Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Illinois (Chiefly Chicago) Charter Schools: From the 2014 Biennial Report | deutsch29

Illinois (Chiefly Chicago) Charter Schools: From the 2014 Biennial Report | deutsch29:

Illinois (Chiefly Chicago) Charter Schools: From the 2014 Biennial Report



I have been reading the 84-page Illinois Biennial Charter School Report (2011-12 and 2012-13), which was released in January 2014.
Illinois has a charter school law that offers charters “significant flexibility” (pg. 3).
Here are some notable tidbits about how that charter school “significant flexibility” is panning out in Illinois:
Illinois traditional public schools outperformed Illinois (chiefly Chicago-located) charters on the now-defunct Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) associated with the unrealistic “100 percent proficiency in reading and math by 2014” No Child Left Behind (NCLB) goal (pg. 7; click on image to enlarge):
Illinois charters
Illinois traditional public schools also had higher graduation rates and lower dropout rates than did Illinois (chiefly Chicago) charters (pg. 8; click to enlarge):
Illinois charters 2
Charter schools were first allowed in Illinois via legislation passed in 1996.
By the end of 2013, Illinois had 64 charter “schools,” 47 of which were located in Chicago and were under the jurisdiction of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Keep in mind that the term charter “school” could mean a “school” with separate campuses– which in reality amounts to multiple schools. Thus, the 64 charter “schools” at the end Illinois (Chiefly Chicago) Charter Schools: From the 2014 Biennial Report | deutsch29:

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, published on June 12, 2015.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.




Rowe, Butkovich tackle testing during southeast Denver school board debate | Chalkbeat

Rowe, Butkovich tackle testing during southeast Denver school board debate | Chalkbeat:

Rowe, Butkovich tackle testing during southeast Denver school board debate



Denver school board candidate Kristi Butkovich and incumbent Anne Rowe wait for a televised debate to begin Tuesday.
Denver school board candidate Kristi Butkovich and incumbent Anne Rowe wait for a televised debate to begin Tuesday. ( Photo by Nicholas Garcia )

Denver school board member Anne Rowe and opponent Kristi Butkovich sparred in a debate Monday over the purpose of standardized tests, the role of charter schools and other issues that highlighted stark differences in philosophy.
Rowe, who has been the chief architect on a number of policy shifts in Denver Public Schools during her four years on the school board, also defended the district’s use of broad enrollment zones to drive integration in schools.
“I believe if we think about these zones and bring communities together we can increase the integration in our schools,” Rowe said.
Meanwhile Butkovich, a staunch critic of Denver Superintendent Tom Boasberg, said the district needs to do more to improve traditional neighborhood schools and parent engagement.
“If we have a quality school in every neighborhood … there’s no need for choice,” Butkovich said.
The first of three school board debates co-sponsored by A+ Denver, Denver Decides and Chalkbeat highlighted the differing policy stances and styles separating the candidates voters in southeast Denver can elect to represent them on the school board.
The debate was moderated by Chalkbeat Colorado Bureau Chief Eric Gorski.
Rowe and Butkovich agreed that standardized tests should be limited.
However, Rowe argued that the annual standardized testing required by the state and federal government was a parental right.
“This is an equity issue,” Rowe said. “Parents have a right to know how their schools are performing for their kids.”
Butkovich, in perhaps the most heated moment of the debate, countered that the results from those tests only line the pockets of test-making companies.
“I could not disagree with Mrs. Rowe more,” she said. “Standardized tests are useless. They are useless. It pits schools against schools. We have to stop color-coding our schools. We have to stop tying our teacher assessments to test scores.”
In another tense moment, Butkovich claimed Denver officials didn’t do enough to rein in low-performing charter schools. She said the officials act quickly to close district-run Rowe, Butkovich tackle testing during southeast Denver school board debate | Chalkbeat:

Oregon Save Our Schools: New english-learners test rolled out, though not ready and harmful

Oregon Save Our Schools: New english-learners test rolled out, though not ready and harmful:

New english-learners test rolled out, though not ready and harmful



On September 24 at the Oregon Department of Education’s Title III Directors webinar, the directors heard about some changes in the ELPA21 test that could potentially discriminate against English Language Learners.

This slide from the meeting shows the shocking news that was revealed. The new ELPA21 test will be rolled out on time despite dangers to students, civil rights issues, and that it isn’t ready yet.




Historically, ELPA (English Language Proficiency Assessment) scores come before the end of the school year and decisions about whether students can be exited or continue to receive services are triggered by that score. Each district or consortium has an approved Lau plan, which outlines identification and exiting procedures, and the ELPA score is an important part of the body of evidence used to make exiting decisions. The ODE also stated that most of the assessments that have been part of that body of evidence can no longer be used as they are not aligned to the new standards.

The effect of the data delay will result in students and teachers not knowing what to do in order to meet the requirements for exiting the program and many students’ status in the ELL (English Language Learners) program will be in limbo. Schools will have difficulty in planning for staffing requirements for the 2016-17 school year. Students could miss out on the chance to get their desired electives or other graduation requirements because it will be unknown if they have to take an English Language Development class. Older students and their parents have become accustomed to hearing students’ exiting status at the end 
Oregon Save Our Schools: New english-learners test rolled out, though not ready and harmful:


How to Combat Child Poverty in the U.S. | Bruce Lesley

How to Combat Child Poverty in the U.S. | Bruce Lesley:

How to Combat Child Poverty in the U.S.






Our nation's leaders must do better than simply accept or ignore that 14.7 million, or 20 percent, of our nation's children are living in poverty. The consequences of poverty and depravity to a child's health, their education, safety, nutrition, and overall well-being limits their opportunity and future.
In our great nation, there is simply no excuse for this. The reality is that not one single child in America should go to bed hungry or homeless. And today's poverty isn't something that just afflicts people who live in our inner cities or in poor, rural areas. It's not something that just afflicts people of one color or ethnicity. It's striking families who never imagined that they could find themselves telling their kids that they don't have any food or that the electricity has been shut off.
Although it takes leadership, a commitment, a promise, accountability, and some effort to combat child poverty, the adoption of a Child Poverty Target, as proposed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 1999, has demonstrated that cutting child poverty is both doable and a choice.
Our historic aim will be for ours to be the first generation to end child poverty. It will take a generation. It is a 20-year mission. But I believe that it can be done if we reform the welfare state and build it around the needs of families and children.
Blair's initial promise was followed up with a number of specific policy initiates that,according to Jane Waldfogel in her book entitled Britain's War on Poverty, helped the United Kingdom (UK) cut its absolute poverty rate in half - from 26 percent of children in 1998-1999 to 13 percent in 2007-2008.
in sharp contrast, the U.S. child poverty rate grew over the same time period, reached a 20-year high in 2011, and remains worse than it was 16 years ago.
Recognizing that our nation can and must do better by its children, Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have introduced the "Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2015" (H.R. 2408), which would establish a Child Poverty Target in our country - much like the one that has been so successful in Great Britain.
A Model for Success: Britain's Child Poverty Target
When Prime Minister Blair established the Child Poverty Target, there was some How to Combat Child Poverty in the U.S. | Bruce Lesley:

NYC Public School Parents: Ghosts of NYC past return to haunt the news: the Rise and Fall of Amplify

NYC Public School Parents: Ghosts of NYC past return to haunt the news: the Rise and Fall of Amplify:

Ghosts of NYC past return to haunt the news: the Rise and Fall of Amplify



credit; Lindamarie


Update 9/29/15: the Observer reports an estimated two thirds of the Amplify staff were just laid off.

Many ghosts from Tweed and NYC’s education past have re-appeared in the news the past few weeks, some of them popping up in unusual places



Former NYC Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who succeeded Joel Klein and Cathy Black, was recently appointed the state monitor of E. Ramapo school board.  This board is controlled by Orthodox Jews who do not send their kids to the public schools and have been accused of raiding public funds to support their religious schools.

Our former Deputy Superintendent, Chris Cerf, who left the Department of Education in 2010 to become State Education Commissioner of NJ, followed by a brief detour at Joel Klein’s Amplify, was appointed the Superintendent of Newark public schools, replacing another former DOE educrat, Cami Anderson. 
 
While Walcott has little power and Cerf has quite a lot, they both will presumably take orders from the autocrats who appointed them – in the case of Walcott, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, and in the case of Cerf, Gov. Christie.  

Walcott has to decide whether to recommend that members of E. Ramapo’s elected school board be removed for diverting public funds to private schools.  Cerf has to decide whether to give power back to Newark’s elected school board, which has been impotent for twenty years (!!) while watching state appointees run their schools and divert resources to charter schools.   

After a public meeting where Walcott was introduced to angry E. Ramapo public school parents, whose pleas to rescue their schools have been mostly ignored by the state, he noted that he is suited to the job, as “I have a lot of experience being yelled at.”  This is surely true given the three years he spent at the helm of NYC public schools, where charter co-locations, funding cuts and a whole lot of unpopular policies were foisted on our schools.  

Cami Anderson stopped attending Newark school board meetings in January 2014,  because she didn’t like all the angry words hurtled at her from parents furious about her “One Newark” plan that expanded charters, closed public schools, and eliminated any right for Newark kids to attend schools in their neighborhood. 

Chris Cerf, on the other hand, who was forced to sit through lots of loud and angry meetings of the Panel for Educational Policy, has promised to attend all Newark school board meetings in the future.  Here’s a video of Cerf’s presentation at the first Newark board meeting, where he claims to want to return the district to local control, but then gets angry yells when he says he will keep the One Newark plan despite NYC Public School Parents: Ghosts of NYC past return to haunt the news: the Rise and Fall of Amplify:




Second Lawsuit Asserts Breach of Common Core Opt-out Rights - Pacific Justice Institute

Second Lawsuit Asserts Breach of Common Core Opt-out Rights - Pacific Justice Institute:

Second Lawsuit Asserts Breach of Common Core Opt-out Rights




Ventura, CA--On the heels of a groundbreaking lawsuit challenging a school district in Los Angeles for failing to inform parents of their opt-out rights, a similar lawsuit has now been filed in neighboring Ventura County.
 
Pacific Justice Institute filed the second lawsuit late last week against Conejo Valley Unified School District, which is northwest of Los Angeles.  PJI has filed documents with the court showing that CVUSD did not comply with California law requiring it to tell parents that they could opt their children out of the controversial Common Core testing. 
​Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “School districts cannot keep parents in the dark about their rights to opt their children out of common core testing.  If school districts think they can get away with violating these clear requirements, they are greatly mistaken.”
 
PJI staff attorney Michael Peffer is lead counsel in both lawsuits.  He noted, “The California Education Code and Code of Regulations grant parents a number of important rights that serve as checks and balances to the educational bureaucracy.  When these rights are ignored, the system is out of balance.  This lawsuit aims to restore parental choice, increase transparency, and challenge the status quo.”       
 
Both lawsuits have been filed as petitions for writs of mandate, a more streamlined mechanism for resolving clear violations of law than most other types of lawsuits.  

Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to defending religious, parental, and other constitutional rights. 

P.O. Box 276600 Sacramento, CA 95827-6600 
Phone: (916) 857-6900, Fax: (916) 857-6902
www.pji.org 
- See more at: http://www.pacificjustice.org/press-releases/second-lawsuit-asserts-breach-of-common-core-opt-out-rights#sthash.CFHcxx2q.dpuf

The Impact of a Portfolio = Mission-Driven Investing in Education

The Impact of a Portfolio — Baltimore EdTech — Medium:

The Impact of a Portfolio

Mission-Driven Investing in Education




Impact, mission-driven, or mission-related investing begins with discretesocial goals and aims to yield tangible, scalable social + financial returns. To me, it is focusing on what you know, what you love, and where you know you can make a measurable difference.
“Impact investing is actively placing capital in businesses and funds that generate social and/or environmental good and a range of returns, from principal to above market, to the investor.” — The Monitor Institute
I decided to disrupt myself, to incrementally transition from the classroom to the boardroom in the run-up to the dot-com bubble and was triggered to jump in the summer of 2001, at the height of the downfall. One should make a bold career shift at an economic bottom, because there’s nowhere to go but up, right? Sounds good on paper, anyway. Here’s the Cliff Notes version.
My professional journey began with a decade of teaching and coaching in middle and high schools along the U.S. eastern seaboard and with brief stints in the UK and Japan. I felt the pull to impact education at scale. So, how exactly would a classroom teacher put a proverbial dent in the universe of learning? Back then, at the turn of the Millennium, you would likely choose to become anedupreneur, working from outside the system to solve problems. Okay, then would you do this from a single operating platform (for-profit or nonprofit) enterprise — or via a portfolio of enterprises? If you were born and raised in a household of a co-founder of one of the nation’s premiere venture capital firms, you just might choose the portfolio approach. But, how do you get there? You’ve been teaching and coaching for over a decade with parchment that says ‘English Teaching’ and ‘Elementary Education’. The answer for me was apprenticeship in a relationship that I could trust — and a brain rewiring via full-time B-school experience. Sometimes immersion is the only way.
My investing story has evolved considerably over 15 years, but, excepting a few healthcare and enterprise software solutions, has always been headlong in education. The story begins in a unique family office apprenticeship (Bonsal Capital), extends into institutional micro-venture capital (New Markets), includes a few one-off angel investments, and is currently pegged to incubation and innovation cluster support (Towson University). The portfolio below represents my lifetime direct investment experience in early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education.
Out of 27 investments, there have been 13 realizations (48% of the portfolio, one not yet public), yielding a 3X return on invested capital. These returns are born by three write-offs, five at 1–2x return, two at 3–5x, and three at 6–10x, yielding an 18–20% IRR, which works for most financial investors. 60% of these investments were made at the seed or early stage, 40% at growth or late stage, where the average return horizon was 4.5 years. Put simply, the above returns represent an 89% ‘success’ rate in a half-realized portfolio with 3X cash-on-cash returns. Funny thing is, that success rate is roughly the inverse of the strategy born by ‘swing for the fence’ venture investors, the ‘one in ten’ approach, where one massive winner creates the desired financial return (returns principal), and the laggards and carnage make up the difference and are deemed part of the business. A third of the portfolio written off? Not in education! Carnage and impatient capital need not apply! And even if you wanted to swing for the fence on every company, the problem is two-fold: 1) there are very few unicorns ($B companies) in education and 2) a majority failure rate with end users that are students, administrators, LEAs, IHEs, and even learners on the consumer side of the equation would send the innovation movement backward by a decade.The Impact of a Portfolio — Baltimore EdTech — Medium:




Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 9/29/15




CORPORATE ED REFORM





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YESTERDAY

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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 9/28/15
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