Friday, February 17, 2017

Republicans Suggest Federal Role in Education Be Limited to Bribery | gadflyonthewallblog

Republicans Suggest Federal Role in Education Be Limited to Bribery | gadflyonthewallblog:

Republicans Suggest Federal Role in Education Be Limited to Bribery

Hey! Let’s repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965!
Let’s hobble the Department of Education!
Let’s make the federal role just handing out bundles of cash to private and parochial schools!
And you completely eliminate any protections for students’ civil rights.
THIS is the brave new world of Trumpian education policy. It’s called HR 610 and was introduced by Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa.
You may Remember King. He introduced an amendment in the U.S. House that would have prevented Harriet Tubman from replacing President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Sure she was an abolitionist, women’s suffragist and hero who rescued scores of black people from slavery in the Underground Railroad. Why would we want her to replace a former slave trader and architect of the Indian Removal Act and Trail of Tears!?
His new piece of wonderful legislation – not at all written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – would turn the U.S. Department of Education into merely an authorizer of block grants to qualified states to participate in a nationwide voucher program.
The department would give out money to local districts to give to parents to home school or send their children to private schools.


UPDATE: Washington State Charter Law Upheld - Seattle Schools Community Forum:

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Washington State Charter Law Upheld:

Washington State Charter Law Upheld

Update: the Times has an article on this ruling.  Here's part of my comment in response to something from the Washington State Charter Schools Association:
"Charter public schools have been given a stamp of approval from Washington voters, the state Legislature, and now the state’s judicial system,” he said in a prepared statement. "
This is a factually untrue statement (prepared or not). Why? Because the courts only rule on constitutional issues and, in fact, both the WA Supreme Court AND the King County Superior Court rulings both said that neither case was about whether charters work or are good or bad. 

They ruled that the law was constitutional. That's it and Mr. Franta knows it. To say that there is some "stamp of approval" by the courts undermines our judicial system. Maybe Mr. Franta is taking his cue from the Trump administration.
End of update


Judge John Chun of King County Superior Court today ruled in favor of the defendants in upholding the current charter law. 

I will say in reading the ruling, I see many places where the judge further validates other rulings and leaves the door wide open for other lawsuits (which I predict will come to pass.) 

It's a big win for charter supporters but I don't think it now leaves anyone in a relaxed place.  Or rather, no one should take this ruling to be the end.

From the ruling (all bold mine):


"Fourth, and finally, Plaintiffs argue in significant part regarding the ways in which the Act’s implementation has led, and may lead, to unconstitutional results. Such arguments, however, are more properly brought as as-applied challenges. And this Order does not foreclose such a claim."

"Plaintiffs’ diversion claim lacks ripeness.  Plaintiffs’ argument rests on speculation that the Opportunity Pathways account  evenue will not be able to cover the cost of the CSA by the 2021-2022 school year, and that restricted funds will thereafter be used. However, it is undisputed that, at this time, lottery revenue from the Opportunity Pathways account is the only funding source for charter schools. It is similarly undisputed that such funding is not a restricted revenue source for common schools. If, in the future, the State attempts to use funds allocated for common schools in violation of article IX, section 2, then the issue will be ripe for consideration."
One other interesting item is that the judge says, over and over, 

"To find any deviation from common schools a violation of article IX, section 2 conflates the common school system with the public school system."

"It is undisputed that charter schools are not common schools."
"It is further undisputed that charter schools cannot access funds restricted for common schools."
That's good because it continues to enforce that charter schools are not, and never will be in the state of Washington, common schools. 

It will be interesting to see where the dollars will come for 40 charter schools. 

We know it can't be the General Fund so it will be fascinating to see how the 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Washington State Charter Law Upheld:



UPDATE: Want to decide who to vote for in the LA School Board election? Read their answers to KPCC's survey

Want to decide who to vote for in the LA School Board election? Read their answers to KPCC's survey | 89.3 KPCC:

Want to decide who to vote for in the LA School Board election? Read their answers to KPCC's survey

Image result for big education ape lausd carl


KPCC's LA school board candidate survey: Carl Petersen, District 2
Carl Petersen is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Petersen hopes to represent District 2, which runs from Koreatown through much of east L.A.; Credit: Campaign Photo Carl Petersen Carl Petersen is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Petersen hopes to represent District 2, which runs from Koreatown throu
KPCC's LA school board candidate survey: Imelda Padilla, District 6
Imelda Padilla is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election.; Credit: Kyle Stokes/KPCC Imelda Padilla Imelda Padilla is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Padilla hopes to represent District 6, which covers the east San Fernando Valley. Padilla is one of six candidates running for the District 6 seat. Click here


KPCC's LA school board candidate survey: Lisa Alva, District 2
Lisa Alva is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Alva hopes to represent District 2, which runs from Koreatown through much of east L.A.; Credit: Campaign Photo/Facebook Lisa Alva Lisa Alva is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Alva hopes to represent District 2, which runs from Koreatown through much of
KPCC's LA school board candidate survey: Allison Holdorff Polhill, District 4
Allison Holdorff Polhill is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Holdorff Polhill hopes to represent District 4, which covers much of west L.A., Hollywood and portions of the southwest San Fernando Valley.; Credit: Campaign Photo Allison Holdorff Polhill Allison Holdorff Polhill is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary
KPCC's LA school board candidate survey: Steve Zimmer, District 4
Steve Zimmer is running for re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Zimmer currently represents District 4, which covers much of west L.A., Hollywood and portions of the southwest San Fernando Valley.; Credit: Campaign Photo Steve Zimmer Steve Zimmer is running for re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Zim
KPCC's LA school board candidate survey: Nick Melvoin, District 4
Nick Melvoin is running for the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. Melvoin hopes to represent District 4, which covers much of west L.A., Hollywood and portions of the southwest San Fernando Valley.; Credit: Kyle Stokes/KPCC Nick Melvoin Nick Melvoin is running for the Los 


KPCC's LA school board candidate survey: Mónica García, District 2
Mónica García is running for re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. García currently represents District 2, which runs from Koreatown through much of east L.A. ; Credit: Campaign Photo Mónica García Mónica García is running for re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School Board in the March 7 primary election. García currently represents District 2,
Want to decide who to vote for in the LA School Board election? Read their answers to KPCC's survey | 89.3 KPCC:

Betsy DeVos Broke the Ed. Reform Coalition – For Now | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.

Betsy DeVos Broke the Ed. Reform Coalition – For Now | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.:

Betsy DeVos Broke the Ed. Reform Coalition – For Now


When Betsy DeVos was confirmed as United States Secretary of Education, she required an unprecedented tie-breaker vote by Vice President Mike Pence.  This was because all 48 Senate Democrats voted against her along with 2 Republicans.  A barrage of phone calls from constituents, her demonstrable ignorance about federal education policy, her utter lack of experience with running a large organization, and unanswered questions about her financial conflicts of interest could not scuttle her nomination – but it got closer than any cabinet nominee in recent memory.  Betsy DeVos took her office with a the only bipartisan consensus being the one against her.
On the one hand, DeVos presented a very reasonable target for opposition.  She really has no relevant experience whatsoever.  She is an ideologue rather than a expert who has made her “name” in education by leveraging her inherited wealth into buying the votes of state legislators.  While many school reform advocates favor shifting tax money to privately managed entities, DeVos appears to see the privatization of public money as a goal in and of itself without regard for outcomes.  Advocacy groups funded by her actually scuttled legislation in Michigan that would have kept failing charter schools from expanding, and she has demonstrated no interest in holding the overwhelmingly for profit charter sector in her home state accountable to much of anything, leaving Michigan sending $1 billion annually into a sector rife with self dealing and absent any oversight worthy of the word.  DeVos favored policies have wrought additional havoc on Detroit Public Schools, leaving children wandering a landscape with a glut of seats which are distributed so unequally that getting to a school consumes hours of commuting time and where families are encouraged to “vote with their feet” – even if it means changing schools multiple times a year.
And if that record were not enough, DeVos gave Senators plenty of reasons to oppose her during her testimony which was peppered with evasions and displays suggesting she knows painfully little about federal education policy.  She whiffed a question on one of the central policy issues of the past decade.  She bobbed and weaved to avoid talking about accountability.  She appeared to have no knowledge about federal laws regarding educating students with disabilities.  She was pathetically glib about the question of guns in schools.  And when Senators sent her written questions to answer in further detail after her hearing, she plagiarized some of  her responses.  On top of all of that, DeVos was confirmed with votes from a raft of Republican Senators who reply on her cash for their Betsy DeVos Broke the Ed. Reform Coalition – For Now | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.:


Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 2/17/17


Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 2/17/17

Featured Post

DeVos: Critics want to ‘make my life a living hell’ - The Washington Post





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