Friday, June 10, 2016

Billy Crystal's Muhammad Ali tribute - 15 Rounds (1979)

Billy Crystal's Muhammad Ali tribute - 15 Rounds (1979)


The Hidden History of the Privatization of Everything TPM

The History of Privatization:

The History of Privatization

How an Ideological and Political Attack on Government Became a Corporate Grab for Gold


The post-WWII era was a tough time for conservative economists, academics, intellectuals, and business leaders. Social Security, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Securities and Exchange Act, and other New Deal programs represented a dangerous expansion of government’s role in the economy and society – nothing short of a frontal assault on freedom and the beginnings of socialism in the U.S.

Today, after 50 years of attack on government, privatization is a standard conservative response to tight public budgets, a key pillar of attacks on government, and a lucrative market opportunity for domestic and global corporations. Large corporations operate virtually every type of public service including prisons, welfare systems, infrastructure, water and sewer, trash, and schools. For example:
  • Private prisons didn’t exist thirty years ago. Today, publicly traded, billion-dollar corporations are key players in prisons and immigrant detention. Privatized immigration facilities now house over two-thirds of all detained immigrants.
  • In 1988 AFT president Al Shanker proposed a new idea: To create charter schools where teachers could experiment and innovate and bring new ideas to the nation’s public schools. Today, nearly 3 million children attend charters, and large corporate chains and billionaires are funding the rapid growth of privatized, publicly funded charters.
  • Former defense contractors, IT corporations and publicly traded corporations are running welfare, food assistance, and other safety net systems in many states across the country.
  • Today the federal government employs more than three times as many contract workers as government workers, and state and local governments spend a combined $1.5 trillion on outsourcing.
  • Across the country, a well-established network of conservative think tanks, industry associations, investors and corporate lobbyists – The State Policy Network, ALEC, and others – are on the front lines developing privatization legislation and proposing privatization projects.
What follows is how that happened.
Austrian-born economist Friedrich von Hayek was the movement’s intellectual leader. His 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, is considered to be the intellectual wellspring of anti-government, pro-market ideas and the privatization of public goods. The book was met with surprising success – with excerpts printed in Readers Digest and Look Magazine. It continues to be a significant influence on politicians, journalists, and business leaders. House Speaker Paul Ryan considers Hayek his intellectual guru.
Yet public support for government remained high throughout the postwar years as public services expanded and the economy grew. Hayek and his followers, therefore, were powerless to stem the continued growth of government activities throughout the 1950s. This began to change in 1962 with the publication of Capitalism and Freedom by economist Milton Friedman. Friedman was an effective promoter of two critical ideas: governments were just like markets and government was a public monopoly. Both of these became central arguments of privatization advocates in the 1970s and 1980s.

Friedman’s most important insight was that privatization didn’t necessarily mean cutting popular public services. The public still trusted and valued government programs; Friedman’s argument gave privatization advocates a new approach by making the distinction between government responsibility and government provision of public goods. You could put public services in the hands of private contractors while still maintaining the program. Friedman’s real agenda, though, was clearly about removing public responsibility as well. He called for the elimination of Social Security, the minimum wage, public housing and all national parks.

1970s – Turning Theory Into Action

Emanuel Savas is hardly a household name, but he’s been one of the foremost privatization advocates for four decades. He was the manager of urban systems at IBM Corporation and was a deputy city administrator from 1967 to 1972 under New York Mayor John Lindsey.
Savas published his first article on privatization in 1971, wrote a dozen books and countless articles on privatization, and is still a respected expert across the country. He serves on the editorial board of Reason Foundation’sPrivatization Watch, founded in 1976. Savas, as an on-the-ground city administrator, translated Friedman’s theory of government monopoly into a practical attack on the workings of city government.
Savas’ 1971 article, “Breaking Municipal Monopoly,” complained that the “monopoly nature of police, fire, sanitation [and transit] services has The History of Privatization:


What Are Teachers Complaining About? | The Merrow Report

What Are Teachers Complaining About? | The Merrow Report:

What Are Teachers Complaining About?


Can somebody explain to me why teachers are always complaining? Yes, it’s true that most states and the federal government want to use student test scores to fire teachers. Yes, many districts have embraced “Value Added Measurement” even though no respectable statistician supports that. And, yes, we expect teachers to overcome the effects of poverty, poor nutrition, substandard housing and medical conditions on their students. And, yes, tenure and other job protections are under attack. But, leaving those points aside, teachers in nearly every country have their own “Teachers Day.” Canadian teachers even have their very own postage stamp!
Do plumbers and electricians have a special day set aside to honor them?  Do construction workers, politicians, lobbyists, testing company executives and security guards?  Of course they don’t. Don’t you think it’s time teachers stopped whining and enjoyed all the honors coming their way on “Teachers Day”?
For example, the 193 member nations of the United Nations celebrate “World Teachers Day” every October. About 50 countries also set aside a different day every year to celebrate their teachers.
Teachers around the globe have entire months locked up!  Ten countries–Australia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Brazil, Poland, Chile, Sri Lanka, the Ukraine and New Zealand– have chosen an October day to celebrate their teachers, and in the Ukraine, students give their teachers chocolate!
February is a good month for teachers in the Middle East. That’s when Morocco, What Are Teachers Complaining About? | The Merrow Report:

School Reform Brought to You By The GATES Foundation

School Reform:

School Reform


There is a wonderful line in a song in “Fiddler On The Roof” as Tevye imagines himself as a rich man fielding questions from admirers “And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong,” he sings. “When you’re rich, they think you really know.”
Over the past 20 years or so, we have been treated to the spectacle of wealthy philanthropists, many of whom earned their wealth in digital technologies, throwing their money at the nation’s public schools in an effort to raise the quality of education. They apparently believed their vast wealth endowed them with wisdom unavailable to ordinary people. But one after another, these visionary projects have come unraveled. Vast amounts of money have been spent without rendering any detectable improvement in the public schools. 
Perhaps the most conspicuous of these well-meaning billionaires were Bill and Melinda Gates who through their Gates Foundation have pumped more than $3 billion since 1999 into school reforms. They have pursued a variety of initiatives - primarily smaller schools, better teachers, the Common Core curriculum and all of it of course predicated on the assumption that computers are the key to success. All of their clever schemes have involved commitment by politicians and the education establishment. All to no avail.
Now Bill and Melissa Gates, to their credit, have acknowledged that their efforts School Reform:



Big Education Ape: Gates' Common-Core Mea Culpa and the School Reform Divide - Rick Hess Straight Up - Education Week - http://go.shr.lc/28qBOKh 



 

CURMUDGUCATION: Common Core Standards (Still) Don't Cut It

CURMUDGUCATION: Common Core Standards (Still) Don't Cut It:

Common Core Standards (Still) Don't Cut It



Every few years the ACT folks unleash a big ole survey to find out what's actually going on Out There in the world of school stuff. This year's survey drew at least 2,000 respondents each from elementary and secondary schools, as well as college and workplace respondents. The whole package is eighty-eight pages, and I've read it, and while you don't have to, you might still want to.There are several themes that emerge, but the big one is pretty simple--

Common Core is a bust.




Not news, I know. But still always comforting to see further confirmation. Let's break this report down section by section and see what we've got.








Introduction

We're going to skip over this. The ACT folks would like you to know all the clever things they do to develop their test, and that's swell, but since we're just learning what a mess David Coleman's SAT is, the ACT can look like the top of the test biz just by saying, "We actually check to see if our test 
CURMUDGUCATION: Common Core Standards (Still) Don't Cut It:



Discrimination, government failure keep millions of children out of school, report shows - LA Times

Discrimination, government failure keep millions of children out of school, report shows - LA Times:

Discrimination, government failure keep millions of children out of school, report shows

Children from the Ghasiya tribe
Children from India's Ghasiya tribe say they are called "dirty" and are discriminated against by the teachers and other students at an elementary school in Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh state. (Jayshree Bajoria / Human Rights Watch)
School doors have been slammed on millions of children worldwide because of discriminatory laws and practices and the failure of governments to make sure would-be students get an education, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Friday. 
Nearly 124 million children and adolescents, most of them between the ages of 6 and 15, are not attending school, the report concludes, citing information from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
“Governments have left children behind,” said Elin Martinez, a Human Rights Watch children’s rights researcher. “In many cases research has shown it comes down to the basic failure to implement and uphold provisions of the right to education.”
The report, titled “The Education Deficit: Failures to Protect and Fulfill the Right to Education in Global Development Agendas,” based its conclusions on its research in more than 40 countries over nearly 20 years. The report says many governments seem to lack the will to deliver education to children, sometimes failing to make school compulsory or even monitor school attendance.
In millions of cases, the cost to attend school and meet other requirements such as buying books stood as a barrier.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, many children are forced to live and beg on the streets, driven there by the inability of their parents or guardians to pay for school. 
Discrimination and school violence  are also factors blocking children’s education, according to the report.
In Nepal, the report finds that teachers adhere to social or cultural traditions, such as denigrating people from lower castes, which “perpetuates discrimination in classrooms.” In some schools in India children from lower castes, once called “untouchables,” were made to sit separately in classrooms, or had to wait to eat their free school lunches until other students had eaten, according to the report. And schools predominantly catering to Palestinian Arab and Bedouin children receive less funding and are often overcrowded and understaffed.
The report also documents discrimination by government officials against children with disabilities, particularly in  China and South Africa. In Russia and Serbia, the report says, children with disabilities “are disproportionately institutionalized, often with access Discrimination, government failure keep millions of children out of school, report shows - LA Times:


Court motion to recover millions of dollars from charter schools continues to spark anger | Education | stltoday.com

Court motion to recover millions of dollars from charter schools continues to spark anger | Education | stltoday.com:

Court motion to recover millions of dollars from charter schools continues to spark anger


Seventeen years ago, a group of black parents, the school district, the U.S. Justice Department and others came to an agreement that was intended to put the funding of school desegregation programs forever in the hands of city taxpayers.
Now, they say, the state has violated the agreement by indirectly sending more than $42 million of desegregation money over 10 years to charter schools — money they say should be returned.
It’s an argument filed in an April 11 federal court motion that has touched a nerve among charter school parents and organizers, who could potentially lose their schools if the plaintiffs prevail.
Charter school supporters have begun a social media campaign urging Superintendent Kelvin Adams to “Drop the Suit.” A parody Twitter account for Adams began sending out sarcastic apologies for attempting to bankrupt the city’s 35 charter schools. District officials on Monday were working to have the account taken down.
“If they win this, it will be devastating,” said Marshall Cohen, executive director of Lift For Life Academy, a middle and high school and the oldest charter school in the city. “We wouldn’t be able to continue.”
The action is not a lawsuit against charter schools. It is a motion that seeks to enforce the terms of a 43-year-old case that involved concerned parents — known as the Liddell plaintiffs — who sued on behalf of their children seeking desegregation in St. Louis schools.
The motion involves the district’s Special Administrative Board, the NAACP, the Liddell plaintiffs, the U.S. Justice Department and others who were involved in crafting the 1999 desegregation settlement agreement that grew from that lawsuit.
That year, voters approved a 2/3-cent sales tax to pay for what had become the most expensive school desegregation plan in the nation. The agreement called for $60 million from the sales tax and resulting state aid to go to the district. The tax revenue was intended for district programs specified in the settlement agreement, such as magnet schools, full-day kindergarten, preschool and interdistrict busing for black students to predominantly white suburban schools.
The agreement, approved by then-District Judge Stephen Limbaugh, named the tax as a condition of his approval.
“Furthermore, the revenues generated by the sales tax shall be paid directly to, or assigned by the Transitional District to City Board,” Limbaugh’s memorandum says, referencing the district and the board that governs it.

Honoring voters

The litigation is “not an attack on charters,” said Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis NAACP, who is among the plaintiffs. It’s an attempt “to honor the wishes of voters when they approved the sales tax,” he added.
“The quagmire in all this is how the state funds poor school districts, and schools that have underserved populations,” Pruitt said. “Poor kids in the public schools and poor kids in the charter schools shouldn’t have to fight one another for money. If anything, we should be fighting together to get the state to step Court motion to recover millions of dollars from charter schools continues to spark anger | Education | stltoday.com:



St. Louis Public Schools says it's owed $42 million from charter schools
The district's Special Administrative Board argues that the Missouri education department is violating the 1999 Desegregation Settlement Agreement in how it funds the city's charter schools. 


Editorial: Lawsuit vow of silence doesn't help SLPS win over taxpayers
The lawsuit filed last month by St. Louis Public Schools seeking $42 million in reimbursements for desegregation funding offers a convincing and probably winnable legal argument about how the district has been short-changed for years. But that doesn’t make the lawsuit right. Officials owe an explanation to taxpayers on why this suit was necessary and how the district will deal with the extreme disruption it could cause.

New Data Show Chronic Absenteeism is Widespread and Prevalent Among All Student Groups | US Dept of Ed

New Data Show Chronic Absenteeism is Widespread and Prevalent Among All Student Groups | U.S. Department of Education:

New Data Show Chronic Absenteeism is Widespread and Prevalent Among All Student Groups

A new analysis from the U.S. Department of Education shows that chronic absenteeism impacts students in all parts of the country and is prevalent among all races, as well as students with disabilities. The first-ever national comprehensive data collected on chronic absenteeism reveal that more than 6 million students—or 13 percent of all students—missed at least 15 days of school in the 2013-14 school year. The data paint a striking picture of how many students miss three weeks or more of school each year.
To shine a light on these widespread challenges, the Department is debuting a new interactive website showing the extent of the crisis in terms of geography, ethnicity, disability status, and school level.
"Chronic absenteeism is a national problem," said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. "Frequent absences from school can be devastating to a child's education. Missing school leads to low academic achievement and triggers drop outs. Millions of young people are missing opportunities in postsecondary education, good careers and a chance to experience the American dream."
Many aspects of the analysis are sobering, including:
  • Geography — Chronic absenteeism is prevalent in all parts of the country. The graphs represent the areas of greatest concentration of the percentages of students missing three or more weeks of school.
  • Race & Ethnicity — More than 22 percent of American Indian students were chronically absent in 2013-14, followed by Pacific Islanders, blacks, students of two or more races, Hispanics-Latinos, whites, and Asians.
  • School Level — High school students were absent the most—almost 20 percent—followed by middle school (12 percent) and elementary school students (10 percent).
  • Disability Status — More than 17 percent of students with disabilities were chronically absent compared to 12 percent of students without disabilities.
  • Gender — Roughly 13 percent of both males and females were chronically absent.
King released the new data and website at the Every Student, Every Day National Conference, the first of its kind focusing on chronic absenteeism that aims to support states, local school districts, schools, and communities in their work to develop effective chronic absenteeism policy and practice; showcase how schools can address the root causes of the problem; and strengthen the collaborative capacity of multi-agency early warning systems to link students to necessary interventions, programs, and preventative services.
To address the concerns about the depth of the problem, the Obama Administration launched Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism last fall in response to recommendations put forth by President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Taskforce. Led by the White House and the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice, the effort is aimed at combating chronic absenteeism and urging states and local communities across the country to reduce absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year. As part of this initiative, 30 communities across the country have joined the My Brother's Keeper Success Mentor initiative, an evidence-based effort which aims to reduce chronic absenteeism by connecting students who are or at risk of becoming chronically absent with trained school-linked caring adults and near-peers over the next three to five years.
The new, national chronic absenteeism data are part of the 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), a comprehensive look at conditions within over 99,500 public schools across the country, or 99.5 percent of all public schools. The CRDC included data on all students from elementary, middle, and high school, including students of color, students with disabilities. and students with limited English proficiency.
This week's CRDC release is the first in a series of data analyses from the 2013-14 CRDC that the Education Department will issue over the course of the summer and fall. To make these data more accessible and useful for parents, educators, policymakers and others, for the first time, the whole data file is available online at CRDC.ed.gov.
The federal government has collected civil rights data about schools since 1968. As with previous Civil Rights Data Collections, the purpose of the 2013-14 report is to obtain vital data related to civil rights laws requiring public schools to provide equal educational opportunity.New Data Show Chronic Absenteeism is Widespread and Prevalent Among All Student Groups | U.S. Department of Education:

Is Cleveland's unique teacher pay plan living up to promises? Not yet | cleveland.com

Is Cleveland's unique teacher pay plan living up to promises? Not yet | cleveland.com:

Is Cleveland's unique teacher pay plan living up to promises? Not yet

JACKSON_GORDON_QUOLKE.JPG
Cleveland school district CEO Eric Gordon, left, and teachers union head David Quolke, right, spent months in 2012 reaching agreement on the Cleveland Plan, an improvement plan for the district. But work since then has dragged on a teacher pay system called for in the plan, drawing sharp criticism from Quolke. (Plain Dealer file)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Four years after the "Cleveland Plan" was supposed to bring a groundbreaking new way of paying teachers to Ohio, the Cleveland school district still hasn't moved beyond using a strict "merit pay" system that would have been a lightning rod in 2012.
As part of the plan to improve the Cleveland school district, the state legislature called for a teacher pay plan "based on performance," instead of the traditional teacher salary schedule other districts use. That made Cleveland the only district in Ohio that no longer gives raises for years of experience and degrees that teachers earn.
But Cleveland's new compensation plan is still far from being a model for teacher pay that many hoped for.
It hasn't even been fully put together yet.
Despite hours of meetings over the last four years, the district and Cleveland Teachers Union can't agree on how to define and reward "performance" and the two have been unable to build out the full plan.
The district, at least for now, is only increasing salaries when teachers earn strong ratings on their annual evaluations. Those ratings combine classroom observations by principals or other evaluators with measures designed to show how much students learned under each teacher over a school year.
More than half of teachers in the district earned increases in the first two years of the new system. But the ratings-only raises are similar to the merit pay system that 2011's Senate Bill 5 attempted to impose across Ohio.
That bill drew union backlash over merit pay and other union restrictions. Voters agreed with the unions and repealed the law later that year.
Cleveland Teachers Union President David Quolke said teachers and other unions would not have agreed to the Cleveland Plan in 2012 without assurances that other factors, not just ratings, would be part of the new compensation system.
But the union and district have not reached agreement on several other ways to Is Cleveland's unique teacher pay plan living up to promises? Not yet | cleveland.com:

Opportunity Gaps Confirmed by New Federal Data | janresseger

Opportunity Gaps Confirmed by New Federal Data | janresseger:

Opportunity Gaps Confirmed by New Federal Data

Many of us whose children attend school in a middle income or more privileged community may assume that all of the students in the nation’s 95,000 public schools have access to pretty much the same courses and school experiences as our own children do.  Hence, when less advantaged students lack the skills our children have developed in school, we imagine that those children and adolescents have failed to take advantage of what was provided.  However, new 2013-2014 data disaggregated by race and ethnicity—data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday—demonstrate just how mistaken are those assumptions. Here are just some of the opportunity gaps exposed in the new data.
First there are shocking disparities across America’s high schools in math and science courses offered: “High-rigor course access is not a reality across all of our nation’s schools: Nationwide, 48% of high schools offer calculus; 60% offer physics; 72% offer chemistry; and 78% offer Algebra II… 33% of high schools with high black and Latino student enrollment offer calculus, compared to 56% of high schools with low black and Latino student enrollment.”  And in a society with a growing percentage of English learners, the data show that English learners make up only 5% of students in high schools that offer Algebra II and 4% of students enrolled in Algebra II.”  English learners make up only 1% of students enrolled in calculus. What about high school students’ access to advanced courses?  “Black and Latino students represent 38% of students in schools that offer AP courses, but 29% of students enrolled in at least one AP course.”  English learners make up only 2% of students enrolled in at least one AP class.
The new report does not track class size, but it does document very unequal access to experienced teachers and to school counselors.  Schools with a high percentage of black and Latino students have twice as many teachers in their very first year of teaching than the schools that serve fewer black and Latino students.  “Nearly 800,000 students are enrolled in Opportunity Gaps Confirmed by New Federal Data | janresseger:


Malloy says NO oversight of his administration is allowed - Comptroller Kevin Lembo says what the ____! - Wait What?

Malloy says NO oversight of his administration is allowed - Comptroller Kevin Lembo says what the ____! - Wait What?:

Malloy says NO oversight of his administration is allowed – Comptroller Kevin Lembo says what the ____!



 Yesterday – June 9, 2016 – Governor Dannel Malloy, who once pledged to run the most transparent administration in history, vetoed an extremely important piece of legislation that would have ensured that there was proper oversight over Malloy’s outrageous corporate welfare and economic development programs.

As the CT Mirror Reported,
“State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo called the veto “deeply troubling” and a blow against transparency. “
According to the news story;
“Malloy also wrote that transferring the analysis of tax credits from DECD to Program Review was “unnecessary and unwarranted.”
That drew a rebuke from Lembo, a fellow Democrat who testified at a public hearing in March favor of giving the job to Program Review, a bipartisan committee with a staff of non-partisan researchers and analysts.
“If objectivity really matters, we always want an independent third party to evaluate our work,” Lembo said Thursday in an emailed statement. “This is why teachers grade tests and students don’t just assign their own grades. Furthermore, this is a terrible loss of transparency where we need it most.”
Lembo said the veto, following a decision to provide $22 million in state bond funds to a rich hedge fund over his objection, is “deeply troubling.”
“The state owes it to businesses and all taxpayers to fully analyze the return 
Malloy says NO oversight of his administration is allowed - Comptroller Kevin Lembo says what the ____! - Wait What?:

CURMUDGUCATION: Chester Finn's Charter Market Worries

CURMUDGUCATION: Chester Finn's Charter Market Worries:

Chester Finn's Charter Market Worries



Chester Finn, honcho emeritus of the right-tilted Fordham Institute, was back on the Fordham blog this week to continue his charter school series with a look at what he thinks are three "market malfunctions in the charter sector." Man, I just love the word "sector"- it sounds so clean and neat, not like marketplace or business. Honey, I'm going to get a tub of popcorn in the snack sector. Last night I was forcibly relieved of some financial instruments by an armed member of the mugging sector. Girl, do not get all up in my sector.

But I digress.

Finn was actually called out almost immediately on twitter by a fellow conservative who pointed out that Finn's "market" malfunctions are really "government regulation" malfunctions, which was doubly ironic. Ironic the first time for a conservative calling out another conservative for mistaking regulations for market forces, and then ironic again because what conservatives like to call the free market is really just a market that is government-regulated in a particular manner that some folks like to label "free market." We like to have these discussions as if the choice is between having a government with its hands on the scale and a free market where the government takes its hands off the scale. But a free market is Somalia. A free market is Neanderthals clubbing each other for a piece of rat. The government always has its hands on the scales.

But I digress.

Here are Finn's three malfunctions. Well, first, part of his wind-up to the pitch:

In general, the charter marketplace—where it’s had the freedom and capacity to grow in response to demand—has done pretty well at responding to families’ non-educational priorities, such as safety, convenience, and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s also given rise to an array of fairly diverse schools that align with the varied educational tastes of an ever more diverse society.

I'm not sure that's true. I'm not sure that's true at all, though Finn probably knows more charter 
CURMUDGUCATION: Chester Finn's Charter Market Worries:




TBFURMAN: The Governor and the Gulenists

TBFURMAN: The Governor and the Gulenists:

The Governor and the Gulenists

Big Education Ape: KILLING ED: 120 American Charter Schools and One Secretive Turkish Cleric -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/01/killing-ed-120-american-charter-schools.html



This is just weird. It needs a journalist to unpack it.

The intrepid Cassie Creswell was doing a little research today, when she realized that Bruce Rauner's foundation had given some money ($10K) to this thing called The Atlantic Institute, down in Florida.  It's on the Rauner Foundation's 2013 990.



That happens to be the Orlando node of the Gulen Movement; it's the south Florida version of the Niagara Foundation. Across the nation, the Gulen model is basically identical. They give random awards to influential people and work them with flattery so that their charter school business has lots of friends. It's a basic principal taught by Fethullah Gulen himself. Here are a bunch of Floridians getting their random awards. These people have no idea what's going on but they look happy.

Ok, so that's weird. The governor of Illinois, whose family foundation gives a lot of money to charter school and reform groups, is sending $10k down to Orlando to the Gulen Movement. Not to the Florida Gulen-linked charter schools, but to the Movement directly.

So, we were trying to figure that one out. And honestly, I'm stumped. It raises a lot of questions.

Now, this Florida Gulen node is also known by another name, the Nile Foundation. Remember, these groups change their names all the time; it's part of the strategic ambiguity that they embrace to avoid detection. Here's the little notice about the name change, courtesy of Sharon Higgins.




It's all one thing, with constantly changing, hard-to-track names. And it's part of the same cult-network operating in Illinois as the Niagara Foundation and the Turkish American Society.

Now,  strangely, it so happens that Governor Plutocrat also happens to have at least one, possibly two, ranches in Montana, and he gives a ton of money to Montana-related things. And,
TBFURMAN: The Governor and the Gulenists:

 June 19, 2016

Big Education Ape: Update: Gulen Harmony charter school network accused of bias and self-dealing Dallas Morning News - http://go.shr.lc/1qV85Hm
Big Education Ape: Turkey Links Texas Charter Schools to Dissident - WSJ - http://go.shr.lc/1OW1ZfV

Big Education Ape: Magnolia Science Academy - A Gulen Charter School: Gulen Magnolia Science Academy links discussed at LAUSD board meeting -http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/magnolia-science-academy-gulen-charter.html

Shaming third-graders: How school reform fails students - NonDoc

Shaming third-graders: How school reform fails students - NonDoc:

Shaming third-graders: How school reform fails students

School reform

Virginia third-grade teacher Launa Hall exposed a shocking example of how corporate school reform has lost its soul, and a surprising innovation known as “data walls” has produced the latest scandal. She reminds us how “bubble-in” accountability started the nation’s schools down an abusive road when she writes in the Washington Post:
Our ostensible goal in third grade was similar to what you’d hear in elementary schools everywhere: to educate the whole child, introduce them to a love of learning … But the hidden agenda was always prepping kids for the state’s tests.
Hall reluctantly complied with the seemingly illegal mandate prompted by the bubble-in mania. She even went so far as to create a data wall that put each student’s status regarding testable state standards on display for other students to see.
Hall’s mistake focused on the shaming of kids. Her article paints a picture of the pains inflicted on her student, Janie, when she walked into class and saw her name on the chart, followed by “lots of red dots” — warnings that she wasn’t meeting official state standards. Of course, Hall “tried to mitigate the shame she felt.” The teacher’s efforts to reconnect with the student may have helped a little, but Janie “still had all those red dots for everyone to see.”
Hall tells us “exactly who is being shamed by data walls.” Janie is:
… part of an ethnic minority group. She received free breakfast and lunch 
Shaming third-graders: How school reform fails students - NonDoc:


How Charter School Powerbrokers Plan to Crater Public Education as We Know It | Alternet

How Charter School Powerbrokers Plan to Crater Public Education as We Know It | Alternet:

How Charter School Powerbrokers Plan to Crater Public Education as We Know It

Why do so many charter advocates embrace privatization? They don’t trust democracy

The Billion Dollar Investment
Charter proponents, most notably the Walton Family Foundation, contribute large amounts of money to expand charter schools in select cities around the nation. The foundation says it has invested more than $385 million in new charter schools over the past two decades and, earlier this year, announced that it plans to give $1 billion over five years to support charters and school-choice initiatives.
In announcing its $1 billion strategic plan to support new and existing charter schools, the foundation has said the money would go to four initiatives – investing in cities, supporting the school-choice movement, innovation and research. It identified 13 cities nationwide where it said it can have the biggest impact, including Los Angeles and Oakland. Los Angeles already has more charter schools than any other school district in the United States and Oakland has the highest percentage of charters for any district in California.
“If funders like Eli Broad or the Walton Family Foundation were truly committed to education equality,” says John Rogers, an education professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, “they could have taken steps to simply support reducing class size or after-school [activities] or summer programs that would provide more educational opportunity, rather than try to invest in strategies to undermine the capacities of a school district. The primary aim is to dismantle the school district as a whole and replace it with a new way of doing public education.”
Gary Miron, a professor of education at Western Michigan University, agrees. “They believe in privatization,” he says. Miron co-authored a critical study, sponsored last year by the National Education Policy Center, that focused on the charter industry’s funding policies.
But why do so many charter advocates embrace privatization?
“I don’t think it’s about the money,” says Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “They like charters in part because they decrease the publicness of public schools. They want a system much more based on market forces because they don’t trust democracy.”
Netflix founder and prominent charter advocate Reed Hastings seemed to confirm this view when, during a 2014 convention of the California Charter Schools Association, he decried publicly elected school boards for their alleged lack of stability in governance. He then praised the closed-governance charter model of private boards whose “board members pick new board members.”How Charter School Powerbrokers Plan to Crater Public Education as We Know It | Alternet:



Interview: Michelle Rhee - Harvard Political Review

Interview: Michelle Rhee - Harvard Political Review:

Interview: Michelle Rhee



An educator and advocate for education reform, Michelle Rhee served as Public Schools Chancellor in Washington D.C. from 2007 to 2010. Following this period, she founded a non-profit organization called StudentsFirst that works for education reform. In addition to her involvement in the sphere of public policy, Rhee has been very visible with her advocacy work in the national media, having appeared on various television programs, radio shows, and documentary films.
Harvard Political Review: As Chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public school system, you drew a lot of attention by firing hundreds of teachers who were deemed ineffective. Why fire these teachers instead of working with them to improve their teaching?
Michelle Rhee: It wasn’t just punitive measures that we put in place in D.C. We also recognized and rewarded teachers who were outstanding. One of the things that you’ll hear from highly effective teachers is that nobody’s really paying attention to them, nobody’s saying, “Wow, we want you to stay. What you’re doing matters.” While part of what we did was to ensure that ineffective teachers could not stay in the classroom, we also created an environment where highly effective teachers wanted to stay longer… I think it’s easy from a systemic perspective to say, “We should spend a lot of time investing in ineffective teachers and making them better.” From a systemic perspective, that’s fine. But when you’re thinking about things from the perspective of kids and families, it’s harder. It’s hard for me to say, “You know what, Ms. Smith? We know that your child has an ineffective teacher, but we’re going to spend a few years trying to see if we can them better. Meanwhile, your kid might not learn how to read, but this is the better thing for the adult.” That is a hard proposition when your responsibility is first and foremost to the kids.
HPR: Recently, we’ve seen examples of an overemphasis on standardized testing leading to negative outcomes like cheating and pushing low-performing students out of schools. Do you still think standardized tests are a valid evaluative tool?
MR: First of all, I think it’s important to note that nothing forces people to make the wrong decisions and cheat. That’s like saying if you live in poverty, you’re forced to break the law and rob a bank. There are certain morals that you have to uphold when you’re a professional. That said, is there oftentimes a dysfunctional environment where people feel like test scores are the end-all be-all, the only thing that matters? Yeah. And I don’t think that’s good for the culture, and I don’t think it’s good for the profession. So, what I think you need is a balance where people understand that we are going to measure student achievement levels, and those matter a lot, but they matter a lot because what we care about is the fact that kids are learning what they’re supposed to be learning. The test scores and standardized tests are a means to an end, they are not an end.
HPR: Can you talk about why you see the movement to opt out of standardized tests as problematic?
MR: Because I think the focus is on the wrong thing. The focus is that, “The tests are bad, and so let’s opt out of the tests.” And I think that what the tests do is give parents and schools an indication of how the students are performing, and that’s important to know. I think what parents and other community members should be focused on instead, and what’s negative, is not necessarily the tests, but the culture around how people are perceiving the tests and what their role is in the educational process. They are a tool through which we can understand where kids are and what their needs are.
HPR: As Chancellor of D.C.’s public schools, you also decided to close many schools, predominantly in black and low-income neighborhoods. Do you see the disproportionate effect of these school closures on black and low-income students as problematic?
MR: We had a situation in DC, and I think most districts that are closing schools have the same situation, where you are paying to heat, air condition, and staff buildings that are half full. So, Interview: Michelle Rhee - Harvard Political Review

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