What you are about to read is NOT real news. It is satire. Where possible we have provided links to the real stories/issues that inspire us at the bottom of each article.

Follow us on Twitter @Students_Last

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cherry-picking: It Isn't Just For Fruit Anymore

Philadelphia - Global Alliance Charter School is scrambling today to respond to questions from the School District of Philadelphia about its complicated and some say overbearing application process.

Should charter schools be allowed
to have barriers to admission?
The application, which is more than 10-pages in length, requires  a 3,000-word essay, responses to 20 short-answer questions, proof of citizenship for the child and parents, three recommendations, and an interview. Additionally, parents of Global applicants have to complete a lengthy obstacle course which includes:  outrunning a pack of wild dogs, scaling an 8-foot fence, bench pressing their own body weight and trying to stay awake while watching, "Won't Back Down" (a movie about turning a public school into a charter school).

"I thought I could do it," explained Marlena Johnson, a parent who failed to complete the application process. "I knew the dogs would be tough but what I didn't count on was that movie. I fell asleep ten minutes into it."

Does cherry-picking students
lead to higher test scores?
Charter schools have come under frequent criticism from several sources, most notably teacher unions, for their admission process which weeds out "undesirable" children. Exactly who are the "undesirable" students? Those notorious for bringing down test scores such as English language learners, children from troubled or disinterested homes and those with special needs.

"These barriers to admission are a disgrace. More people got around the Berlin Wall than manage to get into these charter schools," complained Jerry T. Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. "And then people want to know why those schools perform better on standardized tests. It's because they rig the system - cherry-picking students."

Asked to explain why the process to get into a so-called public charter school was so difficult, Global's founder and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Mulla had this to say, "We stand by our application process. After all, it's called 'school-choice' for a reason. Our school is merely choosing which students are admitted."

Meanwhile just down the street from Global sits Andrew Jackson Elementary a real public school. It requires just three things before admitting a student: proof of address, age and vaccinations. "Basically we take everyone who comes through the door. We believe it's what public education is meant to do," said naive principal Mike Larts. Asked if he thought the application process might in some part be responsible for Global besting his students on last year's state exams, Mr. Larts shook his head, "I don't know, but it sure is hard to win the beauty contest when you've got all the ugly kids."

Reality Alert: 


  1. Imagine two team captains picking players for a basketball game. One captain says, "I get to pick the best five players in this gym right now."

    The other captain has to go out into the street and pick the first five people who walk past.

    You get a slightly different result.

  2. Wow. I couldn't have said it better.

  3. It really is difficult to separate the reality from the satire.

  4. ... and that in a nutshell summarizes the state of education in America: It is really difficult to separate the reality from the satire.

  5. This is stupid. Most charter schools are desperate for pupils, because without pupils, they won't survive financially. Not even the most luridly dishonest person could pretend that most charter schools make it difficult for kids to enter.

    1. Spend some time reading the Reuters and Huffington Post articles (We provided links to them at bottom of our piece). It is the charter schools that are "luridly dishonest."