"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Warrant Issued for Abusive Charter Principal

For each of these felonious criminal abusers apprehended, how many thousands go unpunished?  By the way, the Walton Family Foundation is a partner in this abusive enterprise.

A Baton Rouge charter school principal is wanted by police after he was accused of locking a 5-year-old student in a closet as a form of punishment, according to police.

Shafeeq Syid Shamsid-Deen, the principal and founder of Laurel Oaks Charter School, at 440 N. Foster Drive, is wanted on counts of cruelty to a juvenile — a felony — and false imprisonment, according to an arrest warrant issued Monday by Baton Rouge police.

According to the warrant, a teacher heard a child screaming and crying inside the school Aug. 22. After two other teachers joined in the search, the 5-year-old girl was found inside a closet in the cafeteria. The closet was locked from the outside, the warrant says.

The student told authorities that Shamsid-Deen, 31, put her in the closet when she was “bad,” according to the warrant. No one was around the closet when the teacher found the child locked inside it, the warrant says.

When one of the teachers emailed Shamsid-Deen with objections about the punishment, he responded that the school “will work to make sure we have a proper time-out area for scholars to reset in the cafeteria,” the warrant says.

Affirmative Action Has Served to Assuage the White Liberal Conscience

After decades of affirmative action, Black and Hispanic college applicants remain largely shut out of elite colleges, where grads have the inside track on America's best opportunities.  While showing some limited success for increasing college attendance at lesser institutions, affirmative action has been entirely ineffective in mitigating the effects from the larger problems of segregation, corporate influence, and test-based demonization in K-12 schools:
Elementary and secondary schools with large numbers of black and Hispanic students are less likely to have experienced teachers, advanced courses, high-quality instructional materials and adequate facilities, according to the United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
Until corporate predatory charter schools stop churning out miseducated robots and until our leaders take steps to end segregation and until racist and classist standardized tests are discontinued, black and brown representation in the best universities and colleges will continue to decline.

Income Inequality for African Americans Continues

WaPo has an analysis of the latest Census data on U. S. incomes.  It's not hard to see who has been left behind.  African-Americans are worse off economically than they were at the turn of the century.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Corrupt Charter Astroturf Group Pays Record Fine in MA

Last year white Alice Walton, New York hedge fund whales, and other Wall Street parasites poured $19 million into an effort in Massachusetts to increase the number of charter schools in the state by eliminating the state cap.  With the help of paid actors and parents who don't know or don't care that their children are being brutalized daily in the charter cultural sterilization camps, large rallies were staged on Boston Common to make it appear that black and brown folks were demanding more charter schools.

The voters of MA weren't fooled.  Tired of having their public school funds go to corporate predators posing as educators, the citizens turned back the charter industry effort in the November referendum.

Now it seems the corrupt shenanigans by the charterites have been exposed.  Be sure to follow this link to the list of contributors, which include some of Governor Charlie Baker's top hands:
A wealthy New York organization that poured $15 million into last year’s unsuccessful ballot question to expand charter schools in Massachusetts was hit Monday with the largest fine in state campaign history after officials found the group was illegally hiding the identities of its donors.

Families for Excellent Schools-Advocacy, a nonprofit that was the single largest funder behind Question 2 in Massachusetts, was slapped with a $426,466 fine, the largest in the 44-year history of the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

The group was also forced to reveal its donors — showing it was anonymously receiving major checks from two Baker administration officials and numerous wealthy contributors from the world of high finance in Massachusetts, New York, and other states. . . .

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Librarians!!!!! Published in the Chicago Tribune, Sept 8, 2017

We still need librarians in public schools.
Published in the Chicago Tribune, Sept. 8, 2017

Congratulations to the Tribune for informing the public about the lack of school librarians in Chicago.

Not mentioned in the Sept. 5 article “Most of city's schools now lack librarians,” however, is the research showing that the presence of a credentialed school librarian is a significant predictor of reading achievement.

A recent study done by Scholastic tells us at least part of the reason why: School librarians connect young readers with books that are right for them.

This is crucial. Research also tells us that students who develop a reading habit read better, write better, spell better, have better control of grammar, and have larger vocabularies.  Readers also know more about a wide variety of subjects. It is therefore no surprise that they do better on standardized tests of literacy.

We cheerfully spend billions on unvalidated tests and untested technology, yet we ignore the impressive research  on libraries and librarians, and are unwilling to make the modest investments that will ensure that school libraries are well supplied with books and are staffed with credentialed librarians.

— Stephen Krashen, Los Angeles, professor emeritus, University of Southern California

A scrappy parent takes on the bow tie man.

From Wrench in the Gears
September 9, 2017

Or, how my day would have been very different had I worn khakis.

This is a story about access. Who has it, who doesn’t, and how in order to save public education, people, especially people of privilege, need to take a page from the Ed Reform 2.0 handbook and start actively disrupting. Showing up (and sitting down) can build awareness of critical issues and catalyze the direct action we need to ramp up our defense of neighborhood schools against predatory venture capitalists and the so-called “community partners” who benefit from education austerity budgets. The latter, those non-profits NOT actively speaking out to secure public funds for public schools but rather accepting funds from private interests to fill the myriad gaps created in our schools through intentional defunding, are not acting in good faith and are not allies.

It was a busy morning. Before I hopped on my bike into Center City Philadelphia I double-checked my supplies. I had printed a paper copy of my Eventbrite ticket to “Educate Philly: Rethinking America’s Schools,” a reformy book launch and panel discussion over breakfast with David Osborne of the “radically pragmatic” Progressive Policy Institute. The event page noted “If you believe in the virtues of a public education AND are willing to be challenged – join us for breakfast this Friday, September 8th for a compelling conversation on public education.” If I had only known the level of “challenge” attending this breakfast was going to pose, I would have had my coffee before leaving the house. I had sidewalk chalk and a Ziploc bag with slips of paper of printed with sentiments that expressed my displeasure with the corporate plan to “reinvent” public education for the 21st century by creating impact investment opportunities predicated on the data-mining of students through ubiquitous online “personalized” learning programs.

My ticket, which was torn when Union League staff tried to grab it out of my hands.

Click here to read the rest of the post.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

ED and Blackwater Share Same Goal

Just as her murderous brother, Erik Prince, has a scheme to privatize the U. S. military, the criminally-ignorant crone, Betsy DeVos, is out to do the same for schooling from pre-K through college:
“I think that there’s been an outsized footprint in the last couple, three decades on the part of the federal government in education,” she said. “And it’s my goal to extract us from a lot of those spaces. I will welcome your thoughts on what we need to be doing less of. And if there are areas to be doing more of, what are those areas?”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article170327837.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Time to end the racist triumvirate of Tuck, Huppenthal, and Horne

It’s a tale of white fragility and fear, really.—Imani Gandy

These two racist State Superintendents finally got what they deserved for shuttering ethnic studies in Arizona. However, right here in California, we have a candidate for State Superintendent that enacted the same policies in Los Angeles—shuttering ethnic studies, closing dual language programs, and killing heritage language programs. That bigot's name is Marshall Tuck. Let's show Tuck that California is not Arizona, and that we shouldn't have to wait for years for a court to rule in on his racist policies. Let's stop Tuck from repeating a Horne or a Huppenthal, by making sure he never holds a position of power in which he can harm school children again.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

NEA: "We're not opposed to charter schools."

Jeff Bryant, who remains a primary enabler of the corporate unions, NEA and AFT, recently interviewed NEA VP Becky Pringle at NetRoots.
JB: Does that mean NEA is anti-charter?

BP: We're not opposed to charter schools. We have started charter schools, and we have members in charter schools. But charters need to have specific criteria. They need to be accountable, controlled by democratically elected boards, and have transparency. And –an important condition often overlooked – they need to be part of the system, not separate. They should be part of a system of education that makes sure every student gets what they need to thrive. We have examples of that.
Bryant does not ask about and Pringle does not volunteer info on specific examples.  Why?  Because if they exist, they are so rare as to be meaningless. 

NOT among the criteria that Pringle says "charters need to have" are humane learning environments, non-penal instructional strategies, rich curriculums, professionally certified teachers and principals, librarians, counselors, or desegregated classrooms.  Nor does she define in this interview or elsewhere what "accountability" or "transparency" mean. 

The truth is that NEA only cares about expanding membership and collecting the dues that members pay each year, with the false hope of slowing the bleeding out of public schools and professional teaching.  As long as NEA and AFT remain loyalists to the DNC's Clintonian contingent of paternalistic corporate reformers, every teacher should boycott these core agencies of corporate enabling.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Charter Industry Demands Access to TN Student Data: Parents Say No

Under the misdirection of Commissioner Candice McQueen, the TN state legislature recently passed a sweeping new charter law that is aimed to expand the footprint and to give more public money to the charter industry's corporate welfare reform schools. And money is not the only thing that Dr. McQueen is offering charter corporations like Green Dot and KIPP.

With the passage of the new state law this summer, predatory charter chains may now demand student directory information on each public school child. This information may then be used to decide which children's homes that charter operators  will flood with slick school marketing brochures that conceal the dehumanizing environments of these "no excuses" institutions for cultural sterilization.

Parents, however, can say no to such requests by contacting their public schools and requesting that their children be excluded from these data sweeps by the charter industry:
Shelby County Schools is required to send a notice to parents at the beginning of each school year about how student information is used. Parents have the option to leave their contact information out of the student directory, or other such lists.

Or, you can write a letter requesting that your student’s directory information remain private. Write to either of the addresses below:

Shelby County Schools
Student Records Department
160 S. Hollywood St.
Memphis, TN 38112

Shelby County Schools
Department of Attendance and Discipline
Shelby County Schools
2800 Grays Creek, Arlington, TN 38002
Meanwhile, the leaders of these dehumanizing and exploitative hell schools pay themselves very well, even though these child centers for paternalistic brainwashing are advertised as "non-profit." Oligarchs like Eli Broad amass huge tax savings for donations to these racist outfits, while leaders amass personal fortunes for exploiting the poor: