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

Monday, August 04, 2014

Profiteers on the Move in MA to Expand Charters in 2016

From Lisa Guisbond at CPS:
Charter proponents may have been shocked to be handed a rare legislative defeat, but they are not sitting back on the heels of their designer shoes. The State House News Service reported this week that charter advocates "are already eyeing the 2016 ballot" and "reaching out to supporters in the business and education communities, as well as potential donors, to line up the backing necessary to mount a ballot campaign."

The report also heralded the arrival in Boston of a new pro-charter school player, called "Families for Excellent Schools," led by a Brooklyn resident (and native of Cambridge, MA) Jeremiah Kittredge. According to State House News, "The non-profit, backed by wealthy Wall Street financiers, ran nearly $5 million in television advertisements earlier this year against new New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio, who had threatened to block the opening of three new charter schools. The New York Legislature, with support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, took back some control from the city over licensing and put in place new protections for charters."

It remains to be seen how the group will operate in Massachusetts, but in New York, they spent $6 million on media and consultants in 2014 alone. According to their non-profit filings, the group also paid parents for being "activists," more than $98,000 in 2011. That was the year they were just getting started. It's likely they have grown in the past three years and will continue to grow. It's a group worth keeping an eye on as they move into Massachusetts.

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