Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 7/31/18





Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 7/31/18

TODAY

CHARTER SCHOOL CROOKS IN THE NEWS: Company used convicted Chicago schools chief in 'highly unethical' work to win millions in CPS business, watchdog finds - Chicago Tribune | WBEZ

Company used convicted Chicago schools chief in 'highly unethical' work to win millions in CPS business, watchdog finds - Chicago Tribune Company used convicted Chicago schools chief in 'highly unethical' work to win millions in CPS business, watchdog finds A for-profit company that educates at-risk students won tens of millions of dollars from Chicago Public Schools with help from then-CEO Barba
Inside A FCMAT Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team Audit of One More Unaccountable California Charter School

Livermore charter schools accused of misuse of public funds Inside A FCMAT Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team Audit of One More Unaccountable California Charter School LIVERMORE — An audit released Thursday suggests Livermore’s two charter schools misappropriated public funds, including a tax-exempt bond totaling $67 million, and mainly pointed the finger at former CEO Bill Batchelor. The
What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market | The New Yorker

What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market | The New Yorker What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market A year ago, I volunteered to serve on the board of a charter elementary school in New Orleans, where I live. Two months ago, in a cafeteria crowded with whiplashed parents, I tried to give some comfort by explaining why,
LeBron James, education reformer. Attn. Waltons. | Arkansas Blog

LeBron James, education reformer. Attn. Waltons. | Arkansas Blog LeBron James, education reformer. Attn. Waltons. Give a read to the new public school basketball star LeBron James is backing to serve at-risk kids in Akron. Imagine. It's a part of the Akron School District. It is NOT a charter school. It is NOT a private school. They aren't skimming students from motivated families who might alrea
L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member's Felony Plea | Capital & Main

L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member's Felony Plea | Capital & Main L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member’s Felony Plea A troubled charter-school advocate calls it quits — but not before participating in a string of key policy votes. “Learning Curves” is a weekly roundup of news items, profiles and dish about the intersection of education and inequality. Send tips, feedback and announcements

YESTERDAY

Randi Weingarten joins Margaret Hoover to Discuss the Supreme Court Janus Ruling | Firing Line | PBS

Randi Weingarten | Firing Line | PBS Randi Weingarten joins Margaret Hoover to Discuss the Supreme Court Janus Ruling Randi Weingarten | Firing Line | PBS
Edged out of the middle class, teachers are walking out - The Hechinger Report

Edged out of the middle class, teachers are walking out - The Hechinger Report Edged out of the middle class, teachers are walking out Dissatisfied with low pay and school funding, teachers in more red states are poised to protest. I n 2015, Jennifer Vetter decided to change careers and become a teacher. The 46-year old quit her well-paying management job at an orthodontic clinic in Gilbert, Ariz
The DeVos Democrats and Betsy DeVos’ Message to Students: You Have the Right to Be Ripped Off

Betsy DeVos’ Message to Students: You Have the Right to Be Ripped Off Betsy DeVos’ Message to Students: You Have the Right to Be Ripped Off The education secretary’s new rules on student loans favor the predatory institutions that don’t provide good educations and blame the students who trusted them. When I read about what Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did last week on student loans, I thought

JUL 29

An Explanation to My Readers | Diane Ravitch's blog

An Explanation to My Readers | Diane Ravitch's blog An Explanation to My Readers Dear Readers, Most of you have been faithful readers of this blog since I started it in 2012. I consider you my friends, even when we disagree. You have 


















LeBron James, education reformer. Attn. Waltons. | Arkansas Blog

LeBron James, education reformer. Attn. Waltons. | Arkansas Blog

LeBron James, education reformer. Attn. Waltons.

Image result for LeBron James, education reformer.


Give a read to the new public school basketball star LeBron James is backing to serve at-risk kids in Akron.

Imagine.

It's a part of the Akron School District. It is NOT a charter school. It is NOT a private school. 

They aren't skimming students from motivated families who might already be achieving in school. They are SEEKING out students who need help in reading and math.

There will be long school days and intensive tutoring.

But that's not all.

But it will also focus on factors outside the classroom.

Services will help parents with stress related to their struggles. There will be extra activities to keep kids out of trouble in idle time. 



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There will be family services, including job placement assistance and a food bank. James remembers the freedom a bicycle gave him as a child to escape dangerous neighborhoods. Every student will receive a bicycle.

The I Promise school embodies James' pledge not to ever forget where he came from.

Imagine if the Walton Foundation didn't spend $8 million to open yet another an unproven charter school amid a neighborhood overbuilt with school seats with an enrollment system likely to attract children more likely to succeed. Imagine if it poured this kind of effort into one of the Little Rock School District's real public Continue reading: LeBron James, education reformer. Attn. Waltons. | Arkansas Blog





What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market | The New Yorker

What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market | The New Yorker
What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market


A year ago, I volunteered to serve on the board of a charter elementary school in New Orleans, where I live. Two months ago, in a cafeteria crowded with whiplashed parents, I tried to give some comfort by explaining why, three days before the school year ended, the school had announced that it wouldn’t be open this fall. I apologized. I described the scrambling to try to solve a six-hundred-thousand-dollar budget shortfall. I apologized again. But what I didn’t explain was that the fate of Cypress Academy, a unique closure in a unique, charter-dominated school district, was not just about one school. It was about how startups fail, and about what happens when a school system is redesigned around the engines of the free market—autonomy, competition, and customer choice. Frankly, I didn’t understand this until later. Which is good, because the parents didn’t want to hear market theory. They just wanted their children to get a good public education.

In New Orleans, alone among large urban districts, almost all schools are now charter schools. This is the result of perhaps the most ambitious school-reform effort in the country’s history. In 2004, the year before Katrina, only fifty-four per cent of New Orleans high-school students graduated. After Katrina, the state of Louisiana took over almost all of the city’s schools and began turning them over to independent groups—either single-school charters, like Cypress, or largely local charter-management organizations, or C.M.O.s. This month, after thirteen years, the Orleans Parish School Board assumed control as the regulatory body over all the public schools in the city, reunifying the district and stirring intense reflection—locally and nationally—on the effects, so far, of ceding the city to a charter system.

That system, in which eighty-three per cent of students are economically disadvantaged, still has a long way to go. Forty per cent of the city’s schools are ranked “D” or “F” by state standards, and New Orleanians are no rookies at the national pastime of school segregation: the C.M.O.s serve mainly poor black students, while independent, “community” charters serve racially mixed populations. But, in the years since Katrina, the rates of high-school graduation, college attendance, and college persistence have increased by a range of ten to sixty-seven per cent. That’s confirmed in a recent study by Matthew Larsen, a professor at Lafayette College, and Doug Harris, an education researcher and economist at Tulane who, in the past, has been wary of “teach-to-the-test” results and the notion that “scores equal learning.” New Orleans achieved all this without two of the features most detested by charter critics: there are no for-profit charter schools in the city, and the charter system doesn’t drain money from the “regular” school system. In New Orleans, there is no other system.

Sitting on a charter-school board, I could observe that system firsthand. I joined the board of Cypress because Bob Berk, the founder of the school and a childhood acquaintance, convinced me that volunteering in elementary education was the most direct way to help children in a state that’s hard on them. (Save the Children recently ranked Louisiana the worst state for children, for the second year in a row.) And I admired the school’s philosophy, which stressed diversity, a “whole child” education, and a commitment to teaching all types of learners, from gifted to special-needs, in one classroom.

In New Orleans, parents rank schools through a common application, so Cypress treated every challenge—teacher turnover, disappointing enrollment—as an existential threat that demanded a creative response. By the end of the Continue reading: What New Orleans Tells Us About the Perils of Putting Schools on the Free Market | The New Yorker





L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member's Felony Plea | Capital & Main

L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member's Felony Plea | Capital & Main

L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member’s Felony Plea
A troubled charter-school advocate calls it quits — but not before participating in a string of key policy votes.

“Learning Curves” is a weekly roundup of news items, profiles and dish about the intersection of education and inequality. Send tips, feedback and announcements of upcoming events to  braden@capitalandmain.com, @BillRaden.

The three-year scandal that has embroiled the Los Angeles Unified school board concluded anticlimactically this week when besieged District 5 board member Ref Rodriguez tendered his resignation. The bow-out followed a Monday court appearance in which Ref pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy and three misdemeanors connected to his laundering $24,000 of his own cash during his successful 2015 election campaign.
It ended an ethically challenged 10 months in which Ref’s legal bills were paid by his lone legal-defense fund donor – billionaire charter school enthusiast and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. The patronage had kept alive LAUSD’s slim, 4-3 pro-charter school board majority as it doggedly ticked off a dream list of California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) wins. Gut “district required language” for charter petitions? Check. Deny CCSA bête noire Ken Bramlett a contract renewal as inspector general? CheckHire non-educator venture capitalist Austin Beutner as a disruption-prone superintendent? Check.

The suddenly even-split LAUSD board now has 60 days to either appoint a successor or to follow recent board precedent by letting District 5 voters decide in a special election.
One group paying close attention will be L.A. teachers, whose union on Tuesday submitted its “last, best and final offer” in contract talks that it says have again ground to a deadlock. “Anti-union, pro-privatization ideologues are currently running the school district but are setting us up for failure,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl charged in a statement. The district has 48 hours to respond to the LBFO.
One of California’s most notorious charter corruption cases reemerged last week with the announcement of a court settlement stemming from 2017’s catastrophic failure of Tri-Valley Learning Corporation (TVLC). The undisclosed payment to bond trustee UMB Bank, by municipal bond law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, was for its part in brokering a 2012 bond issue for the Livermore-based charter management organization.
This latest fallout covers only a fraction of the $67 million in tax-exempt, facilities-funding bonds at the center of a bankruptcy that affected over 1,200 students and shuttered four TVLC schools.
The closures led to a devastating June, 2017 audit by the Livermore Valley Joint Continue reading: L.A. School Board in Limbo After Member's Felony Plea | Capital & Main