Saturday, January 16, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Relay Graduate School of (Charter) Education

CURMUDGUCATION: Relay Graduate School of (Charter) Education:

Relay Graduate School of (Charter) Education

Kate Peterson has put together a look at the folks behind the Relay Graduate School of Education. If you're anywhere that these folks are sinking their claws into education, you'll want to read her full policy brief at the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools website. 

Relay GSE started out as Teacher U, a program begun by David Levin (co-founder of KIPP) and Norman Atkins (co-founder Uncommon Schools) in order to supply their charters with "high-quality" teachers. Or high quality "teachers." They brought in Dacia Toll (founder, Achievement First) to help create the program. Hedge fundie Larry Robbins kicked in $10 million, and the Robin Hood Foundation threw in another $20 mill. The very pro-charter Robin Hood Foundation is run by hedge fundie and venture philanthropist Paul Tudor Jones (you can read about him in this Forbes profile that asks if he can save American education). 

Teacher U changed its name in 2011 and was chartered by the New York Regents and partnered with the NYC school system (fun nostalgia fact-- 2011 was the year that spectacularly under-qualifiedCathie Black was in charge of NYC schools for three months). Relay soon spread to other cities, including New Orleans, Newark, Chicago, Houston, and Memphis. In other words, they have faithfully followed the Charter Industrial Complex players around the country.

Peterson breaks down the career arcs of the three current Relay honchos-- Atkins, Levin, and Toll-- and it is unsurprising.

Atkins holds degrees in history and educational administration. He worked as an independent 
CURMUDGUCATION: Relay Graduate School of (Charter) Education: