Wednesday, February 10, 2016

State Takeovers of Low-Performing Schools: A Record of Academic Failure, Financial Mismgmt & Student Harm

State Takeovers of Low-Performing Schools: A Record of Academic Failure, Financial Mismanagement & Student Harm | The Center for Popular Democracy:

State Takeovers of Low-Performing Schools: A Record of Academic Failure, Financial Mismanagement & Student Harm

Low-performing public schools have become a critical battleground between corporate-backed initiatives that remove local control of schools and favor the privatization of public education, and proponents of community schools who assert that parents, teachers and students—in short, the public—are the greatest asset in restoring strong educational outcomes.


Executive Summary

Low-performing public schools have become a critical battleground between corporate-backed initiatives that remove local control of schools and favor the privatization of public education, and proponents of community schools who assert that parents, teachers and students—in short, the public—are the greatest asset in restoring strong educational outcomes.
In the past decade, the debate over school control has shifted to include “takeover districts” in which schools that are deemed “chronically failing” are removed from the local school district
and placed in a statewide district with a separate governance structure that is far less transpar- ent and accountable to the public. Three states, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Michigan, had already established districts of this kind by 2014. Another eight states have introduced legislation to create statewide takeover districts in the last year: Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.1

Findings

The rapid proliferation of the takeover district as an educational panacea is alarming. In this report, we examine the record of the three existing takeover districts, and find that there is no clear evi- dence that takeover districts actually achieve their stated goals of radically improving performance at failing schools. We find that:
  1. Children have seen negligible improvement—or even dramatic setbacks—in their education- al performance.
  2. State takeover districts have created a breeding ground for fraud and mismanagement at the public’s expense.
  3. Staff face high turnover and instability, creating a disrupted learning environment for children.
  4. Students of color and those with special needs face harsh disciplinary measures and dis- criminatory practices that further entrench a two-tiered educational system. 
 State Takeovers of Low-Performing Schools: A Record of Academic Failure, Financial Mismanagement & Student Harm | T... http://bit.ly/1SJwZpU

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As the the LAUSD charter schools conflict escalates, here’s what you need to know | 89.3 KPCC

As the the LAUSD charter schools conflict escalates, here’s what you need to know | 89.3 KPCC:

As the the LAUSD charter schools conflict escalates, here’s what you need to know

Tuesday’s L.A. Unified school board meeting was unusual. What made it out of the ordinary, charter school supporters said, is that school district staff is recommending the denial of charter school petitions much more often than now.
In 2013, the advocates said, school district staff recommended approval of nearly 90 percent of charter petitions. This year, that rate is half of what it was.
Both advocates and even some LAUSD officials say that the shift is a response to the plan, first floated by wealthy philanthropist Eli Broad, to rapidly expand the number of charter schools in Los Angeles, with the eventual goal of enrolling up to half of LAUSD's current students. What's at issue is whether or not that increased opposition to new charters is appropriate. 
Here's a look at why this week looks like an escalation in the conflict between the forces for and against charter schools in Los Angeles.
Here’s what was unusual about this week’s board meeting.
The board had seven charter petitions to consider at Tuesday's meeting. Staff recommended denial for three based on lackluster performance, faulty financing, and unsound academic plans.
Those recommendations for rejections prompted charter school supporters to cry foul. They said the school district is exercising unwarranted scrutiny because of their opposition to a plan by philanthropist Eli Broad to double the number of charters in LA.
Here’s how the plan unveiled last year by philanthropist Eli Broad to rapidly expand the number of charter schools in Los Angeles is shaping the struggle over charters.
School board president Steve Zimmer said that he is now scrutinizing charter applications more than he was before, but he said that's the right thing to do to protect the well-being of the school district. When the plan was unveiled, he said he became more concerned that if expansion continues at the current pace, L.A. Unified would cease to exist as we know it. 
“I didn’t put that plan on the landscape," he said. "I’m not the one who is continuing to open more and more charters in LAUSD when there are districts surrounding LAUSD with lower or comparable student outcomes where there are no charters."
At Tuesday’s meeting, Zimmer and his colleagues on the board eventually did go against one staff recommendation and gave the Excel Charter Academy in Los Angeles, run by Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC), another chance. As the the LAUSD charter schools conflict escalates, here’s what you need to know | 89.3 KPCC:
 

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 2/10/16



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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 2/9/16
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