5 serious accusations levelled against charter schools, or
„When was Success so Unwelcome?“

(Thomas Sowell)1

  1. Charter Schools achieve results by constantly and unremittingly driving the children and their parents to learn by memorization and relentless repetition. This is not real education
  2. Resulting conflicts between teachers, students and parents are used against the Charter Schools in the media and politics
  3. This enormous pressure to perform, often results in a high teacher-turnover (up to 45% p.a.) and again, is used against the Charter School in the media and politics2
  4. Parents of children with learning disabilities and/or behavioural problems are often urged to repeat the class or, where considered appropriate, that they should remove their child from the school. Consequently, the school is accused of being too harsh and of selecting for talented students exclusively
  5. Nationwide laidback testing: for example: according to Daniel M. Koretz psychometrician at the Harvard School of Education: “In spite of the admirably high scores Success Academy has achieved on the New York State tests, New York was creating a proficiency illusion with easier tests and by lowering the scores needed to be deemed on grade level.“3

Conclusion: The educational academic establishment is often unsupportive of the Charter Schools due to the above charges of learning by rote, passing of easy tests and selecting ideal students. Political adversity driven and led by the teachers’ unions, coupled and strengthened by ideologically motivated „expert“ opponents, often leads to an unfair and bigoted treatment of Charter Schools in the media and often resulting in biased allocation of resources.

This poses a serious threat to the Charter Schools’ mission to help the poor and disadvantaged families. This situation is unacceptable and can be steadfastly alleviated.

The vast majority of academic and consequently behavioural worries in school are caused by chronic learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorders. These conditions can be overcome systematically. The answer to this pedagogical challenge lies in the neurobiology of the child’s development and their individual motivational predisposition.

Solutions for children with difficulties in reading, spelling and arithmetic

  1. Through a simple, reliable process, children with learning difficulties in reading, spelling and arithmetic can be identified. At this point, standard repetitive procedures are replaced with:
    1. specific letter games
    2. precise counting games

    both via the senses of sight, hearing and touch.

    This methodology leads to the development of the areas of the brain responsible for reading, spelling and computation. Result: the child can read, spell and compute effortlessly and accurately.

  2. By converting from current standard practices of repetition, to a process of continually playing these imprinting games in school and at home, the children experience for themselves that they are consistently and measurably improving. Consequently, the level of tension and confrontation drops in class and at home as academic performance rises – simultaneously reducing conflicts and creating a higher level of avidly interested and engaged students.
  3. I have developed a simple, professional and replicable method of assessing and overcoming learning disabilities – also in foreign languages. This methodology can be applied by your teachers throughout your organization with a minimal amount of (intensive) training.The main advantage is that the children achieve better grades through playing games. Happy children result in contented parents and professionally satisfied teachers who stay longer at your school(s).
  4. If these games are played regularly and accurately, then class repetition would be the exception and when necessary, could be well founded on sound scientific principles. The impediments to their child’s progress can be effectively identified and (without jargon-nonsense) communicated to parents and with time, completely overcome. Pupils who must leave the school will be an absolute rarity.
  5. Development and fruition: due to the biological process of imprinting the individual letters (not syllables or words) to ensure the organic maturation and the automatic progression of the reading/spelling ability.

    In Germany, where I have my Kennedy-School, dictation and reading are graded 1 – 6. Nine out of ten children improve an average of 3 grades in 12 months in unpractised and unknown dictation.

    Concerning reading: 83% of parents reported that their child read books of their own volition on a regular basis after one year – without supplementary formal tutoring.

    With regard to dyscalculia, again: through the neuro-biological imprinting of the connections between quantities and numerals, the stimulated cell-growth at the synaptic gap leads to the maturation of this specific region of the brain and thus ability to compute efficiently. Average improvement after 12 months: 2.8 grades without supplementary tutoring
Additional Benefits and External Economies

Gifted students also profit. Thanks to the increased capabilities of nearly all the students who were previously lagging behind, the level of academic performance in the class rises, also because the teacher can allocate more time to gifted students.

According to KIPP Through College: forty-five per cent of their students enrolled at the Austin Community College (Texas ACC 2015) struggle to transfer or graduate. The national drop-out rate before sophomore year is 40%. The unemployment rate for recent high school dropouts was 13.7% in 2018 and 18.6% for recent high school graduates who dropped out of college.4

Through the diligent application of my Individual Development Program, almost all students leaving your school(s) would be able to spell, read, compute and direct their attention competently. This better ensures that they can later make their way as young adults, be it at university or in the world of work as men and women of mind and intellect.

This could result in Charter Schools saving valuable resources regarding helping former high school students along their chosen path because these are now equipped with the academic wherewithal to fulfil the requirements demanded of them.

Understanding the Needs of Students and Adults involved: Making one Model great

Deep results that are replicable count. These measurable improvements would strengthen your organization’s position splendidly regarding the above five accusations because the students read regularly of their own volition instead of solely excavating texts and trying to analyse them for meaning.

They can spell reliably and proficiently. Thus, their written work improves in depth, breadth and quality. They can also rely on their ability to employ the four basic arithmetical operations of +, -, x, ÷ flexibly and reliably, consequently freeing their minds for mathematics.

They can direct and ‘hold’ their attention successfully over time. This methodology of selective post-maturation can also be applied effectively and significantly to children with attention deficit, hyperactive issues which I have researched most thoroughly. There are 3 tried and tested methods for overcoming ADHD that achieve measurable improvements, all of which can be applied within your school’s framework.

The fourth pillar of my concept would be the bringing together of the above-described actions for a particular student, applying an in-depth motivational analysis (which is also arrived at through a set of given criteria) and together with the child, setting outcomes by employing an Individual Development Program, IDP – that can be reliably measured by all participants.

The excellent results re learning disabilities achieved through this deep-seated methodology are realised solely through playing games in groups with the letters of the alphabet and counting quantities thus satisfying all comers: children, teachers, parents, educational specialists (perhaps) and journalists (always – maybe even Kate Taylor NYT).

This would also possibly help tip the scales in the local and national political arena further in your favour. It would certainly improve your reputation with regard to pedagogical depth and quality and probably save you a lot of time and money. Also, because this model is straightforwardly replicable it is applicable in all of your schools.

Dear reader, be assured that I can walk my talk. For your critical analysis on this website are descriptions of my methodology with regard to overcoming dyslexia, dyscalculia and attention deficit disorder. These are backed up by scientific research.

Also, further relevant information and serving as a guide, appropriate chapters from my book “Dyslexia, Prove Teachers and Experts Wrong!” Perhaps more to the point: feedback and reviews from parents and experts who faced and overcame these challenges day-in-day-out for the last 30 years applying the Individual Development Program.

Moreover, by employing these tools thereby forging an effective IDP thus producing measurable results for the individual child in trouble – you have a procedure that every teacher can learn reasonably quickly and employ successfully.

Through this new website I am reviewing potential partners with whom I’m considering working with. If you want to achieve the same results as I do at my Kennedy-Schule in Tuttlingen, Germany or even better them, then I would love to have a conversation with you regarding my system of methods that could help you to achieve even greater things.

Sincerely yours

Joe Kennedy

  1. Charter Schools and Their Enemies – Thomas Sowell, Basic Books New York
  2. Robert Pondiscio. “How the Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School Choice.” Avery Publishers 2019
  3. Robert Pondiscio. “How the Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School Choice.” Avery Publishers 2019
  4. https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates