PhDs in Chico would rather wait tables than leave for a real job, but that’s Chico.

  45. 1DandyTroll says:

    @Mark Wilson says:

    “Some here confuse adaptation with evolution.
    Prove that evolution caused single celled life forms to clump together to create multicell life forms.”

    Easy, come morning, have look see in your mirror. But, of course, for some people one has to wonder, are they the result of evolution or their bodies’s cells adaptation to the glue they sniff?

    :p

  46. James Sexton says:

    Russell’s Teapot says:
    August 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    James,

    I started reading at the beginning ……….. That’s it; I’m done explaining myself.
    ==============================================================

    Russell, we get in these discussions from time to time. It’s bound to happen with the diverse group which entails skepticism. While I’ve often engaged, it has almost always been in response to some snarky or derogatory comment. I think it is healthy to see and participate in the discussions, though they invariably turn to something less than congenial. As to explaining yourself…… when going after other commentators here, expect to be challenged. Whether you respond or not, obviously, is up to you. That isn’t so bad, though, it sharpens the skills. There isn’t a better group of people to bounce ideas off of. All you have to do is engage in an aggressive manner, if there is a hole in your idea or thought, odds are you’ll have it explained to you in a short period of time. As to this question of our origins…… well, I think generations from now, there will be similar discussions.

    I am truly glad to see you rethink your position about fraying into such a desolate place.

    God Bless,

    James

  47. wws says:

    Knowing nothing about this particular school but a fair amount about human nature, I’d be willing to lay money on the odds that at it’s core, this was created by some dedicated scamster looking to rake a bunch of easy money from some deluded eco-enthusiasts through the vehicle of a broken and corrupt school system.

    Looks like it worked for a couple of years.

  48. Zeke the Sneak says:

    One of Pres Obama’s campaign promises was to encourage greater oversight of charter schools. He has kept his promise apparently, because the shut down process can now begin within two days of a charter school’s opening. Congratulations, California.

    And now opt-outs for students in California are also illegal, so parents have no alternatives to the public schools, and can’t even object to anything the public schools wish to teach.

    In 2005, the Ninth Circuit declared in Fields v. Palmdale that “[p]arents…have no constitutional right…to prevent public schools from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so.”

  49. Louis says:

    Russell’s Teapot says:

    “…I didn’t say that the ‘Theory of Evolution’ was demonstrable – I said that ‘evolution’ was an observable and demonstrable fact.”

    Doesn’t that depend on how you define “evolution”? If you use the “Theory of Evolution” as the only possible definition of “evolution” then the statement is meaningless. Otherwise, the “how” of evolution is open to change and could include elements of ID. If a scientist successfully designs an experiment that demonstrates evolution in the laboratory, wouldn’t that be proof of evolution by intelligent design? (Unless the scientist was lacking intelligence.)

  50. Ed Caryl says:

    D. J. Hawkins
    For papers on speciation read:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html
    There is even an example of single-cell to multi cell evolution as a response to predation.

  51. Zeke the Sneak says:

    That should say that low income parents have no alternatives to public schools. Obviously parents who can afford to send their children to a private school have a choice. And so do parents who live on one income, because they can choose to home school.

  52. Northern California Bureaucrat says:

    Folks, please keep in mind that not everything posted on this site has to do with global warming. Anthony posted this as an item of interest based on his being a past CUSD school board member. If you violate California’s open meeting laws, and don’t do what you’re supposed to be doing to educate the kids and prepare them for work/college/life, you don’t get to continue to use the public’s money. There are other private and charter schools in Chico which are operating just fine.

    REPLY: Yes there are, such as Nord School, which I was skeptical of at first, then voted for. They’ve done a great job there. – Anhtony

  53. mike g says:

    D.Marshall says:

    August 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Now let see the charters pulled for those school boards that push Intelligent Design

    Actually, I’d like to see the charter pulled for teaching anything in public schools that wasn’t being to taught to the men and women responsible for putting Apollo on the moon. That would improve education and get the cost down to where it needs to be (around $3,000 per pupil).

  54. Merovign says:

    How does a threadjack make it in post #1? I’m curious.

  55. 1DandyTroll says:

    “REPLY: Yes there are, such as Nord School, which I was skeptical of at first, then voted for. They’ve done a great job there. – Anhtony”

    You should commend yourself for the individual responsibility you take over there in the most “horrible” of degraded of capitalistic states and land. Even all the socialistic strive for socialism utopia in europe and EU such dedication and devotion to the welfare of others has never happened in europe or EU no matter the dictates of the state since it never can dictate anything it can be held responsible for or some such.

    You know things isn’t right in the head of the EU when so many people in EU hopes for everything to get right in US. :p

  56. Kyle Danielson says:

    stephen richards says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    No athiest ever went to war to fight for his beliefs, now did they ? The vast majority of past wars have been fought on religious grounds including the latest, AGW.

    I’m sorry but this is just a blatantly incorrect statement. Just in the recent histories, USSR was officially a non-religious society, plenty of war there. The various genocides in Africa. WWI and WWII. Hitlers meme was a promotion of a genetic super race. Men hardly need religion as a motivation to kill others.

    This is a great debate as it is between 2 fundamentalist groups. Both convinced they are correct and no amount of discussion will move the participants from their original positions.

  57. mrrabbit says:

    Folks who start schools don’t need to know the law. They just merely need to print it out and reference it.

    The same for the Curriculum Guidelines.

    Long as the school and board:

    1. Follow the state guidelines.
    2. Have an assigned teacher and classroom per class.
    3. Have an administrator.
    4. Have clearly spelled out dilineations between admins, teachers and staff.
    5. Maintain CUM files per student.
    6. Document IEP sessions and plans for specific students.
    7. Maintain 911 and emergency transportation plans.
    8. Maintain background checks and credentials.
    9. Plan and execute on a budget that makes sense on an annual basis.
    10. Adhere to state testing requirements.

    …they’ll get a pass. It’s not that hard really. Something went very seriously wrong over there.

    Violate #10 and the state will take over your school in a flash. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen.

    =8-)

  58. Wattsthepoint???? says:

    This whole discussion is dishearteningly depressing.

    Why was this school closed, as opposed to your average state school?

    Even if the kids sat around all day and ate popcorn, they probably wouldn’t be any worse off than many of our state school students.

    As a case in point: my nephew has just graduated from a state high school. He is barely literate, and literally has a hard time reading a newspaper headline. He goes shopping, and can’t figure change. Show him a map of the world, and he can’t find Europe.

    Yet, he is actively being pursued by a number of colleges, and being offered scholarships; all because he can throw a football. Implied in the offers he has been receiving is a guarantee of graduation with a degree, provided he shows up at football training and his college football team has a good winning record.

    Given this, it is pretty obvious that we are all doomed; so we may as well lie back and enjoy the ride.

  59. Dave Worley says:

    It’s pretty obvious from the name of the school that the founders had an agenda when setting up the school, and it was not about general education.

    As for discussions over the state of public schools, we should be very careful what we ask for. Public schools are designed to provide a minimal base of education for all citizens. Any student in the public education system has the ability to purchase a book independenly and to broaden his own knowledge. That is a matter of personal responsibility, not government responsibility.

    I’ll bet that most here advocate a smaller government. If you are one of those, you had better quit asking it to do more for you…because you will have to pay dearly for any service government provides, and the quality of the service will always be less than in the private sector.

    We are in the habit of asking something back from government, when what we need to be doing is saying “no thanks, I can handle it”. Until we do, the economic mess we have will continue to worsen.

  60. kim says:

    Aw heck, art leads me down the primrose path again. I only used ‘intolerable’ because of the previous comment about an intolerant atheist. And I take the point that a lack of belief requires no faith.

    What I meant to say is that denying the existence of God requires as much faith as affirming God’s existence. Come back, Rustle Cattle; we hardly knew ye.
    ================

  61. Zeke says:

    …Northern California Bureaucrat says:
    August 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    “There are other private and charter schools in Chico which are operating just fine.”

    That is a good point, there were several other charters that were opened in Butte County this year and that is good news for parents of the +/- 20,000 students who are on waiting lists in California to get out of the traditional public schools.

    New charter schools for Butte County CA in 2010/2011: Inspire College Prep High School, Ipakanni Early College Charter School, Paradise eLearning Academy, Pivot Online Charter, and Sherwood Montessori. A step in the right direction and best wishes.

  62. James Sexton says:

    Merovign says:
    August 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    How does a threadjack make it in post #1? I’m curious.
    ==========================================================
    I’d say it is because people are watching……..closely….. intensely…….waiting and watching for an opening. I know they do. It isn’t a big deal. In fact, it’s good! If there is any proof necessary that skepticism isn’t theological……..just come to this thread. Is skepticism confined to a political question? Nope. There are several threads at WUWT that shows it isn’t. Ideological? Nope. This is an eclectic group. And, it isn’t really a group! Sure, there are some regulars….I guess I could be classified as one, but, we all come and go. We give our thoughts, we debate, we argue, we discuss. We learn. We hear the arguments. There are skeptics, alarmists, luke warmers …… we are all here!

    So, some snarky pinhead gets to be first and hijacks a thread…….lol, so what, we discussed, we argued, we come to a better understanding! In the end, we’re more understanding, more knowledgeable, more enlightened.

    I’ll take that over the drivel of places which don’t allow for discussion, any day.

    For those that don’t know, I’m the typical gun toting, Bible hugging, ultra-conservative, skeptic. I come to this site because there are others who don’t believe like I do. They will expose me to different ideas and thoughts, some pertinent, others, not so much. And I’ll do the same. But, they believe CAGW is still just as much garbage as I do. Tomorrow, may be a different occasion, but for today, we’ve something important to do. Maybe, just maybe, along the way, we may come to understand each other. But, it doesn’t distract from the objective.

  63. Brian D Finch says:

    Green school violates Brown Act?

    Obviously the problem is the Brown Act.
    Innit?

  64. PhilJourdan says:

    stephen richards says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Stephen, you are not the “typical” atheist the poster was talking about. Neither is Penn Jillette. You are firm in your belief and appear comfortable with it. However, many atheists residing in America are threatened by faith. While I am sure there are some people of faith that try to “enlighten” them to their respective faiths (who has not had a Jehovah’s Witness knock on their door?), Atheists are not a threatened sect. However, they act as if every open display of religion is a threat. A student “thanking god” at his commencement is not a threat to their belief, yet the Atheist take it as one and seek to halt all open displays of religion, regardless of the time, place or source. And that is what the poster was railing about. And that is the insecurity of the American Atheist. I am sure most do not give a whit if Johnny says a prayer at his graduation, but some do, and they are the ones making the headlines and attacking all religious people.

  65. kim says:

    Snarky Pinhead Threadjacker #1 seeks future assignment to the base station of the Epistemology Re-Education Charter Schools.
    ====================

  66. david says:

    stephen richards says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    “No athiest ever went to war to fight for his beliefs, now did they ? The vast majority of past wars have been fought on religious grounds including the latest, AGW.”

    Oh, boy!
    That atheists don’t start wars, is an urban legend, promoted by… atheists.

    Name the three greatest atheists ever: Mao, Stalin and Hitler. They specifically went to war because of their beliefs.
    Communism the strongest proponents of atheism, believed in revolution, the really bloody kind. Think Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, the Soviet purges in the 1930 etc. etc. etc.

    The wars that were fought in the past, needed to be justified, even back then. A leader could not simply tell his people that he wanted to go to war. He needed a legal justification. Religion often provided part of that cover, along with some alleged wrongdoing. In the end the actual reason was almost always about land and other resources, sometimes personal animosity and sometimes the pursuit of fame and glory. Religion almost always simply provided cover as an excuse.

  67. phil c says:

    RE: stephen richards says:
    August 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    “science informs you to become skeptical and once you become skeptical you start to look for evidence and when you find no evidence or very week evidence you become “a non believer””

    Atheism confuses two different realms of thought. Science asks the question “what is in the universe and what causes it to behave in the way it does?” Believers, or religion if you will, asks the question “why is there a universe with me in it? What does that fact have to do with me and how I should behave?”.

    A simple example: you are sitting on the sidewalk with a “Out of work and hungry, please help” sign and a cup sitting there. I walk along with a wad of cash in one pocket, a 38 Special in the other. Should I give you some money? Take out the gun and shoot you to death because you are obviously evolutionarily unfit? Take you down a couple blocks to a soup kitchen? Start tutoring you in how to get a job?

    Science should probably go for the gun but realy has no answer at all. Atheism would allow any action you wish. Belief in God rules out thr gun but depending on the source and teachings of your belief, any of the other three might be OK. Go back and read up on Goedel’s Incompleteness theorem. Some problems simply have no solution, and God is one of them.

  68. coaldust says:

    Keith says:
    August 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Personally, I see the null hypothesis as being that there isn’t a sentient being or God as creator, and see the alternative hypothesis as unproven and unproveable. I fully respect the right of others to see it very differently, faith being an utterly personal experience. Because of this, I just want ID to be framed in appropriate manner.

    The problem with the theory of intelligent design is that it isn’t a scientific theory. What I mean by that is that we are talking about the natural sciences. The natural sciences do not consider the supernatural. When was the last time you read a paper from a geologist or physicist that said somewhere in the paper something like “if these effects are due to supernatural causes, then we conclude that…”? Answer: Never, because it’s not natural science.

    These are the natural sciences. They implicitly assume no supernatural effects. Thereby they implicitly assume there is no God causing any effect on their observations because the idea of God is supernatural. This seems to be lost on the vast majority of scientists and lay people.

    You cannot assume there is no God, make some observations, and then prove there is no God. That is circular reasoning. You would first have to assume there is a God and then find a contradiction. Try that one on for size.

    Thus, the idea that “the null hypothesis as being that there isn’t a sentient being or God” is almost correct but in error because it isn’t the “null hypothesis”, it’s not a hypothesis at all. This is due to the natural sciences not being able to create a hypothesis concerning the supernatural. Any such hypothesis is not part of the natural sciences.

    The conclusion is this: The natural sciences cannot prove there is a God, nor prove there is no God, nor say that he did not create the earth, etc. They can only say, “If the earth arose naturally, this is how we think it happened: …”

    Concerning ID, it is obviously not a theory of the natural sciences.

  69. Gary Pearse says:

    D. J. Hawkins says:
    August 18, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Fossils don’t count? This natural selection game takes a bit of time to convert a green slime into a seahorse so time lapse photography is out. How on earth would it be possible to arrive at such a slow moving theory by just looking at the way things are in the present. The beauty of it is that the fossil record is very much akin to time lapse photography. Even in a gross way, the fossil record shows that we have a fair continuum of changing creatures throughout time. That is to say we don’t find fossil humans mixed in with fossil dinosaurs, or further back trilobites (look like muscular bug-like creatures that lived in the sea). There aren’t even any fish mixed with the trilobites – fish appear much later, but well before humans. Indeed, at one time, it appears that life existed only in the sea for much of the earth’s biological history and it wasn’t until ampbhibians appeared that could crawl out of the sea onto the land (scurrying back to lay eggs and let the tadpoles develop).

    Now we could go into detail in the fossil record but this would make a long comment too long. We can follow the ancient horse from a little cat-sized fellow with 5 toes living in the bush. But as the plants evolved and gave way to large grasslands, horses that moved out into the planes needed to be taller than the grass so they raised up on their toes and grew longer limbs (rather longer limbed individuals survived) – two toes becoming vestiges and disappearing and finally they raised up onto one toe (on each foot) and the useless two remaining toes became vestiges and even today, if you look at the skeleton of a horse you will see two useless bone splints on eithe side of the main limb- the hoof is just a single toe nail.

    Finally also in the fossil record, there is an interesting feature that immature creatures of – say a type of shellfish in a given age is like a fully mature ancestor of an earlier age so that we can see in the life cycle of present day creature its evolution from earlier forms. You see where this is going? A human embryo starts off as single celled creature in its little ocean, becomes bundles of cells, then a fish-like critter even with gills(!) and then he/she develops lungs and emerges at birth onto dry land. It doesn’t stop there. The pre-speech critter is essentially simeon, and then at the terrible two’s is neanderthal, teenager is cromagnon man and finally modern man. So we have both the time lapse photograph and the evolution before your very eyes that you were demanding.

  70. TonyG says:

    Brad S says:
    From what I’ve seen those who come out of faith based schools have a better education, are better people and behave better than those who don’t, especially as teenagers.
    I find most atheists are an intolerant bunch.

    Personally, I’ve seen a lot of intolerance from those on the religious side, too. Not accepted in certain groups because I don’t believe in God, even though I agree with the stated purpose of the group. Automatically assumed to be “nothing” (thanks for that, kim), because of my belief or lack thereof. Insulted and denigrated directly because of it. Not exactly a way to win converts, I’d say. What was that about a mote and a beam?

    This sort of bickering about religious belief lowers the overall tone of this site, and frankly, isn’t relevant. Can those of us with different religious beliefs at least agree that we face a common threat in the attempt by the watermelons to take over most of our economy and work together on that without constantly taking pot-shots at each other?

  71. ANH says:

    See what Bobby has to say about ID,

    http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

    Who can say that His Noodliness is not the one true God? It’s just as likely as any other idea.

  72. Mike Graebner says:

    A testable theory for ID .http://www.reasons.org/

    Interesting if nothing else.

  73. RACookPE1978 says:

    A simple challenge: Please read the following description of the world’s creation ….

    Then tell me where it came from: an obscure word-of-mouth tradition starting some 5000-odd years ago by itinerant shepherds who didn’t even have a “zero” to count upon, much less decimal points to keep track of time; or the latest 20th century particle physics textbooks, archeology, geology and oceanographic references, biology and taxology theories, and astronomical discoveries.

    ————

    Everything was created. Suddenly and with great violence, but with uncalculable forces in the darkness. From this energy, light condensed a short while later. Then matter was created as the light energy further cooled. A period of time passed.

    The earth and solar system was formed from the galactic dust and interstellar plasmas, gathering together and cooling into the individual spheres (the planets and their atmospheres) and the sun we see rotating around our sky today. Another period of time passed.

    Down here on the earth itself, one continent was formed surrounded by one single massive sea, later breaking up and re-connecting by continental drift into the continents and seven seas everybody is familiar with today. Once dry, cool (non-volcanic) land appeared, the first plants began growing, changing the original inhospitable and deadly atmosphere of toxic and light-absorbing gasses into the clear and viable combination of oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor and carbon dioxide we need (the balance of gasses that all life needs on earth!) to survive today. These first plants kept growing for another while longer.

    Well, the atmosphere was finally clear enough for visible light to be transmitted through the previously dark atmosphere, and suddenly the available energy on the surface grew large enough to support more life, higher forms of life above simple plants.

    So animal life grew – first in the warm tropic seas as fish and amphibians, then on land with dinosaurs (who evolved into birds) and then modern large mammals. Man finally straggled onto the scene, very late behind everything else.

  74. kim says:

    Heh, mods rock.
    ========

  75. Jeff L says:

    Years ago, my wife and I served communion at a village in the Chernobyl region of Ukraine within the dead zone. Afterwards, we offered to pray for anyone who wished for prayer. Through an interpreter, an old woman asked us to pray for her stomach. A moment later she started jumping up and down saying in Russian, “I can see, I can see!” Now anyone could find reasons for that very unusual event (including, I suppose that what I’m saying is just a fabrication), but in my mind it is a clue that there is something beyond the natural world we experience with our physical senses. Some people would call that “God.”

  76. Quatermass says:

    Intelligent design? You’re kidding, right? Talk to any woman, and see if she thinks her reproductive system was designed intelligently. Or the knee joint. No engineer would ever design something that awful. Religion = end of science, as rather than investigate things we don’t understand it all gets thrown in the box marked “God did it”. And yes, I am an atheist, and unashamedly so. In fact, I suppose I might more accurately be called areligious as I am opposed to all forms of religion based on god or gods.

    Anyway…

  77. Brian H says:

    kim;
    to be precise, agnosticism is not simply uncertainty, or doubt. It holds that it is impossible to know whether God exists, etc. I.e., it holds that there are no classes of available data that can settle the matter.

    A few videos and multiple, numerous, contemporary first-person testimonies of a Voice from a hovering Thundercloud might qualify, but none are extant.
    _____
    Which brings up the tale of Jock, the Scotsman. It’s very long and shaggy, but in short, after many cycles of accumulating disasters reducing him from a wealthy family man with his own thriving business to a ragged divorced bum in the alley (despite praying after each tumble for a big lottery win), he is finally answered by a Talking Thundercloud: “Jock, Jock — you’re going to have to meet Me half-way on this. You’ll have to buy a ticket!”
    ;)

  78. Brian H says:

    To be more explicit about agnosticism, it is also a belief system. Its belief is that neither science nor philosophy can decide the Question.

  79. Brian H says:

    I “believe” in Intelligently Self-Designed Evolution.

    If once a DNA/RNA code arose which effectively “trimmed the tree” of possible random mutations in response to survival or environmental pressures, it would have conveyed an immense selection advantage. Accumulation of such meta-codes would be inevitable, and would shape evolution in a highly non-random manner, thus undercutting the “impossible numbers” objection.

    IMO, there is no other reasonable explanation for the strong conservation of huge amounts of “silent” DNA; the energy cost of protecting useless coding from alteration prohibits it. Further, similar “layered” shaping of neural nets is the basis of all learning and intelligent behaviour at the physiological level. The principle involved applies, a fortiori, to species-level “design”.

    As for the first “cells”, here’s a suggestive video by a maverick tenured biophysicist: Water’s Exclusion Zones. It even includes a game-changing explanation for lightning!

    H2O rulz —

  80. Don Newkirk says:

    Interesting comments so far. We don’t understand the “politics” or “religion” behind the rescision of the charter, but the article clearly states that 1) the school does not meet entrance standards for CSU and UC, and 2) the school could not be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. These facts suggest that the curriculum may have been deficient, and/or the credentials of (some) teachers may have been insufficient. Thus, it might be a great place of learning (no, really, I’m trying to get my tongue out of my cheek), just not if you want to graduate and go to a California institution of higher learning. That tells me not to send my grandkids there….

    And why are we arguing about “who” may have been present overseeing the moments before the Big Bang (oops, there weren’t any such moments–well, you get what I mean). I think that is an area where we are all free to construct or adopt fantasies (or theories!) at will without affecting anything relating to Natural History On This Plane. If one professes faith in the Christian God and the Gospel, that is a very different proposition from professing faith in the current understanding of the Scientific Method. I do not see how a Christian’s insistence on “living the faith” in any way should affect discourse in matters scientific. So, I might suggest we do a little self-editing before we bash a faith group (i.e. the ID crowd), even unintentionally, mentioning this group or another when their beliefs may be entirely irrelevant to the present discussion.

    Last, what about giving the charter school the benefit of the doubt. What if, even if their curriculum didn’t meet state standards, they offered sound conservationist ideas in conjunction with scholastic subjects. For example, I can’t see how an emphasis on how to be a good neighbor in an urban environment, including 1) don’t litter, 2) recycle if you can reasonably (can’t at my complex), etc. Thus, aside from the suggestive word “Green” in the name of the school, we don’t know from the facts presented in the article, whether the school had even been founded by radical environmentalists. Heck, even I think that is probably the case, but I though these were supposed to be comments and discussion about the article.

  81. Don Newkirk says:

    coaldust says:
    August 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Keith says:
    August 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Personally, I see the null hypothesis as being that there isn’t a sentient being or God as creator, and see the alternative hypothesis as unproven and unproveable. I fully respect the right of others to see it very differently, faith being an utterly personal experience. Because of this, I just want ID to be framed in appropriate manner.

    You cannot assume there is no God, make some observations, and then prove there is no God. That is circular reasoning. You would first have to assume there is a God and then find a contradiction. Try that one on for size.

    Exactly. A lot of people go around saying “You can’t disprove a negative”, but we all, who have studied geometry, trigonometry, and propositional calculus (Boolean algebra) know quite well that your sentence, “You would first have to assume there is a God and then find a contradiction.”, perfectly describes just the opposite. How many times have we disproven hypothetical propositions exactly through reductio ad absurdum? And the hypotheticals can be positive or negative. Rather than assuming that the task is impossible, as it appears you do, why not frame an example of at least the start of a hypothetical syllogism that might lead to
    Let God = True.
    ….
    Ergo, God = False
    Actually, if you do this, you can” assume there is no god, make some observations (further entries in the syllogism), and then prove there is no God.”

    Try that one on for size. :)

  82. While I am very wary of the People’s State of California’s educational “standards”, I am not surprised that a Greenie school was not well run.

    Same thing happened with religious schools a few decades ago, especially as home schooling became popular.
    Besides confused epistemology coming from ideology, many people setting up schools or home schooling do not have the ability to organize and teach, nor the discipline to stick to the task. Even managing two children taking an official “correspondence” school program at home proved to much for one person.

    The scary aspect is children who don’t get the right learning early, but that is the case with the public school system too – bullying is still a major problem in Canada despite costly programs, and many students aren’t learning. Some are excelling, others will grow up to be louts and the rioters fomented by leftists.

    Meanwhile there is the lack of knowledge of people like Brad S at 12:02 on August 18, 2011, who in pointing to the performance of many religious schools smears “athiests”. Both religious people and those who are not vary widely in their sense of life.

    Look at what Islamic Totalitarians teach, for example – garbage such as that Jews drink people’s blood. It is correct to say that only being against religion is not a philosophy of life – Madalline Murray O’hair of American Athiests, for example, was bitter though by the statement of she and her son they were “Marxist determinists”. But Objectivists for example have an integrated philosophy of life, don’t try to control others, and run good schools. OTOH, many environmentalists are quite religious (check what the leader of the Green Party of Canada is studying for). “Faith” is by definition believing without proof.

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