Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look
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"Not Measuring Up: The State of School Discipline in Massachussetts" // The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice

"Not Measuring Up: The State of School Discipline in Massachussetts" // The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

Selected quote: 
"Charter schools accounted for a disproportionate amount of discipline. While only 4% of Massachusetts’ public schools are charters, they comprised nearly 14% of schools with discipline rates (the rate of students receiving in-school and out-of-school suspensions and expulsions combined) over 20%. Charter schools in Boston had especially high discipline rates, removing 17.3% of students. By comparison, Boston Public Schools had a 6.6% discipline rate, and its non-charter middle and high schools – including its disciplinary alternative schools – had a discipline rate of 11.1%.  Roxbury Preparatory Charter suspended 59.8% of its students out of school. 94% of these suspensions were for non-violent, non-criminal, non-drug behavior."...


For full press release on report, click on title above. 


To download and read the report, click here.


For related video, visit: https://vimeo.com/112431607 


For a list of useful resources: 
http://lawyerscom.org/projects/education/not-measuring-up-resources/  

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Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look
This collection has been created to raise awareness about concerns related to corporate charter school expansions. The page also serves as a research tool to organize online content. The grey funnel shaped icon at the top allows for searching by keyword (i.e. entering K12, KIPP,  TFA, Rocketship, or ALEC will yield specific subsets of articles relevant solely to each keyword).  Readers are encouraged to explore additional links for further information beyond the text provided on this page.
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Mapping the Terrain: Teach For America, Charter School Reform, and Corporate Sponsorship // Kretchmar, Sondel, & Ferrare, 2014, Journal of Education Policy

Mapping the Terrain: Teach For America, Charter School Reform, and Corporate Sponsorship // Kretchmar, Sondel, & Ferrare, 2014, Journal of Education Policy | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

ABSTRACT from Journal of Education Policy - "In this paper, we illustrate the relationships between Teach For America (TFA) and federal charter school reform to interrogate how policy decisions are shaped by networks of individuals, organizations, and private corporations. We use policy network analysis to create a visual representation of TFA’s key role in developing and connecting personnel, political support, and financial backing for charter reform. Next we examine how the networks unfold at a local level by zooming in on a case study of New Orleans. By mapping out these connections, we hope to provide a foundation for further investigation of how this network affects policies."...

  

For main journal publication page, click on title or image above. For pdf of article, email authors of the manuscript or curator of this collection.  

 

For subset of TFA-related articles in the Charters & Choice: A Closer Look collection, click here: http://www.scoop.it/t/charter-choice-closer-look?q=TFA&nbsp

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Privatizing Schooling and Policy Making: The American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] and New Political and Discursive Strategies of Education Governance (Anderson & Donchik, 2014) // Education...

Privatizing Schooling and Policy Making: The American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] and New Political and Discursive Strategies of Education Governance (Anderson & Donchik, 2014) // Education... | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

Abstract

"In this article, we examine the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as an example of a unique node within larger policy networks composed of new policy entrepreneurs (e.g., venture philanthropists, think tanks, private “edubusinesses” and their lobbyists, advocacy organizations, and social entrepreneurs). These new policy networks, through an array of new modalities of governance and political and discursive strategies, have come to exert an impressive level of influence on public policy in the last 30 years in the United States. We describe and analyze several model education bills that ALEC has promoted and describe the political and discursive strategies ALEC employs. We found that these strategies, which are employed by corporate leaders and largely Republican legislators, are aimed at a strategic alliance of neoliberal, neoconservative, libertarian, and liberal constituencies with the goal of privatizing and marketizing public education."

 

http://epx.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/28/0895904814528794.abstract 

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, April 7, 4:03 PM
This is not exactly tech talk but this matters and will, effect the budget's of Public schools and their ability to purchase ed tech materials and devices as well as fund programs, teachers and all other educational funding decisions.
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A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Schools - Episode 3 Disenfranchised Communities // New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable 

"Disenfranchised Communities is the third in the series by the New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable’s films about the takeover of public education in New Orleans.


A Perfect Storm: Disenfranchised Communities shows how privatizing public education has disenfranchised the New Orleans community by limiting the voices of parents and community members. The film touches on the fired school employees causing the loss of thousands of middle-class jobs and the efforts by neighborhood schools to write their own charter applications but were denied. This model of disenfranchising communities is being exported to other cities around the country.

The New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable hopes that all New Orleanians will find our videos helpful as they join in telling the truth about New Orleans public schools. We hope that these videos will be useful tools in the fight to bring our schools back to local democratically elected control. We believe that collectively, we can all stop the exporting of this model and play a role in returning our schools to local control and we offer this to our community to aid in advocacy and activism."

https://vimeo.com/161523742 

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Dave Yost Calls Education Department One of the 'Worst-Run' State Agencies in Ohio

Dave Yost Calls Education Department One of the 'Worst-Run' State Agencies in Ohio | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Catherine Candisky

"Ohio Auditor Dave Yost ripped the state Department of Education as dysfunctional Monday when he unveiled a second report exposing low attendance rates at many charter schools.

 

The department, responsible for overseeing the privately operated, tax-funded schools, was "among the worst, if not the worst-run state agency in state government," Yost said during a Statehouse press conference.

 

He recommended taking responsibilities away from the department so it could focus on its core duties and eliminate conflicts.

 

"It's a scattershot. It's supposed to do everything about everything. The time has come to shorten the focus," Yost said. "They clearly shouldn't be doing advocacy and regulatory oversight."...

 

For full post, click here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/05/23/dave-yost-talks-charter-school-headcount-audit.html 

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CA Attorney General to Investigate Online Charter Industry // In the Public Interest

CA Attorney General to Investigate Online Charter Industry // In the Public Interest | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Donald Cohen

"Did you know that one of the fastest growing sectors of the charter school industry are ‘virtual’ charter schools, where K-12 students learn from home in front of their computers? No school buildings, no recess with friends, no shared learning. It’s true. The largest virtual charter company, a publicly traded corporation called K12, Inc., provides education to over 120,000 public school students across the country. Last year, they made more than $900 million in revenue, most of it taxpayer money earmarked for public education.

But virtual charters are starting to pile up bad news and serious questions about their priorities.


A study released last week by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) found that students attending virtual charters learn significantly less in math and reading than similar students attending brick-and-mortar schools. So significantly less that the Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton wrote, “In other words, when it comes to math, it’s as if the [online] students did not attend school at all.”
 

This week, news broke that California’s Attorney General is investigating the entire virtual charter industry. And for good reason. Earlier this year, we looked under the hood of California Virtual Academies (CAVA), the state’s largest provider of online public education, and what we found was clear: CAVA’s manager and primary vendor, a subsidiary of K12 Inc., has put their responsibility to maximize profits for shareholders above investing in educating children.
 

Virtual charters are starting to pile up bad news and serious questions about their priorities.


While the overall percentage of U.S. students who attend online schools is small, in some states—like California, where CAVA teachers are organizing to serve students and families, not corporations—online education has become yet another path towards the privatization of public education. Online charters are a significant issue in Pennsylvania’s ongoing budget standoff between legislative leaders and the governor, as the state has the second-highest online enrollment in the country.
 

An increasing number of charter schools are using ‘blended learning’ models, where students go to school but spend lots of time in front of keyboards and screens. A former executive of the charter school chain Rocketship—which is one of the largest users of online learning—called blended learning “stripped-down efficiency model.”


Along with a growing crowd, we have concerns about an overreliance on technology in the classroom, but fully online schools go too far. While high quality virtual charters can be useful for certain students, like actors, artists, or Olympic hopefuls, the majority of kids need teachers to interact with and classmates to socialize and study with. And a pro-charter think-tank (CREDO), California’s attorney general, and many others, including teachers, seem to agree.
 

To follow up our CAVA report, we’re going to be looking even harder at virtual charters. Let us know if companies like K12, Inc., are recruiting students in your community.

We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email: info@inthepublicinterest.org"...


For full post, click on title here: http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/yes-virtual-charter-schools-exist-and-theyre-growing/

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KIPP's Efforts to Hide Data While Seeking Millions in Taxpayer Subsidies // via Center for Media and Democracy 

KIPP's Efforts to Hide Data While Seeking Millions in Taxpayer Subsidies // via Center for Media and Democracy  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Lisa Graves and Dustin Beilke
"Charter schools are big business, even when they are run by "non-profits" that pay no taxes on the revenue they receive from public taxes or other sources.

 

Take KIPP, which describes itself as a "national network of public schools."

 

KIPP (an acronym for the phrase "knowledge is power program") operates like a franchise with the KIPP Foundation as the franchisor and the individual charters as franchisees that are all separate non-profits that describe themselves as "public schools."

But how public are KIPP public schools?

Not as public as real or traditional public schools.

 

New documents discovered on the U.S. Department of Education's website reveal that KIPP has claimed that information about its revenues and other significant matters is "proprietary" and should be redacted from materials it provides to that agency to justify the expenditure of federal tax dollars, before its application is made publicly available.

 

So what does a so-called public school like KIPP want to keep the public from knowing?"...

 

For full post, please see: 

- See more at: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/04/13096/exposed-cmd-kipps-efforts-keep-public-dark-while-seeking-millions-taxpayer 

 
Additional downloads/links available at:
KIPP redactions
KIPP redaction list
KIPP 2013 990
KIPP 2012 990

 

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California Virtual Academies: Is Online Charter School Network Cashing In On Failure? // San Jose Mercury News 

California Virtual Academies: Is Online Charter School Network Cashing In On Failure? // San Jose Mercury News  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Jessica Calefati

K12 Inc., California’s largest operator of virtual charters, rakes in taxpayer money as educational outcomes fall short.

 

What our investigation found

 

  • Teachers employed by K12 Inc.'s charter schools may be asked to inflate attendance and enrollment records used to determine taxpayer funding.
  • Fewer than half of the students who start the online high schools earn diplomas, and almost none of them are qualified to attend the state's public universities.
  • K12's heavily marketed online model has helped the company reap more than $310 million in state funding over the past 12 years.
  • Students who spend as little as one minute during a school day logged in to K12's school software may be counted as present in records used to calculate the amount of funding the schools get from the state.
  • About half of the schools' students are not proficient in reading, and only a third are proficient in math -- levels that fall far below statewide averages.
  • School districts that are supposed to oversee the company's schools have a strong financial incentive to turn a blind eye to problems: They get a cut of the academies' revenue, which largely comes from state coffers."

 

For full post, click on title above or here: 

http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_29777973 

 

For part two of this series, please see: http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_29780959/k12-inc-california-virtual-academies-operator-exploits-charter?source=infinite-up 

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The Business of Charter Schooling: Understanding the Policies that Charter Operators Use for Financial Benefit // National Education Policy Center

The Business of Charter Schooling:  Understanding the Policies that Charter Operators Use for Financial Benefit // National Education Policy Center | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Bruce Baker and Gary Miron


"This research brief details some of the prominent ways that individuals, companies, and organizations secure financial gain and generate profit by controlling and running charter schools. To illustrate how charter school policy functions to promote privatization and profiteering, the authors explore differences between charter schools and traditional public schools in relation to three areas: the legal frameworks governing their operation; the funding mechanisms that support them; and the arrangements each makes to finance facilities. They conclude with recommendations for policies that help ensure that charter schools pursue their publicly established goals and that protect the public interest.
 

Four major policy concerns are identified:


  1. A substantial share of public expenditure intended for the delivery of direct educational services to children is being extracted inadvertently or intentionally for personal or business financial gain, creating substantial inefficiencies;
     
  2. Public assets are being unnecessarily transferred to private hands, at public expense, risking the future provision of “public” education;
     
  3. Charter school operators are growing highly endogenous, self-serving private entities built on funds derived from lucrative management fees and rent extraction which further compromise the future provision of “public” education; and
     
  4. Current disclosure requirements make it unlikely that any related legal violations, ethical concerns, or merely bad policies and practices are not realized until clever investigative reporting, whistleblowers or litigation brings them to light. 


For full post and to download the report, click on title above or here: 

http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/charter-revenue 

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Former Dean Questions Costs of ‘No Excuses’ Charter Schools on Students of Color // Washington Post

Former Dean Questions Costs of ‘No Excuses’ Charter Schools on Students of Color // Washington Post | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Valerie Strauss

“No excuses” charter schools have become a prominent feature of modern school reform. What exactly are they? This is how Joan Goodman, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the school’s Teach For America program, defined them in this post:


These schools start with the belief that there’s no reason for the large academic gaps that exist between poor minority students and more privileged children. They argue that if we just used better methods, demanded more, had higher expectations, enforced these higher expectations through very rigorous and uniform teaching methods and a very uniform and scripted curriculum geared to being successful on high-stakes tests, we can minimize or even eradicate these large gaps, high rates of drop outs and the academic failures of these children. To reach these objectives, these schools have developed very elaborate behavioral regimes that they insist all children follow, starting in kindergarten. Submission, obedience, and self-control are very large values. They want kids to submit. You can’t really do this kind of instruction if you don’t have very submissive children who are capable of high levels of inhibition and do whatever they’re told.


Here is an open letter from Ramon Griffin, the former dean of students at a New Orleans “no excuses” charter school, who urges teachers and staff at such schools to question the model’s social and emotional costs on young people. Griffin was also a charter school teacher and a juvenile probation and detention officer. He is currently working on his doctorate in educational administration at Michigan State University. Contact him at griff519@msu.edu, or visit his website.


This appeared on the Edushyster website of Jennifer Berkshire, freelance journalist and public education advocate who worked for six years editing a newspaper for the American Federation of Teachers in Massachusetts. She gave me permission to run this post. Here is Ramon Griffin’s open letter to teachers and staff of no-excuses charter schools:


Dear You:

You were selected to teach at your school because of your intelligence, spunk, tenacity, vigor and, most of all, your passion for public education. You are a risk-taker. You have a can-do attitude with swag to match. You believe that every child has the capacity to achieve academically and are committing your life to ensuring that you affect change in every student you encounter. Your dedication to ensuring that traditionally marginalized students receive a first-class education is commendable. But do you know how much power you hold? Do you truly understandthe “no excuses” school culture that you are part of? Do you know the psychological and emotional costs that the “no excuses” model has on students of color? Furthermore, do you care to know?


Two years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “Colonizing the Black Natives: Reflections from a former New Orleans Charter School Dean of Students.” I started the piece by asking if some charters’ practices were new forms of colonial hegemony. It is vital to add that while I was employed at the school, this thought never crossed my mind. My writings were taken by some charter management administrators and staff as an “attack” instead of an opportunity critically engage and refine, deconstruct and reconstruct practices that are doing more harm than good. This time around, I’m hoping to encourage teachers and staff at “no excuses” charter schools to acknowledge what is transpiring in their schools so that we can begin to push back against these practices and transform our schools.


I’ll start by offering a few examples of my own. When I chased young black ladies to see if their nails were polished, or if they had added a different color streak to their hair, or when I followed young men to make sure that their hair wasn’t styled naturally, I could have been critically engaging my administrative peers on why these practices were the law at our school—and how exactly they contributed to getting students into and through college.


When my school punished young people for not having items school leaders knew their families couldn’t afford, I could have been pushing back against policies that effectively punished students for being poor.


When we pulled students out of their classrooms for countless hours for minor infractions even as we drilled them constantly on the importance of instruction time, we could have been taking our own advice.


Or when we suspended students from school for numerous days, we could have been providing alternatives that disciplined them but kept them in school.


I recently spoke on a panel in Nashville about the psychological and emotional costs that “no excuses” school cultures have on students of color. Afterwards, I was approached by a young white male who told me that he couldn’t understand why parents of color complained about “no excuses” school cultures when they’d chosen to enroll their children in the schools. But the idea that parents should not complain because they purposely enrolled their children in these schools is flawed.


Parents, whether they’re in Nashville or New Orleans, desire that their children attend schools that will provide them a rigorous and first-class education. They’re sold a school culture “package” that claims to bring out the best in every student, challenging them to be creative, take risks and think critically. Yet too often, once the package is unwrapped and a culture of compliance is unveiled, students and families feel that they have been sold a dream.

Is it realistic to expect parents to inherently grasp the psychological and emotional costs of the “no excuses” model when many of the teachers and school disciplinarians who enforce these policies don’t have a deep understanding of their effects either? In my experience, staff members are trained to follow the rules regarding discipline and school culture without questioning school leaders about why rules and practices exist in the first place. The idea of critically engaging administrators at these schools seems to intimidate staff, who fear potential backlash for speaking out against culture and disciplinary practices they don’t agree with. They don’t know how to push back critically and meaningfully without being disciplined or even losing their jobs.


Whatever the reason, the lack of inquiry by and pushback from highly educated professionals regarding the questionable socialization practices and disciplinary policies of “no excuses” schools is striking. Even more astonishing is that the same things young people of color are punished for in these schools, their teachers were probably raised and encouraged to value. As students themselves, they were probably given the opportunity to be critical, to take risks, to disagree, to not conform, to ask for clarity, to push back, to show emotion and to be relentless about finding their own truth.


Many of these educators are no doubt raising their own children to do similar things. But as teachers and staff at
“no excuses” charter schools, they are trained to instill the opposite values in youth of color, even punishing students for being critical or showing emotion. Why? I ask this question, not as a researcher or as a doctoral student, but as a colleague who has navigated the same terrain that you are currently treading. I understand—trust me. I am truly concerned that we are not asking the right questions. Why has “no excuses” been celebrated, packaged and sold to people of color as the prescription for educational and career excellence? Why is it “no excuses” for some and not for all?


Ask yourself if you would allow your own children to be treated the way that some of your students are being treated. If the answer is “no,” then there is no excuse for complying with rules and policies you’d never tolerate where your own children or loved ones are concerned. Your students are young people, not robots. They are human children and sometimes their circumstances do warrant exceptions to the rules. Sometimes their excuses are legitimate.

For example, a student who shows up out of uniform because he doesn’t have a washer/dryer at home has a legitimate excuse.

A kid whose family has been transient and is currently homeless has a legitimate excuse to not be in proper uniform. The school should be aware of the situation and at least attempt to provide clothing for the young person.


A kid who has three younger siblings he has to care for, clean up, help with homework, protect and teach because they live with their elderly grandmother who was thrust into legal guardianship because his mother was abusive and they never met their father has a legitimate excuse.


A kid who has witnessed his mother being shot by his father has a legitimate excuse to not want to walk on a line, talk to anybody or participate in class.


A kid who hasn’t eaten a nutritious meal in weeks, but makes it to school every day has a legitimate excuse to feel tired, to not want to participate in an activity or to look at an adult in the eye while shaking their hand. But what happens at most “no excuses” schools is that students get detention or worse because there are no excuses.


Is this what John Dewey meant when he described school as “the social center” of the community and as a site for building a democratic society? Are “no excuses” schools preparing citizens, training workers or preparing individuals to compete for social positions? If the answers to these questions aren’t clear, it may be time to seriously re-evaluate the goals of your school.


Lastly, I believe that it is time for a thorough examination of the psychological and emotional impact of “no excuses” policies and school cultures. It is time for everyone involved to start asking some critical questions. Stop being fearful. Let your voices be heard.

Ask questions, push back, critically engage, and transform your school and your workplace."...


For full post, click on title above or here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/01/26/former-dean-questions-costs-of-no-excuses-charter-schools-on-students-of-color/ 

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Do Charter Schools Really Do Better? Let's Look at Los Angeles // Alan Singer (Huffington Post)

Do Charter Schools Really Do Better? Let's Look at Los Angeles // Alan Singer (Huffington Post) | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Alan Singer

"Advocates for charters schools like to talk about their unwavering commitment to student success, parental choice and the benefits of privatization, but their main argument for charter schools is that with their “no excuses“ approach they can do a better job than public schools educating inner-city minority youth.

In 2009, the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a Public School Choice Motion that expanded the number of charter schools in the district.

While in my Huffington Post blogs I frequently complain about both charter schools and the way high-stakes testing is perverting education in the United States, sometimes the data the tests produce can be useful. So to answer the question “Do Charter Schools Really Do Better?” let’s look at some test score numbers from Los Angeles.

On SAT exams administered to high school juniors 2400 is the maximum possible score. A score of 1500 is considered the minimum threshold signifying college readiness. Top colleges demand much more. In 2013, 2052 was the average SAT grade for freshmen accepted into UCLA.

The Los Angeles Times published a list of the average SAT scores at the 100 lowest performing high schools in Los Angeles County. Eight of the ten worst performing schools, including one that has already been closed, are charter schools. This includes the Animo Locke Charter High School #1 operated by the Green Dot Corporate Charter Schools chain whose founder, Steve Barr wants to run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2017 based on his record of educational “success.” Green Dot also operates four other charter high schools among the bottom twenty SAT performers and a total of nine schools in the bottom fifty.

Critics have long charged that the SAT primarily measures the socio-economic status of students, a charge the College Board, which operates the SAT refutes. However Los Angles high school SAT test scores seem to confirm what critics are saying. In each of the ten worst performing schools, the student population is more than 90% Latino and Black and in some cases it is 100%. The number of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch at these schools, a major indicator of poverty level, ranges from 84% to 99%. In some of the schools the number of English Language Learners approaches 50% of the student population.

Despite bad performance, Los Angeles charter schools also seem to be free to ignore the rights of parents and children. The Granada Hills Charter High Schoolhas been reprimanded by the Los Angeles Unified School District Charter Schools Division for improperly charging students $60 cap and gown fees for graduation ceremonies and violating parent rights to opt children out of standardized testing by making the tests a requirement for participation in extra-curricular activities including athletic teams. The school’s Parent-Student Handbook states “All students must participate fully in California CAASPP and Granada Testing in their 9th, 10th and 11th grade year to be eligible to participate in optional activities such as senior activities, school extracurricular activities and school athletics. Students who clearly disregard the test as determined by the testing coordinator or test proctor will be regarded as having refused to comply with the testing requirement and will be subject to loss of senior activities, school extracurricular activities and school athletics.

Granada Hills Charter is one of the largest and highest performing charter schools in California and the United States. It is also a school with a White or Asian student majority, relatively fewer economically disadvantaged students, and almost no English Language Learners.

The reality is that despite their claims, charter schools cannot perform educational miracles. At least in Los Angeles, it is not even clear they serve inner-city minority youth as well as public schools do."

 

For full post, click on title above or here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/do-charter-schools-really_b_9845916.html 

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Letter to the Editor: ‘Half-truths, Spin, and Obfuscation About Summit Sierra Charter’ // The International Examiner

Letter to the Editor: ‘Half-truths, Spin, and Obfuscation About Summit Sierra Charter’ // The International Examiner | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"The following is a letter to the editor by Wayne Au, an Associate Professor in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Washington Bothell where he serves as Chair of the Campus Diversity Council:

The April 20 opinion piece by Amy Van, “Learning, uninterrupted: Students and faculty at Summit Sierra carry on with a successful school year,” is typical for its kind. It lauds a local charter school for serving a diverse student population and raising test scores, all with the intent of proving both how well Summit Sierra is doing as an individual school, and how great charter schools are generally.

 

However, speaking as a professor of education who studies charter schools, I think there are several issues to raise with Van’s opinion piece that would be important for IE readers to know.

For instance, Van is a staff member for the Washington State Charter School Association (WSCSA). Since 2013, the WSCSA has been granted over $13.55 million by the Gates Foundation to support charter schools. This is not surprising since Bill Gates Jr., Alice Walton, and Eli Broad all personally donated large sums to support the passage of Washington’s charter school initiative, and given that their respective foundations provided millions of dollars to local non-profits who ran the charter school initiative campaign.

 

So IE readers should not expect an unbiased discussion of charter schools coming from the WSCSA or their staff since they essentially are paid to promote charters."...

 

For full post, click on title above or here:

http://www.iexaminer.org/2016/05/letter-to-the-editor-half-truths-spin-and-obfuscation-about-summit-sierra-charter/ 

 

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Letter from Former Teacher and Individualized Learning Specialist Who Worked For Two Years at Rocketship [San Jose] // Submitted 3/10/16

To download, click title above or here: http://www.scoop.it/doc/download/1k8itUfZ_sfWg5UxhHb4@hP 

 

Submitted to EduResearcher on following post: http://eduresearcher.com/2016/03/09/rocketship-pushes/ 

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What Can Happen When a Neighborhood School is Forced to Share Its Space With a Charter // Washington Post

What Can Happen When a Neighborhood School is Forced to Share Its Space With a Charter // Washington Post | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

(Valerie Strauss)
"One of the features of the charter school movement that may be unknown to many  is what is  called “co-location,” when a charter is permitted to open up in a traditional school building to share space with a functioning school. The schools are run independently but resourced differently. In this post, Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who is now executive director of the nonprofit Network for Public Education, explains how co-locations work and problems they can create. She was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and in 2013, the same organization named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year.


By Carol Burris

Imagine this.  You get a call telling you that another family will now occupy the second floor of your home.   After you recover from your initial shock, you complain. “Outrageous,” you say.  That is where I have my office, our second bathroom and the guest bedroom for when my mother comes to stay.”  You quickly learn the decision is not yours to make.  This is a top-down order, and you must comply.

 

As far-fetched as the above might seem, the above is what principals in New York City and other cities around the country face when charter schools demand space.  And although principals may not “own” their schools, the community that surrounds the school surely does.  Yet, no matter how strongly they protest, community voices are nearly always ignored.

 

With increasing frequency, community-based schools, located predominantly in poor neighborhoods, are being hedged in, disrupted and derailed by charter school co-location, which is the forced insertion of a charter school into an existing neighborhood public school."...

 

For full post, click on title above or here: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/03/17/what-can-happen-when-a-neighborhood-school-is-forced-to-share-its-space-with-a-charter/ 

 

 

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Katrina Truth // Education

Katrina Truth // Education | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Better test scores. Charter schools. New teachers. When it comes to highlighting New Orleans’ recovery, the gloss of the city’s overhauled school system shines brightest. So bright, that those who look at New Orleans schools from a distance often fail to see the serious issues of inequity and exclusion that linger within. As soon as Katrina hit, state and education officials used the devastation as an excuse to fire veteran teachers and start the transition to an all charter school system in New Orleans giving tax dollars to private purveyors with no accountability. It's been called a promising model for education but it has been a road map for dismantling public education.
 

Accountability for what’s happening in New Orleans schools has been sorely lacking. While 92% of students are now enrolled in charters, many charter schools have failed to accommodate students with disabilities or limited English proficiency, violating federal law and prompting civil rights complaints to federal agencies. Making matters worse, students enrolled in New Orleans charters are subject to harsher charter-specific discipline policies aimed at pushing out even more students.

 

Suspension rates at New Orleans charters, especially for out-of-school suspensions, are among some of the worst in the nation, with several schools above Louisiana’s already high statewide average and a select group at “rates of 40, 50, 60% and more each year.” When coupled with school arrests, this denial of equal access to education is something that FFLIC and other grassroots organizations have long spoken out against, especially in comprehensive reports like Pushed Out: Harsh Discipline in Louisiana Schools Denies The Right to Education.

 

Education policy that relies upon exclusionary enrollment, punitive discipline, and school closures to achieve its results isn’t reform. It’s the school-to-prison pipeline. It’s the dismantling of public education.

 

Key Recovery Data
 
7,000: Number of teachers fired after Katrina
 
15: Estimated number of New Orleans charter schools with                                suspension rates above the statewide average.
 
623: The number of indoor suspensions in New Orleans during the                    2013-2014 school year, double the pre-Katrina rate.
 
46,625: The number of out-of-school suspensions in 2013, more than the total number of students enrolled in New Orleans public schools that year.

 

FIND OUT MORE
 
 
 
 

____________________________________
 
For main page, click on title above or here: 
 
 
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K12 Inc.: California Virtual Academies' Operator Exploits Charter, Charity Laws For Money, Records Show // San Jose Mercury News

K12 Inc.: California Virtual Academies' Operator Exploits Charter, Charity Laws For Money, Records Show // San Jose Mercury News | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

Although the schools are set up like typical charters, records show they're established and run by Virginia-based K12 Inc., whose claims of parental involvement and independent oversight appear to be a veneer for the moneymaking enterprise.

 

For full post, see: http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_29780959/k12-inc-california-virtual-academies-operator-exploits-charter?source=infinite-up 

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Charter Schools, Civil Rights, and School Discipline: A Comprehensive Review // Civil Rights Project at UCLA

Charter Schools, Civil Rights, and School Discipline: A Comprehensive Review // Civil Rights Project at UCLA | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it
Authors: Daniel J. Losen, Michael A. Keith II, Cheri L. Hodson, Tia E. Martinez
Date Published: March 15, 2016


This report, along with the companion spreadsheet, provides the first comprehensive description ever compiled of charter school discipline. In 2011-12, every one of the nation’s 95,000 public schools was required to report its school discipline data, including charter schools. This analysis, which includes more than 5,250 charter schools, focuses on out-of-school suspension rates at the elementary and secondary levels. The report describes the extent to which suspensions meted out by charter schools for each major racial group and for students with disabilities are excessive or disparate.

 

PLEASE NOTE THIS UPDATE:  In Table 1 of our report, the list of highest suspending charter schools should reflect the fact that Northstar High School no longer exists and Dallas Can Academy is best considered an alternative school. Therefore, two charters should be added to highest suspending in nation for Latinos: Lake Wales in FL 45.3% and Roxbury Prep in MA, 44.7% 

Executive Summary

In 2011-12, every one of the nation’s 95,000 schools was required to report its school discipline data, including charter schools. This report, along with the companion spreadsheet, provides the first comprehensive description of the use of suspensions by charter schools. This report, which covers more than 5,250 charter schools, focuses on out-of-school suspension rates at the elementary and secondary levels. It specifically examines the extent to which charter schools suspend children of color and children with disabilities at excessive and disparate rates.

The report lists the highest-suspending charters in the nation for several racial/ethnic groups, and also describes the discipline gaps by race/ethnicity and by disability status. Here are some examples:

  • ŸŸ In the 2011-12 school year, 374 charter schools suspended 25% of their enrolled student body at least once.
  • Nearly half of all Black secondary charter school students attended one of the 270 charter schools that was hyper-segregated (80% Black) and where the aggregate Black suspension rate was 25%.
  • More than 500 charter schools suspended Black charter students at a rate that was at least 10 percentage points higher than the rate for White charter students.
  • Even more disconcerting is that 1,093 charter schools suspended students with disabilities at a rate that was 10 or more percentage points higher than for students without disabilities.
  • Perhaps the most alarming finding is that 235 charter schools suspended more than 50% of their enrolled students with disabilities."...

 

http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/resources/projects/center-for-civil-rights-remedies/school-to-prison-folder/federal-reports/charter-schools-civil-rights-and-school-discipline-a-comprehensive-review 


Executive Summary
Companion Spreadsheet: School Discipline Data

Full Report: Charter Schools, Civil Rights, and School Discipline: A Comprehensive Review

 

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Report: "Out of Control," Shows How School Takeovers Disenfranchise Communities of Color // Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools

Report: "Out of Control," Shows How School Takeovers Disenfranchise Communities of Color // Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it


"This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. As advocates fight to preserve and strengthen the Act itself, The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools today released a new report detailing how communities of color across the country are facing a different attack on enfranchisement: instead of barriers to the ballot box, local elected governance is being dissolved altogether.

This fall, tens of thousands of students are returning to schools that have been placed under state authority. The new report, "Out of Control: The Systemic Disenfranchisement of African American and Latino Communities Through School Takeovers," shows how elected school boards have been dissolved or stripped of their power and voters have been denied the right to local governance of their public schools.


These state takeovers are happening almost exclusively in African American and Latino schools and districts – in many of the same communities that have experienced decades of underinvestment in their public schools.


In the past decade, these takeovers have not only removed schools from local authorities, they are increasingly being used to facilitate the permanent transfer of the schools from public to private management, all while increasing segregation and financial instability.


This report profiles some of the most prominent state takeovers in cities like New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia and Little Rock, and it details how these takeovers are stripping political power and control from Black and Brown communities and opening the door for private interests to usurp community property and assets.

Parents, students, teachers and communities must unite to stop these takeovers and fight for the resources to build the schools all our children deserve.


Click here to download a PDF of the report.


For link to original post/article on Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, please visit: http://www.reclaimourschools.org/updates/out-of-control 



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How Hedge Funders Built the Pro-Charter Political Network // BillMoyers.com

How Hedge Funders Built the Pro-Charter Political Network // BillMoyers.com | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

http://billmoyers.com/story/hedge-funders-built-pro-charter-political-network/ 

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University of Connecticut Professor Warns of Similarities Between Charter School Growth And The Subprime Mortgage Crisis // UConn Today

University of Connecticut Professor Warns of Similarities Between Charter School Growth And The Subprime Mortgage Crisis // UConn Today | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Colin Poitras


"When charter schools first appeared in the U.S. in the early 1990s, they were seen as an exciting alternate choice for families looking to move their children out of low-performing urban schools.


Still widely popular, charter schools have become a major part of the nation’s educational infrastructure, expanding at a rate of about 12 percent a year. Nearly three million children, or about six percent of all children enrolled in public schools nationwide, currently attend charter schools.


But with states facing mounting pressure to ease regulations to allow more charter schools, and with the federal government and private industry offering millions of dollars in new charter school grants and incentives, UConn professor of educational leadership and law Preston Green III is urging policymakers to be careful.


In a recent paper that is receiving national attention, Green and three co-authors outline the many parallels they see between today’s charter school systems and the early days of the subprime mortgage crisis, where aggressive business practices and unchecked growth created a national housing ‘bubble’ that threw the country into deep recession.


The housing bubble was particularly devastating to urban African-American families, many of whom relied on subprime mortgages to purchase their first homes. Without sufficient regulatory safeguards in place to protect them, these vulnerable families would later lose their properties to foreclosure when the ‘bubble’ burst and they were unable to meet the terms of their loans.


When it comes to charter schools, Green, the John and Carla Klein Professor of Urban Education in UConn’s Neag School of Education, is concerned that, as with the subprime crisis, insufficient regulation could result in the formation of charter school “bubbles”: a concentration of poorly performing schools in urban African-American communities.


Green is a leading scholar in the fields of law and urban education, educational policy, and educational equity, with a focus on the legal and policy issues pertaining to educational access, school choice and charter schools.


“Charter school bubbles are most likely to form in black urban communities, because those are the communities where there is the greatest anger toward traditional public schools and the wish for change,” says Green. “It is because of that anger that these communities are most at risk of making an over-commitment to charter schools, which could then lead to the bubble we reference.”


As the lead author of the paper, “Are We Heading Toward a Charter School ‘Bubble’?: Lessons from the Subprime Mortgage Crisis,” Green advances a detailed and heavily annotated argument expressing his concerns. He is joined by research co-authors from Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


The paper has sparked a national conversation. Since it first appeared online in December, the paper has been reported in journalist Jennifer Berkshire’s widely-read EduShyster blog, the Washington PostMother JonesSalonNEA Today, and a host of other online media sites, blogs, and podcasts. Critics say the paper’s comparisons are unreasonably provocative. Others support its conclusions as timely and important.


“I knew it was going to be controversial, but I felt it was something that needed to be said,” Green says. “I am very concerned with where charter schools are headed. We are in a position of repeating the mistakes that we made with subprime mortgages, where we encouraged ostensibly positive goals, but didn’t put the protections in place that are needed.”


Critics of charter schools often point to individual schools and districts where problems have surfaced. Green’s paper focuses instead on larger systemic issues. The authors point out that more than $200 million in charter school fraud, abuse, and mismanagement has been identified in 15 states. Reports of private for-profit charter school management companies declining to enroll students with special needs and disabilities, instituting aggressive disciplinary practices, charging public school districts exorbitant rent for facilities, and using high-pressure tactics to recruit students in minority neighborhoods, are additional cause for concern, Green points out in the paper.


“If we’re going to have private entities involved in public education, we need to have sufficient regulation, because without those regulations, without that oversight, there could be systemic abuse,” he says. “And because of the particular issues within urban communities, the failure of providing safeguards and regulations could result in a very negative situation.”


Multiple Authorizers, Multiple Problems

One of Green’s primary concerns is the recent push by the charter school industry for states to allow multiple independent authorizers of charter schools. Advocates argue that having multiple authorizers would make the application process more efficient, and offer more options for national providers interested in opening charter schools. But Green counters that having multiple authorizers opens the door for “authorizer hopping,” where low-performing providers could go searching for a favorable authorizer that won’t be as careful screening for quality or as demanding when it comes to accountability.


Recent federal laws, such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, encourage charter school expansion, adding another element to the charter school authorization debate. In the private sector, major entities like Netflix and the Walton Family Foundation, have pledged millions of dollars in support of charter school growth.


Traditionally, charter schools have been authorized by local public school districts. Those districts have demanded quality and accountability because they are responsible for educating all students in their community and would bear the brunt of educating students returning to their district should charter schools close. Shifting authorization to independent authorizers, Green says, means handing over that authority to an outside entity that doesn’t have a stake in the game.


“If you are going to have these private entities and use these private approaches, you cannot forget the public role in this,” he says. “Under state constitutional law, governments are supposed to provide a system of public education that ensures safeguards are in place.”


According to the Center for Education Reform, states with multiple school authorizers have nearly three and a half times as many charter schools as those authorized by local school districts. A separate study cited in the paper, this one by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, found that “states with multiple authorizers experienced significantly lower growth in academic learning in their charter school students,” indicating that some charter school operators were successful in choosing the least rigorous option to provide oversight.

Charter schools already outnumber public schools in some districts. The Recovery School District in Louisiana, for example, is considered the first all-charter school district in the country. In Detroit, 14 entities that are not locally controlled have the power to open and close schools.


“What I get most concerned about is a situation where you have an all-charter school district where the authorizers, the entities that make decisions about what schools are going to come into play, are not connected with that school district,” Green says. “If you have a situation where the vast majority of decision-makers are not connected to the community, then you have a problem.”


In the paper, Green lays out his concerns clearly: “Charter school boards have the responsibility … to ensure that their schools follow all applicable laws, and that the schools spend public funds in a fiscally accountable manner. By contrast, for-profit [management entities] have the incentive to increase their revenues or cut expenses in ways that may contradict the goals of charter school boards.”


Subprime Similarities

Green compares the shift in charter school authorization to the start of the subprime crisis, where the federal government, seeking to increase homeownership for minorities and the poor, deregulated the financial industry and encouraged the distribution of subprime loans.


Traditionally, mortgage originators such as banks screened loans carefully, because they assumed all of the risk if the loan went into default. When the subprime industry emerged, banks and other mortgage originators no longer screened loans as closely, because the loans were guaranteed by the federal government and they were allowed to sell them on a secondary market, spreading out the risk. In essence, the originators of the mortgages no longer had any skin in the game.


Despite all of his concerns, Green remains a believer in the charter school concept. He insists that the paper he authored is not meant to be an attack on charter schools, but rather an exposé highlighting issues of concern.


Green believes the country right now is at “ground zero” with respect to the growth of charter school bubbles. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations for greater federal and state oversight, including more transparency in charter school approvals, improved quality assurance, and sanctions against schools that exercise low standards.


“What we are saying is that there should be a deliberative and thoughtful process in overseeing charter schools to make sure that the choices of parents and children are honored and, in the end, meaningful,” he says.


The flip side of that scenario is daunting. “If charter schools aren’t sufficiently regulated,” Green says, “we could see a proliferation of poorly monitored schools in these communities. The proliferation of these poorly regulated schools could gather such momentum that it could be a while before people start to realize there are problems, and by then, it will take some time to dismantle all that.”

Just like what happened in the subprime mortgage crisis.


The paper – “Are We Heading Toward a Charter School ‘Bubble’ ?: Lessons from the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” – is scheduled for publication in print in the University of Richmond Law Review next month.


http://today.uconn.edu/2016/02/a-charter-school-warning/



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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 2, 1:10 PM
This is an interesting parallel. The key point is that vulnerable populations are most at risk and greed drives a lot.
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Virtual and Blended Learning Schools Continue to Struggle and to Grow // National Education Policy Center

Virtual and Blended Learning Schools Continue to Struggle and to Grow // National Education Policy Center | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

 

"Key Takeaway: Increasing numbers opting for online and blended learning schools despite evidence of poor performance."

 

[Selected quote]: 

“Measures of school performance consistently show virtual school outcomes that lag significantly behind those of traditional brick-and-mortar schools,” said Gulosino. “While this finding did not surprise us, given past research with similar findings, we were surprised to find that blended schools tended to score similar or lower on performance measures than virtual schools.” 
"Nevertheless, enrollment growth has continued, assisted by vigorous advertising campaigns, corporate lobbying, and favorable legislation."

 

http://nepc.colorado.edu/newsletter/2016/04/virtual-schools-annual-2016 

 

 

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State Must No Longer Allow Charters To Discriminate // Detroit Free Press

State Must No Longer Allow Charters To Discriminate // Detroit Free Press | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"For years, we have viewed charter schools as political footballs, as answers to a policy question that requires taking one side or the other.

Let's deal with why we choose sides: It is because we refuse to call charters what they are: private businesses that discriminate. With our tax dollars. And we — voters, parents and elected officials —  allow it."...

 

http://www.freep.com/story/news/columnists/rochelle-riley/2016/04/09/state-must-no-longer-allow-charters-discriminate/82829926/ 

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Charter Schools Drain Resources From District Schools in Mississippi, Jackson Educators Say // The Hechinger Report

Charter Schools Drain Resources From District Schools in Mississippi, Jackson Educators Say // The Hechinger Report | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Sierra Mannie

"New charter schools are a money drain on Jackson Public Schools, the district’s chief financial officer, Sharolyn Miller, warned Thursday.

 

Speaking to at a public hearing on education to members of Mississippi’s Legislative Black Caucus and House and Senate Democrats, Miller said the size of JPS in addition to continued underfunding has inhibited the success of the district. Compounding the problem, charter schools billed JPS $565,000 at the beginning of the school year, and the district had to pay with its local contributions.

 

“We have a number of students who are specifically in home schools or private schools, but we’ve never had to support them in that way,” she said. “The new law requires us now that for every child who goes to a charter school who lives in Jackson, we have to send a certain amount of dollars to fund charter schools.”

 

Education stakeholders from all over the state attended the hearing to air their particular concerns. Kelly Riley, executive director of Mississippi Professional Educators, said that for her organization, Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding, the main stream of state funding received by schools, is the most important policy issue. Riley said that legislators should not rewrite the funding formula in conference without the general public knowing, addressing rumors regarding the so-far unresolved status of HB 458, which would allow for changes to the MAEP formula.

 

“Any proposed changes to the formula should be fully vetted by our schools,” Riley said

 

“The process should be transparent. Rather than amending the formula to meet their political needs, I urge our legislators to fund the formula to meet our students’ needs,” she continued.

 

Speakers from rural areas in Mississippi also spoke to the impact of funding on their educational experience. Two girls attending Yazoo City High School in the Yazoo County School District spoke before the Caucuses talked about how more funding would affect them directly.

 

“I have a teacher that teaches science and English,” one student said. “We need more teachers so they can focus on teaching us one subject.”

 

“My school does not have any textbooks. Well, we have a class set, but not enough for us to take home. For every student, we barely have any computers, and there is no high-speed Internet, and we do not have any science labs,” her classmate added.

The girls say they visited Clinton High School as part of a leadership program with their school, and found the difference between Clinton and their school shocking. The girls say that the A-level school located in Hinds County has multiple working science labs and a modern gymnasium. No rats, no roaches, no outdated bleachers from the 1990s like their own school had—and with classes she had never even heard about, the girl said.

“What’s different about them that we don’t deserve the same quality they do?” she asked.

 

Rep. Rufus Straughter, D-Belzoni, challenged the Legislature’s majority party to give public education what it needs, saying that Mississippi Republicans have a duty not just to the Republican Party, but to the state of Mississippi. He said Mississippi Democrats can’t afford fatigue, and that they have to be there for the citizens they serve.

 

“It is a task dear to my heart. We can’t afford not to do anything just because we are not in control,” he said."...

 

Sierra Mannie is an education reporting fellow for the Jackson Free Press and The Hechinger Report. Email her at sierra@jacksonfreepress.com.

 

 

[Photo caption: Sen. Sollie Norwood, D-Jackson, serves as one of the chairmen of Mississippi’s Black Legislative Caucus. Photo credit: Imani Khayyam]

 

For full and original post, click on title above or here: 

http://hechingerreport.org/charter-schools-drain-resources-district-schools-mississippi-jackson-educators-say/ 

 

 

 

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National Education Policy Center Report Urges Stopping the Expansion of Virtual Schools // EdSurge News

National Education Policy Center Report Urges Stopping the Expansion of Virtual Schools // EdSurge News | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it
Seeking to rectify the fact that "little is known about the inner workings of [virtual and blended learning schools]," the National Education Policy has released its fourth annual report on full-time virtual and blended learning schools, "Virtual Schools Report 2016: Directory and Performance Review

 

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-04-22-national-education-policy-center-report-urges-stopping-the-expansion-of-virtual-schools 

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California’s Charter Schools Lag Behind Traditional Schools in Graduating Students // 2016 Building a Grad Nation Report // via EdSource

California’s Charter Schools Lag Behind Traditional Schools in Graduating Students // 2016 Building a Grad Nation Report // via EdSource | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Fermin Leal

"California charter schools, including several that intentionally target those at risk of dropping out,  account for a disproportionate share of students who fail to graduate high school, according to a report released this week.


“Building a Grad Nation,”
 which tracks graduation rates among public schools nationally, found that 24 percent of California students in all public schools who failed to graduate in 2014 attended charter schools, even though the state’s charter schools enrolled only 9 percent of all high school students that year.

 

The report has been produced annually since 2010 by Civic Enterprises and theEveryone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, in partnership withAmerica’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, as part of an effort to track states’ progress toward reaching a national graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020.

 

In California, 94 percent of traditional high schools in 2014 had a graduation rate of 67 percent or higher, the threshold used to identify a low-graduation-rate school. Sixty-three percent of all charter schools had a graduation rate of 67 percent or higher."...

 

For full post, see: http://edsource.org/2016/report-californias-charter-schools-lag-behind-traditional-schools-in-graduating-students/564007 

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Charting School Discipline // Wolf, Kalinich, & DeJarnatt (2016) The Urban Lawyer

Abstract:     

Exclusionary school discipline can steer students away from educational opportunities and towards the juvenile and criminal justice systems. As many public school systems have turned to exclusionary school discipline practices over the past two decades, they have also increasingly adopted charter schools as alternatives to traditional public schools. This research is examines the student codes of conduct for the charter schools in the School District of Philadelphia to consider the role of their disciplinary practices and the potential effects on charter students.

We analyzed every disciplinary code provided to the Philadelphia School District by charter schools within Philadelphia during the 2014-2015 school year. Our goal was to examine the provisions relating to detention, suspension, and expulsion, along with other disciplinary responses, to determine what conduct can result in disciplinary consequences, what responses are available for various types of misbehavior, and whether the code language is clear or ambiguous or even accessible to students or potential students and their parents or caregivers. We conclude that too many of the codes are not well drafted, and too many follow models of punitive discipline that can be used to push out non-compliant or challenging students. Some codes grant almost complete discretion to school administrators to impose punitive discipline for any behavior the administrator deems problematic.

We hope that this work will spur future research on implementation of charter school discipline policies to illustrate how charter schools are using their codes. Further, we hope to see the charter sector develop model disciplinary codes that move away from a zero tolerance punitive model towards disciplinary systems based on restorative principles."

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How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools

How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Lee Fang
"
This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.


If the national movement to “reform” public education through vouchers, charters and privatization has a laboratory, it is Florida. It was one of the first states to undertake a program of “virtual schools”—charters operated online, with teachers instructing students over the Internet—as well as one of the first to use vouchers to channel taxpayer money to charter schools run by for-profits."...

 

http://www.thenation.com/article/how-online-learning-companies-bought-americas-schools/ 

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