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Monday, May 1, 2017

How Many Public School Students Are Taught by Certified and Experienced Teachers?

How Many Public School Students Are Taught by Certified and Experienced Teachers?:

How Many Public School Students Are Taught by Certified and Experienced Teachers?

teaching experience and certification

The vast majority of U.S. students in public schools are taught by certified and experienced teachers, according to data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Roughly 94%  of students were taught by a state-certified teacher in the 2011–12 school year – the most recent figures available from the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), which includes questions about the sampled teacher’s state teaching certification.
When it comes to actual years of experience, the same survey revealed that 80% of students had a teacher with more than 5 years of experience. Specifically, 23% were taught by teachers with 6–10 years of experience, 20% by teachers with 11–15 years, 23% by teachers with 16–25 years, and 14% by teachers with 26 or more years.
NCES also looked for trends in the 2013 and 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) annual report cards, which look specifically at grades 4 and 8 in math and reading. Based on that data,  92% of 4th-graders and 90 percent of 8th-graders in 2015 were taught by a state-certified math teacher – a slight dip from 2013. And about 76% of 4th-graders and about 75% of 8th-graders in 2015 had a math teacher with more than five years of experience.
Both sets of data, however, reveal that percentages differed by various school and student characteristics. For example, some students groups – in particular, Black students, Hispanic students, students in high-minority schools, and students eligible for free-or reduced lunch – were somewhat less likely to have a state-certified teacher. In general, they were also less likely to be taught by teachers having more than 5 years of teaching experience and with a postsecondary degree in the subject area in which they teach.
Source: Certification Status and
Experience of U.S. Public
School Teachers, National Center for Education Statistics
There were also apparent gaps in city schools compared to those in rural and suburban areas. In 2015, approximately 91% of 8th-graders had a reading teacher who had state certification. But the percentage was lower for students in urban schools (89%) than in suburbs (93%). In addition, in schools with high-minority enrollment (75% or more), the percentage was 4 points lower than in schools with lower minority enrollment.
The percentages for both certified and experienced teachers in both groups of data, however, did not appear to vary by student disability status, English language learner status, or grade level.
What Happens as the Teacher Shortage Deepens?
The teacher shortage that is being felt in many parts of the country has triggered concerns that states are being forced to skirt certification requirements and lower the bar on qualifications in order to fill empty slots. There is a “coming crisis in the How Many Public School Students Are Taught by Certified and Experienced Teachers?:

NYC Public School Parents: Urgent! Please contact Congress today -- urge them NOT to cut funds for class size reduction!

NYC Public School Parents: Urgent! Please contact Congress today -- urge them NOT to cut funds for class size reduction!:

Urgent! Please contact Congress today -- urge them NOT to cut funds for class size reduction!

It was just reported that Congress will vote early this week on an education budget that would cut Title IIA funds by $300 million — which are used by districts across the country to keep teachers on 
staff and prevent class size increases.

In NYC, 100% of these funds or $101 million are spent to fund approximately 1000 teaching positions. President Trump’s budget would eliminate these funds altogether for the following year.

Please write Congress today: Urge them NOT to cut Title IIA funds. Already more than 300,000 NYC students are sitting in classes of 30 or more.

As I explained in a recent piece in Alternet, districts throughout the country have already lost thousands of teaching positions since the Great Recession which were never replaced — increasing class sizes to sky-high levels.

For more on the myriad, proven benefits of smaller classes, check out our research summary hereBut please write to Congress today by clicking here.

 NYC Public School Parents: Urgent! Please contact Congress today -- urge them NOT to cut funds for class size reduction!:

PolitiFact Florida: How not-for-profit are charter schools, really? | Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: How not-for-profit are charter schools, really? | Tampa Bay Times:

PolitiFact Florida: How not-for-profit are charter schools, really?

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Florida lawmakers who support the expansion of charter schools have adopted a single talking point to explain how the schools are managed.

Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs, faced a series of questions from Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, after introducing HB 7101, one of several measures in the legislative session that would increase access to charter schools.
Like public schools, charter schools receive state funds. The key difference is they are privately managed.
Richardson was curious about the bill's provision that specifies that a charter school operator may use assets of their charter school for K-12 educational purposes in "other schools."
"These other schools, would they also have to be a not-for-profit or could they be a for-profit?" Richardson asked.
Cortes said, "They would have to be a school within their own network. So part of the charter school system itself."
"So does that mean the other schools would have to be a 501(c)(3)?" Richardson asked.
"All charter schools are not-for-profit," Cortes said.
HB 7101 passed by a 81-39 vote.
The same argument resurfaced in debate of "schools of hope" legislation that would create a $200 million fund to lure charter schools to underperforming districts. Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, said, "Under Florida state statute, a charter school is a nonprofit organization, so there is no such thing in Florida as a for-profit charter school."
The point jumped out because there have been instances of charter schools being used to benefit people privately.
Florida law technically requires charter schools to be nonprofits. But the system is largely run by for-profit companies, which Cortes left out.
Not-for-profit, or not?
Cortes cited a provision of a Florida statute (1002.33 sec 12(i)) as evidence of this claim, which mandates that a charter must organize as, or be operated by, a nonprofit organization.
A not-for-profit is a type of organization that does not earn profits for its owners.
The Florida Department of Education echoed Cortes' evidence.
Audrey Walden, the agency's press secretary, said the defining document that sets the academic, financial and organizational performance benchmarks for a charter school is determined by the local school district and the nonprofit charter school board.
The charter governing board can choose to enter into contracts with private entities to provide services and support.
"But, ultimately, performance and accountability rests with the nonprofit governing board, which, when it enters into a charter agreement with its local school district, is subject to the same Sunshine Laws and School Accountability System that pertains to all public schools in Florida," she said.
Not all charter schools operate in the same way. And sometimes nonprofit charter governing boards enter into contract with for-profit companies.
The management company does not manage the governing board; rather, it handles certain aspects of the operations of the school under a contract with the governing board.
The Miami Herald's examination of South Florida's charter school industry found several instances of for-profit management companies controlling charter schools' day-to-day operations.
The Herald found examples of charter schools relinquishing total control of their staff and finances to for-profit management companies. In Miami-Dade County, the Life Skills Center paid 97 percent of its income to cover fees incurred by a management company.
Then, the governing board of two affiliated schools tried to "eject" the management company's managers. As a result, the management company withheld money from the school and threatened to press charges against people within the school who were trying to get the money back.
The Herald also found that some owners of the management companies also control the land and buildings used by the charter school. Owners of Academica Corp., the state's largest charter school management company based in South Miami, collected almost $19 million a year in lease payments on PolitiFact Florida: How not-for-profit are charter schools, really? | Tampa Bay Times:

How Charter School Operators Enrich Themselves In Real Estate

How Charter School Operators Enrich Themselves In Real Estate:

How Charter School Operators Enrich Themselves In Real Estate

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As the Trump administration plans to redirect taxpayer billions to privatize K-12 education, a scholarly article by some of the nation’s leading investigators of charter school rip-offs has highlighted how their business model is prone to fiscal self-dealing.
The article by Preston C. Green, Bruce D. Baker and Joseph O. Oluwole has the dense title, “Are Charter Schools the Second Coming of Enron?: An Examination of the Gatekeepers That Protect Against Dangerous Related-Party Transactions in the Charter School Sector?” But its analysis is striking, comparing corporate management practices at five large schools to the financial shell game that occurred at Enron, the Texas-based energy conglomerate that imploded a dozen years ago.
On the surface, Enron was in the energy business. But behind closed doors, it was engaged in an array of dubious investments and transactions that helped its top executives amass wealth. The charter schools cited in their report similarly present a public face of being alternative public schools. But their founders also used an array of financial tactics, especially involving school real estate deals, to become rich by diverting millions from their classrooms.
Nationwide, 43 states and the District of Columbia have 6,800 charters serving 2.9 million students. They comprise 6 percent of K-12 public school enrollment, which has increased six-fold in the last 15 years. When states approved the first charters in the 1990s, the idea was to nurture locally accountable experimental schools. However, since then a K-12 privatization industry has emerged that is dominated by companies seeking to create regional or national brands, akin to any other corporate franchise. These larger charter operations tend to have non-profit and for-profit arms, which can mask an array of complicated financial relationships.
The charter industry’s largest operations often are run by what’s called educational management organizations, EMOs, which “now control 35-to-40 percent of the industry with an estimated 45 percent of charter students,” the scholars said. These sophisticated operations can attract private investors because they can use their status as schools to get large tax breaks, which, in turn, are applied to a range of profit-making ventures that have nothing to do with educating under-served communities.
“Charter schools attract investors because of the potential for new revenue streams,” the authors said. “For instance, the New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) program provides investors the How Charter School Operators Enrich Themselves In Real Estate:

Major weaknesses of New Orleans charter schools have been laid bare -

Major weaknesses of New Orleans charter schools have been laid bare -

Major weaknesses of New Orleans charter schools have been laid bare

Louisiana state standards are among the lowest in the nation, and the charter school lobby is only making it worse

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New Orleans is the nation’s largest and most complete experiment in charter schools. After Hurricane Katrina, the State of Louisiana took control of public schools in New Orleans and launched a nearly complete transformation of a public school system into a system of charter schools. Though there are spots of improvement in the New Orleans charter system, major problems remain.
Many of these problems were on display in New Orleans when the NAACP, which last year called for a moratorium on charter schools until issues of accountability and transparency were addressed, held a community forum in New Orleans on charters.  The New Orleans hearing, which can be viewed here, featured outraged students, outraged parents, and dismayed community members reciting a litany of the problems created by the massive change to a charter school system. The single most powerful moment came when a group of students from Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools took the podium and detailed the many ways the system has failed and excluded them from participating in its transformation.
“We really wanted to share what happens in our schools” writes 18 year old Big Sister Love Rush in an article on the challenges the students face. “How the few permanent teachers we have work so hard for us, how so many classes are ran by short term substitutes, how food runs out at meal times, and how we worry if our school’s reputation is good enough to support us in getting into the college or careers we want.  We shared how we face two hour commutes to and from school, are forced to experiment with digital learning with systems like Odyssey, are punished for having the wrong color sweater, or how we worry about being able to attend a school that will give us the education we need.”
In summary, the NAACP heard that they charter system remains highly segregated by race and economic status.  Students have significantly longer commutes to and from school.  The percentage of African American teachers has declined dramatically leaving less experienced teachers who are less likely to be accredited and less likely to remain in the system.  The costs of administration have gone up while resources for teaching have declined.  Several special select schools have their own admission process which results in racially and economically different student bodies.  The top administrator of one K-12 system of three schools is paid over a quarter of a million dollars.  Students with disabilities have been ill served. Fraud and mismanagement, which certainly predated the conversion to charter schools, continue to occur. Thousands of students are in below average schools. Students and parents feel disempowered and ignored by the system.
The birthing of the charter system occurred in 2005 when the community was displaced by Katrina.  Control of the public school system was taken away from a board which had an elected majority of African American officials and was given to the white majority board of the state system.
The first casualty of the abrupt change was the termination of the South’s largest local union and the firing of over 7000 most African American female teachers. Attorney Willie Zanders told the NAACP of the years of struggle for those teachers which, though initially successful, ended in bitter defeat years later. The city’s veteran black educators were replaced by younger, less qualified white teachers from Teach for America and Teach NOLA.

What you should know about school vouchers | Newsday

What you should know about school vouchers | Newsday:

What you should know about school vouchers

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Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos remain committed to privately managed school choice funded by public tax dollars, despite a sordid racial history, opposition from the civil rights community, state constitutional problems, and the proven failure of the approach to help students.

President Donald Trump has proposed cutting after-school programs for young children as well as grants and federal work-study programs for college students. But his most significant attack on public education may be his pledge to spend $20 billion on market-based school choice, including charter schools and vouchers.

Conventional voucher policies exist in 16 states. Taxpayers in those states help pay private-school tuition for about 175,000 students each year. Education savings accounts that let states circumnavigate constitutional language against public funding for private and religious organizations are used in 17 states and generate another 250,000 vouchers annually.

Before the public embraces Trump’s plans to create even more vouchers, there are important things it should know about the voucher concept’s origination.

Milton Friedman, a University of Chicago economist and apostle of free-market fundamentalism, believed corporations should be able to profit from education. In 1997, he wrote an article arguing that vouchers were “a means to make a transition from a government to a market system,” to enable “a private, for-profit industry to develop” and ultimately abolish public schools.

In 1955, Friedman also wrote that he didn’t believe in government-sponsored integration of schools. Southern politicians agreed and used vouchers to create what were called “segregation academies” for whites only.

Proponents of school vouchers overlook this history and frame vouchers as a “limited” approach to help poor children in cities — even claiming they are a civil right.

The political argument that market-based school choice is the answer for long-standing inequalities in the American education system is at odds with the positions of most national civil rights organizations. The NAACP and Urban League agree that vouchers, in the words of a civil rights leadership conference report, “siphon away all-too-limited public education funds and fail to provide protection from What you should know about school vouchers | Newsday:

If You Can't Get Ann Coulter as Commencement Speaker Which Right Wing Fruitcake Do You Call (hint BD) | theGrio

Bethune-Cookman University selects Betsy DeVos as commencement speaker | theGrio:

If You Can't Get Ann Coulter as Commencement Speaker Which Right Wing Fruitcake Do You Call (hint BD)

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will deliver the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University’s graduation on May 10, the school’s Office of the President confirmed Monday.
Rumors had been swirling that DeVos would address the undergraduate students.  One alum  even started a petition to stop her from speaking.
The Office of the President told an official statement would be sent out later Monday.
DeVos’ confirmation did not come without controversy. The vote divided the Senate in a 50-50 split and eventually required Vice President Mike Pence to cast break the tie. Since she was officially confirmed, DeVos has been met with protests and demonstrations during her national tour visiting schools.


Bethune-Cookman University has released the following statement regarding Betsy DeVos’ commencement speech:
The Honorable Betsy DeVos will be the keynote speaker for B-CU spring 2017 commencement ceremony on May 10thlocated at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach (101 N Atlantic Ave). Secretary DeVos is the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education and serves as an education policy advocate for students across the country. Over the last three decades, DeVos has devoted her career in support of the opportunity for a quality educational experience for students.
Much like Dr. Bethune, Founder of Bethune-Cookman University, Secretary DeVos 
Bethune-Cookman University selects Betsy DeVos as commencement speaker | theGrio:

Racism in Philanthropy: Effective Practices for Grantmakers | Schott Foundation for Public Education

Racism in Philanthropy: Effective Practices for Grantmakers | Schott Foundation for Public Education:

Racism in Philanthropy: Effective Practices for Grantmakers

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“Now more than ever before, philanthropy must apply a racial justice lens to its grantmaking and other community engagement efforts. And we must look inside our own walls to be sure we’re practicing what we preach,” said Edgar Villanueva, Schott Foundation vice-president of programs and advocacy.
“We must also be honest and come to terms with the power dynamics that exist between philanthropy and community-based nonprofits that can contribute to barriers to authentic engagement.”
So began a brave and open conversation during our April 21 webinar, “Racism in Philanthropy: Effective Practices for Grantmakers,” which brought together
The hour sought to begin a broader dialogue challenging philanthropies to examine themselves as they encourage communities and organizations to achieve racial equity. Foundation staff and board members are overwhelmingly white, and the origins of philanthropy in the United States involve wealth creation at the expense of and to the detriment of people of color. In addition, internal practices at foundations often perpetuate inequities.
“We are 100 years into organized philanthropic institutional giving,” Hare instructed. “And that legacy was built in a time frame that did not consider racial justice, social justice, community engagement as a high priority.”
“So we’re navigating that system and there are many of us in the field working as change agents to shift conversations, opportunity, dialogue and really have some opportunities to speak truth to power.”
Cardona offered that grantmakers need to be mindful of our contribution to the problem while using these problems as motivation to improve: “We need to recognize that the very institutions in which we work are part of the problem,” he said. But rather than be paralyzed by anxiety and guilt, recognition of philanthropy’s power and privilege, “should be a motor to propel this work forward.”
McAfee encouraged foundations to not conflate charity and transformation. The former means giving without regard to driving change, and he noted that many philanthropies operate from a charitable perspective but get frustrated because they’ve not been intentional about wanting to see systemic changes in the communities they fund. He also said foundations needed to be transparent about not always knowing what is required to move equity work forward and they need to embrace the fact that sometimes our constituents will not be happy with the tough decisions that must be made. But above all, “Our leadership voice has to be able to put race, class, gender and all of these intersections at the center in the work.”
Each speaker highlighted the importance of addressing biases and inequities of our internal operations. Cardona, for example, pointed out that there is a lack of understanding of the role of implicit bias in hiring and grantmaking. Hare echoed this idea, recommending that philanthropists do an internal analysis of policies around hiring, participation, grantmaking, and community engagement. She said there is a discomfort in addressing the topics of white supremacy, privilege, and access in philanthropy.
There is clearly a need for more discussion about race and ethnicity in philanthropy, but more than just talk is required to produce change. We need action. McAfee explained that language and frames have become the end product instead of the accelerant, but “people in Flint are still afraid to drink the water… Let’s stop being intoxicated by the frame and move results to scale.”
Hare suggested being honest about what our own organizations can, cannot and simply will not do. She said organizations have the power to set these boundaries. When it comes to the lack of diversity within our institutions, Cardona said we “need a mix of perspectives and lived experiences to make wise decisions.” McAfee’s call to action was a reminder of the transformation we can create, if we challenge ourselves, look at internal flaws, and constantly improve. “Philanthropy must own its power to set civic agendas,” he said.
What do you think? Share your thoughts about race and philanthropy on Twitter using #GrassrootsEdClick here to tweet about this webinar.
Racism in Philanthropy: Effective Practices for Grantmakers | Schott Foundation for Public Education:

Unwrapping Charter School Titles: Where’s the Innovation?

Unwrapping Charter School Titles: Where’s the Innovation?:

Unwrapping Charter School Titles: Where’s the Innovation?

Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music.
Where’s the innovation with choice and charters? Betsy DeVos has said, it’s how you go from a closed system to an open system that encourages innovation. People deserve choices and options. Advocates for choice and charters often refer to innovation—like parents are going to find something unique and wonderful with vouchers.
But what are those choices? Go looking for them and they are hard to find. Some charters advertise subjects stripped from traditional public schools due to draconian reform and privatization. But that’s not innovation. It’s theft!
Charter schools might have unique titles, but scratch beneath the surface and most of them are run the same way—with data, character education, and rigor. Students and parents must comply with rules. Charter managers can reject students who don’t follow those rules.
That’s strict management—not innovation.
It’s difficult to find real innovation in charter schools. Consider their titles and what happens in the schools.
Classical Charter Schools    
Putting “Classical” into a charter title is popular. One might think it means students will listen to classical music, study ancient Greek or Latin art, literature, and culture. But Unwrapping Charter School Titles: Where’s the Innovation?:
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A TEACHING HERO | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing

A TEACHING HERO | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing:



Harris Lirtzman is a relatively new friend of mine and a man who is a hero in the fight for justice for our kids. I met Harris a couple of years ago when I worked for WISE Services. I was part of a team who thought we could help the organization, Yonkers Partners In Education (YPIE), provide mentoring to Yonkers high school students to help them not just graduate but also succeed when they get out of high school. Harris was one of their team members at that meeting.
When we realized we thought on a very similar wavelength we decided to meet for lunch a couple of times. We hit it off. My wife and I invited Harris and his partner Ralph to dinner. We’ve been close friends ever since.
We share ideas about teaching, education, life, politics, family, photography, the Hudson River and whatever dumb ass stuff #45 and his band of bullies pull daily. A couple of days ago I saw a reference to Harris being a whistleblower in the NYC DOE. I hadn’t known about this so when I asked him to tell me, he sent me two NYT articles from the spring of 2012 that told the tale of Harry the Hero.
Let me say this before I share his story with you. There are many of us who, for years, have been advocating for public schools, their students, and the parents who send their kids to those schools. We have taught, marched, rallied, conferenced, wrote, rapped, and organized, but too often what we have done has been far too ideological and, well, just plain far less effective than we hoped our efforts would have been.
So this leaves me to Harris, who I am proud to call my friend and an example of what sacrifice for these kids really means. Over my many years in education I have had other friends and met other teachers who have spoken out and tried to do the right things, the right ways, and for the right reasons. They had been reprimanded, ATR’ed (A NYC thing- Google it), put in a “rubber room”, had their professional lives made miserable, were forced toA TEACHING HERO | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing: 



Is PISA Data Useless?

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Yes, if you're a regular reader, then you know I think it's rather useless anyway.

But in April this story dropped. Folks had begun a mild-tomedium freakout because the East Asian PISA math superpowers (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc), the people whose program everyone else was trying to imitate, had seen their scores start to drop. 

But now Andreas Schleicher, the official in charge of Pisa, has said that this fall may not be due to a drop in the performance of these Asian powerhouses. He said he was looking into whether the decline could be explained by the fact that Pisa used computers for the main tests for the first time in 2015.

In other words, data that is clearly presented as “comparable” in the study may not be comparable at all.

Which means the whole longitudinal game of charting PISA scores over time could be ruined, all those nifty charts now meaningless.

There's another implication here as well. The Testocrats have been quietly assuming that taking a Big Standardized Test on a computer is exactly like taking it on paper. But what if that's not true? What if taking a math test involves not only math skills, but test-taking skills. And what if computer test-taking skills are not the same set of skills as pencil-and-paper test-taking skills?

What if the Big Standardized Tests aren't really measuring what they purport to measure at all, and the whole test-centered education model is built on a sham?

What Does Democracy In Education Look Like? #AERA17 – Cloaking Inequity

What Does Democracy In Education Look Like? #AERA17 – Cloaking Inequity:

What Does Democracy In Education Look Like? #AERA17

Hear Chris Stewart, host of Rock The Schools and Dr. Vasquez Heilig passionately agree and disagree on school choice issues. This episode of Rock The Schools is powerful resource for parents, students and educators to advocate for community-based education reform that provides a great education for all children.

 What Does Democracy In Education Look Like? #AERA17 – Cloaking Inequity:

Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt? | deutsch29

Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt? | deutsch29:

Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt?

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On April 25, 2017, three BASIS charter schools located in Arizona have found themselves celebrated in US News and World Report for being US News’ top-rated high schools.
BASIS Scottsdale was ranked Number One.
Turns out that AP test scores matter much in the US News high-school-ranking system, and BASIS high schools require their students to take at least eight AP courses and six AP exams. In 2016, the average BASIS graduate took over 11 AP exams. BASIS contends that “AP exam scores are by no means the focus of our curriculum”; however, the same page boasts that “many BASIS.ed graduates take as many as 20 AP Exams.”
It sounds like BASIS is pretty AP-centered; even on its curriculum/diploma webpage, BASIS counts AP exams as “foundational for learning.”
And for all of its detail, the same curriculum/diploma webpage alludes to BASIS’s founders only in general terms: “founded by two economists.” No names.
Still, one can find those names on the BASIS “about” page:
Michael and Olga Block.
BASIS is a tough school; one gains this sense by reading the ~160 comments on the GreatSchools BASIS Scottsdale page. And for more on the BASIS school story/debate, one can read the back-and-forth between Network for Public Education (NPE) Executive Director Carol Burris and BASIS CEO Peter Bezanson (be sure to read the comments on Bezanson’s opinion piece, which connect to this Washington Post editorial by Burris).
What caught my attention in the above-noted BASIS Schools exchange is the back-and-forth over BASIS’s overhead and alleged financial struggles.
So, I read the BASIS Schools tax forms, which tell an interesting story about Michael and Olga Block and some of their extended family.
Now, let me mention that in 2013, I wrote about Arizona charters and the state’s soft “conflict of interest” guidelines. In Arizona, it’s pretty easy to make charter school operations a lucrative family affair.
Let me also add that when I read the GreatSchools comments about BASIS Scottsdale, the following comment about BASIS Scottsdale being used as a BASIS teacher training center caught my attention.
Posted by “a parent” on August 08, 2014, on the GreatSchools page for reviews of BASIS Scottsdale:
Last year, BASIS underwent a massive expansion with BASIS schools all over AZ, and some in other States. BASIS Corporate trains their teachers at BASIS Scottsdale, and then have them move to these new school,
Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt? | deutsch29:

USDA to ease school meal standards | TheHill

USDA to ease school meal standards | TheHill:

USDA to ease school meal standards

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Newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is expected to unveil a new rule Monday aimed at giving schools more flexibility in meeting federal nutrition standards for school lunches.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Friday that Perdue and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will make the announcement at the Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Va., where they are expected to eat lunch with the students.
Republicans have long been trying to dial back the standards that became a pillar of former first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to curb childhood obesity in the U.S.
Roberts introduced legislation with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) last year to give schools two more years to meet new reductions on sodium, but the bill never passed.

Renewed efforts to ease the federal standards came as disappointing news to some advocates.
The American Heart Association was quick to push back. In a statement, the group’s CEO, Nancy Brown, said the current standards are already working and that 99 percent of schools are in compliance.
“Improving children’s health should be a top priority for the USDA, and serving more nutritious foods in schools is a clear-cut way to accomplish this goal,” she said.
“Rather than altering the current path forward, we hope the agency focuses more on providing technical assistance that can help schools get across the finish line, if they haven’t done so already.”USDA to ease school meal standards | TheHill: