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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jersey Jazzman: Attrition in Denver Charter Schools

Jersey Jazzman: Attrition in Denver Charter Schools:

Attrition in Denver Charter Schools

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Earlier this month David Leonhardt of the New York Times wrote yet another column extolling the virtues of charter schools. I feel like a broken record when I say, once again, that education policy dilettantes like Leonhardt don't seem to understand that it requires more than a few studies showing a few charters in a few cities in a few select networks get marginally better outcomes on test scores to justify large-scale charter expansion.

There are serious cautions when it comes to the proliferation "successful" charters, starting with the fiscal impact on hosting districts as charters expand. We should also be concerned about the abrogation of student and family rights, the lack of transparency in charter school governance, the narrowing of the curriculum in test-focused charters, the racially disparate disciplinary practices in "no excuses" charters, and the incentives in the current system that encourage bad behaviors.

But let's set all that aside and look at the evidence Leonhardt presents to justify his push for more charters:

Unlike most voucher programs, many charter-school systems are subject to rigorous evaluation and oversight. Local officials decide which charters can open and expand. Officials don’t get every decision right, but they are able to evaluate schools based on student progress and surveys of teachers and families. 
As a result, many charters have flourished, especially in places where traditional schools have struggled. This evidence comes from top academic researchers, studying a variety of places, including WashingtonBostonDenverNew OrleansNew YorkFlorida and Texas. The anecdotes about failed charters are real, but they’re not the norm.
You'll notice that Leonhardt picks cities and states that uphold his argument while excluding others like Detroit, Philadelphia, and Ohio. In addition: I spent a lot of time last year explaining why the vaunted Boston charter sector isn't all it's cracked up to be. I've also documented the mess that is Florida's charter sector. I'll try to get to some of Jersey Jazzman: Attrition in Denver Charter Schools:

Torlakson Opposes Potential Federal Medicaid Cuts - Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

Torlakson Opposes Potential Federal Medicaid Cuts - Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education):

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Opposes Potential Federal Medicaid Cuts for School-based Health Services

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today said he sent two U.S. Senators a letter announcing his opposition to changes that could endanger funding for school-based health services.
The bill, called the American Health Care Act, includes a per-state cap on spending for Medicaid, the federal program that funds health care for low-income people and families, and is referred to as Medi-Cal in California The new funding limits mean states will have to choose what benefits and services to offer, including assistance for Medicaid-eligible children who receive health care at schools.
School-based services include medical supplies such as feeding tubes for disabled children, vision and hearing screenings, and funding for school health aides.
“It is highly likely that schools and districts would bear an increased responsibility for covering the costs of these services, placing additional pressure on already-strained budgets,” Torlakson said in a letter to U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Patty Murray (D-Washington), the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. “Removing Medicaid funding for such services and equipment would present a significant hardship for many schools and students.”
Torlakson, a former science teacher and track and cross-country coach, has put a top priority on ensuring that students come to school ready to learn, which means they are healthy, eat nutritious food, and engage in regular exercise. This legislation could undermine those efforts.
“Students need to have access to health care so they can come to school healthy, and ready to learn and succeed,” he said. “This legislation may reduce access to health care for our students.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act in early May, and the legislation is currently in the Senate.
The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to assist special education students has already been historically underfunded, and the American Health Care Act could jeopardize services even more, Torlakson said.
A lack of preventive care and screenings could create long-term costs for states. For example, vision and hearing screenings can identify students who need eyeglasses or hearing assistance so they can pay attention and succeed in class. Reducing screening will hurt those students and require expensive remediation later in the students’ school years.
“Taking away any of these services could be devastating to individual students as well as to classrooms and schools as a whole,” Torlakson said.
Torlakson urged the Senators to preserve the current Medicaid funding structure and maintain services to eligible children.
# # # #
Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

 Torlakson Opposes Potential Federal Medicaid Cuts - Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education):

Brown’s May budget adds more money for schools and child care, but mixed bag for higher ed | EdSource

Brown’s May budget adds more money for schools and child care, but mixed bag for higher ed | EdSource:

Brown's May budget adds more money for schools and child care, but mixed bag for higher ed

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Rosier-than-expected budget revenues have prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to restore some cuts projected in January – most notably to child care – and to send over $1 billion in additional funding to schools than anticipated.
“California has spent enormous sums of money, particularly in education,” Brown said during a Thursday press conference announcing the May revision of his $183.4 billion budget. “The increase is phenomenal.”
Under the May revision, a $5.8 billion shortfall in revenues was reduced to $3.3 billion, which allowed for the $1.4 billion allocation in 2017-18 to the Local Control Funding Formula that pays for K-12 public schools. With this increase, the formula – which was slated to grow annually over several years – is now at 97 percent of the promised final funding levels, or up about $4,058 per student over 2011-12 levels.
State data show that the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee of funding for K‑14 schools has fluctuated over the years, dropping to a low of $47.3 billion in 2011‑12. The May revise proposes $74.6 billion in 2017-18 — an increase of $1.1 billion since the proposed budget was released in January. 
The extra revenues in the May revise also eliminated the need to defer some school funding, a delay included in January’s proposal. 
According to the state’s Local Control Funding Formula, districts receive additional money to serve low-income students, English learners and foster youth. It is up to school boards to approve Local Control and Accountability Plans that reflect these spending priorities.
But Brown said individual communities should ensure that their school boards spend the money in ways that will best benefit local students.
“We want the activists, we want the parents and the teachers to go to their local boards and put the pressure on them, using the transparent accountability plan,” he said, explaining that advocates no longer need to go to Sacramento to lobby for specific expenditures.
Also, a one-year delay in increases for child care funding projected last Brown’s May budget adds more money for schools and child care, but mixed bag for higher ed | EdSource:

“Creative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?

“Creative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?:

“Creative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?

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By Elena de la Cuevas
The expansion of the Orange County School of the Arts (OSCA) to a sister site in the San Gabriel Valley has led to an complicated mix of charter and public monies. Rebuffed in San Diego, OCSA found a home for a satellite school in a small district in Duarte, California, a community northeast of Los Angeles.
Faced with declining enrollment, new Superintendent Allan Mucerino asserted that the best fix for this was to convert all elementary schools to K-8 and lease the only middle school, Northview, to OCSA. This new school, CS Arts, San Gabriel Valley, would occupy the middle school thus displacing an entire staff. The opening of CS Arts was pitched as a way to make Duarte a destination district as students from all over southern California would enroll in a 9-12 high school and hopefully have parents enroll K-8 students so they could prepare for charter acceptance (curiously, it was given the name of the valley it is in, San Gabriel, rather than being called CS Arts Duarte).
OCSA had tried to do this in San Diego but a teacher-parent alliance successfully averted this.
Initially the entire school board in Duarte liked Mucerino’s plan and it easily passed with all 5 board members voting yes. The money given by the state of California to OCSA for each pupil present per school day (Average Daily Attendance, or ADA) would be divided with Duarte Unified receiving 3% of the charter’s total ADA.
Soon it became apparent that superintendent had more than a high school in mind. He then proposed that 7th-8th graders be allowed to enroll in the charter, be taught by Duarte’s public teachers, and attend the charter’s conservatories after regular classes. The new charter did not have room for middle schoolers and could not accommodate them.
Mixing charter and public education money is not allowed by the state but Superintendent Mucerino rosily assured all who askedCreative” Charter School Finance: Orange County School of Arts…In Duarte (San Gabriel Valley)?

Jeff Bryant: What Is The Purpose Of School Choice?

5/11/2017 – What Is The Purpose Of School Choice?:

5/11/2017 – What Is The Purpose Of School Choice?

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THIS WEEK: White School Secession … School Funding Fights Loom … Problems With Choice … Choice Fails … College Inequity


What Is The Purpose Of School Choice?

By Jeff Bryant

“Many proponents of school choice contend the purpose of school choice was never about generating better results. It’s about choice for choice’s sake … But individuals don’t pay for public education; the taxpayers do. And the choices parents make about their education don’t just affect their children; they have an impact on the whole community … None of this is to say parents should have no education choices for their children at all … But why would I want a bad choice?”
Read more …


The Quiet Wave Of School District Secessions

US News & World Report

“When a judge ruled last week that the predominantly white Alabama city of Gardendale can secede from the majority black Jefferson County to form its own school district, the decision paved the way for the eighth such secession of wealthier and whiter municipalities in the state since 2000 … Dozens of school districts have similarly broken away from bigger ones – at least 36 since 2000 … 30 states have a process in place allowing districts to secede … only 17 require consideration be given to the secession’s impact on students, and only 6 require consideration be given to the impact on socioeconomic factors and diversity.”
Read more …

K-12 Spending Gets Caught In States’ Budget Fights

Education Week

“More than half the states this year missed their revenue projections, and many legislators are pushing their colleagues to pass more-conservative budgets this year … School spending, because it takes up such a large part of the budget, has sparked brushfires between parties and chambers … Kansas and Washington officials continue to fight over how to answer their states’ supreme court justices, who have deemed their spending unconstitutional.”
Read more …

Three Big Problems With School ‘Choice’ That Supporters Don’t Like To Talk About

The Washington Post

Executive Director of the Network for Public Education Carol Burris writes, “Public school choice programs, if carefully managed, can serve students well and/or promote a social good … Privatized school choice, in contrast, is quite different. Privatized school choice is the public financing of private alternatives to public schools … Privatized school choice will inevitably reduce funding for your local neighborhood public schools … Vouchers to private schools and other public school alternatives start small and then expand, increasing the burden on taxpayers … Additional administrative costs coupled with a lack of transparency waste taxpayer dollars and open the door to excessive legal and fraudulent personal gain.”
Read more …

The Broken Promises Of Choice In New York City Schools

The New York Times

“School choice has not delivered on a central promise: to give every student a real chance to attend a good school. Fourteen years into the system, black and Hispanic students are just as isolated in segregated high schools as they are in elementary schools – a situation that school choice was supposed to ease … There is a hierarchy of schools, each with different admissions requirements … Getting into the best schools, where almost all students graduate and are ready to attend college, often requires top scores … Those admitted to these most successful schools remain disproportionately middle class and white or Asian … Children who grow up in neighborhoods with low-performing elementary schools tend to go to low-performing middle schools, then on to high schools with low graduation rates and even lower college-readiness rates.”
Read more …

Top Universities Could Take Thousands More Low-Income Students, Study Says

The Hechinger Report

“Far more low-income students are qualified to attend the nation’s most selective colleges and universities than they enroll … Most have budget surpluses they could use to subsidize the neediest applicants … Most low-income students end up at community colleges and regional public universities with low graduation rates. But some 86,000 annually score on standardized admission tests as well as or better than the students who enroll at the most selective universities and colleges.”
Read more …
5/11/2017 – What Is The Purpose Of School Choice?:

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Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education | Eclectablog

Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education | Eclectablog:

Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education

Gig Economy Graphic | by Senator Mark Warner

A recent blog post by Morna McDermott at connects the dots between the recent surge in popularity of the new “Gig Economy” and unsavory influences from the usual suspects in the corporate education reform agenda, ALEC and Pearson. McDermott points out the K12 aspects of this connection (i.e., Competency Based Education (CBE) as an “alternative” to actual classroom learning, “self-directed learning”, an emphasis on “college and career ready” approaches), reminding us how the reformers are experts at coming up with positive sounding names for dangerous and unethical pedagogical strategies.

McDermott identifies the principles upon which CBE is based:
  • “Disenfranchises teachers who are replaced by computers and third party providers (now LEA’s with access to student private data). This erodes a unionized teacher workforce.

  • Eliminates collaborative interactive learning activities in favor of individualized one-on-one learning with a computer program

  • Course credit will no longer be counted by credit hour but by completion of a series of exercises, tasks or data driven curriculum which provides the student with a “badge of completion” (see Pearson). The amount of time spent in a classroom experience is no longer a determining factor in evaluating success.”

  • All of these “innovations” are being designed to hurry us all along to an even stronger embrace of the so-called “Gig Economy,” which has been characterized by the ascendance of start-ups like Uber and AirBNB–guerilla operations intended to replace taxis and hotels in the new “sharing economy.” The seductiveness of the Gig Economy model is clear–workers will be their own bosses, there are no burdensome “regulations” to present challenges to “entrepreneurship” and “creativity,” and cumbersome layers of oversight and accountability vanish in the new, “flat Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education | Eclectablog:

    You Can’t Pick Great Teachers from a Tree. | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing

    You Can’t Pick Great Teachers from a Tree. | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing:

    You Can’t Pick Great Teachers from a Tree.

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    As the experts assess the needs of the educational system and come up with “the solutions”, one solution that displays very little thought is the “great teacher” solution. The people who operate the Department of Education in New York City, (a department “recognized” for its innovative and leading changes in the field of education by organizations I have never heard of), have decided that one of the best ways to improve the educational system of New York City, is to recruit great teachers.
    That may be a great solution if you can go to some school or place that has a bunch of great teachers just waiting to be picked like fruits off a tree. Perhaps these people know of some place like a supermarket for great teachers, where you can just go and pick them up like you pick cans up off a shelf. If these ideas sound ludicrous, it’s because they are ludicrous. The idea that you can just “recruit” or “pick up” a great teacher is as inane a thought as saying that you can just go to a park and “pick up” a Derek Jeter or a LeBron James.
    Great teachers get it; they understand that when you get into teaching you are in it for the long haul. They understand that teaching is a “long time “ You Can’t Pick Great Teachers from a Tree. | DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing:

    Secretive Foundation’s Blueprint for Spreading Right-Wing Ideology

    Secretive Foundation’s Blueprint for Spreading Right-Wing Ideology:

    Documents Reveal a Powerful, Secretive Foundation’s Blueprint for Spreading Right-Wing Ideology, State by State

    Meet the Bradley Foundation, giving the Koch brothers a run for their money.

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    This post originally appeared at Alternet.
    The billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch get a lot of press coverage about their vast, conservative political spending network that helps elect right-wing officials at the federal, state and local levels and advocates for policies that increase the profits of their fossil fuel and manufacturing conglomerate, Koch Industries. Earning far less publicity but perhaps equally powerful in driving rightward change in America is the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, a private foundation based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    New investigations by Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Mary Bottari of the Center for Media and Democracy analyze hacked internal documents, which reveal that much like the Koch network, the Bradley Foundation has launched a national strategy to help conservatives control the branches of state governments and alter state policy to lower taxes, shrink government and attack labor unions.
    The Bradley Foundation, which has historically supported taxpayer-funded “school choice” initiatives and work requirements for welfare recipients, is named after Lynde and Harry Bradley, two brothers who founded the profitable factory automation manufacturer Allen Bradley Co. After Lynde’s death in 1942, the Allen-Bradley Foundation was established. When Allen Bradley was sold to Rockwell International in 1985 for $1.7 billion, the foundation’s assets ballooned and it became the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation as it added a focus on promoting the brothers’ conservative ideology on a national scale.
    Thirty gigabytes of Bradley Foundation internal documents hacked by a group named Anonymous Poland reveal that after a $200 million influx of cash in late 2012 from the trust of Caroline Bradley, Lynde’s wife, the Bradley Foundation geared up to fund networks of conservative think tanks, legal centers, candidate recruitment organizations, media outlets and advocacy groups in 13 states, based on the foundation’s successful efforts in Wisconsin. The foundation had already laid the groundwork for a welfare-to-work program and a private school voucher system and defended GOP Gov. Scott Walker in a campaign finance probe, helping him survive a recall election prompted by his dismantling of public-sector unions.
    Now the foundation is focusing on five states it views as having a strong conservative infrastructure, thus making them ripe for rightward change. The foundation is working to expand conservative power in Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin by funding established networks of right-wing organizations that promote conservatism and help far-right candidates win elections. It’s a long-term strategy that “can take decades,” according to the longtime CEO of the foundation, Rick Graber, who recently stepped down from his post.
    The trove of hacked documents shows that Bradley Foundation has recently given large grants to groups in these states, including a $575,000 commitment to five organizations in Colorado, two of which aim to “defund teachers unions and achieve real education reform”; $1.5 million to two groups founded and mostly funded by the Koch brothers’ biggest ally in Secretive Foundation’s Blueprint for Spreading Right-Wing Ideology:
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    Why Student Disrespect Shouldn't Bother You - Teacher Habits

    Why Student Disrespect Shouldn't Bother You - Teacher Habits:

    Why Student Disrespect Shouldn’t Bother You

    I once had a student throw a water bottle at me while shouting something that rhymed with “stuck glue.” I’ve had more than one flash me the middle finger while my back was turned. There have been countless eye rolls in response to what I thought were reasonable requests. If you’re a teacher, part of the job is being on the receiving end of occasional disrespect from students.

    It used to bother me. I’d see red. How dare she! How could he? I’ll show her! I’d upbraid the impudent offender in front of the whole class. If a student was going to challenge my authority, I was damned if I was going to let her get away with it. I’d put her in her place. If I didn’t, wasn’t I inviting more of the same?

    It was the wrong approach. It often gave the insolent student the very thing he wanted. It raised everyone’s stress level. It ruined my mood and wore me out. It damaged the relationship I had with the student and negatively affected the classroom culture.

    There’s a much better way to deal with student disrespect. It starts by changing how you think about it.

    It’s Probably Not About You

    We teachers tend to be sensitive people, and we sometimes accept too much responsibility for what happens in our rooms. A lot of student misbehavior has little to do with the teacher. When a student mouths off or audibly sighs at a benign request, it’s often the culmination of a series of negative events. You may have provided the spark, but the Why Student Disrespect Shouldn't Bother You - Teacher Habits:

    Nick Melvoin’s School Board Candidacy Is Controlled By Wealthy, “Special” Interests – redqueeninla

    Nick Melvoin’s School Board Candidacy Is Controlled By Wealthy, “Special” Interests – redqueeninla:

    Nick Melvoin’s School Board Candidacy Is Controlled By Wealthy, “Special” Interests

    Image result for Nick Melvoin School Board Candidacy Is Controlled By Wealthy, “Special” Interests

    When parents pretend astroturf is genuine
    It’s amazing to see the talking points issuing from 4th LAUSD board district (LAUSD4) candidate Nick Melvoin’s boosters coming from multiple directions, in persistent waves, with identical wording. Social media messages from “just-folks” all feature professional flourishes such as, for example, every single appearance of the candidate’s name typed ALL IN CAPS, and always alongside catchy phrases or paired with hashtags.
    Can no one be left to think for themselves and ask genuine questions from within? Must all public expression be focus-grouped? Even reporters seem to be regurgitating identical, manipulated questions.
    This contributes to a collective loss-of-confidence among we, the people, that anyone can figure out what information is true and genuine. Conversely we second-guess the validity of even primary sources.

    Melvoin’s donors are not local stakeholders of the school district he seeks to control
    Let’s consider this aggressively repeated challenge:
    How Do You Know Melvoin’s Taking Money From Outsiders”?
    Well, the answer is simple to obtain in principle, if difficult in practice: peruse the City of LA ethics website and count the people with out-of-town addresses found there.
    As of April 20, 2017, a rough categorization of personal contributions to Nick Melvoin suggests that he received “outside” donations from folks across the country (fig 1) totaling $81K dollars. But note that California is a big place; from northern California to parts south of Los Angeles, only 41% of his donors are eligible to vote for the LAUSD school board, and only a little more than half the total of personal donations originate from LAUSD4 stakeholders.

    Campaign monies exist in two completely different pots
    In tracing these patterns of giving to candidate Melvoin, it is critical to understand that campaign money derives from two very different sources (fig 2).
    Contributions to the candidate directly are limited in size to $1,100 per election from any given donor. The candidate controls expressions funded by this money; he is accountable for “campaign contributions”.
    A second source of money supports the candidate as well, only it has no upper limit on the size of donation permitted. This money is aggregated by a “Committee” for the purpose of making “Independent Expenditures”. The “IEC” is not controlled by the candidate, enabling “plausible deniability” of any message it conveys.
    This is the rationale Nick Melvoin claims in disavowing California Charter School Association (CCSA) money, distributed in the name of their copyright-infringing “PTA” (for Parent-Teacher “ALLIANCE”, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCSA, which Nick Melvoin’s School Board Candidacy Is Controlled By Wealthy, “Special” Interests – redqueeninla:
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    Dear Mr. Civil War Scholar-in-Chief |

    Dear Mr. Civil War Scholar-in-Chief |

    Dear Mr. Civil War Scholar-in-Chief

    Trump speaks as Andrew Jackson looks on
    Dearest Mr. President of the United States of America:
    Did you receive my last letter about Frederick Douglass? Somehow your response never made it to me. Sad.
    I know you're busy. At first, I thought you would have plenty of time on your hands--for golf, letter-writing, etc. But now, I'm realizing that being the president is probably a lot harder and more time-consuming than I originally thought. Who knew?
    And who knew Black history would become a theme of your presidency? For the second time, I am pole-axed by your comments about Black history. You are all about Black history! Me too!
    Last year, I decided to read James McPherson's book on the Civil War Battle Cry of Freedom. Basically I wanted to read it because I, too, was asking myself, "you know, the Civil War--if you think about it, why?"
    You've probably read McPherson. Heck, you probably could have written the book, and it probably would have been better and probably sold more copies and won even more awards.
    McPherson wrote, "The slavery issue would probably have caused an eventual showdown between North and South in any circumstances." But, he wrote, "it was the country's sprawling growth that made the issue so explosive...slavery brought this danger to a head at midcentury."
    That is where you are right, and McPherson is wrong. Clearly, the Civil War could have been avoided.
    What you meant, of course--which no one in the FAKE MEDIA appreciates--is that the war could have been avoided had the nation not been built on unfree labor of people kidnapped from Africa and their descendants in the first place.
    Everyone knows the Civil War was a war initiated by the secession of the Southern states fighting to preserve slavery and expand it into the new territories. No slavery, no Civil War! You were so right--the whole thing could have been avoided!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    EVERY DAY, I'm hearing more and more people say that you are callousignorant or racist. I guess these people didn't pay attention when you very clearly stated: "I am the least racist person." I'm sorry, but that case is closed, folks! You heard the man! "Least racist," by its very definition, means you cannot get less racist than Donald J. Trump.
    These people just won't listen. They keep pointing at you for speaking up for racists in U.S. history like President Andrew Jackson--who owned slaves and ordered the genocidal removal of Native people from their homelands--and your appointment of contemporary Dear Mr. Civil War Scholar-in-Chief |
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    Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: B-CU students turn their backs on DeVos

    Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: B-CU students turn their backs on DeVos:

    B-CU students turn their backs on DeVos

    Less than a week after Pres. Trump threatened to cut off funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), his ed secretary, Betsy DeVos was invited to Bethune-Cookman  to deliver the commencement speech. At her side, hoping to run interference, was Trump cheerleader and "highest ranking" African-American in the White House, Omarosa Manigault.

    The outcome was predictable. Both Manigault and DeVos were greeted with a chorus of boos which continued throughout DeVos' speech even as B-CU administrators threatened to withhold the graduates' diplomas if they kept it up. The more they threatened, the louder grew the jeers.

    Much of the students' anger was directed at B-CU Pres. Edison Jackson who has jumped into bed with Trump in hopes of winning favor and getting some alms for his beleaguered school.

    Trump has tried to make the case that HBCUs are "unconstitutional" and discriminatory against whites. Two nights later, after a storm of criticism, the White House "walked back" the threat in a statement that declared the president’s “unwavering support” for such schools.

    Back in February, DeVos caught hell for her ignorant description of HBCUs as "real pioneers" of "school choice" rather a righteous a response to Jim Crow and blacks being excluded from all-white colleges and universities. Yes, you guessed it. Another walk-back. She even misspelled the name of W.E.B. DuBois in her statement.

    DeVos opened her speech with this:

     “One of the hallmarks of higher education, and of democracy, is the ability to converse with and learn from those with whom we disagree. And while we will undoubtedly disagree at times, I hope we can do so respectfully. Let’s choose to hear each other out.”
    This has been a theme over the past few months as campuses from UC Berkeley to the Univ. of Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: B-CU students turn their backs on DeVos:

    Outside money continues to pour into L.A. school board campaigns - LA Times

    Outside money continues to pour into L.A. school board campaigns - LA Times:

    Outside money continues to pour into L.A. school board campaigns

    Image result for big education ape Reed Hastings
    If the Los Angeles school board elections were a movie, then the nominee for best supporting actor might go to an individual who so far has received little attention: Reed Hastings.
    Based on documents reviewed by The Times, the co-founder of Netflix has contributed close to $5 million since last September to the California Charter Schools Assn. Advocates, a major conduit of funds for school board candidates backed by charter school supporters. His most recent contribution was $1 million on Tuesday.
    Another major recent contributor is a familiar name in education politics. Eli Broad put in $400,000 last Friday, on top of $50,000 he gave in November.
    Teachers unions and their allies, including other labor groups, also are spending big, matching the pro-charter side dollar for dollar in one of the races.
    The major outside player on that side is the American Federation of Teachers, a national union headed by Randi Weingarten. It has reported contributions of about $1.2 million so far.
    If charter backers prevail, they could win their first pro-charter majority on the school board of the nation’s second-largest school system.
    Charter supporters are backing Kelly Gonez for the soon-to-be-open seat in District 6 in the east San Fernando Valley. Outside spending on behalf of Gonez totaled about $2.1 million through Wednesday, according to records filed with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.
    United Teachers Los Angeles is supporting Imelda Padilla, who has benefited from $2.14 million in outside spending, in the race.
    In District 4, stretching from the Westside to the west Valley, charter advocates are behind Nick Melvoin, who is challenging union-backed, two-term incumbent Steve Zimmer, the school board’s president.
    Outside spending for Melvoin has surpassed $4.25 million; for Zimmer, $2.16 million.
    Both charter-backed candidates have raised more money for their own campaigns than their opponents have.
    Charters are privately operated public schools that are exempt from some rules that govern traditional campuses. Most are nonunion.
    CCSA Advocates can use donations for any political purpose, but the L.A. school board race — the most expensive in the nation — has been its primary project.
    Besides having money, Hastings is a desirable donor for the charter side in left-leaning California. He’s been a regular and reliable contributor to Democratic causes and candidates. That’s a valuable attribute given the state’s anti-Trump political climate — because the Trump administration has made increasing the number of charter schools a central goal.
    Like Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Hastings is an ardent, longtime advocate for charters and a major donor to charter causes. (California Gov. Jerry Brown also strongly supports charters, though not as a big-money contributor.)
    The teachers union casts donors such as Hastings in the role of outside billionaire trying to Outside money continues to pour into L.A. school board campaigns - LA Times:
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