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

Thursday, May 05, 2016

US Dept of Ed Executive Heads Chan-Zuckerberg Drive to Treat Students and Teachers as Waste Products

by Susan Ohanian

Philanthropic Effort

Synonyms for effort: try, push, struggle,  stab

The Thesaurus is way behind-the-curve on synonyms for Philanthropic, linking it to big-hearted, bountiful, liberal. Forget verbal shortcuts. Instead, I suggest reading No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy by Linsey McGoey, which provides  solid research on the mega-rich replacing governments on issues of social policy,  and The Falling Rate of Learning and the Neoliberal Endgame by David J. Blacker, which makes critical connections  showing the shifts capitalism  makes into a mode of elimination that targets most of us as waste products awaiting managed disposal.
Read these two books and you'll know that James H. Shelton III is a waste products manager supreme.

Here's the New York Times headline on Shelton's new job:  Zuckerberg and Chan Hire Education Leader to Run Philanthropic Effort. 
The article focuses on how many  former federal officials who have gotten jobs with tech titans:  Jay Carney, a former White House press secretary is now senior vice president for corporate affairs at Amazon; David Plouffe, former Obama senior advisor is now chief adviser and a board member at Uber. Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been tapped by the Emerson Collective, an organization set up by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, to do something in Chicago. Like the Chan Zuckerberg scheme, Emerson is set up as a limited liability company,  meaning they can take public stands on policy issues and do other things not allowed by charitable trusts of private foundations.  Read loophole

Here's USA Today: Zuckerberg taps Shelton to run education effort
 Zuckerberg says Shelton will focus on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's two educational priorities: technology-enabled personalized learning that allows K-12 students to learn in their own way and at their own pace and reaching underserved communities to remove "barriers to success for the most vulnerable kids," such as poverty and illness. . . . .

Yes, ask any filthy rich deformer: schools done their way will remove barriers to success.

We've Been Warned

Shelton said he would start his work with the ChanZuckerberg Initiative by "building on the things we have done already."

 Although ignored by the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times. Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy also took note: Zuckerberg and Chan Tap New Leader for Education Giving. The picture caption notes that Shelton will oversee what could total billions of dollars of spending.

James H. Shelton III Education Path
  • BA Computer Science, Morehouse College
  • MBA/MA Business and Education, Stanford University
The Stanford Educator, Fall/Winter 2007, describes this program as specializing "in training people to apply business know-how to the field of education. Numerous high-profile alumni like Shelton now fill the leadership rosters of charter school organizations, venture funds, other education-related nonprofit and forprofit enterprises. . . .

'The program attracts and encourages people who are not constrained by traditional sectoral boundaries,' says Debra Meyerson, associate professor of education and (by courtesy) organizational behavior at the Graduate School of Business (GSB), and faculty chair of the joint program. Students in the two-year program gain substantive knowledge in education, as well as in business areas such as strategy, finance, and accounting."

                      Note: Here's Meyerson pedigree:
    • Ph.D. Organizational Behavior, Stanford University (1989)
    • M.S. Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980)
    • B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979)
                       Note a few publications:
    • Meyerson, D. & L. Wernick (2012). “Power beyond the Purse: Philanthropic Foundations as Agents of Change in the California Charter School Movement,” in J. Dutton and K. Golden-Biddle,  Exploring Positive Social Change and Organizations: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation.  Routledge, Taylor, & Francis Group. Florence, Kentucky.
    • Meyerson, D., A. Berger, and R. Quinn (2010). “Organization and Social Movement Implications of Going to Scale: Lessons from Charter Schools,” in Scaling Social Impact: New Thinking, P. Bloom, G. Dees, and E. Skloot (eds.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.\
    • Quinn, R., M. Tompkins-Stange, D. Meyerson (2013).  “Beyond Grantmaking: Philanthropic Foundations as Agents of Change and Institutional Entrepreneurs,”  Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 

James H. Shelton III Career Path 
  •  Senior Program Analyst: Exxon
  • Senior Engagement Manager: McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting fund
  • Director: Knowledge Universe, a education conglomerate founded by former junk-bond financier Michael Milken. K12, founded  was founded  by former U.S. Education Secretary William J. Bennett, was originally a subsidiary of Knowledge Universe.
  • Co-Founder, President, and COO: LearnNow, a school management company that was acquired by Edison Schools
  • President LearnNow Division, Edison Schools
  • Partner: NewSchools Venture Fund, a California-based organization that has directed over $150 million to more than 300 charter schools around the country
  • Program Director for Education: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Assistant Deputy Secretary: US Department of Education
  • Deputy Secretary and COO: US Department of Education
  • President & Chief Impact Officer: 2U, an outfit that partners with nonprofit colleges and universities to offer online degree programs. Founded in 2008 by John Katzman (founder of Princeton Review). Co-founders include Chip Paucek, former CEO of Hooked on Phonics and Jeremy Johnson 
  •  leader of the education component of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
     Further Warning

    Should the above not offer sufficient alarm,  enter "Shelton" into a search at http://susanohanian.org/ and you will get these reminders:

    1. N.Y. plans to share data from pre-K to workforce, aims to unlock keys to student success (Data Command Center 2014-01-25)
    2. An Update on Datapalooza at the U. S. Department of Education (Data Command Center 2014-07-30)
    3. Bill Gates' School Crusade (Common Core State [sic] Standards 2010-06-15)
    4. Is the Gates Foundation involved in bribery? (Common Core State [sic] Standards 2010-07-23)
    5. Common U.S. school standards debut in Hillsborough first (Common Core State [sic] Standards 2011-04-21)
    6. How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution (Common Core State [sic] Standards 2014-06-07)
    7. How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution (Resisters' Letters, 2008-07-11)
    8. Educational Entrepreneurship (Atrocities, 2005-11-14)
    9. Teach For America’s 15th Anniversary: National Alumni Summit Program, Part 2 (Atrocities, 2005-10-08)
    10. A Foundation Goes to School (Atrocities, 2005--)
    11. School chancellor pick appears to defy sense (Atrocities, 2007-06-15)
    12. Millions to be given to N.O. schools: Money to be used to train, hire staff (Atrocities, 2007-12-13)
    13. Despite high school algebra focus, more students need remedial college math (Atrocities, 2008-05-13)
    14. After Complaints, Gates Foundation Opens Education Aid Offer to All States (Atrocities, 2009-10-28)
    15. Shooting for the Moon: A Joint Venture (Atrocities, 2009-10-30)
    16. Key L.A. Unified staff positions are funded privately (Atrocities, 2009-12-16)
    17. Gates grant tracking program on today's school board agenda (Atrocities, 2010-02-23)
    18. Discussion How to Best Prepare America's Future Workforce (Atrocities, 2010-09-15)
    19. Mayor Plans New Education Measures, Including Reshaping 8 Troubled High Schools (In the News, 2005-11-18)
    20. Reinventing High School: Education infused with technology (In the News, 2006-01-02)
    21. From Compliance to Innovation: Remarks of Arne Duncan to America's Choice Superintendent's Symposium (Outrage of the Day, 2009-08-20)
    22. The most dangerous man in America (Outrage of the Day, 2010-07-10)
    23. Bill Gates' School Crusade (Outrage of the Day, 2010-06-15)
    24. Is the Gates Foundation involved in bribery? (Outrage of the Day, 2010-07-23)
    25. US Department of Education Announces 2010 Highest-Rated i3 Applicants (Outrage of the Day, 2010-08-05)
    26. Page-turning progress (Outrage of the Day, 2011-01-02)
    27. Got Dough? Public School Reform in the Age of Venture Philanthropy (Outrage of the Day, 2011-01-01)
    28. The Politics of Education Innovation (Outrage of the Day, 2011-04-07)
    29. Common U.S. school standards debut in Hillsborough first (Outrage of the Day, 2011-04-21)
    30. In Tennessee, Following the Rules for Evaluations Off a Cliff (Outrage of the Day, 2011-11-07)
    31. United High States Testing: Thy Name is DIBELS (Outrage of the Day, 2012-08-25)
    32. Datapalooza at the U. S. Department of Education (Outrage of the Day, 2013-01-11)
    33. The Technology Agenda of the US Department of Education (Outrage of the Day, 2014-07-04)
    34. Venture Capitalists Are Poised to 'Disrupt' Everything About the Education Market (Outrage of the Day, 2014-09-25)
    35. Schooled: Cory Booker, Chris Christie, and Mark Zuckerberg had a plan to reform Newark's schools. They got an education, Part 2 (Outrage of the Day, 2014-05-19)
    36. The Faces of School Reform (NCLB Atrocities, 2010-01-29)
    37. In Case You Missed It (NCLB Atrocities, 2010-02-06)
    38. Why I Am Not A Defender Of The 'Status Quo' In Education (NCLB Atrocities, 2011-02-04)
    39. Some Ugly Details from the Daley/Duncan/Obama Connection (Research That Counts, 2012-01-14)
    40. Stalinizing American Education (Commentaries, 2011-11-11)

    This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. S

    Wednesday, May 04, 2016

    Success Academy Hit with New Lawsuits

    At one point not so long ago, "no excuses" charter schools were like a lawsuit waiting to happen. 

    It's not waiting, anymore.  From Politico:
    The Success Academy charter school network is again being sued by a group of parents whose children attended Success Academy Fort Greene, whose principal kept a now-infamous "got to go" list of unruly students he hoped would leave the school.

    The lawsuit, filed by five families, alleges that Success carried out an "illegal, discriminatory" campaign against children with disabilities and compelled them to leave Success Academy Fort Greene.

    The suit details allegations of a child being taken to psychiatric hospital after getting upset on a field trip, 30 suspensions in Kindergarten and first grade for a student, and threats to call the Administration for Children's Services on parents who refused to pick their child up early from school after disciplinary issues. . . .

    Tuesday, May 03, 2016

    Some Reflections on Teach for America

    A veteran teacher wrote this to me yesterday: 
    I have just read your KIPP article link.

    I am tired of the "well-intentioned" TFA moniker. I had dealings with several in my previous school. One left for law school. A second was applying for an MBA program. A third was accepted to an MA in Literacy at Teacher's College. A fourth refused to share with me her plans. I would characterize them as crass materialists using poor children to advance their personal agendas. The only one I have any respect for completed traditional college educational certification. She joined TFA because she could not find a job. She is still teaching in ___________. I believe she is completing her fourth year.

    Am I too harsh? Many TFAs view career teachers as addle-brained.  
    My response to this teacher:
    Teach for America attracts privileged two-year missionaries whose resume-padding service would never happen, were it not for an abiding sense that the children of the poor will somehow be made better from brief exposures to their own swollen-headed masochism, which masquerades as civic commitment.  TFA’s corporate positive psychology catechism attracts these people like flies to a feed lot, where Corp members fortify themselves on a steady diet of mock sacrifice that is supplemented by a patronizing hostility to public institutions in general and public school teachers in particular. 

    TFA’s corporate commitment is based on privileged ignorance, intellectual dishonesty, and a capacity for quicksilver rationalizing, which is necessary to maintain fanciful expectations when confronted with sobering reality for the unbrainwashed.  Nothing can allow a chink in the armored persona that recruits are trained to maintain, and if most of them were told by their TFA handlers to shave their heads and beg for money at the airport, they would have no trouble understanding the wisdom of this strategy for ending the achievement gap.  Whatever it takes, wherever it leads, for as long as their two years last.

    After that, TFA corp members have earned their further elevated status as alumni, survivors in a sisterhood of corporate education promoters tied together by social media, unending emails, home-delivered propaganda, and media messaging that feeds the grand illusion that children who need the most professional teachers are somehow made whole by an endless stream of unprepared beginners.  Those who use their service points to get into the best law schools will intern for Congressmen who need their rich advice on education matters, and eventually they will become high ranking education officials who can wield their power to advance the TFA fantasy of corporate efficiency's  applied to the education of the poor.  Nothing could be more fitting to realizing the 21st Century neoliberal nightmare for education.

    Does an app do a better job than books and people?

    Sent to the Daily Bulletin, Pomona, CA, April 27, 2016

    The Early Learning Literacy App: Is it worth it?

    Pomona Unified "is helping low-income preschoolers bridge ‘30-million word gap’" (April 24) with a commercial product from Footsteps2  Brilliance, The "Early Learning Literacy App". The app contains stories, songs and games and claims to develop literacy in young children.
    Not mentioned is the consistent research finding that a print-rich environment with old-fashioned books, people who will read aloud to children, and free time for pleasure reading produces fantastic results in literacy development, including vocabulary development. 
    On their website, Footsteps2 Brilliance describes a study in which literacy app students made better gains than untreated comparison subjects, but there is no evidence that the literacy app does a better job than real books and people.

    Also not mentioned is the fact that the app costs between $250,00 to $350,000 per district. This information is also not included in the Footsteps website: I found it in an article in the Boston Globe.

    Stephen Krashen

    Original article: http://www.dailybulletin.com/social-affairs/20160424/how-pomona-unified-is-helping-low-income-preschoolers-bridge-30-million-word-gap

    Boston Globe article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/north/2013/10/12/young-malden-students-get-into-reading-with-footsteps-brilliance-literacy-program/y8HYokGXsprKOO3OwbejcP/story.html

    Monday, May 02, 2016

    Review of Jay Mathews' "Work Hard, Be Nice"

    An earlier post linking my review to Jay Mathews' tribute to KIPP got lost in the ether somehow.  So here is the link to "The KULT of KIPP: An Essay Reiew" published at Education Review in 2009.

    ASD Information Not on Basecamp Radar

    ‪Dec 8, 2015 ... Vanderbilt Peabody has just released a research paper that examines the awful performance of ASD schools in Memphis, Nashville, and ...

    ‪Apr 5, 2016 ... Of the 11 Memphis schools that have been in the ASD the longest, all 11 are still in the bottom 10 percent — including three in the bottom 1 ...

    ‪Jan 5, 2016 ... Memphis Schools Matter: Details on ASD's Rigged Takeover of Memphis School. ..: from the Commercial Appeal : Less than 1.5 percentage ...

    ‪Dec 22, 2015 ... ASD Advisory Councils in Memphis Calls ASD Process a "Scam". Last week Shelby County Schools called for a halt to Achievement School ...

    ‪Dec 24, 2014 ... Former charter CEO and current ASD superintendent, Chris Barbic, collects a salary that is larger than the superintendent of Shelby County ...

    ‪Nov 11, 2015 ... ASD Profiteers in Memphis Rebuffed at Raleigh Egypt Middle. The corporate predators of Scholars Academy have their work cut out for them in ...

    ‪Mar 29, 2015 ... In three years, the ASD has taken 7,100 students and the $11,000 SCS would get each year for each student. Next year, ASD enrollment is ...

    ‪Nov 9, 2014 ... Chris Barbic is back in action and was answering questions at an ASD Neighborhood Fair yesterday, where a total of 64 souls showed up for ...

    ‪Nov 12, 2014 ... What the ASD and Shelby County School Board Can Count On Until Corporate Ed Packs Up and Leaves Memphis ...

    ‪Nov 19, 2014 ... At this point, parents, teachers, and students in Memphis don't know which liar to believe less, as Hopson and ASD superintendent, Chris ...

    ‪Mar 6, 2015 ... Support Legislation (SB975 and HB508) to Dismantle ASD. The following comment was offered by Karen Bracken to a post at TN Education ...

    ‪Nov 2, 2014 ... With Chris Barbic out of action, the ASD is being run by serial liar, Elliot Smalley. Smalley is trained by the Broad Foundation to do whatever is ...

    ‪Sep 23, 2013 ... The ASD remains in response mode to this story and its follow-up, and as long as they are, we will remain responsive to them. Jeremy seems to ...

    ‪Feb 5, 2015 ... ASD's Mentor, the RSD, Is Near the Bottom in ACT Scores, Even in Louisiana. Mercedes Schneider recently took a brief furlough from plumping ...

    ‪Sep 23, 2013 ... More From Jeremy at ASD Responding to My Education Agenda (Updated). Jeremy had some responses to my earlier 7 points for improving ...

    ‪Oct 1, 2013 ... ASD in TN Makes State Test the Only Grade that Counts. We have known for a long time that school grades are better indicators of later student ...

    ‪Oct 29, 2014 ... Have ASD Know Nothings Explain How They Chose American Way Middle for Hit List. Here is another grand example of another school, ...

    ‪Oct 29, 2014 ... Waiting in the wings are the corporate operators and their manager, the ASD, ready to open total compliance charter schools staffed with ...

    ‪Oct 27, 2014 ... ASD Backs Off Southside Middle. I was getting ready to go to a meeting at South Side Middle School this afternoon to advocate against Shelby ...

    ‪Oct 29, 2014 ... How Did Cordova Middle School Avoid the ASD Hit List? Is Cordova Middle too white to be handed over to a corporate reform charter chain ...

    ‪Apr 17, 2015 ... Tennessee's Achievement School District (ASD) was sold on the premise that its charter schools replace the lowest scoring public schools in ...

    ‪Oct 8, 2013 ... ASD and RSD Built on Empirical House of Cards and Mountains of Tax- Sheltered Cash. The NEPC has a completed a review of the ...

    ‪Sep 15, 2014 ... The Achievement School District (ASD) was set up to administer this task, and Chris Barbic was hired away from his job as CEO of a total ...

    ‪Nov 12, 2014 ... The ASD has pointed out that it, too is a governmental organization using public funds in an effort to improve public schools. Only non-profit ...

    ‪Sep 21, 2013 ... Every one of the Wall Street backed out-of-state charter chains that are favorites of the ASD are all non-profit corporations, and they are all ...

    ‪Jan 8, 2016 ... A few weeks back the Shelby County Schools decided to stop sharing student demographic data with ASD, which had been sharing Memphis ...

    ‪Nov 8, 2014 ... ... predators from Green Dot Schools stay clear of school property and the property of other local schools on the ASD hit list for next year. A clip:.

    ‪Apr 20, 2015 ... In fact, we may ask when is the ASD going to take over KIPP Memphis Collegiate Middle. Could the ASD raise the scores of one of it favorite ...

    ‪Mar 27, 2015 ... ... threatened with closure and absorption by the corporate I-Zone, when other schools in Memphis, both inside and outside the ASD and I-Zone ...

    ‪Oct 23, 2014 ... The Achievement School District (ASD) has a new hit list of Memphis schools, all of them poor and black. Below is the list copied from the ASD ...

    ‪Oct 31, 2014 ... If this new plan goes forward, ASD charters will get the ENTIRE BUILDING where they are now co-located, and the hundreds of public school ...

    ‪Sep 20, 2013 ... White has his own consulting business, has hired on as Director of Community Communications for the Achievement School District (ASD), has ...

    ‪Jan 27, 2014 ... The Achievement School District (ASD), which was formed in Tennessee to charterize the state's poorest schools in the same fashion that the ...

    ‪Mar 2, 2015 ... In case you haven't been keeping up, Barbic was hired as Superintendent of the ASD in May 2011. In May my calculator says it has been four ...

    ‪Oct 15, 2013 ... Porter-Leath Partners with ASD to Provide High Quality Pre-K. Posted on: Friday, September 06, 2013. Porter-Leath has launched a ...

    ‪Sep 10, 2014 ... This lawsuit is brought by two individuals claiming $10 million in damages because they were denied charter operator authorization by the ASD ...

    ‪Feb 2, 2013 ... The enrollment mix is expected to shift to non-district operators (including charter schools and the ASD), from 4% of total public school ...

    ‪Oct 16, 2014 ... ... any schools in Memphis or elsewhere in the state, the corporate swindlers are lined up to receive 9 more schools next fall from skinhead ASD ...

    ‪Sep 11, 2015 ... The ASD is Tennessee's state-run school district that takes over schools that perform in the bottom five percent state-wide. A primary concern ...

    ‪Mar 26, 2015 ... Labels: ASD, No Excuses, Yes Prep .... The ASD and IZone Plan to Bankrupt Public Educatio... Kasich Plans to Increase Charter Funding and ...