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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"TeacherTown" Now Paying Charters Over $80 Million Per Year in Projected Enrollment Cash

Not only is Shelby County and the State coughing up over $80 million each year for corporate reform schools whose test scores are, for the most part, the same or worse than the schools they replaced, but almost $20 million of that is for enrollment that never materialized.  

In 2013-14, the profiteering charters over-estimated their enrollment to collect millions they use to make more.  When they do not pay it all back, as in the case with KIPP Memphis and Willie Herenton's crumbling charter empire, the County has to go to the State to get its money back

Here is a chart from the Shelby County Schools (click to enlarge). It shows charters overestimating their enrollment by over 2,000 students in the school year just ended:

Meanwhile, the TFA alum and Broad alum, Chris Barbic (now ASD superintendent) has penned a guest column for the Commercial Appeal with the lawyer superintendent of Shelby County Schools, which fantasizes about when Memphis will be TeacherTown, USA.  

Yes, Memphis, where the child poverty rate has gone from 36% to 44% over the past 6 years, where rental rates have soared and you can't give away houses in neighborhoods doomed by lack of hope and segregation.  Memphis, where the airport is shrinking and it costs, on average, almost $300 more to fly to New York or Boston than it does to fly from Nashville.  Memphis, where the real jobs base has long gone, and even the Hostess Cupcake factory had its union crushed before closing and re-opening as non-union.  Memphis, which is now surrounded by five boutique suburban school systems where property prices and no affordable housing guarantees another generation of segregation.  Yes, Memphis, which has the 10th largest jail in America.

Yes, that Memphis, where salary schedules have been traded for bonuses based on test scores and where teachers no longer have can appeal a supervisor's observation conclusions. Memphis, where the Walton Foundation, Gates, and Broad spend millions each year to make sure that white Eastern missionaries from TFA replace real teachers with experience.  

From Barbic and Hopson's fantasy column:

So yes, teachers of the world, put on your best gritty optimism and come to Memphis, where teachers are hired and fired at the whim of a school CEO, where teacher autonomy is traded for straightjacket pacing guides based on constant testing, where teachers are evaluated by using unreliable, invalid, and unfair test scores, where children are herded and hounded like prisoners, where teachers are turned into inhumane robots from a Stanley Milgram experiment, where school libraries, art rooms, music classes, and guidance counselors are rare as hen's teeth, where special education IEPs are routinely ignored, and where teachers and students alike work inside pressure cookers. 

1 comment:

  1. The Milgram reference is, sadly, very astute.