Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The big Jeb Bush charter school lie: How Florida became a cautionary tale for the rest of the country - Salon.com

The big Jeb Bush charter school lie: How Florida became a cautionary tale for the rest of the country - Salon.com:

The big Jeb Bush charter school lie: How Florida became a cautionary tale for the rest of the country

Liberty City's schools were supposed to provide a pathway out of poverty. Instead, they've invited profiteering




This article originally appeared on AlterNet.
AlterNetWhen people begin a story about how to fix America, they often start with education, and they often start in communities like Liberty City. Liberty City lies to the west of Miami Beach, across the Biscayne Bay and away from the sun-washed beaches and sparkling towers of the “Magic City.”
According to Wikipedia, Liberty City started out as the first public housing project in the American South when President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the construction of the Liberty Square housing development during the Great Depression. Now the area is known as Miami’s roughest neighborhood, a place where riots broke out in 1980 after Miami cops beat an unarmed black man to death.
If that incident reminds you of recent events, that’s because Liberty City — like Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland — is another place where perpetual harms done to a community manifest themselves in poorly performing schools with high dropout rates and low student achievement. What’s supposed to fix places like Liberty City, we’re often told, is a “big change” — one that has to come right away, and is usually prescribed by people who don’t live in the community.

In 1996, Liberty City was the place Jeb Bush chose to introduce his big change — charter schools, the privately managed, publicly funded schools that operate outside the oversight of democratically governed school systems. Bush created Florida’s first charter school in Liberty City in an attempt to salvage a faltering political image by building credibility on both the education and civil rights fronts. But Liberty City Charter School proved to be much more than a campaign prop, sparking as it did a bushfire of charter school startups across Florida that continues to this day. Now there are over 600 charter schools in the state, and Florida’s policies for charter school governance – ranked in the nation’s top 10 by charter industry advocates — are touted as models for the rest of the nation.
But what kind of change did Bush’s new plans for charter schools bring to Liberty City and the rest of the Sunshine State? It’s not hard to find out. Scratch just beneath the surface and what you find is that as the ranks of Florida charter schools have swollen, the pathway out of poverty these schools were supposed to provide now looks more like a detour to exploitation and profit-making. In fact, the big change Jeb Bush promised is not so much a model for other states to adopt as it is a glaring warning sign for them to heed.
The Movement Jeb Built

Jeb Bush’s road to charter school cheerleading may have started with a disastrous political faux pas. As Kathleen McGrory reports for the Tampa Bay Times, in the mid-’90s Bush was on the hunt for a way to recover from a “bruising defeat” in the 1994 Florida gubernatorial election. As McGory writes, his electoral defeat was haunted by a memorable gaffe in a televised debate when he and his opponent, incumbent governor and eventual victor Lawton Chiles, were asked what they would do for black voters. Bush replied, “Probably nothing.”
As the words “‘probably nothing,’ echoed across the state,” McGory writes, after his defeat Bush started his image recovery program by creating a “privately funded conservative research institute” called Foundation for Florida’s Future.
“Running the foundation allowed Bush to keep his public profile high, shape legislation in Tallahassee and cultivate a vibrant state and national network of financial backers,” reported the St. Petersburg Times in 1998. Although FFF was not required to disclose its financial contributors, the St. Petersburg reporters traced the organization’s money sources to influential industries, business leaders, and Republican Party supporters.
From the beginning, McGory notes, “the foundation devoted much of its resources to a new concept in education: charter schools.”
Beginning in the 1990s, conservatives increasingly looked to charter schools as tools to impose competition in local school systems and instill a market-based philosophy in public education.
As charter schools began to pop up here and there around the country, there’s no doubt Bush was aware of the trend. In fact, according to a recent article by Alec MacGillis in the New Yorker, the same year Bush founded his own advocacy group, he also “joined the board of the Heritage Foundation, which was generating papers and proposals to break up what it viewed as the government-run monopoly of the public-school system through free-market competition, with charters and private-school vouchers.”
Bush also undoubtedly understood how charter schools could provide him with a politically advantageous space to appear concerned about black kids and families while advancing a conservative idea.
There was just one problem. Charter schools weren’t yet legal in Florida. So Bush found a way to change that. He leveraged his friendship with Miami civil rights activist T. Willard Fair, who had long advocated for direct interventions in the city’s troubled schools. According to the New Yorker article, Bush approached Fair and asked, “‘Why don’t you start a charter school?’ ‘What’s a charter school?’ Fair replied.”
Over a 90-minute discussion, Bush planted the ideal of charter schools firmly in Fair’s The big Jeb Bush charter school lie: How Florida became a cautionary tale for the rest of the country - Salon.com:

SES IS A MESS: State’s ESEA waiver request related to tutoring requirement denied | EdSource

State’s ESEA waiver request related to tutoring requirement denied | EdSource:

State’s ESEA waiver request related to tutoring requirement denied




The state’s effort to give more control to local districts in choosing after-school tutors for struggling students has been denied by the U.S. Department of Education.
Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, said Wednesday that he was disappointed the federal government did not approve the state’s request for a waiver from No Child Left Behind requirements related to tutoring.
“California has led the way in giving districts the opportunity to make their own decisions about how best to use state and local resources to meet their local needs,” he said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, this decision goes in the other direction and retains policies that significantly limit local control and decision-making, and reduce student access to high-quality extended-day instruction.”
The state requested a four-year waiver to relieve districts from a requirement to spend up to 20 percent of Title I federal funds for low-income students on supplementary educational services that are largely provided by private companies off-site. California argued that its schools spent about $507 million on these services over three school years, but found little evidence of improved student academic performance.
In light of this, the State Board of Education and California Department of Education proposed that districts be allowed to develop and administer their own programs, designed and monitored by highly qualified teachers. Since these programs would likely be offered at schools, they would be more convenient for parents and would enable teachers to provide feedback on student progress, the state said. However, districts that wanted to continue contracting with outside tutors could have continued to do that, according to the proposal.
“We strongly believe decisions about how and where to provide services to students are best made at the local level,” Torlakson said. “Districts are in the best position to design extended-day intervention strategies to provide assistance to low-income students who are struggling academically in subjects such as English language arts, mathematics, and science.”
Congress is currently considering two separate bills to reauthorize the Elementary Secondary Education Act, formerly known as No Child Left Behind. Neither bill would require districts to set aside 20 percent of Title 1 funds for supplemental services, Torlakson said. He also noted that the U.S. Department of Education has granted waivers to 43 states and eight large districts in California.
When the state board decided to seek the waiver in May, board President Michael Kirst said he believed district-run programs would be better aligned to what’s being taught in the classroom.
At the time, several districts supported the waiver proposal. Some said students didn’t take advantage of existing programs and that some tutoring providers submitted invoices for tutoring that never took place and forged students’ signatures.
Staff writer John Fensterwald contributed to this report.  State’s ESEA waiver request related to tutoring requirement denied | EdSource:

Big Education Ape: State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Pissed By Fed's D - California Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Progr... http://bit.ly/1NrQuwB



Found it!

Today Secretary Duncan canceled Washington State’s No Child Left Behind Waiver. Why? Because Washington State’s ELECTED officials were not able to conform to Duncan demands to DO IT HIS WAY (you know, the corporate way to privatizing Public Education). I can’t decide if he is just Arne the Corporate Autocrat or he doesn’t care. Either way there is a ton of money that is at stake with Duncan’s withdrawal of the waiver. The big ticket item in this waiver  is the SES - Supplemental Education Services which can be up to 20% of Title I funds designated for the poorest students. This is a program, by Sec. Duncan’s own admission, is a failure ( see links at the end of this piece). It is a terrible waste of much needed funds. Arne the Corporate Autocrat would rather continue to waste this money because Washington State won’t knuckle under to his demands.
Recently my district here in Sacramento withdrew from a district waiver similar to the Washington State’s. The former Sacramento Superintendent, a Corporate Reformer, a graduate of the Broad Academy said this about losing the waiver here in Sacramento:  
“You can imagine my shock and sadness at hearing the news of the district’s decision to abandon its hard-earned waiver from the failed and punitive No Child Left Behind law. Equally distressing is the lack of discourse over what our children will lose, and the lack of outrage, empathy and courage from those in a community whose sole focus should be on protecting and advocating for the best interests of children. By giving up the No Child Left Behind waiver, here is what the children of Sacramento will lose:
• Sacramento City Unified will lose flexibility over the use of $4 million to support our most disadvantaged students.Roughly $4 million is wasted each year on ineffective supplemental education service providers – tutors approved by the state – who are not accountable to the district and over which Sacramento City Unified has no direct supervision. With the waiver, district schools and teachers could have used these dollars much more effectively to expand engaging after-school programs and offer summer experiences filled with civic and community engagement such as Summer of Service, and more.Without the waiver Sacramento City Unified no longer has the flexibility to give these students what they need and deserve – and families should be outraged.
• Sacramento City Unified will lose the ability to remove the label of “failure” that No Child Left Behind attached to three-quarters of Sacramento schools.NCLB labeled these schools failures because they did not reach every annual goal that the law set. But NCLB is a misguided and ineffective federal policy that labels students, schools and teachers based on unachievable and unrealistic goals. It doesn’t take into account children’s academic growth or other pertinent measures that demonstrate how greatly Sacramento City Unified schools have improved.Without the waiver, the dark cloud of “failure” will once again cloak Sacramento schools.”
Hopefully Sec Duncan can find himself and extricate himself from this awful waiver game. The American people deserve much better than having to waste money that is intended for poor children on a failed program just because Sec. Duncan wants it his way.

SES IS A MESS: Impacts of Title I Supplemental Educational Services on Student Achievement

coopmike48 at Big Education Ape - 4 hours ago
Impacts of Title I Supplemental Educational Services on Student Achievement: Impacts of Title I Supplemental Educational Services on Student Achievement "Impacts of Title I Supplemental Educational Services on Student Achievement" examines the potential achievement benefits of academic support services offered outside the regular school day by state-approved Supplemental Educational Service providers. As one of the parental choice provisions implemented with Title I funds under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, parents of low-income students in low-performing schools are offe... more »

SES IS A MESS: Duncan to Florida: Tutoring Doesn't Work - Politics K-12 - Education Week

coopmike48 at Big Education Ape - 4 hours ago
Duncan to Florida: Tutoring Doesn't Work - Politics K-12 - Education Week: Duncan to Florida: Tutoring Doesn't Work By Alyson Klein on May 17, 2012 3:39 PM U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said today he doesn't understand why Florida passed a law requiring districts to continue offering free tutoring to students in struggling schools. Florida is one of 11 states that got a waiver from many of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. That means districts in the Sunshine State no longer have to put aside 20 percent of their Title I money for tutoring and school choice.... more »

The Education Department is for the first time yanking one of the waivers it gave to states that exempts them the most onerous parts of the flawed No Child Left Behind law. As a result, Washington state will now have to comply with all parts of No Child Left Behind. Because of the peculiarities of […]
by Valerie Strauss / 25min 

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: Teacher to David Coleman: Yes, What Children Think and Feel Does MatterVeteran teacher Eileen Riley Hall has some advice for David Coleman, architect of the Common Core standards. Coleman famously said, in taped remarks at the New York State Education Department, that   “As you grow up in this world, you realize people really don’t
by mike simpson / 1min 

Tutor center scammed $2M in federal funds | New York Post: Tutor center scammed $2M in federal fundsBy Rich CalderApril 15, 2014 | 6:42pmModal TriggerPhoto: ShutterstockMORE ON:SCAMSCasino: World poker champ took $9.6M in card-cheat scamCheating bus driver turns himself in to Manhattan DASmooth-talking con man sent to slammerHasbro cheated ‘Mr. Scrabble’ out of $1M: suitA bicoastal tutoring center
by mike simpson / 8h 

SES IS A MESS! Fraud still dogs SES programs despite waivers :: SI&A Cabinet Report
Fraud still dogs SES programs despite waivers :: SI&A Cabinet Report :: The Essential Resource for Superintendents and the Cabinet: MARCH 20, 2014Fraud still dogs SES programs despite waiversby Tom Chorneau(District of Columbia) Although most of the nation is operating under waivers that relieve states and school districts from mandates to provide tutoring services, federal auditors remain con

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    Jul 28, 2013 - SES IS A MESS: Critics question billion-dollar tutoring program - Education - The Sacramento Bee. Critics question billion-dollar tutoring ...
SI&A Cabinet Report – News & Resources: CORE districts win ground-breaking waiver from NCLBBy Tom ChorneauWednesday, August 07, 2013Statement on NCLB Waiver Approval - Year 2013"All California schools deserve relief from the unworkable mandates of No Child Left Behind"In a move rife with policy implications nationwide, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan granted Tuesday eight California s

SES IS A MESS So why only 8 Waivers? Supplemental Educational Services
Supplemental Educational Services: Supplemental Educational Services Statement on NCLB Waiver Approval - Year 2013"All California schools deserve relief from the unworkable mandates of No Child Left Behind"Description: What are supplemental educational services?Legislation: What does No Child Left Behind, section 1116(e), require for implementing supplemental educational services?Regulations: What

DFT president blasts decision to dump him for misconduct

DFT president blasts decision to dump him for misconduct:

DFT president blasts decision to dump him for misconduct





The president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers was stripped of his job and kicked out of the union today after being found guilty of misconduct in an unprecedented decision he has vowed to appeal.
Steve Conn, 57, said he's confident that the "overreaching" ruling from the union's executive board will be overturned.
"I started a fight to rebuild this union, and I want the members of my union to know I pledge to continue this fight," he told the Free Press after the verdict was announced late today.
Conn was convicted on five of six misconduct charges brought against him during a two-day trial last week. They included allegations that he failed to preside over union meetings and tried to affiliate the union with an outside social justice group.
Conn has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
The DFT's executive vice president, Ivy Bailey, will serve as interim president until the union elects a new leader.
"We have a lot of repairing to do, and rebuilding," she said of the union. "We've got a long road ahead of us."
Conn has been president since narrowly winning the election in January. The DFT has nearly 4,000 members.
Bailey said the executive board found Conn guilty of violating the union's constitution and bylaws by: cancelling meetings and failing to preside over them; affiliating the union with the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) without union approval; failing to investigate abuse of members; failing to address a physical assault on a member and failing to pay dues that the DFT owes to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and AFT Michigan.
One charge of holding a rally at a school against the wishes of staff was dismissed
This is the first time in the DFT's 84-year history that a president has been put on trial, removed from office and expelled from the union, said Keith Johnson, who was president just prior to Conn. The two are long-time nemeses.
"When you have a president who engages in or is alleged to have engaged in misconduct, it certainly brings into question for the membership the strength and integrity of the union," Johnson said. "It doesn't look good."
Conn, a former math teacher at Cass Tech, has long been a controversial figure. His critics say he is radical and divisive. Some teachers have been circulating petitions trying to recall him.
Conn's supporters say he has helped breathe new life into a union that had become too passive.
Bailey publicly announced the charges in June. The matter went to trial before the board after Conn failed to attend an informal hearing about them.
Reactions to the verdict were mixed.
“I’m not happy. He was the best president that we had. He was a fighter,” said Leslie Hubbard, who has taught special education in DPS for 11 years.
Another teacher, Nina Chacker, said the ruling wasn’t surprising. An early supporter of Conn, she said her feelings changed when it seemed like his leadership role with BAMN became more of a priority than the union.
“(Teachers) did have ideas, and we did have input,” she said. “But unless it was exactly what he wanted to hear, he wasn’t receptive.”
Conn's attorney, Shanta Driver, said the trial was unfair. She noted that the executive board includes people who ran as a slate with Conn's opponent in the last election.
"This is an outrage," Driver said today "I think that it defies what the membership decided when it elected Steve. There was absolutely no reason to remove him from office. It was unjust and political."
Bailey said the executive board worked to ensure Conn had a fair trial that followed the union's bylaws. Because she presided over it, she abstained from casting a vote.
According to the bylaws, the board's decision can be overturned by a two-thirds majority of members present at a union meeting where the vote is taken.
Anticipating an unfavorable outcome, Conn for days has been encouraging union members to attend the next general membership meeting  in September and cast a vote in his favor.
If Conn is unsuccessful there, he has one final shot to appeal on a national level to an American Federation of Teachers review board.
Bailey said the board tried but was unable to meet with Conn in person to deliver the verdict. He was notified via email.
Contact staff writer Ann Zaniewski at 313-222-6594 or azaniewski@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski. DFT president blasts decision to dump him for misconduct:

Radical union boss bad news for DPS http://bit.ly/1L6XIbW

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/12/15


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM




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Can We Interest You In Teaching? - The New York Times: Can We Interest You In Teaching?Teaching can’t compete.When the economy improves and job prospects multiply, college students turn their attention elsewhere, to professions that promise more money, more independence, more respect.That was one takeaway from a widely discussed story in The Times on Sunday by Motoko Rich, who charted teacher shor

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A Funders’ Guide to the Common Core State Standards | deutsch29
A Funders’ Guide to the Common Core State Standards | deutsch29: A Funders’ Guide to the Common Core State StandardsIn fall 2012, three philanthropic mega-organizations, Education Funder Strategy Group, Grantmakers for Education, and Growth Philanthropy Network, united to form the Common Core Funders Working Group (CCFWG).The goal of this mega-mega philanthropic machine is to cement Common Core in
Scrap the “Newark Education Success Board”–it will only impede local control | Bob Braun's Ledger
Scrap the “Newark Education Success Board”–it will only impede local control | Bob Braun's Ledger: Scrap the “Newark Education Success Board”–it will only impede local controlThe so-called “Newark Education Success Board”–a governmental fiction with no legal standing–was created as a consequence of the same deal cut between Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka that brought former state
Milestone charter and state school board squabble over CEO credit-card incident | The Lens
Milestone charter and state school board squabble over CEO credit-card incident | The Lens: Milestone charter and state school board squabble over CEO credit-card incident  As part of a continuing spat, Milestone Academy charter school is accusing the Louisiana Department of Education of overstepping its authority, breaching its own policies and possibly violating the state open-meetings law.The s
Are you and your family being threatened by a governor who wants to cut funding? | Reclaim Reform
Are you and your family being threatened by a governor who wants to cut funding? | Reclaim Reform: Are you and your family being threatened by a governor who wants to cut funding? Gov. Bruce Rauner,Your attacks on my hard-earned teacher pension personally threaten me and my wife.You are also unwittingly (?) threatening a degree of social unrest that frightens even your fellow conservative billiona
Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/11/15
SPECIAL NITE CAP CORPORATE ED REFORMCalifornia's Teacher Supply in 15 Charts - Paul BrunoCalifornia's Teacher Supply in 15 Charts - Paul Bruno: California’s Teacher Supply in 15 ChartsIf you follow me on Twitter you probably know that I’ve been sifting through many years of reports from the California Department of Education and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to learn about California’s s







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