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 the privatization of public schools. The page also serves as a research tool to organize online content. The grey funnel shaped icon at the top (in the 'Desktop View' mode) allows for searching by keyword (i.e. entering K12 Inc, KIPP, TFA, Walton, Rocketship, ALEC, & Koch or discipline, etc. will yield specific subsets of articles relevant to each keyword).  Readers are encouraged to explore additional links for further information beyond the text provided on the page. [Note: Views presented on this page are re-shared from external websites.  The content does not necessarily represent the views nor official position of the curator nor employer of the curator.]  For additional education updates, see http://EduResearcher.com [Links to external site]
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National NAACP Board Approves Resolution Calling for Moratorium on Charter School Expansion [Full Resolution Included]// EduResearcher

National NAACP Board Approves Resolution Calling for Moratorium on Charter School Expansion [Full Resolution Included]// EduResearcher | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

For full post, click on title above or here: https://eduresearcher.com/2016/10/21/naacp/ 

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Are California’s Charter Schools the New Separate-but-Equal ‘Schools of Excellence,’ or Are They Worse Than Plessy? Oluwole & Green, 2018

Are California’s Charter Schools the New Separate-but-Equal ‘Schools of Excellence,’ or Are They Worse Than Plessy? Oluwole & Green, 2018 | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Abstract
This article explains how charter schools provide California's black and Latino communities the opportunity to create modern separate-but-equal schools of excellence. However, they also pose a danger. Outside entities that prioritize financial gain are also seeking to offer charter schools to black and Latino communities. Unfettered charter school expansion spearheaded by these groups could further drain educational resources, thus creating a situation that would be even worse than Plessy v. Ferguson."

 

Oluwole, Joseph and Green, Preston, Are California’s Charter Schools the New Separate-but-Equal ‘Schools of Excellence,’ or Are They Worse Than Plessy? (February 23, 2018). Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3128802


and 
http://www.csus.edu/coe/academics/doctorate/jtlps/issues/7-1/oluwole_jtlps7.1.pdf  

_______________________

Related: https://today.uconn.edu/2018/04/danger-california-charter-schools/ 

“A lack of restrictions in California’s charter school regulations could potentially create a situation that would be even worse than Plessy, as a result of  black and Latino communities losing control of education funding allocated to them,” says Green.

 

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Special Report: The Profit Motive Behind Virtual Schools in Maine // Press Herald 

Special Report: The Profit Motive Behind Virtual Schools in Maine // Press Herald  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Colin Woodard

"Maine’s education commissioner had just returned to his Augusta office last October after a three-day trip to San Francisco where he attended a summit of conservative education reformers convened by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, which had paid for the trip.

He’d heard presentations on the merits of full-time virtual public schools — ones without classrooms, playgrounds or in-person teachers — and watched as Bush unveiled the “first ever” report card praising the states that had given online schools the widest leeway.

 

But what had Bowen especially enthusiastic was his meeting with Bush’s top education aide, Patricia Levesque, who runs the foundation but is paid through her private firm, which lobbies Florida officials on behalf of online education companies.

 

Bowen was preparing an aggressive reform drive on initiatives intended to dramatically expand and deregulate online education in Maine, but he felt overwhelmed.

 

“I have no ‘political’ staff who I can work with to move this stuff through the process,” he emailed her from his office.

Levesque replied not to worry; her staff in Florida would be happy to suggest policies, write laws and gubernatorial decrees, and develop strategies to ensure they were implemented.

“When you suggested there might be a way for us to get some policy help, it was all I could do not to jump for joy,” Bowen wrote Levesque from his office.

“Let us help,” she responded.

So was a partnership formed between Maine’s top education official and a foundation entangled with the very companies that stand to make millions of dollars from the policies it advocates.

In the months that followed, according to more than 1,000 pages of emails obtained by a public records request, the commissioner would rely on the foundation to provide him with key portions of his education agenda. These included draft laws, the content of the administration’s digital education strategy and the text of Gov. Paul LePage’s Feb. 1 executive order on digital education.

 

A Maine Sunday Telegram investigation found large portions of Maine’s digital education agenda are being guided behind the scenes by out-of-state companies that stand to capitalize on the changes, especially the nation’s two largest online education providers.

K12 Inc. of Herndon, Va., and Connections Education, the Baltimore-based subsidiary of education publishing giant Pearson, are both seeking to expand online offerings and to open full-time virtual charter schools in Maine, with taxpayers paying the tuition for the students who use the services.

At stake is the future of thousands of Maine schoolchildren who would enroll in the full-time virtual schools and, if the companies had their way, the future of tens of thousands more who would be legally required to take online courses at their public high schools in order to receive their diplomas.

 

The two companies have at times acted directly, spending tens of thousands of dollars lobbying lawmakers in Augusta and nurturing the creation of the supposedly independent boards for the proposed virtual schools they would operate and largely control."...

For full post, see: 

https://www.pressherald.com/2012/09/01/virtual-schools-in-maine_2012-09-02/ 

 

 

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The Fiscal Externalities of Charter Schools: Evidence from North Carolina // Ladd & Singleton (2018) ERID Working Group 

The Fiscal Externalities of Charter Schools: Evidence from North Carolina // Ladd & Singleton (2018) ERID Working Group  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

Abstract
A significant criticism of the charter school movement is that funding for charter schools diverts money away from traditional public schools. As shown in prior work by Bifulco and Reback (2014) for two urban districts in New York, the magnitude of such adverse fiscal externalities depends in part on the nature of state and local funding policies. In this paper, we build on their approach to examine the fiscal effects of charter schools on both urban and non-urban school districts in North Carolina. We base our analysis on detailed balance sheet information for a sample of school districts that experienced substantial charter growth since the statewide cap on charters was raised in 2011. We find a large and negative fiscal impact in excess of $500 per traditional public school pupil in our one urban school district, which translates into an average fiscal cost of more than $3,500 for each student enrolled in charter schools. We estimate comparable to somewhat larger fiscal externalities per charter school pupil for two non-urban districts."

 

 
Ladd, Helen F. and Singleton, John D., The Fiscal Externalities of Charter Schools: Evidence from North Carolina (April 9, 2018). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 261. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3082968 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3082968
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How Charter Schools Drain Money From Public School Districts // In The Public Interest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5eDr552ymc 

 

For the report on How Much Charters Cost, see: http://inthepublicinterest.org or

http://howmuchcharterscost.org 

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Which Districts Get Into Financial Trouble and Why: Michigan's Story // The Educational Policy Center at Michigan State University

"Abstract

Like other states, Michigan has implemented a number of policies to change governance and administrative arrangements in local school districts deem to be in financial emergency. This paper examines two questions: (1) Which districts get into financial trouble and why? and (2) Among fiscally distressed districts, are there significant differences in the characteristics of districts in which the state does and does not intervene? We analyze factors influencing district fund balances utilizing fixed effect models on a statewide panel dataset of Michigan school districts from 1995 to 2012. We evaluate the impact of state school finance and choice policies, over which local districts have limited control, and local district resource allocation decisions (e.g., average class size, teacher salaries, and spending shares devoted to administration, employee health insurance, and contracted services). Our results indicate that 80% of the explained variation in district fiscal stress is due to changes in districts’ state funding, to enrollment changes including those associated with school choice policies, and to the enrollment of high-cost, special education students. We also find that the districts in which the state has intervened have significantly higher shares of African-American and low-income students than other financially troubled Michigan districts, and they are in worse financial shape by some measures." 

 

http://www.education.msu.edu/epc/library/papers/documents/WP51-Which-Districts-Get-Into-Financial-Trouble-Arsen.pdf 

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New Insights and Directions: Considering the Impact of Charter School Attributes on Communities of Color

New Insights and Directions: Considering the Impact of Charter School Attributes on Communities of Color | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Julian Vasquez Heilig
"Sponsored by the California State University’s Chancellor’s Office and the system’s sixteen Education Doctorate programs, JTLPS publishes peer-reviewed studies for the educational leadership and policy community in California and beyond. The focus is to advance our understanding of solutions to the many problems faced by the nation’s schools and colleges.

JTLPS is a peer-reviewed journal that explores:

  • learning, equity, and achievement for all students;
  • managing the complexities of educational organizations;
  • strategies for educators to affect the school change process;
  • educational policies that bear on the practice of education in the public setting.

This special issue of JTLPS about charter schools includes peer-reviewed contributions from several top scholars, the President of the California Hawaii NAACP, and other stakeholders:

 

COMPLETE ISSUE
Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies: Volume 7, Issue 1 

 

LETTER FROM THE EDITORS

Letter: Volume 7, Issue 1, Carlos Nevarez, PhD & Porfirio Loeza, PhD

 

CONCEPTUAL INTRODUCTION FROM THE SPECIAL VOLUME EDITORS

New Insights and Directions: Considering the Impact of Charter School Attributes on Communities of Color, Julian Vasquez Heilig, PhD & Brent Clark Jr., MA

 

FOREWORD
Choices and Consequences, Alexander M. Sidorkin, PhD

 

Article, Essay, and Review LinksAuthorFile Type

CRITICAL ANALYSIS
The Neoliberal Attack on the Public Education of Students of Color, Alice A. Huffman

 

CONCEPTUAL STUDY
Charter School Authorization: A Gateway to Excellence and Equity Karen Stansberry Beard, PhD & Omotayo Adeeko, MA

 

EMPIRICAL STUDY
Teachers of Color and Urban Charter Schools: Race, School Culture, and Teacher Turnover in the Charter Sector, Terrenda White, PhD

 

CONCEPTUAL STUDY
Are California’s Charter Schools the New Separate-But-Equal “Schools of Excellence,” or Are They Worse Than Plessy? Joseph O. Oluwole, PhD & Preston C. Green III, JD, EdD

 

BOOK REVIEW
A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education, Jasmine M. Nguyen, BA

 

Call for Papers and Submission Guidelines 

 

For full post, see: https://cloakinginequity.com/2018/05/14/new-insights-and-directions-considering-the-impact-of-charter-school-attributes-on-communities-of-color/ 

 

 

 

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IRS Files Lien in Nashville Against Rocketship Public Schools // The Tennessean 

IRS Files Lien in Nashville Against Rocketship Public Schools // The Tennessean  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/education/2018/02/08/nashville-tn-rocketship-schools-schools-tax-lien/319654002/ 

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Sacramento Charter School’s Abrupt Closure Leaves Parents Scrambling // CBS Sacramento

Sacramento Charter School’s Abrupt Closure Leaves Parents Scrambling // CBS Sacramento | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A local charter school shut down without any warning to parents or its students.

 

“It is very upsetting, very upsetting,” said Yared Negussie late Wednesday night.

 

His daughter no longer has a school to attend and found just before 3 p.m.

 

“What are we supposed to do in the middle of the week. If we had two weeks or three weeks notice we could be looking for school,” he said.

 

His seventh-grader is among the approximately 70 students at Paramount Collegiate Academy who were notified that the campus was permanently closing at the end of the school day.

It was especially hard for the students.

 

“Just not knowing what to do after this,” said Carlos Sanchez.

“All of us were sad because we lost friends and teachers and the teachers were great here,” said Joel Ponce who was in the middle school.

 

The charter school opened in 2015 and was known for its emphasis in arts and science from sixth to 12th grades.  “They convinced my daughter and especially me,” Negussie said. We caught up with school administrators who had little to no comment.

 

“You see I’ve been crying on and off all day, but thank you thank you,” said Dawn Conteras Douglas, founder, and CEO.

In that letter to parents, it states.

 

“Board of directors unanimously voted to Close Paramount Collegiate Academy due to Financial, Facility, and Low Enrollment challenges,” Ms. Debora Walker, president.

 

Concerns over the school’s finances are not new. Its original charter petition was rejected by both the Sacramento County Office of Education and San Juan Unified School District.

 

Now that district is preparing to help the displaced students.

The enrollment office will be open tomorrow in Carmichael for San Juan students and at Paramount. The principal said she will be helping parents get their students enrolled elsewhere."

 

For original story on Sacramento CBS, see:

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/02/08/sacramento-charter-school/ 

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Inside Casa Padre, The Converted Walmart Where The U.S. Is Holding Nearly 1,500 Immigrant Children // Washington Post

Inside Casa Padre, The Converted Walmart Where The U.S. Is Holding Nearly 1,500 Immigrant Children // Washington Post | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Michael E. MillerEmma Brown and Aaron C. Davis

"BROWNSVILLE, Tex. — For more than a year, the old Walmart along the Mexican border here has been a mystery to those driving by on the highway. In place of the supercenter’s trademark logo hangs a curious sign: “Casa Padre.”

But behind the sliding doors is a bustling city unto itself, equipped with classrooms, recreation centers and medical examination rooms. Casa Padre now houses more than 1,400 immigrant boys in federal custody. While most are teenagers who entered the United States alone, dozens of others — often younger — were forcibly separated from their parents at the border by a new Trump administration “zero tolerance” policy.

On Wednesday evening, for the first time since that policy was announced — and amid increased national interest after a U.S. senator, Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley, was turned away — federal authorities allowed a small group of reporters to tour the secretive shelter, the largest of its kind in the nation.

Inside, where there was once a McDonald’s, cafeteria workers served chicken, vegetables and plastic fruit cups. In the former loading docks, children watched the animated movie “Moana,” dubbed in Spanish. In what used to be a garage, six young people played basketball.

“They used to do oil changes in here,” said Martin Hinojosa, director of compliance for Southwest Key Programs, the nonprofit group that runs Casa Padre under a federal contract."...

 

For full story, see:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/inside-casa-padre-the-converted-walmart-where-the-us-is-holding-nearly-1500-immigrant-children/2018/06/14/0cd65ce4-6eba-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html 

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Red Flags Known and Overlooked With State Board Votes On San Jose Charter Schools

Red Flags Known and Overlooked With State Board Votes On San Jose Charter Schools | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

[Update 1/21/18]:


"The charter schools described below were approved by the California State Board of Education on January 19th, 2018 despite community opposition and district/county denials documenting serious red flags in their petitions.

 

Perseverance Prep was approved in full, and Promise Academy as a K-8. This is not the first time such flags have been overlooked with state level votes.  Analyses by In The Public Interest suggest a troubling track record of problematic approvals that have led (predictably) to closures.

 

For more on the financial roots of “Silicon Schools Fund” and “Innovate Schools,” both of which have heavily funded and promoted Perseverance, Promise, and other local charter chains, see this Walton keyword subset of posts from a larger collection documenting the harms of charter expansions. Consider also forwarding on to friends in San Francisco, where Innovate’s recruitment attempts have been ramping up recently and have been revealed here, here, here, and here. See additional links below."...

 

Full post at:

https://eduresearcher.com/2018/01/18/charter-red-flags/ 

 

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Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline, NAACP, CEC5 Call for Charter School Moratorium and Other Education Reforms // Ed Notes Online

Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline, NAACP, CEC5 Call for Charter School Moratorium and Other Education Reforms // Ed Notes Online | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

For main article, see 

https://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2018/05/harlem-renaisance-ed-pipeline-naacp.html 

 

For related story, see also: 

https://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2018/04/failure-of-mayoral-control-de-blasio.html 

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Educational Inequities in the New Orleans Charter School System // SCOPE Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education 

To download above summary, please click title above or here: 
https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/docsonly/scope-nola-infographic.pdf 

______________

For more on Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, please see link at bottom of post. [Selected quotes/links from research page are provided below]

 

"The New Orleans Experiment

New Orleans provides a model for examining the feasibility of a nearly 100% charter, market based system of schools. This is truly an education experiment on a grand scale, and because New Orleans’ system is unique, the nation is watching. How is it working?

A recent SCOPE study examines the New Orleans experiment in terms of the experiences of students and families managing their way through a portfolio of charter schools. Among many findings, the research shows that New Orleans reforms have created a set of schools that are highly stratified by race, class, and educational advantage, operating in a hierarchy that provides very different types of schools and to different types of children. While some have choice; others do not.

The report, “Whose Choice? Student Experiences and Outcomes in the New Orleans School Marketplace,” by Frank Adamson, Channa Cook-Harvey, and Linda Darling-Hammond, and a 12-page research brief are available for free download.

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When States Take Over School Districts, They Say It's About Academics. This Political Scientist Says It's About Race and Power // ChalkBeat

When States Take Over School Districts, They Say It's About Academics. This Political Scientist Says It's About Race and Power // ChalkBeat | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/us/2018/06/12/state-takeovers-book/ 

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“If you close all the public schools in your area, and you pop up two or three charter schools, what is the choice? You have no choice.” - Aliya Moore, Detroit parent and public school activist

https://twitter.com/vicenews/status/1005232319651831814 

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Nashville Charter School Under Investigation For Financial Irregularities and ADA Compliance // 

Nashville Charter School Under Investigation For Financial Irregularities and ADA Compliance //  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/05/22/nashville-new-vision-charter-school-under-investigation-financial-irregularities/615230002/ 

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"Separate and Unequal: The Problematic Segregation of Special Populations in Charter Schools Relative to Traditional Public Schools" // Stanford Law & Policy Review 

"Separate and Unequal: The Problematic Segregation of Special Populations in Charter Schools Relative to Traditional Public Schools" // Stanford Law & Policy Review  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"The extent to which special student populations (ELL, Special Education and Economically Disadvantaged) gain access to charter schools is understudied. The new study Separate and Unequal?: The Problematic Segregation of Special Populations in Charter Schools Relative to Traditional Public Schools utilizes state, district, and local level data to understand the enrollment of high-need special populations in charter schools compared with non-charter public schools.

Vasquez Heilig, J. Holme, J., LeClair, A. V., Redd, L., & Ward, D. (2016). Separate and Unequal?: The Problematic Segregation of Special Populations in Charter Schools Relative to Traditional Public Schools. Stanford Law & Policy Review27(2), 251-293.

In this article, we examine the extent to which charters in the state of Texas are serving high needs populations (English Language Learners, Special Education, and low-income students) at the same rates as traditional public schools. We first conduct statewide analyses to compare charter school and traditional public district demographics by locality. We also compare levels of segregation of those populations between traditional public schools by locality and charter status. We then conduct a local-level analyses to understand high-need students demographic patterns within the footprint of a large urban district to evaluate the extent to which students with greater than average instructional needs are served by charter schools in equal proportion to the neighboring public schools. We then conclude by descriptively examining the access and enrollment of high-need students in several popular “exemplar” charters.

Summary of Findings

We find that while Texas charters appear to be demographically similar to traditional public schools at the aggregate, the granularity provided by geospatial analyses demonstrate that charters under-enroll ELL students and special education students relative to nearby non-charter schools. State-level dissimilarity analyses show only modest disparities in segregation and access of high-need students within the Texas charter system compared to traditional public schools. However, local-level descriptive and geospatial analyses of charters in a large metropolitan area shows that there are large disparities in the enrollment of high-need students relative to traditional public schools nearby. (Please click on the article links above for more detailed findings)


Policy Implications

We conclude by discussing implications and recommendations for law and policy. The policy implications that logically emerge from the geographic granularity of these data could either be first-order incremental or second-order substantial. On the one hand, a set of first-order changes to educational policy related to charter schools would seek to take what is in place and make incremental adjustments to policy that aim to better regulate public charter schooling. On the other hand, a second-order change would be an approach that is a substantial departure that would purposefully curtail growth that charters have exhibited over the past two decades."...

 

For full post, see: http://nepc.colorado.edu/blog/are-charters-beacons 

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How Much Charter Schools Cost // In The Public Interest

How Much Charter Schools Cost // In The Public Interest | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"In a first-of-its-kind analysis, In the Public Interest has found that public school students in three California school districts are bearing the cost of the unchecked expansion of privately managed charter schools.

The report, Breaking Point: The Cost of Charter Schools for Public School Districts, calculates the fiscal impact of charter schools on Oakland Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, and San Jose’s East Side Union High School District.

  • Charter schools cost Oakland Unified $57.3 million per year. That’s $1,500 less in funding for each student that attends a neighborhood school.
  • The annual cost of charter schools to the San Diego Unified is $65.9 million.
  • In East Side Union, the net impact of charter schools amounts to a loss of $19.3 million per year.

The California Charter School Act doesn’t allow school boards to consider how a proposed charter school may impact a district’s educational programs or fiscal health when weighing new charter applications.

However, when a student leaves a neighborhood school for a charter school, all the funding for that student leaves with them, while all the costs do not. This leads to cuts in core services like counseling, libraries, and special education, and increased class sizes at neighborhood public schools.

In the Public Interest recommends that public officials at both the local and state levels should be empowered to take fiscal and educational impacts on neighborhood schools into account when deciding whether to authorize a new charter school.

Wondering what the cost is in your district?

In the Public Interest has designed a template to enable any California school district to calculate the net fiscal impact of charter schools in its community. Email info@inthepublicinterest.org to get a copy.

 http://howmuchcharterscost.org/ 

 

See also http://inthepublicinterest.org

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Stop Charter Schools From Illegally Excluding Students // Public Advocates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjbjOd9Zvj4 

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Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space: Where the Market Meets Grassroots Resistance // Kristen L. Buras [Review Published on Teachers College Record] 

Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space: Where the Market Meets Grassroots Resistance // Kristen L. Buras [Review Published on Teachers College Record]  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

Book Review by Ciro Viamontes & Miriam D. Ezzani August 14, 2017 [TCR]
"In Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space: Where the market meets grassroots resistance, Kristen Buras reveals details of the remarkable story of the privatization of public schools in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A New Orleans native, Buras brings to this study the influential context of the historical past of New Orleans public schools and educational policy. The text can be taken as an ethnography of the public policy conflicts between white and nonwhite communities in the context of extant hegemonic social structures that prohibit educational access. This historical setting takes on deeper significance when we are reminded that New Orleans was home to Homer Plessy, whose resistance to segregation there led to the infamous 1896 Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. Buras’ advocacy and activism experience with the Urban South Grassroots Research Collective for Public Education (USGRC) will no doubt be used to attack the validity of this work. Yet Buras clearly addresses her positionality and acknowledges that “The critique presented in this book of market-based school reform does not imply the preexisting system in New Orleans was ideal” (p. 3). The included appendix on methodology further addresses and clarifies Buras’ positionality.

 

Buras argues that “black education writ large cannot be understood adequately without examining the reconstruction of public education in the South” (p. 9). Moving towards that understanding, Buras expands her previously published research. Chapters Two and Six examine the actions of the white power elite, while Chapters Three and Four examine community efforts to secure equity in educational opportunities. Rather than examine this book in a linear chapter by chapter fashion, it may be helpful to think in conceptual terms. Using critical race theory, Buras proposes three conceptual facets to the political ecology of market-based privatization efforts: whiteness as property, accumulation by dispossession, and urban space economy. Arguing that New Orleans may be the American city that historically demonstrates the harshest forms of white supremacy, Buras leads us to understand how these factors intertwine to limit educational opportunities for communities of color.

 

Charter school-based educational reform in New Orleans is a collaboration which can appropriately be examined as an ecological system (p. 40). The Recovery School District (RSD) effectively represents the interests of the white political establishment and educational entrepreneurs/reformers. The RSD acted with astonishing speed in taking over the public-school system post Katrina. Tacit support of the takeover came from the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Governor Blanco, Senator Landrieu (Democrat) and the State Legislature, with the assistance of national groups such as the Heritage Foundation, Teach for America (TFA), and the Cowen Institute. These actions, seen as a response to the catastrophe, incited little if any resistance to the actions of the RSD. Meanwhile, accumulation by dispossession is evidenced by the RSD’s elimination of a school district by taking control of the buildings. This allowed the en masse firing of veteran teachers, predominantly people of color who had evacuated, as their jobs no longer existed. Citing a “teacher shortage” BESE then contracted with Teach for America (TFA) allowing the RSD to replace fired teachers with inexperienced, non-certified, non-union, predominantly white teachers. TFA recruitment efforts focused on teaching in communities of color as an entrepreneurial opportunity. This entrepreneurial spirit spearheaded by the RSD functions to recruit white people to come to New Orleans. Other examples of accumulation by dispossession through RSD actions can be viewed as malicious: a dramatic example is the diversion of funds from the state of Louisiana's resources for the displaced teachers’ salaries and benefits to the operating budgets of charter schools inheriting the former school district’s buildings.

 

Buras also shows how the historically racist political ecology served to shape the space economy of the city. The least desirable, lowest elevation, and thus most vulnerable areas became the predominately African-American areas (p. 12). It is for this reason that the African-American community suffered the brunt of the damage caused by Katrina. In these most vulnerable areas of New Orleans, grassroots groups have been struggling to mitigate the impacts of this historically inequitable political ecology. Delays in opening schools in African American communities, such as Bywater and the Ninth Ward continues to impact the space economy. After five years of RSD management, only three schools were reopened in the Bywater and lower Ninth Ward (p. 60). Even then, Frederick Douglass High School was reopened as a selective admittance charter school by the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). There are effectively no open enrollment high schools available to residents in the Bywater community, where Douglass served as a locus of community resistance to the white supremacist political ecology. Schools that were reopened relatively quickly were on the periphery of African-American areas near predominately white areas. The pattern of RSD re-establishment of educational facilities serves as a disincentive to African-Americans wishing to return to New Orleans, and also undermines grassroots movements.

 

The concluding chapter of this book is a refutation of the charter school incubator New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) Guide for Cities. The NSNO Guide offers a template of lessons learned to facilitate other cities enacting New Orleans style market-based school reforms. Crafted in part by the USGRC, this chapter refutes four main points of the Guide using, in part, testimonies of community based groups that resisted the market-based reforms. Taken from a critical race theory perspective, these counterstories are used with other evidence to present the experiential perspective of communities of color on the lessons learned from the implementation of this public educational policy. These counterstories thematically share the argument that allegedly innovative market-based reforms fail to serve the needs of the students and the communities they live in. These failures are comprised of the marginalization of experienced minority teachers in favor of predominantly inexperienced white teachers, the restructuring of public education as a primarily profit generating asset, reducing access to special education services through “cost containment” measures, and a non-democratic process of external actors imposing reforms without regard to community input or participation. The last lesson is dramatically illustrated in a graphic representation of the relationship between and among the NSNO leadership and other outside actors.

 

Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space represents a meticulously crafted work on the complexity of social justice issues in public education reform. Moving outside of the classroom and curriculum, this work details how historically inequitable political, economic, and social factors come together to create a “broken” educational system that limits the opportunities of communities of color. Rather than address the inequities of this artificially broken system Buras illustrates the reality of market-based reforms, which create a mechanism for educational “entrepreneurs” to profit from maintaining limited educational opportunities for communities of color. Further, Buras shows that the New Orleans experience is actively being presented as a template for public school privatization. This is an eye-opening book for anyone interested in the debate surrounding charter school based systems of reform."

 

Teachers College Record, Date Published: August 14, 2017
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22135, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017

 

Title: Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space Where the Market Meets Grassroots Resistance 
Author(s): Kristen L. Buras
Publisher: Routledge, New York
ISBN: 0415814626, Pages: 230, Year: 2014

For original review in Teacher's College Record, see:

http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=22135  

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The Continuum of Structural Violence: Sustaining Exclusion Through School Closures // Hernandez & Galletta (2015) - Community Psychology in Global Perspective

Abstract
"In this paper we demonstrate the utility of structural violence as an analytical device to make visible intergenerational patterns of exclusion obscured by institutional arrangements initially established to represent and defend community interests. We apply an interdisciplinary critical analysis of the history of economic and social marginalization of neighborhoods to the recent closure of seven neighborhood elementary schools in South Sacramento. By stressing the importance of distribution as an important social arrangement that can cause injury to individuals and populations, we demonstrate how disparate impact, briefly defined as the unequal distribution of resources that affect life chances, has current as well as future effects on households and neighborhoods. We argue that patterns of structural violence are not only contingent upon historical processes but are also embedded prospectively, or in other words, into the future of neighborhood stability. We find that the structural violence continuum is a phenomenon embedded in the past, present, and future in a manner that constrains the inclusion of certain neighborhoods in the social and economic life of urban settlements."

 

Keywords: school closure, economic divestment, desegregation, structural violence

 

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jesus_Hernandez4/publication/310465002_The_Continuum_of_Structural_Violence_Sustaining_Exclusion_Through_School_Closures/links/582ee1b708ae138f1c0315ec/The-Continuum-of-Structural-Violence-Sustaining-Exclusion-Through-School-Closures.pdf 

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Why Doesn't KIPP Sign Agreement To Abide By Conflict of Interest Law? (Government Code 1090) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90LAsBgh6Fg&feature=youtu.be 

 

"The above video includes excerpts from the Santa Clara County Board of Education meeting on November 1st, 2017 where KIPP refused to sign a Memorandum of Understanding indicating that it would abide by Government Code 1090 related to conflicts of interest. The final board vote was 5 to 2 to deny the petition at the County level. This decision was overturned by the State Board, which rubberstamped the charter on March 14th. 

Full video from the County Board meeting is accessible at: http://sccoe.swagit.com/play/11012017-1038/16/

 

Government Code 1090 is stated here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&sectionNum=1090

 

For more information, please see:

 

The Business of Charter Schooling: Understanding the Policies that Charter Operators Use For Financial Benefit // National Education Policy Center http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/charter-revenue

KIPP's Efforts to Keep the Public in the Dark While Seeking Millions in Taxpayer Subsidies // http://sco.lt/7pxYg5  via Center for Media and Democracy https://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/04/13096/exposed-cmd-kipps-efforts-keep-public-dark-while-seeking-millions-taxpayer 


Red Flags Known and Overlooked with State Board Votes on San Jose Charter Schools: https://eduresearcher.com/2018/01/18/charter-red-flags/ 


The Failure of Policy Planning in California’s Charter School Facility Funding https://www.inthepublicinterest.org/report-the-failure-of-policy-planning-in-californias-charter-school-facility-funding/ 

 

Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse: Federal Charter School Spending, Insufficient Authorizer Oversight, and Poor State & Local Oversight Leads to Growing Fraud Problems in Charter Schools // http://sco.lt/5Mkurh 

 

Letter from East Side Union High School District to State Board of Education Encouraging Denial of KIPP: http://sco.lt/7WhGQT 

 

“KIPP” Keyword Search Subset of posts from Charter Schools & Choice: A Closer Look collection: https://www.scoop.it/t/charter-choice-closer-look?q=KIPP 

 

Charter Schools & Choice: A Closer Look
http://bit.ly/chart_look 

 

Is Charter School Fraud The New Enron? 
https://eduresearcher.com/2017/03/16/charter-enron/ 

 

School Privatization Explained
https://eduresearcher.com/2017/04/24/privatization-explained/ 

 

NAACP Statement and Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on Charter School Expansion https://eduresearcher.com/2016/10/21/naacp/   

 

For update, see: 
https://eduresearcher.com/2018/03/13/denykipp/ 

 

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Rocketship Charter School in Nashville (Achievement School District) to Close Months After Opening // The Tennessean 

Rocketship Charter School in Nashville (Achievement School District) to Close Months After Opening // The Tennessean  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/education/2018/02/01/nashville-achievement-school-district-rocketship-nashville-partners-community-prep/1087161001/ 

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No Excuses: A Critique of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Within Charter Schools In The USA // Journal For Critical Education Policy Studies  

Abstract

"The purpose of this paper is to proffer a critical perspective about a specific brand of American schools within the larger charter school movement: the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP). KIPP is currently receiving wholesale acclaim as a radical alternative to public schooling ―that works.‖ While KIPP schools ostensibly claim that college acceptance for all students is their primary goal, the principles and practices that undergird their mission are founded upon capitalistic and militaristic ideals that run counter to the ideals of democratic education. I argue that KIPP schools merely preserve the status quo by asking students to overcome overwhelming disparities through ―hard work and ―motivation, instead of addressing the structural sources of poverty and poor academic achievement—i.e., the unequal distribution of resources in schools and society. By subscribing to a dictum of no excuses, KIPP essentially puts the onus on the victims of poverty and institutional racism. This clearly conveys the fallacy to urban students that failure in this society will solely be a reflection of not working long and hard enough, or simply not complying with rules set by those with authority."

 

To download full paper, click on title, arrow above, or here: 

https://www.scribd.com/document/24518615/No-Excuses-A-Critique-of-the-Knowledge-Is-Power-Program-KIPP-within-Charter-Schools-in-the-USA 

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#KIPP Refuses Agreement To Abide By Conflict of Interest Law; Gets Approved By State Board of Education // EduResearcher 

#KIPP Refuses Agreement To Abide By Conflict of Interest Law; Gets Approved By State Board of Education // EduResearcher  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

[Original Title]: Will KIPP Be Allowed To Bypass Conflict of Interest Law In Its Bid For State Funds?

[3/14/18] Update: The California State Board of Education has voted to approve two KIPP petitions to expand campuses into San Francisco and San Jose despite strong community resistance and knowledge of the charter chain's refusal to abide…

 

https://eduresearcher.com/2018/03/13/denykipp/ 

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Cash Incentives for Charter School Recruitment: Unethical Bribe or Shrewd Marketing Technique?

Cash Incentives for Charter School Recruitment: Unethical Bribe or Shrewd Marketing Technique? | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/18/charter-school-recruitment-financial-incentives/ 

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