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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sacramento - Here are 5 surprising cities where gentrification and low wages are pushing out the poor

Here are 5 surprising cities where gentrification and low wages are pushing out the poor:

Here are 5 surprising cities where gentrification and low wages are pushing out the poor

lk down once-gritty neighborhood streets in many American cities and the telltale signs may be all around you. The coffee bar on the corner selling $5 latte macchiatos. The high-rise luxury condo building going up at record speed. The cocktail bar, the artisan pastry shop.
This is urban gentrification in action, the process by which middle- and upper-middle-class populations move into formerly lower-income neighborhoods, attracted by cheaper housing (and fleeing expensive housing in more affluent areas), transforming the area, driving costs up and forcing lower-income residents out. Nationwide, the percentage of rental increases have been double the percentage of wage increases, and according to a Macarthur Foundation report, renters are compensating by taking second jobs or running up debt by paying other expenses on their credit cards.
Surprisingly, a study in 2015 by Governing Magazine found that gentrification, as a national problem, is actually less pervasive than portrayed in the media. Focusing on neighborhoods whose median income and median home value from the 2000 Census was in the 40th percentile of all neighborhoods in the cities studied, results showed that only 8% of neighborhoods nationwide have experienced significant gentrification. A stroll down the less affluent streets of cities like Las Vegas, Rochester and El Paso would confirm that fact.
In nine out of 10 cities, gentrification has been almost nonexistent. Even in Detroit, where hipster artists are supposedly a vanguard of urban renewal, gentrification is not particularly widespread (less than 3% of the neighborhoods have gentrified).
However, the study did show that 20% of neighborhoods in America’s 50 largest cities were experiencing significant gentrification, with housing costs rising and poor residents being driven out. In these gentrified neighborhoods, the overall population has increased, and in particular, the white, non-Hispanic population has increased by an average of 4.3%. The poverty rate in these neighborhoods has declined. In comparison, non-gentrified neighborhoods have experienced lower overall populations, an increase in non-white residents, a decreased white, non-Hispanic population, and an increase in poverty by almost 7%. In stark terms, one in five neighborhoods is getting whiter and richer, while the majority of the studied neighborhoods are getting darker and poorer.
If there is a Ground Zero of American gentrification, Portland, Oregon would be the place. Already the whitest city in the United States, almost 60% of Portland’s lower cost neighborhoods have experienced gentrification since the 2000 Census. Northeast Portland in particular has been a destination for young professionals since the 1990s, and several formerly African-American neighborhoods have been transformed, becoming whiter and more affluent and forcing former residents to the fringes of the city. With incomes remaining flat over the last decade, and rents rising (more than 15% in 2015) as professionals flock to the city, a housing crisis looms in Portland, with a vacancy rate of only 3%, one of the country’s lowest. Houses too have increased in price, by 10% in 2015. Not far behind Portland in the gentrification race are Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta, and Denver.
The aforementioned cities have been routinely cited as major centers of gentrification, but there are some surprising entrants in the gentrification race, urban centers where housing costs are also creating a crisis for poor residents. If you are thinking of moving here, you may want to make sure the bank account is solid.
1. Austin, Texas
While it is not entirely surprising that the bar-laden, rock ‘n rollin’ college town of Austin would be a destination for an affluent segment of the population, the numbers are pretty staggering. Between 2000 and 2010, the African-American population around the city’s historically black Huston Tillotson University has fallen by 60%. The Latino population has declined by 33%. Meanwhile the white population has increased by a whopping 442%. Fred McGhee, an urban and environmental anthropologist, told the Texas Observer, in regards to Austin urban planning, “The drop in African Americans was not an accident. The number one gentrifier in the city is the city itself.” Once literally known as the Negro District, the area is now 40% white, and the black residents are being increasingly priced out of the market. Condos and apartment buildings are popping up everywhere, driving up rents and house prices as developers cash in on the area’s trendiness. Rents in Austin are up by 7.5% year to year, averaging now around $1200 a month. Millennials relocating to the city are taken aback. “They arrive expecting to apples-to-apples between a city like Denver and Austin, and it’s an eye-opener and reality check,” Jim Gattis, a real estate agent, told the Austin American-Statesman. “At first they want to live in Central Austin, and then it’s ‘Holy cow, I can’t afford anywhere in Austin.’”
2. Sacramento, California
Thirty percent of Sacramento’s poor neighborhoods are gentrifying, and black neighborhoods like Oak Park are seeing the effects. Businesses catering to African-Here are 5 surprising cities where gentrification and low wages are pushing out the poor:


Father's Day March for Children -

Father's Day March for Children -

BALLOON RELEASE FOR CHILD VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE & Father's Day March tomorrow, June 19, 2016. Highland Park City Council President Pro Tem, Glenda McDonald; DPS Board President, Herman Davis; Minister Malik Shabazz; D. Alexander Bullock are among organizers. Free balloons for children. Speakers include attorney Isaac Robinson, educator Burgess Foster, and water activist Dennis Black.

"Detroit has one of the highest death rates in the nation for children under the age 18. It is time for the community to stand up and fight for our children," says Professor Charles Bell.

White balloons will be released in the names of the children who have been lost to violence, this year. Yellow balloons will be released to represent the dreams & hopes of young people. Blue balloons will be released for affordable clean water, fairness in education, and democracy. .

The Balloon release at Woodward/Owen (near Northern High School) at 5pm will culminate the Father's Day March which begins at 3pm in Highland Park at 16231 Woodward Avenue Power House Gym.

The event was the idea of Carl Baxter, a youth baseball coach, and former aide for Representative Thomas Stallworth. Baxter says he felt devastated about the death of Deontae Mitchell and other children in the same week. "Infant mortality, violence, poverty and lack of educational equity is claiming a whole generation of children whose lives have been placed on the back burner. There is no better time than Father's Day for citizens to dedicate ourselves to bring these issues to the forefront."

Father's Day March for Children -

CURMUDGUCATION: Bill Gates & His Chickens + Charter vs. Charter Fight Heats Up

CURMUDGUCATION: Bill Gates & His Chickens:

Bill Gates & His Chickens

Bill Gates believes in chickens.

He took to one of his blogs to extol the virtues of chickens as engines of economic improvement for the Very Poor of the world. In fact, he's pretty sure that the Poor Folks should be raising chickens; he's pretty sure it's their path to a better world.

When I was growing up, chickens weren’t something you studied, they were something you made silly jokes about. It has been eye-opening for me to learn what a difference they can make in the fight against poverty. It sounds funny, but I mean it when I say that I am excited about chickens.

Well, no. It sounds funny if you are a lifetime privileged rich white guy who occasionally takes little philanthro-tourist trips to Poorville. "Look, Melinda! They really do eat some of these things. And-- goodness-- I don't think they have any running water here! Imagine!!" Yes, life is rough in Poorville. It's almost enough to make a person wonder why poor people choose to be poor!

So Gates decided to give chickens to the Very Poor of the world. I found that an interesting logistical issue. Where does one get hundreds of thousands of chickens? How does one ship them all around the world? How does one distribute them when they get there? How will the Very Poor, who have trouble feeding themselves, feed the chickens? I'm curious about how this will actually work.

But the government of Bolivia isn't curious. It's pissed off.

As initially reported by Reuters and as picked up by every news outlet that wanted to A) poke fun at Bill Gates and B) wring some kind of hilarious headline out of the story, the Bolivian government revealed itself to have a little local pride:

"How can he think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce?" Bolivian Development Minister Cesar Cocarico told journalists. "Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia." 

Bolivia's agricultural department says that the country produces 197 million chickens annually and has the capacity to export 36 million. Bolivia's economy has almost tripled in strength in recent 
CURMUDGUCATION: Bill Gates & His Chickens:

 Charter vs. Charter Fight Heats Up

K12 Inc is feeling grumpy.

Earlier this week we looked at a report co-created by the National Alliance for Public [sic] Charter Schools, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, and 50CAN in which the bricks and mortar wing of the charter school industry took the cyber-charters to task for stinking up the whole charter sector, and very helpfully offered some advice that involved a whole lot of restrictions and rules that cyber charters should have to follow.

It did not take long for the cyber charter industry to fire back.

K12 Inc, one of the very largest cyber chains. It was founded by banker and McKinsey alum  Ronald Packer and got its initial stake from Michael and Lowell Milken (Michael is famous as the junk bond king who went to prison for fraud) and also a chunk of change from Andrew Tisch, big cheese at Loewe's (his wife served on the reformy Center for Education Innovation board and opened an all-girls school in Harlem in the late nineties). In addition to running their own cyber-empire, K12 has also been the force behind spectacular cyber-failures like the Agora cyber charter chain. Oh, and they are fully unabashedly for profit, like most of the cyber charters.

K12 Inc did not much care for the Cyber Shape-Up report, and they issued a press release to say so.

"Not collaborative," they say of the report. Nobody invited cyber-charters to come participate in the scolding of cyber-charters. Speaking for most public school teachers of the last decade, let me just express our sympathy for how annoying it is when people want to attack your work without even talking to you.

K12 also attacks the study that is most of the basis for the scolding of cybers because the data is old and doesn't include points that the cybers think are important (like why the student left her original 
 Charter vs. Charter Fight Heats Up

Perdido Street School: New York Legislature Creates "Parallel System Of Charter Schools" In New York City

Perdido Street School: New York Legislature Creates "Parallel System Of Charter Schools" In New York City:

New York Legislature Creates "Parallel System Of Charter Schools" In New York City

In the middle of the night, John Flanagan shoved through an extension of mayoral control of NYC schools that essentially frees charter schools from having to follow any rules:

ALBANY — State lawmakers on Friday reached a long-awaited deal to conclude the 2016 legislative session that included a modest ethics package, state funding for supportive housing for the homeless, and a one-year extension — with major caveats — of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of New York City schools.


Bowing to demands from the State Senate majority leader, John J. Flanagan, a Republican who is not disposed to be helpful to a mayor who has openly worked to flip control of the chamber to the Democrats, the mayor and his allies in the Democrat-dominated Assembly agreed to disclose more information about city school districts’ spending and to accept a change to the oversight structure for more than half the city’scharter schools.

A one-year extension, with few or no caveats, had seemed all but cemented when lawmakers went to bed on Thursday evening. But the morning found Mr. Flanagan pushing for the funding transparency requirement, followed by the charter-school provision in the afternoon. It would effectively create a parallel system of charter schools within the city, allowing “high-performing charter schools in good standing” to switch to join the State University of New York umbrella or the Board of Regents of the State Educational Department.

More - italics mine:

There was concern within City Hall that the charter school provision would significantly change how such schools in the city run.

Charter schools can be authorized by three agencies — the State Education Department, the city’s Education Department and SUNY — but all operate according to the same state law.Perdido Street School: New York Legislature Creates "Parallel System Of Charter Schools" In New York City:

How Goldilocks Opened a Charter School That Nobody Wanted

Big Education Ape: Charter School Approval Flea Flicker: Three charter schools closed by CPS file appeals with stat...

Big Education Ape: Glendale Unified board denies charter school plans; petitioners say they will appeal to county -...

Big Education Ape: Flea Flicker: Rocketship appeals to state board to build school in Concord - ContraCostaTimes

Big Education Ape: Flea Flicker: Should state be able to approve charter schools in Virginia? - Daily Press
Big Education Ape: Washington Charter Schools Find Another Source Of Public Money | KUOW News and Information

Deborah Meier: The Value of Tenure and Seniority | Diane Ravitch's blog

Deborah Meier: The Value of Tenure and Seniority | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Deborah Meier: The Value of Tenure and Seniority

Deborah Meier, founder of Central Park East in New York City and the Mission Hill school in Boston, explains the rationale for tenure and seniority from her perspective as a principal:
“Tenure and seniority are often attacked by people of good will. As a former principal of several schools, I embrace it. The culture of Central Park East and Mission Hill depended on both, even if there were occasions when I wished otherwise. I’m not alone, as a principal, in this view.
The kind of noncompetitive shared “ownership” over the school that the staff and faculty displayed over and over and over again rested in large measure on their not having to balance their personal self-interest and their devotion to the school. There is nothing evil in our desire to have a steady paycheck, to feel secure even if you irritate those in charge, and to want to be able to plan one’s life ahead. These are healthy qualities that human beings should not be ashamed of. As FDR once noted, “freedom from fear” is one of the basics that democracy rests on—–fear makes for bad practice of teaching and democracy.
My capacity to provide leadership where needed, and build a strong staff rested on the fact that there were some rules of the game we couldn’t change, and were not available to our temporary biases. I could be strong and as persuasive as I could be without fear of intimidating others to follow my lead, or silence even young and inexperienced staff from venturing forth with their opinions—as long as I did not have the power to wreak havoc on their lives—and cut off the lively ideas that might otherwise inconvenience me. Experience close to home reminds me that even tenured teachers can lose their jobs if they annoy the principal too much in settings where staff cohesion is weak. Only such “irritation” is sufficient to get many principals to take the trouble to “get rid” of a staff member—-and cause can always be dug up when the desire is strong enough.

Finally, it’s hard to believe that some wouldn’t be influenced by having to pay senior teachers so much more than first year teachers, thus creating a tendency to punish experienced teachers who have to constantly outperform newer and younger colleagues. If we want people to stay we need to offer them a good shot at making decent pay as they get older. Given that most newbies leave within the first 5 years—perhaps inevitable—it makes sense to pay them less as they learn the craft, and while they have fewer adult responsibilities. But once again, as with tenure, if decisions about pay are made by one’s principal there is a never-ending tendency to “please the boss”. When someone should not be teaching there should be peer reviews, with the principal being a part of the process, for weeding out those who, at the present time, do not seem ready to be teachers.Deborah Meier: The Value of Tenure and Seniority | Diane Ravitch's blog:

When ADHD Collides With Grit: What to Do?

When ADHD Collides With Grit: What to Do?:

When ADHD Collides With Grit: What to Do?

car crash collision accident on an city road highway
How does a student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) get grit, when everything about grit is contrary to ADHD?
Grit, defined, is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course. (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007))
ADHD, defined, is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.
More specifically, from Web MD:
Individuals with ADHD could have any of the following symptoms:When ADHD Collides With Grit: What to Do?:

Trump University Uses Similar Sales Tactics To For-Profit Colleges But Without Degrees : NPR

Trump University Uses Similar Sales Tactics To For-Profit Colleges But Without Degrees : NPR:

Trump University Is Like Other For-Profit Colleges But Without The Degree

The documents released in the lawsuit against Trump University paint an unflattering picture. And as NPR has reported, the political repercussions could be hugely damaging for the Trump campaign.
Beyond politics, Trump U's moneymaking schemes highlight the lingering survival of a larger issue — cases of fraud in the for-profit college industry. A lot of the Trump U strategies sound like they were pulled straight from the playbooks of those colleges. But is that a fair comparison?
One huge difference between Trump University and the broader for-profit industry is that Trump's "school" was not actually a university at all. In fact, New York's Department of Education requested that the enterprise drop university from its namein order to continue to do business in the state. It didn't offer degrees; it was not accredited; and its students were not eligible for federal financial aid.
"With the exception of the word 'university,' there's nothing it has in common. They're just completely different," said Noah Black, a spokesman for Career Education Colleges and Universities, which represents for-profit colleges.
"It's an attempt by people opposed to having the private sector in education to confuse people into thinking our institutions have anything in common with Trump University," he added
Not everyone agrees with that.
"Obviously Trump University invoked the term 'university' euphemistically," said Barmak Nassirian, director of policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which advocates for public higher education institutions.
In terms of its tactics, Nassirian said, it's "mostly a matter of degrees" that separate Trump University from degree-granting for-profit colleges.
The for-profit college industry
For-profit colleges differ from other post-secondary institutions in that, unlike their not-for-profit counterparts, these schools are businesses. That means they're looking to make money.
They've been good at it for a while. The for-profit industry saw a boom from 1998 to 2008, when enrollment more than tripled. By 2012, 10 to 13 percent of all college students attended a for-profit school, according to a Senate report that year, which examined the for-profit college industry.
Since then, the industry has been scrutinized. Last summer, the U.S. Department of Education made a "gainful employment" rule, which requires for-profit colleges toTrump University Uses Similar Sales Tactics To For-Profit Colleges But Without Degrees : NPR: 

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson's Cyber-Kindergarten Sales Pitch

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson's Cyber-Kindergarten Sales Pitch:

Pearson's Cyber-Kindergarten Sales Pitch

So I stumbled across the Connections Academy blog Virtual Learning Connections (a friendly resource supporting K-12 school from home). In particular, I stumbled across this post-- "5 Reasons Why Parents Choose Virtual School Kindergarten." The piece is written by Carrie Zopf, a teacher at one of the Conections Academies. Connection Academy is the virtual charter chain purchased by Pearson in 2011, and they would love to just hook your five year old up to a screen. And it is from way back in 2014, but it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

 It's a great little listicle, combining the sales pitch with the "everybody's doing it and here's why" peer reinforcement. So what are these five great reasons to put your child in virtual kindergarten?

It's easy!! You can have breakfast and then walk into the next room and plunk your child down in front of the computer! Or go to the store and then plunk. More family time, more adaptability to your schedule. More like not actually sending your child to school at all. 

Frequent parent-teacher communication. Though Zopf says this is "much like in a traditional school," talking to your child's teachers is super-easy! And since all the learning is online, you can see everything right there. In fact, you can see everything the teacher can see. Plus you actually have the live child there with you. Actually, why would you even need to talk to the teacher. What is the teacher even doing?

Active participation. You can get right in there and help, because you can see every lesson, see every assignment. When your child is trying to work through worksheets assignments, you'll be right there. Right there. Boy, I hope you have some educational training. I also hope that you have the self-control and toughness not to just feed your child the answer when she gets frustrated. Zopf notes that being involved in the child's education is the primary reason that parents go this route.

Real world learning opportunities. Cyber-k still has field trips and stuff, so your child will still get 
CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson's Cyber-Kindergarten Sales Pitch:

California Becomes the First State to Require Teaching Consent in High School

California Becomes the First State to Require Teaching Consent in High School:

California Becomes the First State to Require Teaching Consent in High School

This is so important.

California will become the first state to require all high schools statewide to teach students about sexual consent, Governor Jerry Brown's office announced on Thursday.
The law requires that affirmative consent and sexual violence prevention must be taught in any high school that has made health class a graduation requirement, iSchoolGuide reports. The measure was supported nearly unanimously across party lines. 
Five of California's largest districts, including Los Angeles Unified, currently list health class as a graduation requirement. The new law will take effect on January 1. 
Here's what this means for California students: if your gym teacher is going to awkwardly show you how to unroll a condom onto a banana and lecture you about sexually transmitted diseases, they're also going to explain why it's so crucial to receive an affirmative yes from your partner before hooking up. 
"I strongly think consent should be taught in school, because a lot of young high school boys are unaware that sex without a female's permission isn't okay," Eliz Aquino, a 2016 grad of Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, whose school didn't offer sex ed, told "A lot of boys at my school would pressure their girlfriends into having sex, because they believe that just because you're in a relationship, you are entitled to their body. I really wish sexual consent was taught when I was a high school student." Eliz says she's happy the government is drawing attention to the issue of consent. 
"I think it's very important for students to learn about consent in school because it will prepare you for life," Taylor Silverstein, an incoming senior at Brentwood School in Los Angeles, who took sex ed and human development classes in seventh through ninth grades and was taught about consent, told "This kind of knowledge is extremely powerful and important."
Last year, California became the first state to require that colleges and universities adopt an affirmative consent policy known as "yes means yes." The policy states that sexual activity will only be considered consensual if both people involved clearly express that they're willing to participate. 
Of course, California has been in the news lately for a very different conversation around consent: the sexual assault case at Stanford that led to Brock Turner's six-month sentence in jail, which has since been shortened to just four months
The more students are educated about the importance of consent, the less we'll hopefully hear about sexual assault cases like the one at Stanford. California Becomes the First State to Require Teaching Consent in High School:

Experts warn of murky results from State Takeover charter schools

Experts warn of murky results from charter-driven schools:

Experts warn of murky results from charter-driven schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina could hand over some of its lowest performing elementary schools to charter school operators in an effort to reverse dismal test scores in more than half the state's counties.
Similar aggressive reforms have taken hold in New Orleans and Tennessee, and states such as Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia are considering prescribing charter management for their failing schools. But results have been mixed so far, with opponents saying researchers and educators have found little proof that the charter companies are the remedy.
North Carolina's proposal, which passed in the House earlier this month, would create a separate district for elementary schools that have fallen to the bottom 5 percent of the state's grading system for at least three consecutive years.
Thousands of North Carolina children attend schools the state has found nose-diving in both growth and achievement. Last year, 93 schools had less than 5 percent of students testing at grade level in more than one subject, according to North Carolina Department of Public Instruction data. The bill's supporters say rural locations and limited resources trap students at schools where they are doomed to fail.
The proposal would begin with a five-school, five-year pilot program, and a newly appointed Achievement School District superintendent would choose charter companies with successful histories to run the schools. That would allow them hiring and firing powers and exempt them from state requirements such as oversight and evaluations from local school boards.
"I am here to ring the alarm in this state that we have a crisis on our hands," said Rep. Cecil Brockman, a Democrat and bill sponsor. "We cannot afford to continue to do the same thing that we've always done, year after year, expecting a different result."
North Carolina's legislation closely resembles a Tennessee Achievement School District, which was established in 2012.
The experiment has so far fallen short of its transformative promise, said Joshua Glazer, the lead investigator in a four-year study of Tennessee's program. Student testing scores at the charter-operated schools have shown little to no comparative growth, said Glazer, an associated professor of education policy at George Washington University.
Glazer also noted that some Memphis communities, where the district is concentrated, have seen it as a threat to tradition and autonomy.
"There's a second narrative which many people hold and remain very committed to: that this is outsiders, white people coming in motivated by financial benefits to wrest political control away from Memphis," Glazer said. "They are highly skeptical the real motivation here is to help their kids. There's a long history here to support that interpretation."
Ron Zimmer, director of the Martin School of Public Policy at the University of Kentucky, Experts warn of murky results from charter-driven schools:

Why Are Mexican Teachers Being Jailed for Protesting Education Reform? | The Nation

Why Are Mexican Teachers Being Jailed for Protesting Education Reform? | The Nation:

Why Are Mexican Teachers Being Jailed for Protesting Education Reform?
They’re peacefully resisting US-style neoliberal measures intended to crush the unions—a backbone of Mexico’s social-justice movements.

On Sunday night, June 12, as Ruben Nuñez, head of Oaxaca’s teachers union, was leaving a meeting in Mexico City, his car was overtaken and stopped by several large king-cab pickup trucks. Heavily armed men in civilian clothes exited and pulled him, another teacher, and a taxi driver from their cab, and then drove them at high speed to the airport. Nuñez was immediately flown over a thousand miles north to Hermosillo, Sonora, and dumped into a high-security federal lockup.
Just hours earlier, unidentified armed agents did the same thing in Oaxaca itself, taking prisoner Francisco Villalobos, the union’s second-highest officer, and flying him to the Hermosillo prison as well. Villalobos was charged with having stolen textbooks a year ago. Nuñez’s charges are still unknown.
Both joined Aciel Sibaja, who’s been sitting in the same penitentiary since April 14. Sibaja’s crime? Accepting dues given voluntarily by teachers across Oaxaca. Sección 22, the state teachers union, has had to collect dues in cash since last July, when state authorities froze not only the union’s bank accounts but even the personal ones of its officers. Sibaja was responsible for keeping track of the money teachers paid voluntarily, which the government called “funds from illicit sources.”
The three are not the only leaders of Oaxaca’s union in jail. Four others have been imprisoned since last October. “The leaders of Sección 22 are hostages of the federal government,” says Luis Hernández Navarro, a former teacher and now opinion editor for the Mexico City daily La Jornada. “Their detention is simultaneously a warning of what can happen to other teachers who continue to reject the [federal government’s] ‘education reform,’ and a payback to force the movement to demobilize.”
The arrests are just one effort the Mexican government has made in recent months to stop protests. On May 19, Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño Mayer announced that he was firing 3,000 teachers from Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán for not having worked for three days.
All three states are strongholds of the independent teachers movement within the National Union of Education Workers–the National Coordination of Education Workers (the CNTE, or “Coordinadora”). CNTE teachers have been striking schools since earlier this spring to stop implementation of the government’s education reform program. While strikes in Mexico are hotly contested, there is no precedent for firing teachers in such massive numbers just for striking.
The night of the firings, federal police attacked and removed the encampment that teachers had organized outside Mexico City’s education secretariat. On June 11, the police in Oaxaca City moved to dismantle a similar encampment in front of the state’s education office. When 500 heavily armed police advanced shooting tear gas, confrontations spilled into the surrounding streets, reminiscent of the way a similar strike in 2006 was attacked, and then mushroomed into an insurrection that lasted for months.
One controversial provision of the federal government’s education reform requires teachers to take tests to evaluate their qualifications. Those not making good marks are subject to firing. This year, when the government tried to begin testing, teachers struck in protest.
In March, when Nuño tried to give awards to “distinguished and excellent teachers,” one of them, Lucero Navarette, a primary-school teacher in Why Are Mexican Teachers Being Jailed for Protesting Education Reform? | The Nation:

More Florida charter schools cutting ties with Newpoint Education Partners

More Florida charter schools cutting ties with target of 8 On Your Side investigation |

More Florida charter schools cutting ties with target of 8 On Your Side investigation

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – One week after an 8 on Your Side investigation uncovered $235,000 in bogus school loans, two charter schools funded with state tax dollars in Jacksonville have decided to sever ties with a for-profit management company we’ve been investigating for months because of the financial chaos it helped create in Pinellas charter schools.
The Jacksonville charter school loans by Newpoint Education Partners which are cited in a 2015 financial audit do not exist, something that caught even the treasurer of San Jose Preparatory High School and Academy by surprise after 8 on Your Side uncovered and reported it.
“I don’t know where that information came from but it’s incorrect and needs to be restated,” Jerry Jeakle said at a board meeting Thursday night.
By the time board members arrived at the San Jose charter school for a meeting Thursday it was clear they planned to dump Newpoint.
“It’s in the best interest of our school and our students, our staff, our community,” said San Jose Charter School Board Chairman Bonnie Arnold. She refused to elaborate.
At the last San Jose board meeting May 26,  Arnold was an enthusiastic supporter of Newpoint, the for-profit company that has managed the two schools since she became board chairman three years ago.  Arnold’s support was unwavering in May even after she learned that an Escambia County Grand Jury had indicted Newpoint for grand theft, money laundering and aggravated white collar crimes involving charter schools in Pensacola.
“They are doing an excellent job with us and we are proud of that,” Arnold said after the May 26 board meeting.
Four charter schools in Pinellas County recently decided to sever ties with Newpoint after the company abandoned three of them amid financial chaos and mounting debt. Those troubles resulted in the imminent threat of closure by the Pinellas School District.
An 8 on Your Side investigation uncovered $1.8 million in bogus promissory notes that Newpoint claimed those Pinellas schools owed the company. Those loans—just like the loans in Jacksonville—turned out to be non-existent. Newpoint eventually agreed to part ways with the Pinellas schools and to “forgive” all of that “debt” owed by the charter schools.
Two of those Pinellas schools, Windsor Prep and Middle School Academy are currently negotiating with the Pinellas School District for a county takeover that would turn their charter schools into magnet programs in order to avoid closure.
The San Jose schools located on the outskirts of Jacksonville are the only two charter schools left in Florida still managed by Newpoint, the Florida subsidiary of an Ohio-based charter school conglomerate known as Cambridge that at one time or another has operated charter schools in six Florida counties including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Broward, Bay, Escambia and Duval.
Thursday night, the San Jose charter schools’ attorney outlined an exit proposal he’s been privately negotiating with Newpoint at least since Monday. Gary Wheeler insists the decision to terminate Newpoint’s contract was an extension of San Jose’s previous board meeting directive for him to investigate a “Plan B” in light of Newpoint’s grand jury indictment in Escambia.
“If you were listening to the meeting I said I wanted to provide the board with options,” Wheeler said.
By the time that San Jose board members stepped into Thursday night’s meeting it was clear they had decided to jettison Newpoint as the school’s manager even though no such motion had been made at the previous meeting May 26. After three years of paying Newpoint an annual fee of 18 percent amounting to more than $500,000 a year in public tax dollars paid to Newpoint, the San Jose charter board wants to end its five-year contract with the controversial company.
No one on Newpoint’s board would explain how, when or why the board unanimously decided to dump Newpoint or whether that question had been privately discussed by board members out of the Sunshine between public meetings.
“I don’t answer questions like that, sir,” said Jeakle.
One thing that became clear Thursday night is that Newpoint, for all of its legal and More Florida charter schools cutting ties with target of 8 On Your Side investigation |

Big Education Ape: Charter schools want to sever ties with management company -