Wednesday, May 13, 2015

“Fast Tracking” the Privatization of Public Education: Who’s in Favor? | educationalchemy

“Fast Tracking” the Privatization of Public Education: Who’s in Favor? | educationalchemy:

“Fast Tracking” the Privatization of Public Education: Who’s in Favor?



(Here’s a beginning roster of who favors it: Lamar, Arne, Pearson, Apollo Inc, the National Governors Association, ALEC, and the Brookings Institute).
Congress today voted whether or not to “fast track” a decision about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is free trade on steroids.  According to Robert Reich:
“It would be the largest trade deal in history —involving countries stretching from Chile to Japan, representing 792 million people and accounting for 40 percent of the world economy – yet it’s been devised in secret … The TPP also gives global corporations an international tribunal of private attorneys, outside any nation’s legal system, who can order compensation for any “unjust expropriation” of foreign assets … Even better for global companies, the tribunal can order compensation for any lost profits found to result from a nation’s regulations.”
According to one report involving TPP and the National Governors Association, “This agenda includes the completion and implementation of new trade agreements including the Trans Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. is negotiating with 11 other nations. Once completed, TPP will give American businesses free trade arrangements with 40 percent of global GDP.”
I’d like to provide you with more details but I can’t because the negotiations are being made in a basement room of the Capitol and members are required not to disclose any information to anyone including the media. This is a secret negotiation with global ramifications.
Washington BAT Don Bunger points out that, “Under the NAFTA–Trans Pacific Partnership Tribunal which will run by and staffed only by Corporations, neither the Supreme Court of the US, the House and Senate in DC, POTUS  and no state legislature will be able to refuse Pearson being able to be the de facto test preparer for every state, a status that it now enjoys.”
How does TPP work? For starters, “500 corporations and banks sit on advisory committees with access to various chapters.”  ALEC has crafted model legislation asking legislators to “fast track” TPP, see here.  We have indeed gone down the rabbit hole when ALEC and President Obama want the same thing.
And educators fighting against corporate reform and privatization of our democratic institution (formerly known as public education) should be worried. Because this has everything to do with the privatization of education. ALEC’s interest in fast tracking TPP is motivating for them on every front and across every industry … and education is not excluded. ALEC model legislation pushes for more privately owned charter schools and online education on an international scale, financing privately run companies like K12 Inc  and Connections Academy (both leading ALEC members), and Pearson– all of whom are developing online education models to deliver on an international scale.
Lamar Alexander who is currently crafting his own revisions to ESEA (aka NCLB) policies in tandem with Dem Patty Murray, aims to decrease federal oversight of testing and curriculum, bringing these back into the hands of the states. I am all for de-clawing the federal government from dictating education policy and the elimination of federally mandated standardized testing. And yet, given how easily state senators, congressmen, governors, and policy–makers can be bought and sold by the corporate interests who fund their political campaigns, I wonder whether or not Alexander knew how easily his reforms would fit within the TPP framework.
Alexander has been a supporter of the expansion of charter schools and privatizing public education, all the while  “Fast Tracking” the Privatization of Public Education: Who’s in Favor? | educationalchemy:

Press Release from United Opt Out National: Response to Civil Rights Groups

Press Release from United Opt Out National: Response to Civil Rights Groups - UNITED OPT OUT: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform:

Press Release from United Opt Out National: Response to Civil Rights Groups




Response to Civil rights Groups: “We Oppose Anti-Testing Efforts – Administrators of the public education advocacy group UNITED OPT OUT NATIONAL are concerned that well-respected advocates of civil and human rights have chosen to defend standardized testing that has resulted in harm to the culture of American public education. Initially, when civil rights leaders of the ‘50s and ‘60s engaged in acts of civil disobedience that were later to impact policy changes beneficial overall to the growth and maturation of America, and more specifically beneficial to those people of color who contended with overt racism every day of their lives, they were criticized by people who stood to benefit the most. Those naysayers eventually realized it was only through acts of civil disobedience that change was able to occur. We at UOO are hopeful that – for the sake and survival of public education – in this instance, history will repeat itself.  We are hopeful that time will change hearts and minds as the well-being of our children and their institutions of public education take precedence over the quest for score reports that with certainty reveal one fact and one fact only – children of means do better on standardized tests than children with less.  We are hopeful that the people that are now the torchbearers of long-established civil rights organizations will reach out to the dissenting voices of the past, those willing to take the dissenting course, for guidance and stand with us as we stand in solidarity with Seattle educator and activist Jesse Hagopian, NPE administrators, the Seattle branch of the NAACP, the activists who speak out, the parents who opt out, the students who walk out, and the spirit whispers that say stay, stay the dissenting course.Press Release from United Opt Out National: Response to Civil Rights Groups - UNITED OPT OUT: The Movement to End Corporate Education Reform:

Now-closed Lagniappe Academy: A Case Study in Louisiana Charter “Oversight Underinvestment” | deutsch29

Now-closed Lagniappe Academy: A Case Study in Louisiana Charter “Oversight Underinvestment” | deutsch29:

Now-closed Lagniappe Academy: A Case Study in Louisiana Charter “Oversight Underinvestment”



This post features the story of a now-closed New Orleans Recovery School District (RSD) charter school, Lagniappe Academy.
It is an excerpt from a report entitled, System Failure: Louisiana’s Broken Charter School Law,  produced by the Center for Popular Democracy and the Coalition for Community Schools. The report calls for adequate investment in the oversight of Louisiana’s charter schools.
The report is also a call to support a stable learning environment for Louisiana students enrolled in charter schools.
The May 9, 2015, closure of Lagniappe Academy could have been avoided had the state instituted years ago a sound system of auditing schools, complete with the goal of only closing a school as a last resort.
Instead, the state conducted sloppy audits, relied upon whistle blowers to bring fraudulent activity to light, and ignored any sound and stable solution that might have kept the school open and preserved stability in the lives of the school’s 180 students.
closed sign 2
Here is the story in full, as reported in the System Failure report:
Lagniappe Academy: A Case Study in Oversight Underinvestment
Lagniappe Academy, a Type 5 Recovery School District charter school in New Orleans, received its 2013–14 annual review from the LDOE, just like every other charter in the state. The review was a good one, with a perfect score of 100 on financial performance, 96 (out of 100) on organizational performance and 82.3 (a “C”) on academic performance. The school seemed on the path to a renewed charter for another 4 to 6 years.
However, as it turns out, Lagniappe Academy is a disturbing example of how the state’s charter oversight system is dangerously inadequate. Thanks, in large part, to brave teachers who came forward and blew the whistle on Lagniappe—and parents who backed up those teachers’ stories with their own experiences —the LDOE eventually found a long list of violations at Lagniappe Academy, the most disturbing of which involved an alarming failure to serve the basic needs of the school’s special education students. In 2014, the LDOE’s annual review of the school, conducted under the framework of the Compact, gave the school a perfect score on all Special Education measures. Below is the special education section of Lagniappe’s 2013-14 annual review (click on image to enlarge):
Lagnaippe sped audit
However, the picture painted by whistleblowers and confirmed by the LDOE when forced to do a more extensive review was of a school illegally depriving special education students of the resources and support they needed. The many violations included:
■ Fraudulent and Inaccurate Documentation of Special Education Services: The school was found to have faked forms and asked staff members to sign forms saying they had provided special education services that they had not provided. Staff members were instructed to move furniture out of a storage room to create a fake special education room in anticipation of a visit from state regulators. The school submitted service logs that falsely suggested that students were provided with special education services on days the school was on break.
■ Failure to Provide an Appropriate Education for Students with Special Needs: The school lacked proper protocols for identifying students with special needs. The school refused to screen students for special education services even when families had a diagnosis from a doctor. The school 
Now-closed Lagniappe Academy: A Case Study in Louisiana Charter “Oversight Underinvestment” | deutsch29:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 5/13/15



Special Nite Cap 

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