Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look
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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 education. 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 critical perspectives on the next wave of privatization poised to take over public services, see the page on Social Impact Bonds and Pay For Success programs: http://bit.ly/sibgamble. 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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Charter Schools, Academy Schools, and Related-Party Transactions: Same Scams, Different Countries // Green & Connery (2019), Arkansas Law Review

Charter Schools, Academy Schools, and Related-Party Transactions: Same Scams, Different Countries // Green & Connery (2019), Arkansas Law Review | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Abstract

Using comparative legal research methodologies, this article attempts to explain why the monitoring systems of U.S. charter schools and England's academy schools (academies) are having such a difficult time regulating related-party transactions. Following an explanation of the methods, Section II investigates the prominent role EMOs and ATs play in the expansion of charter schools and academies. Subsequently, section III examines data on EMO and AT engagement in related-party transactions and presents examples of EMOs and ATs abusing the legality of these transactions. These two sections together demonstrate the need to consider how these organizations are monitored. In Section IV we then analyze the current systems in place to monitor related-party transactions in charter schools and academies and make suggestions for improvement."

 

Keywords: charter schools, academy schools, related-party transactions

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3311660 

 

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Letter from CA Department of Education to Rocketship on Noncompliance with Terms of Conditions of the Charter Petition // June 5th, 2018

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Letter from CA State Department of Education to Rocketship on Fiscal Concerns with Request for Fiscal Corrective Action Plan // October 4, 2017

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Settlement of Litigation (Alum Rock Union Elementary School District et al., v. SCCBOE et al., re Rocketship) 

To download, click title or arrow above. File may also be accessed via the following link.

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Documents related to lawsuits against Rocketship 

Post on withdrawal of 13 of the 20 charters in Santa Clara County:
Settlement document on withdrawal of charters:
 
Bymaster/SJUSD Lawsuit against Rocketship:
Text of initial ruling at Santa Clara County Superior Court
 
6th District Appelate Court Ruling
 
State supreme court denies appeal, and ruling becomes final:
 
 
 
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Families Stranded After Rocketship Charter School Fails to Open Ward 5 Location // Washington City Paper

Families Stranded After Rocketship Charter School Fails to Open Ward 5 Location // Washington City Paper | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Rachel M. Cohen

"Parents had until May 1 to enroll their children in schools matched through D.C.’s high-stakes school lottery. But families that selected a new Rocketship charter school in Ward 5 were in for a rude awakening: After the enrollment deadline had passed they learned the school they had chosen would not actually be opening. Rocketship, which operates two schools in Ward 7 and 8, had been set to launch its third campus this fall.

 

City Paper first learned about the situation on May 9 after speaking with a Ward 5 parent who was still struggling to find a new school for their child.

 

The parent, who requested anonymity, says the day after the enrollment deadline passed she received a voicemail from Rocketship telling her to call them as soon as possible. “I called as soon as I got off work and they said the Ward 5 school wouldn’t be opening, that something happened with the building so they can no longer move into the space they had planned,” she says. “They didn’t say why or what the reason was.”

 

Rocketship had been planning to temporarily lease space in the LAMB Public Charter School building on 18th and Perry streets in Northeast. Children would attend school there for one or two years before Rocketship relocated into a more permanent Ward 5 location.

 

On May 3, the day after learning her daughter’s school would not open, the parent reached out to MySchoolDC—the agency which handles school choice enrollment—for help finding an alternative. “There was just no level of sympathy for my situation. They didn’t sound overly familiar, there was no sense of urgency,” she says. When the parent pressed MySchoolDC for help, she says she was told that Rocketship was giving all families the chance to enroll in their Ward 7 and 8 campuses.

 

“But I picked Ward 5 based off proximity to my home, and those other schools were extremely inconvenient,” she says, adding that she also had safety concerns about those options.

After making clear she was not interested in sending her child to a campus far from her home, she says MySchoolDC told her she could always enroll her child in her in-bound traditional public school. But the parent wasn’t satisfied with that choice either. “If I had wanted that then I wouldn’t have gone through the MySchoolDC lottery in the first place,” she says.

 

The parent had her child on two other Ward 5 charter waiting lists—Yu Ying and Stokes—and asked if MySchoolDC could help her child get into those schools given the circumstances.

“I asked them if there was anything they could do to help students who were displaced and they told me that each school makes their own waitlist decisions and they can’t force any school to let children in,” she says. The parent then called the Public Charter School Board, where she says she was also told that the waitlist situation is out of their control.

 

More than ten days after getting the news that Rocketship’s Ward 5 campus would not open as expected, the parent was still waiting for waitlist updates and was actively considering private school options.

 

Joyanna Smith, the Ombudsman for Public Education with the DC State Board of Education, had also been planning to send her son to Rocketship’s Ward 5 campus. Smith tells City Paper that her family didn’t learn the school would not actually be opening until three days after the MySchoolDC enrollment deadline had passed.

“Someone called us to tell us Rocketship would not be opening because of a permitting issue but that we could probably get off the waitlist at Perry Street Prep,” she says. Perry Street Prep is housed in the same LAMB Public Charter School building that Rocketship was set to be in, and Smith will be able to enroll her child in the new school this week.

 

“I’m glad that we were able to settle things for my child, but in my role as SBOE ombudsman I feel there has been all this miscommunication,” she says. “If we had wanted we could have kept my son in private daycare, but for a lot of families they don’t have those same choices and that’s really frustrating.”

 

In an interview with City PaperJacque Patterson, the regional director for Rocketship DC, says 44 families had matched with Rocketship’s Ward 5 campus, and 22 families had enrolled. Their enrollment target had been 160 students (100 students in kindergarten through second grade, and 60 3 and 4-year-olds.)

But low enrollment numbers was not the reason why Rocketship decided to postpone opening its Ward 5 school, according to Patterson. He says that even if they had hit their enrollment goals, their temporary building location would have still required far more repairs than they had originally budgeted for.

 

Rocketship DC signed a letter of intent with Perry Street Prep in April to rent their third floor for the 2018-19 school year. Rocketship officials knew the third floor required a host of repairs, and toured the premises before they signed their letter of intent. Patterson tells City Paper that at the time, they concluded they could handle the scope of needed repairs. But, he says, “in the last two or three weeks” they brought in their own construction workers to assess the facility, and then determined the repairs would cost substantially more than what they had anticipated.

 

“The decision we made was that it’d be just impossible to open the school given the amount of construction and repairs that was needed for a one-year lease,” he says. “Even if we had enrolled all 160 children, it would not have been financially responsible and we wouldn’t have been able to provide all the programs and services we needed to.”

 

Patterson says the school will still be moving into a permanent Ward 5 building for the 2019-20 school year, though a precise location has not yet been finalized. He also says Rocketship worked with every family that had enrolled to help them find a new high-quality school. But the parent City Paper spoke with under the condition of anonymity says they still have yet to figure out what they’ll do next year.

 

City Paper asked the Public Charter School Board if Rocketship would face any consequence or penalty for its delayed opening. In 2014 the PCSB conditionally approved Rocketship to open eight schools throughout the city.

 

In a statement, Scott Pearson, executive director of the PCSB, says: “We’re very concerned any time a school fails to meet its charter commitment and that will be taken into consideration next time a school wishes to expand or open a new facility. We are particularly concerned about the students and their families which is why we required Rocketship PCS to work with MySchoolDC to help the affected families find alternate, quality education for this fall.”

 

Chloe Woodward-Magrane, a spokesperson for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education, tells City Paper that this is the second time that a campus has not opened or has delayed opening in the five years that MySchoolDC has been in existence. Catherine Peretti, the executive director of MySchoolDC, tells City Paper that she first learned of Rocketship’s decision to delay its Ward 5 opening on May 3.

 

City Paper asked Woodward-Magrane what kind of response they’ve received from families left to find new schools. In a statement, she says:

“OSSE and My School DC realize this is a challenging time for families matched with the Rocketship Public Charter School campus in Ward 5. My School DC is working with families enrolled at the Rocketship campus that will not open in order to restore the families to waiting lists of other schools they identified during the lottery process. Rocketship is also providing assistance to help them re-enroll in their current school placement or another Rocketship campus.”

 

Patterson will be leaving his role as Rocketship DC’s regional director on June 1 to start as KIPP DC’s Chief Community Engagement and Growth Officer. He tells City Paper he will also be joining Rocketship’s board of directors, and that a search to find his replacement is currently underway."

 

For original post, see: 

https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/city-desk/article/21005020/families-stranded-after-rocketship-charter-school-fails-to-open-ward-5-location 

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"No meetings to show at this time" Board Documents link from Rocketship Website // [Screenshot taken March 11th, 2019]

"No meetings to show at this time" Board Documents link from Rocketship Website // [Screenshot taken March 11th, 2019] | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

https://www.boarddocs.com/ca/rsed/Board.nsf/vpublic?open 

 

 

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California Attorney General Calls for More Charter School Transparency // KQED News

California Attorney General Calls for More Charter School Transparency // KQED News | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

  By Chloe Veltman

"A legal opinion from the office of the California Attorney General saying the state’s charter schools should be subject to the same transparency laws as regular public schools is getting a mixed response.

 

Attorney General Xavier Becerra's non-binding legal opinion finds that California charter schools should have open meetings and make their financials available to public scrutiny.

 

"It's likely to be persuasive to some of the legislators who will be considering potential legislation on issues of conflict of interest and transparency around charter school governance," said California School Boards Association spokesman Troy Flint. "A mantra of the charter school movement is that charter schools are public schools. And if that's the case, then they should be subject to the same laws."...

 

For full story, please visit:

https://www.kqed.org/news/11715137/california-attorney-general-calls-for-more-charter-school-transparency 

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More Than 100 Arizona Charter Schools Are In Danger of Closing // ABC.com 

More Than 100 Arizona Charter Schools Are In Danger of Closing // ABC.com  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

More than 100 charter schools in Arizona are in danger of closing, due to financial mismanagement, declining enrollment, and mounting debt...

 

For full story, visit:

https://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/report-more-than-100-arizona-charter-schools-are-in-danger-of-closing 

 

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Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike Exposes Long-Term Corrosive Effects of Charters // Nonprofit Quarterly

Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike Exposes Long-Term Corrosive Effects of Charters // Nonprofit Quarterly | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Erin Rubin TruthoutLos Angeles Times, and Washington Post

 

"For the first time in nearly 30 years, over 30,000 teachers, parents, administrators, and support staff from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation’s second-largest public school district, went on strike yesterday. The strike comes after months of negotiations failed to achieve an agreement between LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the teachers’ union. According to the UTLA site, their first proposal was offered in January 2017. Demands include:

  • A 6.5 percent salary increase, retroactive to last year

  • Increased funding for support staff such as librarians, counselors, and school nurses

  • Smaller class sizes

  • A moratorium on new charter schools

School superintendent Austin Beutner, a former investment banker, has taken a combative approach as he attempts to control the narrative over the strike.

“Show me the money, because we’re spending all we’ve got,” Beutner said. “If they want a strike, they’ll have a strike.” A statement from the District read, “A strike would harm the students and families we serve and will not help resolve the issues our District faces.” Beutner called the demands that UTLA rescinded “outside the scope of bargaining.” (We are then forced to ask, who defines the scope? Especially since involving teachers in decisions about testing isn’t likely to strain school budgets.). The union, for its part, says there is a budget surplus of over $1.8 billion held in reserves that could fund its demands.

But money isn’t the main matter in dispute, at least not directly. Rather, what led to the strike is the astonishing growth of charter schools. Charter schools, by reducing LAUSD enrollment, reduce taxpayer per-student payments to the district, thereby affecting finances. In the past decade, charters within the boundaries of LAUSD have grown by 287 percent. All told, about 100,000 students have migrated away from public schools in the past 10 years. The loss of enrollment, notes LAUSD high school journalism teacher Adriana Chavira, costs the district $600 million a year.

 

 

For full post, visit here:

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2019/01/15/los-angeles-teachers-strike-exposes-long-term-corrosive-effects-of-charters/ 

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Closing Schools: Privatization Disguised as 'Accountability'

Closing Schools: Privatization Disguised as 'Accountability' | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Closing schools not only has a negative impact on student performance but also creates hardship for communities already struggling with disinvestment."...

 

https://neatoday.org/2015/12/15/closing-schools-privatization/ 

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Sackler Applies OxyContin Marketing Lessons to Charter School Movement // Non-Profit Quarterly

Sackler Applies OxyContin Marketing Lessons to Charter School Movement // Non-Profit Quarterly | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Steve Dubb

"Last month, we covered a New Yorker story about the Sackler family, the nation’s 19th wealthiest family, with assets of $13 billion. The Sacklers have made much of their fortune through ownership of Purdue Pharma, a business that produced, sold, and popularized OxyContin, a drug that has led to over 200,000 deaths and counting. The Sacklers are getting more attention for their ownership of the Purdue Pharma company now, but they have long been known for philanthropy that has supported many museums and universities.

 

But as Sarah Darer Littman writes in AlterNet, the Sacklers’ philanthropic influence can also be found in charter schools. Jonthan Sackler, nephew of Purdue Pharma founder Arthur Sackler, is “a major funder of charters and an extensive network of pro-charter advocacy groups.”

 

Sackler, Littman adds, is “a well-known name in the education reform movement.” In 2005, Sackler founded the charter school advocacy group ConnCan (the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now). In 2011, Sackler helped found a nationwide group, 50CAN, which seeks to bring the Connecticut model to all 50 states; Sackler is a member of their board. Littman adds that Sackler is broadly invested in the charter school movement, noting,

 

"He is on the Board of Directors of the Achievement First charter school network. Until recently, Sackler served on the board of the New Schools Venture Fund, which invests in charter schools and advocates for their expansion. He was also on the board of the pro-charter advocacy group Students for Education Reform.

 

Through his personal charity, the Bouncer Foundation, Sackler donates to the above mentioned organizations, and an ecosystem of other charter school promoting entities, such as Families for Excellent Schools ($1,083,333 in 2014$300,000 in 2015 according to the Foundation’s Form 990s) Northeast Charter School Network ($150,000 per year in 2013, 2014 and 2015) and $275,000 to Education Reform Now (2015) and $200,000 (2015) to the Partnership for Educational Justice, the group founded by Campbell Brown which uses “impact litigation” to go after teacher tenure laws. Earlier this year, the Partnership for Educational Justice joined 50CAN, which Sackler also funds ($300,000 in 2014 and 2015), giving him a leadership role in the controversial—and so far failing cause—of weakening worker protections for teachers via the courts."

 

But it’s not just money that Sackler contributes. Littman writes that Sackler brings the “same influence techniques Purdue used to promote painkillers … to expand charter schools.”

 

Littman observes, “Just as Arthur Sackler founded the weekly Medical Tribune, to promote Purdue products to the medical professional who would prescribe them, Jon Sackler helps to fund the74million.org, the ‘nonpartisan’ education news website founded by Campbell Brown. The site, which received startup funding from Betsy DeVos, decries the fact that ‘the education debate is dominated by misinformation and political spin,’ yet is uniformly upbeat about charter schools while remarkably devoid of anything positive to say about district schools or teachers’ unions.”

 

A key Sackler strategy for promoting drugs, Littman observes, was vertical integration. Littman cites a memo that staffers for Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver wrote in the 1960s:

 

“The Sackler empire is a completely integrated operation in that it can devise a new drug in its drug development enterprise, have the drug clinically tested and secure favorable reports on the drug from various hospitals with which they have connections, conceive the advertising approach and prepare the actual advertising copy with which to promote the drug, have the clinical articles as well as advertising copy published in their own medical journals, [and] prepare and plant articles in newspapers and magazines."

These promotional efforts worked. Art Van Zee, a doctor at Stone Mountain Health Services in Virginia, wrote an article in 2009 for the American Journal of Public Health. The title: “The Promotion and Marketing of OxyContin: Commercial Triumph, Public Health Tragedy.”

 

Among the tactics that led to commercial success, writes Van Zee, was that,

 

"From 1996 to 2001, Purdue conducted more than 40 national pain-management and speaker-training conferences at resorts in Florida, Arizona, and California. More than 5000 physicians, pharmacists, and nurses attended these all-expenses-paid symposia, where they were recruited and trained for Purdue’s national speaker bureau.” In 2001 alone, Van Zee adds, the company spent more than $200 million on marketing, including lavish “branded swag for health care practitioners."

 

Littman points out that “lavish swag” is a mainstay of “the no-expenses-spared charter school rallies. She calls some pro-charter organizations “AstroTurf” groups, because these groups have received millions in support from hedge fund managers.

 

Patrick Riccards, a former CEO of ConnCan, the pro-charter group that Sackler founded in 2005, emphasized the importance of marketing. Riccards told Littman that “ConnCan’s focus was: how does the charter industry continue to grow? Every year, ConnCan’s fight was how do we increase the number of seats, and how do we increase the per pupil expenditure?”

Then there is the case Families for Excellent Schools-Advocacy (FESA) in Massachusetts, which this past September was ordered to pay $425,000—the largest civil forfeiture fine in the 44-year history of the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance—for raising campaign funds in a way that disguised donor identity. As part of the settlement, “the group was ordered to reveal the names of its secret donors. Jonathan Sackler,” Littman points out, “was one of them.”     -Steve Dubb

 

For full post, see:

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/11/14/sackler-applies-oxycontin-marketing-lessons-charter-school-movement/ 

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Parents And Teachers Fleeing Chicago Virtual Charter School Over Questionable Spending, Missing Curriculum // CBS Chicago

Parents And Teachers Fleeing Chicago Virtual Charter School Over Questionable Spending, Missing Curriculum // CBS Chicago | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"CHICAGO (CBS) — Missing curriculum and missing textbooks are just some of the problems uncovered at Chicago Virtual Charter School. CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory dug deep into the taxpayer-funded school’s finances, to look into allegations of mismanagement and wasteful spending.

 

CFCS is the first public school of its kind in Chicago; a charter school offering a free and futuristic hybrid of learning: at home four days a week and in a classroom the fifth. It’s a good alternative for athletes and actors to practice and learn, and a different option for kids who have struggled with bullying or social issues at other schools.

 

But CVCS also is on the Chicago Public Schools’ watchlist. CPS promised to investigate after CBS 2 dug through the taxpayer-funded school’s expense reports and found questionable spending."...

 

For full story and video, visit:

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/14/virtual-charter-school-spending-academic-probation-curriculum-delays/ 

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Privatization of Public K-12 Education: Racial Disparities in Politics, Power, Policy, and Practice // Prepared for Race Equity through Prevention Workgroup, Santa Clara County Juvenile Justice Sys...

To download, click on title or arrow above. File is a pdf with live links to cited documents. Selected/related links are below:

 

Privatizing Schooling and Policy Making: The American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] and New Political and Discursive Strategies of Education Governance // Educational Policy http://epx.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/04/28/0895904814528794.abstract 

 
Cashing In On Kids: 172 ALEC Education Bills Push Privatization in 2015

https://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/03/13054/cashing-kids-172-alec-education-bills-2015

 

How Online Companies Bought America’s Schools
https://www.thenation.com/article/how-online-learning-companies-bought-americas-schools/

 

The Profit Motive Behind Virtual Schools in Maine

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

 

K12Inc: California Virtual Academies’ Operator Exploits Charter, Charity Laws For Money, Records Show

https://www.mercurynews.com/2016/04/17/k12-inc-california-virtual-academies-operator-exploits-charter-charity-laws-for-money-records-show/

 

Enrollment in California Public Versus Charter Schools https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sd/cb/ceffingertipfacts.asp

 

Santa Clara County Office of Education Annual Charter School Databook

https://www.sccoe.org/supoffice/charter-schools-office/Documents/2016-17%20Charter%20School%20Report%20Final.pdf

 

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Racism, School Closures, and Public School Sabotage // https://www.j4jalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/J4JReport-final_05_12_14.pdf

 

IES National Center for Education Statistics: Percentage of Public School Students Enrolled in Charter Schools, By State (2014)

https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=30

 

Center for Media and Democracy Publishes List of [2,200]+ Closed Charter Schools (with Interactive Map) http://sco.lt/6KOm6z

 

The Perfect Storm: Disenfranchised Communities [Video] https://vimeo.com/161523742

 

“School Closure Playbook” – [Video]

https://vimeo.com/120338240

 

Charter School Closure Leaves Parents Scrambling For Alternatives

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article199107149.html

 

The Continuum of Structural Violence: Sustaining Exclusion Through School Closures http://sco.lt/9IcTKb

 

KIPP Refuses Agreement To Abide By Conflict of Interest Law: Gets Approved By State Board of Education

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

 

How Did The State Board of Education Vote on Controversial Charter School Petitions? https://eduresearcher.com/2018/09/07/how-will-state-board-of-education-vote-on-controversial-charter-school-petitions/

 

Separate and Unequal: The Problematic Segregation of Special Populations In Charter Schools Relative to Traditional Public Schools // Stanford Law and Policy Review http://nepc.colorado.edu/blog/are-charters-beacons 

 

Charter Schools, Civil Rights, and School Discipline: A Comprehensive Review: The Center for Civil Rights Remedies (UCLA)

https://www.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/losen-et-al-charter-school-discipline-review-2016.pdf       

 

Are California’s Charter Schools The New Separate But Equal “Schools of Excellence”, or Are They Worse Than Plessy?

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3128802

 

How Privatization Increases Inequality: Section 5: Privatization Perpetuates Socioeconomic and Racial Segregation // In The Public Interest

https://public.tableau.com/profile/civil.rights.project.at.ucla#!/vizhome/CostofCASuspensions/DistrictDash

 

NAACP Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on the Expansion of Charter Schools [Original] https://eduresearcher.com/2016/10/21/naacp/

 

KIPP Refuses To Abide By Conflict of Interest Code; Gets Approved By State Board of Education: https://eduresearcher.com/2018/03/13/denykipp/

 

[Link no longer active – this was original document for State Legal Counsel’s opinion that a “charter school is subject to” government code 1090]

https://cde.app.box.com/v/SBE2018MARCH/file/282675343163

 

Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
http://populardemocracy.org/sites/default/files/Charter-School-Fraud_Report_2017 

 

Rocketship Pushes Expansion Despite State Denials and Strong Community Opposition // https://eduresearcher.com/2016/03/09/rocketship-pushes/

 

John Danner (Co-Founder of Rocketship) Why Blended Schools Are “Whales” In The Ed Institutional Context Quote: “Schools like Rocketship will be a great way to test and validate products and we are happy to do it…” https://beyondschools2.blogspot.com/2012/

 

New Orleans Charter School Problems Exposed at NAACP Hearing

https://eduresearcher.com/2017/04/29/nola-charter/

 

“Blended Learning: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Tech-Assisted Teaching” // Philanthropy Roundtable (formerly chaired by B. Devos) // http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/file_uploads/Blended_Learning_Guidebook.pdf

 

Breaking Point: The Cost of Charter Schools For Public School Districts

https://www.inthepublicinterest.org/report-the-cost-of-charter-schools-for-public-school-districts/

 

Education School Dean: Urban School Reform Is Really About Land Development (Not Kids) // https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/28/ed-school-dean-urban-school-reform-is-really-about-land-development-not-kids/?utm_term=.ef77a9f69fd5

 

Charter Schools, Race, and Urban Space: Where The Market Meets Grassroots Resistance // http://sco.lt/6vGDMf

 

Spending Blind: The Failure of Policy Planning In California’s Charter School Funding  // https://www.inthepublicinterest.org/wp-content/uploads/FINAL_ITPI_SpendingBlind_April2017.pdf

 

A Comprehensive Guide To Charter School Closure

http://sco.lt/80B85Z

  

San Pablo Rocketship Appeal to State Board in Sacramento (Video with evidence of expanding gaps) https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLgIRGe0-q7Safim1TwdTNlcV7auIbigPr&v=uHpH63PsXKs

 

Cybercharters Have An Overwhelmingly Negative Impact

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2015/10/CREDO_online_charters_study.html 

 

Virtual and Blended Learning Schools Continue to Struggle and Grow

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

 

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

 

How Will State Board of Education Vote on Controversial Charter School Petitions? // https://eduresearcher.com/2018/09/07/how-will-state-board-of-education-vote-on-controversial-charter-school-petitions/

 

Understanding Policies that Charter Operators Use for Financial Benefit

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

 

New Report Uncovers Systematic Failure by California Charter Schools to Meet Local Control Obligations https://www.publicadvocates.org/uncategorized/22875/

 

KIPP subset of posts on Charter Schools & “Choice”: A Closer Look page:

https://www.scoop.it/t/charter-choice-closer-look?q=kipp 

 

Rocketship subset of posts on Charter Schools & “Choice”: A Closer Look page // https://www.scoop.it/t/charter-choice-closer-look?q=rocketship

 

For more with current updates, please see:

http://bit.ly/chart_look 

http://bit.ly/privatization_explained

http://bit.ly/naacp_resolution

 

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Letter from CA Department of Education to Rocketship on Fiscal Concerns // June 13th, 2018

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Letter from CA State Department of Education to Rocketship with Request to Address Non-Compliance with Teacher Credentialing and Plan for English Learners // November 1, 2017

To download, please click on title or arrow above. 

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SJUSD et al., v. SCCOE and Rocketship 

To download, click on title or arrow above.  Also available online here

 

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Rocketship Delta Prep given notice for violating charter, has 30 days to respond // East Bay Times

Rocketship Delta Prep given notice for violating charter, has 30 days to respond // East Bay Times | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"ANTIOCH — Rocketship Delta Prep has been put on notice for violating its charter by not submitting a financial audit and other documents in a timely manner to the Antioch Unified School District, as required.

 

The Antioch school board voted 4-1 last week, with Crystal Sawyer-White dissenting, to warn Rocketship, which opened in August, that it failed to provide certain reports required by law. The school, which has since submitted some of those documents, now has until March 28 to respond and outline how it’ll remedy the violations.

 

At a recent school board meeting, Rocketship officials blamed the missteps partly on miscommunication and a heavy workload, as well as obstacles in getting a new school up and running by its August 2018 deadline.

 

“We learned a lot about how to best serve our community now and are fully compliant with our MOU (memorandum of understanding),” said Marie Issa Gil, Bay Area Rocketship’s regional director.

 

But school board lawyer Scott Holbrook told trustees they have a responsibility as Rocketship’s overseer to make sure the charter school spends public funds appropriately.

 

“The school has a budget of over $5 million of public monies,” Holbrook said. “You, as elected officials, you are stewards of those monies. You have an obligation to ensure and to monitor the fiscal oversight of this charter school… but the administration cannot do that if they do not get the information from the charter school.”

Holbrook said the charter, which was issued in 2016, included an agreement that it would provide the school district with all necessary documents. A 169-page district staff report indicates some of the missing documents include an end-of-year financial audit, which was due last Dec. 15, proof that its teachers are credentialed, a timely notice of disenrolled students and required reports on special needs students.

 

“We’ve listed a dozen examples that are expected to be complied with — half a dozen they did — but there are still a number in which the charter was not complying with,” Holbrook said. “There is absolutely no excuse for that charter school to present that audit report almost two months late.”

 

What Rocketship Delta Prep did submit was a consolidated audit report of all its 20 schools rather than an individual report, Holbrook said.

 

“We are hopeful that we will not have to do this again,” he said. “If they fail to do that (respond to the notice), in my opinion, they are undeserving of a charter authorized by this district and to carry your brand of the Antioch School District.”...

 

For full post, see: 

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/03/08/rocketship-given-notice-for-violating-charter-has-30-days-to-respond/ 

 

 

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Letter of Concern from Santa Clara County Office of Education to Fred Ferrer, Board President of Rocketship // January 31st, 2019   

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"High Test Scores" At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost? // Anya Kamenetz, NPR

"High Test Scores" At A Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But At What Cost? // Anya Kamenetz, NPR | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

[Selected quote] ..."as Rocketship has pushed to expand, some parents, teachers and community members have objected in public meetings, raising concerns about the school's tech-heavy instruction model, student-teacher ratio, and student health and safety.

 

In interviews over the past two months, current and former employees at Rocketship Schools emphasized the pressures on employees and students. They recounted instances of inadequate supervision, bathroom accidents and even infections due to denial of restroom visits.

 

And they voiced concerns about a disciplinary measure the company calls Zone Zero. Several current and former staffers said this practice, in effect, amounted to hours of enforced silence."...

 

For full post, click on title above or here:

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/06/24/477345746/high-test-scores-at-a-nationally-lauded-charter-network-but-at-what-cost 

 

For subset of articles related to Rocketship on Charters and Choice: A Closer Look collection here: 

http://www.scoop.it/t/charter-choice-closer-look?q=rocketship 

 

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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 rubber-stamped the charter on March 14th. 

 

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

 

For more information, 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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Investigation of Clayton Valley Charter High School Extended, Referred to District Attorney // East Bay Times

Investigation of Clayton Valley Charter High School Extended, Referred to District Attorney // East Bay Times | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it
"After a contentious discussion that lasted roughly two hours, the Contra Costa County Board of Education decided Wednesday night to continue investigating the possible misuse of funds at and alleged mismanagement of Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord.
 

A recent audit by the county found that the married former top leaders of the school made almost $850,000 in less than two years before leaving in the spring, secretly hired people and created positions without the school board’s approval.

 

Among the staff recommendations at the county office of education was to refer some issues — including the salaries of former executive director David Linzey and his wife, Eileen Linzey, the former chief program officer — to the district attorney’s office to potentially evaluate whether any use of funds violated the law.

 

“The individual and combined salary of the (executive director) and his wife appear to represent the potential for the substantially improper use of charter school funds for the personal benefit of any officer,” a staff memo to the board said.

 

David Linzey’s salary totaled $312,212 annually for managing the school — a salary that county education staff said exceeded the pay of most superintendents in Contra Costa County who oversee more students, schools and staff than Clayton Valley. Eileen Linzey, who was hired to fill the other top job at the school in early 2017, was paid a yearly salary of $223,392 — also more than what most of the county’s superintendents make.

 

The audit also found that Eileen Linzey was hired without the school posting the job internally and externally and noted that she reported to the executive director, her husband. However, Clayton Valley’s board members have disputed that, saying she reported directly to them.

 

An amendment to David Linzey’s contract added health benefit payments and a car allowance to his base salary, prompting county staff to recommend submitting a compensation summary to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System to determine if benefit “spiking” — using benefit payments to boost the overall salary base in an effort to raise the retirement payout — had occurred.

 

In an email, David Linzey issued a statement saying, “CVCHS fully complied with all laws regarding the contracting of its administrators. CVCHS complied with the Brown Act as well as The Political Reform Act, which charter schools are required to follow. CVCHS followed all conflict of interest policies. The staff and administration of CVCHS worked very hard to produce the outstanding results CVCHS posted throughout the years and the Board rewards hard work with good compensation.”

 

Also to be referred to the district attorney’s office was the hiring of Concord City Councilman Ron Leone for an “assistant superintendent” position at the school.The position was created and filled without board approval or job posting, the audit found. Leone took the job in December 2017 through the first half of 2018 for $681 a day while running for county superintendent of schools. After failing to win the seat in the June primary, Leone resigned from the position."..

 

For full post, see:

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/10/18/county-asks-for-further-investigation-of-clayton-valley-charter-including-possible-review-by-the-district-attorney-2/ 

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SJUSD vs. Santa Clara County Board of Education and Rocketship 

http://www.stoprocketship.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/BYMASTER_VS_SCCOE_FINAL_RULING.pdf 

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Second Letter of Concern from CA Department of Education to Rocketship Futuro Following English Learner Focused Site Visit, Requests for Plans to Address Non-Compliance Concerns // May 21, 2018

This charter school was approved by the California State Board of Education in March 2016 after having been unanimously denied by district and county level school boards. For more on this chain, see: 

https://www.scoop.it/t/charter-choice-closer-look?q=Rocketship 

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Letter of Concern from CA Department of Education to Rocketship Futuro Academy: Request for Corrective Action and Additional Documentation // February 13, 2018

To download, click on title or arrow above. This charter school was approved by the California State Board of Education in March 2016 after having been unanimously denied by district and county level school boards. For more on this chain, see: http://bit.ly/Rocketship_Files 

 

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