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).  For posts related to TFA, see http://bit.ly/TFA_Files. For posts related to Rocketship, see http://bit.ly/Rocketship_Files. For posts related to KIPP, see http://bit.ly/KIPP_Files, and for posts related to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), see http://bit.ly/ALEC_Files.  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 may 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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Business Terms Used to Privatize Public Schools

Business Terms Used to Privatize Public Schools | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Nancy Bailey
"Privatizing public schools involves changing school words to reflect a business-like environment. There’s nothing wrong with these words in general, but when applied to schools, they change the nature of schooling and the way we look at teachers and students.

Business-like terms used with schools increased during the 1980s and 1990s. They are so frequent now they’re taken for granted.

Phi Delta Kappan’s October issue is called School for Sale. They discuss the role of business in schools. Did you put the For Sale sign in the front yard of your democratic public school? Probably not, and neither did I.

Privatizing public schools has not worked well, but business words and their meanings have reshaped how we look at public education."...

 

For full post, please visit:

https://nancyebailey.com/2020/11/15/business-terms-used-to-privatize-public-schools/ 

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Signing Their Rights Away // Interview with Dr. Preston Green 

Signing Their Rights Away // Interview with Dr. Preston Green  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Quick reader: If you dramatically scale up schools in which students have fewer rights than students who attend traditional public schools, with what do you end up? If you answered *more students with fewer rights,* congratulations! You have won the opportunity to learn more on this important, yet little discussed topic. Our expert witness today: one Dr. Preston Green, a professor of law and educational leadership, who has been monitoring a series of court rulings regarding the rights of students in charter schools. Or make that the lack of rights. Dr. Green warns that both state and federal courts have issued rulings stating that students in charters do not have the same due process rights as public-school students. So what does this mean for cities like Los Angeles where a dramatic expansion of charter schools is on the table?  *Half of the publicly-funded schools in Los Angeles might be legally permitted to ‘dismiss’ students without due process.* says Dr. Green.  *We have to ask ourselves if such a scenario is acceptable.*"...

 

For full post, click on title above or here: 
http://edushyster.com/signing-their-rights-away/ 

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Cashing in on Kids: 172 ALEC Education Bills Push Privatization in 2015

Cashing in on Kids: 172 ALEC Education Bills Push Privatization in 2015 | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

For full post, click on title above or here: 

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35144-cashing-in-on-kids-172-alec-education-bills-push-privatization-in-2015 

 

By Brendan Fischer and Zachary Peters, PR Watch

 

"ALEC's agenda would transform public education from an accountable institution that serves the public into one that serves private, for-profit interests. (Photo: School Money via Shutterstock; Edited: LW / TO)

Despite widespread public opposition to the corporate-driven education privatization agenda, at least 172 measures reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model bills were introduced in 42 states in 2015, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org and PRWatch.org. (A PDF version of this report may be downloaded here.)

 

One of ALEC's biggest funders is Koch Industries and the Koch brothers' fortune. The Kochs have had a seat at the table - where the private sector votes as equals with legislators - on ALEC's education task force via their "grassroots" group Americans for Prosperity and their Freedom Partners group, which was described as the Kochs' "secret bank."

 

The Kochs also have a voice on ALEC's Education Task Force through multiple state-based think tanks of the State Policy Network, ALEC's sister organization, which is funded by many of the same corporations and foundations and donor entities.

 

ALEC's Education Task Force is also funded by the billionaire DeVos family, which bankrolls a privatization operation called "American Federation of Children," and by for-profit corporations like K12 Inc., which was founded by junk-bond king Michael Milliken.

 

ALEC's education task force has pushed legislation for decades to privatize public schools, weaken teacher's unions, and lower teaching standards.

 

ALEC's agenda would transform public education from a public and accountable institution that serves the public into one that serves private, for-profit interests. ALEC model bills divert taxpayer money from public to private schools through a variety of "voucher" and "tuition tax credit" programs. They promote unaccountable charter schools and shift power away from democratically elected local school boards."...

  

****

 

..."Other Koch-ALEC Educational Priorities in 2015

Other ALEC-influenced bills introduced in 2015 include legislation to:

  • Promote the creation of taxpayer-subsidized charter schools through the Next Generation Charter Schools Act, introduced in three states - Maryland, Utah, and West Virginia - which exempts charter schools from complying with the legal requirements that govern traditional public schools, such as teacher qualification standards. This legislation also creates an appointed, state-level charter school authorizing board, safeguarding charter schools from local accountability.
  • Shield charter schools from democratic accountability through bills such as The Innovation Schools and School District Act, introduced in three states - Connecticut, Mississippi, and Texas. This legislation removes local accountability by giving state-level officials - rather than elected local school boards - chartering authority for schools that do not follow the legal obligations of public schools, including possibly waiving provisions of teacher collective bargaining agreements.
  • Send taxpayer dollars to unaccountable, for-profit online school providers through the Virtual Schools Act, introduced in five states (Alabama, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Virginia), the Statewide Online Education Act, introduced in three states (Mississippi, South Carolina, and Virginia), and the Course Choice Program Act, introduced in five states (Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin). These bills promote an education model where a single teacher remotely teaches a "class" of hundreds of isolated students working from home. The low overhead for virtual schools certainly raises company profits, but it is a model few educators think is appropriate for young children. Even the Walton Family Foundation, no friend to public schools, has documented the failure of online schools in 2015.
  • Allow schools to revoke tenure for teachers through the Great Teachers and Leaders Act, introduced in three states - New Mexico, New York, and Oklahoma. This bill allows these schools to let go of teachers, despite seniority or contracted tenure, and purports to base these decisions on "performance," mostly measured through "student growth."
  • Limit teacher tenure through the Career Ladder Opportunities Act, a version of which was enacted in Idaho, which modifies teaching contracts and pay scales to base them upon teaching "performance," potentially demonstrated in part by student test scores.
  • Create mandated curriculum supporting ALEC's rhetoric about "federalism" in the Founding Principles Act, introduced or expanded in six states - Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, New York, South Carolina, and Texas. This bill requires the teaching of a semester-long course on the "philosophical understandings" of America's founders that appears geared toward indoctrinating children with conservative views.
  • Require the government to facilitate and fund sending students to any school in the state through The Open Enrollment Act, introduced or expanded in three states - Arkansas, Florida, and Rhode Island. These "open enrollment" programs are an alternative to voucher programs and have a similar fiscal impact on state education budgets.

 

Drivers of the School Privatization Agenda in ALEC

Some of the interests funding ALEC and driving the effort to undermine universal public education include:


The Kochs' Americans for Prosperity (AFP) group. AFP has long been a member and funder of ALEC's education committee and has been active in promoting ALEC policies in the states, lobbying in favor of measures like vouchers in Wisconsin and holding rallies in Oklahoma to support the Special Needs Scholarship Act. AFP has also launched "issue ads" to support ALEC modeled school reforms.


Members of the State Policy Network (SPN) are also key drivers of the ALEC agenda in the states. SPN is a network of state-based "mini-Heritage Foundations" that provide academic cover and the appearance of local grassroots support for ALEC policies - even though the groups are working in a coordinated fashion. For example, SPN affiliates like Colorado's Independence Institute, Arizona's Goldwater Institute, Florida's James Madison Institute, and others are part of the ALEC Education Task Force. SPN was created to help ALEC's national agenda look local, as CMD has documented.

K12 Inc., the nation's largest provider of online charter schools, in which low-paid teachers manage as many as 250 students at a time and communicate with their pupils electronically. The corporation, co-founded by famed Wall Street junk bond king Michael Milliken, is on the ALEC Education Task Force and its lobbyist Lisa Gillis has Chaired ALEC's Special Needs Subcommittee. On top of other studies showing that full-time virtual schools are not appropriate for most children, the conservative Walton Family Foundation commissioned a study from Stanford University in 2015 which found that, over the course of a school year, students in virtual charters learned the equivalent of 180 fewer days in math and 72 fewer days in reading than their peers in traditional charter schools, on average.

The 501(c)(4) American Federation for Children and its 501(c)(3) wing the Alliance for School Choice are key drivers of the school privatization agenda in ALEC. The groups were organized and are funded by the billionaire DeVos family (heirs to the Amway fortune); Richard DeVos has received the ALEC "Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award" and Betsy DeVos chairs AFC. AFC's top lobbyist at ALEC is disgraced former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who was convicted of three felonies for misuse of his office for political purposes and banned from the state Capitol for five years (though the charges were later reversed and dropped as part of a plea deal).

The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, one of the top school privatization funders in the country, has spent more than $31 million promoting "school choice" nationwide between 2001 and 2012. For decades, Bradley has also been a major ALEC funder bankrolling ALEC operations and key reports. The foundation has over $800 million in assets and has been headed for many years by Michael Grebe, Governor Scott Walker's longtime campaign co-chair (he is retiring in mid-2016)."...

  

For full post, click on title above or here: 

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35144-cashing-in-on-kids-172-alec-education-bills-push-privatization-in-2015 

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Forced Parent Work Policies // Public Advocates Inc.

Forced Parent Work Policies // Public Advocates Inc. | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Public Advocates researched 555 charter schools in California and found that almost one-third of them (30%) require parents to do work at the school for a set quota of hours. This practice is illegal under the California constitution and the Education Code. In our report, we expose the extent of the practice and explain why it is illegal. We have sent a demand letter to the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education urging them to take immediate steps to abolish the practice. At our online appendix, we provide a list of all the charter schools we found that have such a practice, with a link to their policy documents." [Emphasis added]

Read the report Charging for Access: How California Charter Schools Exclude Vulnerable Students by Imposing Illegal Family Work Quotas


Let us know
 if you have experienced charter schools' forced parent work policies"

  • ACE Alum Rock MS
  • ACE Charter Academy MS
  • ACE Charter High
  • ACE Franklin McKinley
  • Discovery Charter School I
  • Discovery Charter School II
  • Rocketship Academy
    Brilliant Minds
  • Rocketship Alma Academy
  • Rocketship Discovery Prep
  • Rocketship Los
    Suenos Academy
  • Rocketship Mateo
    Sheedy Academy
  • Rocketship Mosaic Academy
  • Rocketship Si Se
    Puede Academy
  • Rocketship Spark Academy
  • University Preparatory
    Academy Charter
  • Village School


For full post, click on title above or here: http://www.publicadvocates.org/forced-parent-work-policies 
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Mapping the Terrain: Teach For America, Charter School Reform, and Corporate Sponsorship // Kretchmar, Sondel, & Ferrare, 2014, Journal of Education Policy

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

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

  

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

 

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

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Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Recklessly Takes Taxpayers and Students for a Ride // Network for Public Education 

Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Recklessly Takes Taxpayers and Students for a Ride // Network for Public Education  | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

To view report on ScribD, click title above or here: http://bit.ly/charter_report 

_____________________________

 

To download Executive Summary, visit: 
https://networkforpubliceducation.org/asleepatthewheel/ 

 

To download full report click here: 

https://networkforpubliceducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Asleep-at-the-Wheel.pdf 

 

See also the Washington Post writeup about the report here.

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

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

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


By Carol Burris

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Ed School Dean: Urban School Reform is Really About Land Development (Not Kids) // Washington Post

Ed School Dean: Urban School Reform is Really About Land Development (Not Kids) // Washington Post | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Here is a provocative piece from Leslie T. Fenwick, dean of the Howard University School of Education and a professor of education policy, about what is really behind urban school reform. It’s not about fixing schools, she argues, but, rather, about urban land development. Fenwick has devoted her career to improving educational opportunity and outcomes for African American and other under-served students."...


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/28/ed-school-dean-urban-school-reform-is-really-about-land-development-not-kids/

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Mapping the Terrain: Teach For America, Charter School Reform, and Corporate Sponsorship // Kretchmar, Sondel, & Ferrare, 2014, Journal of Education Policy

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

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

  

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

 

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

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