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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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
December 18, 2013 3:21 PM
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Executive Summary: Market-oriented Education Reforms' Rhetoric Trumps Reality

For full summary: http://www.epi.org/files/2013/bba-rhetoric-trumps-reality-executive-summary.pdf

 

For more information: http://boldapproach.org 

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
December 15, 2013 10:26 PM
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Pittsburgh Charter School Eyed By FBI, State Official Says

By Bobby Kerlik, Triblive News - Nov. 11th, 2013
"Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said on Monday that he referred questionable spending practices at a Downtown charter school to the FBI because a state audit this year uncovered what appeared to be Pennsylvania taxpayer money going toward building a school in Ohio."...

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5049310-74/fbi-pathways-urban#ixzz2nbYNhkRe

 

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
December 12, 2013 11:55 PM
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Padded 'calm-down' room at charter school drives children to anxiety attacks

Padded 'calm-down' room at charter school drives children to anxiety attacks | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"A tiny padded room at KIPP Star Washington Heights Elementary School was a real-life nightmare for two young boys who were repeatedly detained in the tot cells, the Daily News has learned.

The students, who were enrolled in kindergarten and first grade at the highly regarded charter school, were both removed by their parents in the past two weeks after they suffered anxiety attacks as a result of their confinement.

 

“He was crying hysterically,” said Teneka Hall, 28, a full-time Washington Heights mom whose son, Xavier, was rushed to the hospital after he panicked and wet himself while he was holed up in the padded room. “It’s no way to treat a child.”

 

The school’s so-called “calm-down” room is small, about the size of a walk-in closet, said Hall, who visited it with her son at the start of the school year. It’s empty, but for a soft mat lining the floor and a single light on the ceiling."

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/padded-calm-down-room-causing-anxiety-kids-article-1.1543983#ixzz2nKNFCKGw

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
December 7, 2013 2:34 AM
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Juan Rangel Out As Head of Charter-School Giant UNO - Chicago Sun-Times

Juan Rangel Out As Head of Charter-School Giant UNO - Chicago Sun-Times | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Juan Rangel, longtime leader of the clout-heavy United Neighborhood Organization, is out as UNO’s $250,000-a-year chief executive in the wake of a scandal that cost the group millions in state funding and led to a federal investigation of its bond dealings.
 

Rangel’s departure “by mutual agreement” with the board of the not-for-profit group that operates the largest charter school network in Illinois is effective immediately, UNO officials said Friday.
 

Rangel had three family members on the UNO payroll. Sources said two of them quit recently, including Rangel’s nephew Carlos Jaramillo, UNO’s deputy chief of staff."
http://www.suntimes.com/24207915-761/juan-rangel-out-as-boss-of-charter-school-giant-uno.html ;

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
November 30, 2013 12:13 AM
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Before State Officials Expand Cyber-Charters, Take A Look At The Data

Before State Officials Expand Cyber-Charters, Take A Look At The Data | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Adam Schott and James Jack - "If it was viewed as a single school district, Pennsylvania’s expansive cyber charter sector would represent Pennsylvania's second-largest district, with more than 35,000 students attending 16 schools statewide. Cyber charters received approximately $366 million in taxpayer funds in 2012-13—drawing payments from 498 of the state’s 500 school districts.

 

The sector’s presence may grow further still: in addition to the 16 cyber schools authorized by the state Department of Education, six more have been proposed, with applications currently pending before the agency."...
http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/11/before_state_officials_expand_cyber-charters_take_a_look_at_the_data_as_i_see_it.html#incart_river ;

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
November 30, 2013 2:19 AM
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Special Report: Class Struggle - How Charter Schools Get Students They Want // Reuters

Special Report: Class Struggle - How Charter Schools Get Students They Want // Reuters | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Stephanie Simon - Feb. 13, 2013 (Reuters) -

Excerpt from main article (may be accessed by clicking link above):
 

"Charters are public schools, funded by taxpayers and widely promoted as open to all. But Reuters has found that across the United States, charters aggressively screen student applicants, assessing their academic records, parental support, disciplinary history, motivation, special needs and even their citizenship, sometimes in violation of state and federal law."

 

'I didn't get the sense that was what charter schools were all about - we'll pick the students who are the most motivated? Who are going to make our test scores look good?" said Michelle Newman, whose 8-year-old son lost his seat in an Ohio charter school last fall after he did poorly on an admissions test. "It left a bad taste in my mouth."

 

Set up as alternatives to traditional public schools, charter schools typically operate under private management and often boast small class sizes, innovative teaching styles or a particular academic focus. They're booming: There are now more than 6,000 in the United States, up from 2,500 a decade ago, educating a record 2.3 million children."

 ***
 

"And from New Hampshire to California, charter schools large and small, honored and obscure, have developed complex application processes that can make it tough for students who struggle with disability, limited English skills, academic deficits or chaotic family lives to even get into the lottery.

Among the barriers that Reuters documented:

* Applications that are made available just a few hours a year.

* Lengthy application forms, often printed only in English, that require student and parent essays, report cards, test scores, disciplinary records, teacher recommendations and medical records.

* Demands that students present Social Security cards and birth certificates for their applications to be considered, even though such documents cannot be required under federal law.

* Mandatory family interviews.

* Assessment exams.

* Academic prerequisites.

* Requirements that applicants document any disabilities or special needs. The U.S. Department of Education considers this practice illegal on the college level but has not addressed the issue for K-12 schools."...

Full post at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-usa-charters-admissions-idUSBRE91E0HF20130215



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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
November 30, 2013 12:54 AM
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Two more Columbus Charter Schools in Trouble | Columbus Dispatch

Two more Columbus Charter Schools in Trouble | Columbus Dispatch | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

Jennifer Smith Richards - The Columbus Dispatch | Nov. 21, 2013 - 

"Two more new Columbus charter schools are in peril, one for failing to open as planned and the other for money problems, unsanitary conditions and teacher-licensing issues.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/11/20/charters_stop.html

 

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Rescooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD from "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3..."
December 18, 2013 1:08 PM
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MIT Study: Test-score Gains Don’t Mean Cognitive Gains

MIT Study: Test-score Gains Don’t Mean Cognitive Gains | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"In a finding that should give pause to backers of standardized test-based school reform, a new study by neuroscientists at three major universities shows that students who achieved  the highest gains on standardized tests did not show the same gains in the ability to analyze material and think logically.

 

The research, conducted by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Brown University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, says that strategies that schools use to boost scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams did nothing to help students improve in the development of what is called “fluid intelligence” skills, or cognitive gains."


Full post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/12/16/study-test-score-gains-dont-mean-cognitive-gains/
 


Via Developmental Studies Center, Roxana Marachi, PhD
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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
December 13, 2013 1:14 AM
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Charter Schools Losing Struggling Students to Zoned Schools

Charter Schools Losing Struggling Students to Zoned Schools | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

"Leaders with Metro Nashville Public Schools have serious concerns about what is happening at some of the city's most popular charter schools."
http://www.wsmv.com/story/22277105/charter-schools-losing-struggling-students-to-zoned-schools

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
December 9, 2013 7:12 PM
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What BASIS?: Nepotism and aggrandizement in charters?

What BASIS?: Nepotism and aggrandizement in charters? | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Julian Vasquez, Ph.D., - April 19, 2013 -  

Selected quote: "BASIS wants to grow. Wealthy individuals put up $1,000,000 to attract the BASIS charter managment organization to San Antonio.  What is notable about BASIS is that they are for-profit/non-profit. The schools are “non-profit” but the umbrella management organization is “for-profit.” What?"...

Full post at: http://cloakinginequity.com/2013/04/19/what-basis-nepotism-and-aggrandizement-in-charters/

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
December 2, 2013 5:56 PM
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Success Academy Tax Documents: Moskowitz Can Afford the Rent

By Mercedes Schneider, Ph.D. - December 1, 2013
"Since 2006, Eva Moskowitz has been running a small charter empire that has at least $50 million in assets and the support of hedge fund millionaires. Why is it, then, that her Success Academies have never paid a dime in rent for the public school space occupied by her charter schools?  Recently-elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to put an end to the rent-free usage of public school space by charter schools.

Moskowitz’s response?

She closed her 22 schools on October 8, 2013, so that her students could “volunteer” to protest. 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/charters-send-kids-march-blaz-plan-article-1.1465408
 

Public schools do not close in order to have public school students engage in protests..."
http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/success-academy-tax-documents-moskowitz-can-afford-the-rent/

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
November 30, 2013 12:25 AM
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"From Portfolios to Parasites: The Unfortunate Path(ology) of U.S. Charter School Policy" | Bruce D. Baker, Ph.D.

"From Portfolios to Parasites: The Unfortunate Path(ology) of U.S. Charter School Policy" | Bruce D. Baker, Ph.D. | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

Excerpt from Bruce Baker, Ph.d.'s School Finance 101 Blogpost:
"The central objective in Chartery Miracle Punditry is to prove that average scores, and otherwise methodologically weak policy analyses show that charter students outperform their traditional public school counterparts.

 

These studies rarely if ever include any accurate measure of the resources used by charters, more often than not citing bogus, irrelevant studies or providing flimsy back of the napkin analysis.  These studies often use entirely insufficient measures for declaring students as being “matched” with peers between district and charter schools, fail to consider fully the role of peer effects as one of the largest school factors, or the intersection of selective attrition and peer effects.

 

In part, because it is increasingly well understood that this is the way the game is played, charter school operators have all the incentive in the world to play the game this way (even if they were otherwise predisposed not to). And apparently far too many charter operators are responsive to these incentives."...
Full post at: 

http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/from-portfolios-to-parasites-the-unfortunate-path-of-u-s-charter-school-policy/
 

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
November 30, 2013 1:53 AM
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JVH@TX Senate Education Committee: Invited Testimony on Charters // Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D.

JVH@TX Senate Education Committee: Invited Testimony on Charters // Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D. | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

By Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D. - February 21st, 2013

"Today I was invited by Senator Royce West to give testimony on charter schools at the Texas Senate Committee on Education for the proposed SB2. You can see the full hearing here: (http://www.senate.state.tx.us/avarchives/ramav.php?ram=00005704) My testimony begins at about 2:29. See Cloaking Inequity’s full thread on charters here: 
http://cloakinginequity.com/category/charter-schools/

 

Here is original text of my testimony:

"First I am honored to sit before you today. I appreciate the opportunity to speak ON SB2

(Background)

I am an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning at UT-Austin.

 

Worked for Houston ISD in Research and Accountability during the Rod Paige Superintendency.

 

I then obtained a Phd Educational Policy analysis at Stanford University.

 

I am

 

Former charter school instructor in California

Current charter school board member

My daughter attends a charter school


As us professors are apt to do, I would like to speak today on data and theory related to charters and SB2
 

Instead of offering rhethoric, my role as faculty member at UT-Austin is to address some specific facts from peer-reviewed statistical research.

The data that I will now present is the overall perspective on charters. It of course doesn’t mean that there are not islands of excellence in charters.

 

Probably the most well known statistical research on charters was conducted by Stanford’s CREDO. They found that 85% of charters across the nation perform no better than traditional public schools.

So here is your UT-Austin stats class quiz question for today:

What is 85% of 200?  Well 170 districts. Thus, if you applied the national research to Texas, with greater accountability from the SBOE and TEA you would have lots of wiggle room under the existing cap.

We do know that there are more low-performing charters in Texas than high-performing."

...
"We do know charters are heterogeneous and are not created equal. You could think of the charters in Texas as three types— Corporate, Community and Inter-governmental. What is interesting about our most recent statistical analysis in a soon to be released study is that average Texas achievement data show that community-based charters outperform the corporate charters across the state."...
Please read full post at:

http://cloakinginequity.com/2013/02/21/jvhtx-senate-ed-committee-invited-testimony-on-charters/

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Scooped by Roxana Marachi, PhD
November 30, 2013 1:06 AM
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Getting Rich Off of Schoolchildren: Stop Pretending Wealthy CEOs Pushing For Charter Schools Are Altruistic "Reformers." They're Raking in Billions"

Getting Rich Off of Schoolchildren: Stop Pretending Wealthy CEOs Pushing For Charter Schools Are Altruistic "Reformers." They're Raking in Billions" | Charter Schools & "Choice": A Closer Look | Scoop.it

(Photo  - News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch  - Credit: AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

"Getting Rich Off of Schoolchildren: Stop Pretending Wealthy CEOs Pushing For Charter Schools Are Altruistic "Reformers." They're Raking in Billions" - By David Sirota March 11th, 2013: 

"Last week, Los Angeles provided yet another example of a cadre of anti-public-school millionaires swooping in to try (and in this case, fail) to buy a big-city school-board election. And once again, that sparked a round of Orwellian newspeak that distorts what’s really happening in education politics.

You know how it goes: The pervasive media mythology tells us that the fight over the schoolhouse is supposedly a battle between greedy self-interested teachers who don’t care about children and benevolent billionaire “reformers” whose political activism is solely focused on the welfare of kids. Epitomizing the media narrative, the Wall Street Journal casts the latter in sanitized terms, reimagining the billionaires as philanthropic altruists “pushing for big changes they say will improve public schools.”...
Full post at: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/11/getting_rich_off_of_schoolchildren/

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