Thursday, March 20, 2014

Community Forum on the CORE Waiver's Urges Public Action | The Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education

Community Forum on the CORE Waiver's Urges Public Action | The Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education:



Community Forum on the CORE Waiver's Urges Public Action

                 The takeaway from last night's Community Forum on the California Office to Reform Education NCLB Waiver was that this waiver, and the commission that oversees it, strike at the heart of local control and local democracy. Process is important--it's not just something that career bureaucrats like to follow. It's the democratic process that was ignored and undermined by this waiver. Until last night there was no public hearing on the waiver, no school board discussion and certainly no board vote on whether the district should participate.

                The waiver ranks and targets school s that are low performing--and no surprise, that's where the students living in poverty attend school. Schools that don't bring up test scores within two years face sanctions that include closure or conversion to charter schools. While the state of California will have a moratorium on testing as it prepares for the new state standards, the CORE waiver districts will have even more testing across all subjects. Teachers will be evaluated by test scores and can be dismissed if they fail to bring scores up. The waiver pairs low performing schools with high performing schools across the state, and requires teachers to travel monthly between them to learn from their high performing colleagues. This travel and the expense of hiring substitute teachers uses the district Title 1 funds that have been freed up by the waiver, which brings in no new money. It will also require new administrators and contracts with expensive consultants who will "help" bring up test scores. In fact, the cost of complying  with the waiver will be paid for from the district's general fund. Sac City Unified is one of the few districts in the area that still has a qualified financial rating and is still laying off teachers. It can't afford this waiver.

                As one speaker said the waiver is a cynical attempt by its authors to use children as profit centers, especially since the per pupil spending is going to increase by thousands of dollars under the new state funding formula.  The waiver was developed in part by Baine Capital which is a private equity fund interested in investing in education sector opportunities.  The prospect of lots of new privately operated charter  schools in the district no 





No comments:

Post a Comment