Monday, August 24, 2020

CURMUDGUCATION: More Pandemic Privatization

CURMUDGUCATION: More Pandemic Privatization

More Pandemic Privatization

"This New Nonprofit Is Training Better Online Teachers This Fall" gushes the EdSurge article that is barely disguised PR for yet another reformy initiative.

This summer a group of education leaders, many from the world of charter schools and education reform, sought to change that by launching the nonprofit National Summer School Initiative, or NSSI for short. Its solution was both a crash course in effective online teaching—and figuring out what good online teaching looked like—and a summer enrichment program for students across the country.

"Many" from charter/reform world is not really correct-- "entirely" would be more accurate. Crash course is right--the training "institute" lasted a whole week. And the company, which has already rebranded itself as Cadence Learning, is selling one more screen-delivered education program. This rebranding is a bit of an unforced rookie error, as Cadence Education is already a company in the early childhood ed biz, and the Cadence Learning Company is a Canadian pharmaceuticals firm. Boys and girls, first rule of 21st century business--before you choose a name, google it.

Poster boy for endlessly failing upwards
You can get a good sense of where this business is coming from just by looking at the priors of the folks running it. The spokesguy that EdSurge talked to was Chris Cerf, a lawyer who became part of the Joel Klein edu-team in NYC, then became Chris Christie's education chief for New Jersey. He left that job to work with Klein at the fiasco that was Amplify (it was totally going to change the face of education). Oh, and Edison Schools, too. After that, he became Cami Anderson's replacement as head of Newark schools. Now he's part of the leadership team at Cadence.

Also on the team are Kevin Anderle, from Achievement First and Teach for America; Savita Bharadwa, former chief of staff at Newark schools, as well as a consultant. Her degrees in electrical engineering, but she got a fake degree from the Broad Academy. so there's that. Then there's Rochelle Dalton, senior fellow at Bellwether, also formerly KIPP Foundation, and Teach for America. Aquan Grant, PrepNet--but she has a real education degree and spent two whole years in the CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: More Pandemic Privatization