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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Noam Chomsky: 'The Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history'

Noam Chomsky: 'The Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in human history': This interview originally appeared on the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. To help make sense of where we stand as an economy, as a country, and as human beings, Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Laureate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona, shares his thoughts with Lynn Stuart Parramore on the Age of Trump, foreign policy, dissent in the internet age, public education, …

Ted Dintersmith is not here to save neighborhood schools!

March 21, 2018

No, Ted Dintersmith is not coming to save our schools, because to him they’re obsolete. Last week Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post pitched Ted Dintersmith’s new book “What School Could Be,” and many ed-activists ate it up. I thought by now a “philanthropic” white male technocrat investor with absolutely no teaching experience coming on the scene to tell us how to fix our broken-on-purpose schools would be met with a healthy dose of skepticism. Dintersmith might say what we want to hear. His pitch might validate our concerns about punitive high-stakes standardized testing and the psychological damage caused by developmentally inappropriate education standards. He may criticize AP classes and the College Board; but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Consider his quote from a recent EdSurge article “the focus should really be on funding schools the produce future entrepreneurial adults, instead of entrepreneurial adults today funding obsolete schools.”
Dintersmith’s is the face of Ed Reform 2.0. The new paradigm for education he envisions replacing our “obsolete” schools with is one where:
Competency or mastery-based education is the norm.
Skills are uploaded to online portfolios via apps.
Mindsets and habits of work are tracked.
Children teach one another.
Students are expected to be “in charge” of their learning.
Teachers become “mentors;” or are even replaced by volunteers.
Out of school internships are prioritized.
Instruction may be outsourced to community or work-based organizations.
Students are expected to have a passion and a pathway to the workforce.
With such a model, bricks and mortar schools and certified teachers could wither away and eventually disappear.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Monday, March 19, 2018

‘Where is Mark Zuckerberg?’ Reporter nails Facebook for data ‘scandal’ that helped deliver Trump and Brexit

If you enjoy the havoc that has accompanied Trump and Brexit, thank Mark Zuckerberg for the crucial role he played.

‘Where is Mark Zuckerberg?’ Reporter nails Facebook for data ‘scandal’ that helped deliver Trump and Brexit: British journalist Carol Cadwalladr has been sounding the alarm on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica for more than a year, and her investigative work helped reveal a massive data breach exploited by the Trump campaign. The company was founded on a Facebook data breach that exposed personal information belonging to about 50 million users, although the social media giant denied the incident until a whistleblower told his story. “They knew about the data breach two years …

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Too Big to Map, But I Tried

from Wrench in the Gears
March 18, 2018

I realize this is a very long post and not all that readable. I will try and break it down further in the near future, but for now consider it a work in progress; a way for me to gather a lot of divergent ideas, spheres of influence, and money trails in one place. The graphic above is my attempt to trace what is happening with Out of School Time learning where I live; how it relates to impact investing; how they are building the data infrastructure around it; and how that data will advance social impact investing in Philadelphia, a city of deep poverty. I am including selections from the map in this piece, but the interactive version can be accessed here.

I expect pressure for these flexibility measures will ramp up if elected officials manage to pass enabling legislation for Education Savings Accounts. While many education activists have framed ESAs as vouchers, they are actually considerably more dangerous. Instead of a single lump sum tuition payment, ESAs would allow payments to be made to multiple providers. This type of system aligns with the “credit-flex” model, one in which cyber-education providers and Out of School Time programs could offer a range of standards-aligned instructional opportunities. When Betsy DeVos spoke about funding students, not schools or districts in her recent interview for 60 Minutes, THAT is what she had in mind.

It seems clear that Pennsylvania and Philadelphia are moving steadily towards a Pay for Success model of education finance. When I asked about it at the Philly OST meeting, Mr. Tucker seemed to blanch and after recovering from the shock of someone raising this issue said somewhat hesitantly, “Not yet.” The laudable goal of literacy is being used to advance a program of informal, out of school time learning and digital instruction that will deliver impact metrics at the expense of authentic education that is developmentally appropriate and acknowledges the humanity and agency of students and teachers. In putting together this enormous map, I am trying to resolve a situation I feel is akin to the blind men and the elephant. Many people involved in this machine see one small part of it. The part they see, might in fact look like it is a good thing. It is only once you step back and grasp the enormity of it that you can properly assess the situation.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Florina Rodov: The Truth About Charter Schools

“[W]hen teachers aren’t unionized, they’re exploited — and when teachers suffer, so do kids.” — Florina Rodov

This amazing piece by Florina Rodov on Shondaland is a must read. Taking place at one of the seedy charter corporations here in Los Angeles, the story Rodov tells is all too familiar to all of us that are anti-privatization activists. Much of the mistreatment of faculty and students mirrors the accounts in Professor Horn's Work Hard, Be Hard: Journeys Through "No Excuses" Teaching. Hat tip to Leonie Haimson, whose Tweet regarding this essay caught my eye.

An excerpt, but please go and read the whole work:

"But I soon realized there was a gulf between charter school hype and reality. Every day brought shocking and disturbing revelations: high attrition rates of students and teachers, dangerous working conditions, widespread suspensions, harassment of teachers, violations against students with disabilities, nepotism, and fraud. By the end of the school year, I vowed never to step foot in a charter school again, and to fight for the protection of public schools like never before."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Armed teacher injures 3 students when he accidentally fires gun during firearm safety lesson

And this is the guy teaching gun safety:

Armed teacher injures 3 students when he accidentally fires gun during firearm safety lesson: President Donald Trump believes that arming well trained teachers will prevent future school shootings — but a new story out of California shows that armed teachers can create risks of their own. Local news station KSBW reports that Seaside High School teacher Dennis Alexander on Tuesday wounded three of his students when he accidentally fired his gun in class. Police say that Alexander, who also serves as a reserve police officer, was trying to teach …

This is what the Koch Brothers want children to learn about slavery

This is what the Koch Brothers want children to learn about slavery

Given that the billionaire Charles Koch has poured millions of dollars into eliminating the minimum wage and paid sick leave for workers, and that in 2015 he had the gall to compare his ultra-conservative mission to the anti-slavery movement, he’s probably the last person you’d want educating young people about slavery.
Yet the history-teaching wing of the Koch brothers empire is seeking to promote an alternate narrative to slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. The political goal of these materials is to ensure students see racism and slavery as flaws in an otherwise spotless U.S. record, rather than woven into the fabric of our country from its inception. . . . .

Monday, March 12, 2018

Humane Education Versus Educational Technology and Pay for Success: My Testimony to Philadelphia City Council

from Wrench in the Gears
March 12, 2018

Today I offered public testimony at a special hearing discussing early literacy education and standards held by the Education Committee of Philadelphia City Council. Below is a recording of my testimony, followed by the written text I submitted for the record. In my introductory remarks I mention Econsult Solutions, a firm that has two affiliates who made it from the pool of hundreds of candidates to be considered for appointment to the new school board. Suzanne Biemuller, Senior Advisor, and Lee Huang, Senior Vice President,  were designated finalists, their names among the twenty-seven put forward for consideration by Mayor Kenney. I wrote about the firm’s ties to Pay for Success and Ready Nation here.

“In 1976 my third-grade class constructed a geodesic dome reading nook under the guidance of our teacher Mrs. Nevius. Inside, with books and carpet squares and flashlights, a bunch of eight year olds found magic. Wilder Elementary had a librarian who could place the perfect book in the hands of each and every child. We anxiously waited for Mrs. Nevius to take out her bookmark to read the next chapter of The Cay or Island of the Blue Dolphins aloud to us. Those were formative experiences for me. I am now the parent of a Philadelphia student and have witnessed a relentless campaign to steal this magic from our schools. Today, I welcome the opportunity to consider what humane education looks like and how we can support it.
  • reduce class sizes
  • hire certified reading specialists
  • make sure every school has a library with a certified librarian
  • shower children with books that are culturally relevant
  • build a teaching force that reflects our student body
  • choose teacher-led professional development over disruptive consultants
  • give children time to think, to discuss, to reflect, to challenge and to question
Many students, including pre-k and kindergarteners, are instead being logged into software programs designed to harvest personal data. Rather than age-appropriate, play-based learning, they are being put in front of screens. Increased screen time leads to social isolation and creates angry, depressed children. Instead of developing healthy relationships through quality time with teachers and peers, they are having their education shaped by algorithms and computer code.

They may not have libraries, but they do have unique IDs that track their every move online. Children have no idea their data is fed into predictive analytics systems; that their unpaid digital labor creates value for ed-tech investors. There is no guarantee their data will be protected from hacks or leaks. No one can be sure it won’t be used to profile them in ways that limit their future opportunities rather than open doors.

The most powerful companies in the world are cloud-based computing companies that have an interest in pushing education online. Venture capital and philanthropies are helping to facilitate this transformation through social impact investments. In the name of “evidence-based” policy, there is a now a bipartisan push to embrace “innovative” finance schemes that use private money to fund social programs, including pre-k and early literacy.

The “Pay for Success” model requires a lot of data to prove that programs “work.” Not coincidentally, this is what education software systems promise to deliver. Remember the housing market crash of 2008 when bundled mortgages were turned into vehicles for financial speculation? There are powerful global interests who want to do it again using the debt associated with pre-k and literacy program investments. The next “Big Short” could very well be our nation’s education system, gambling not on homes but on children’s lives. Philadelphia’s youth must learn to be independent, creative, courageous thinkers. No software system is going to teach them that. When allocating resources for education, invest in people first. That’s where the magic is. Approach big data with caution. It can be weaponized against children and the common good.”

Sunday, March 11, 2018

KIPP: Do-Rags Are "direct component of school-to-prison pipeline"

Recently, KIPP has had its share of bad news, and all of it has been self-generated.  Alleged pedophile, KIPP Houston's Mike Feinberg, was recently fired for having sex with a middle school student in the late 1990s.  Since the story broke about the co-founder's sexual abuse of children, both KIPP and Feinberg have been quiet as church mice. 

Now another embarrassing story is breaking, this time involving KIPP's ongoing efforts to culturally sterilize its students.  However, something must have happened on the way to the final brainwashing of KIPP high students in Lynn, MA, for male students are now protesting KIPP's arbitrary decision to ban do-rags. 

According to KIPP Lynn's dean students and culture (yes, KIPP has a dean of culture), do-rags are a "direct component of school-to-prison pipeline" and, further, they are "also reflective of some gang culture."  If that weren't enough to make any proud teen to don't his do-rag, then there is another consideration that Dean Shauna-Kaye Clarke wants students to remember, too:  ". . . they can recede your hairline. That’s not setting you up for success.”

If KIPP were really interested in addressing the "school-to-prison pipeline," the deans of culture at KIPP  would be concerned with the hemorrhaging of KIPP students who leave KIPP feeling that they are failures for being unwilling to give up their lives to make KIPP test results look better.  KIPP teaches students that those who leave are failures who are unwilling to do what is necessary to succeed.  The intense sense of shame that results does feed, we may presume, that school the prison pipeline that Dean Shauna-Kay seems to think can be diverted by ditching the do-rag.

KIPP Lynn kids aren't buying it, and that is the most positive sign I've seen of KIPP's failure so far.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Will Econsult Solutions be a foot in the door for early childhood “Pay for Success” in Philadelphia?

from Wrench in the Gears
March 9, 2018

My friends at the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools have done commendable work researching the slate of candidates initially selected by the nominating panel to be considered for the mayoral-appointed Philadelphia School Board. Reading through their first installment, I noticed that two of the twenty-seven have ties to Econsult Solutions. Suzanne Biemuller is a Senior Policy Advisor and Lee Huang is a Senior Vice President. The name rang a bell, so I decided to do a little more digging.
It is a large economic consulting firm that does business with private and government interests from the Philadelphia region and farther afield. Their extensive client list includes the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as philanthropies like the MacArthur Foundation, known for promoting digital learning, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, known for promoting Pay for Success, and the William Penn Foundation, known for hiring Boston Consulting Group to recommend closure of 23 Philadelphia schools and recent initiatives to promote out-of-school time, informal learning initiatives.
One of Econsult Solution’s four areas of practice is public policy and finance. Philip Peterson, a former actuary who now acts as an expert in the use of Pay for Success finance in early childhood education, became an advisor to the firm last September. Peterson’s LinkedIn profile states that he manages KidSucceed LLC, a firm he founded in July 2016 with addresses in Marlton, NJ and Manchester, VT.

Click here to read the rest of the post.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Florida teacher drops N-word in class and tells white girls not to date black boys: ‘They’re not worth it’

More of what the Trump Era has unleashed in the classroom:

Florida teacher drops N-word in class and tells white girls not to date black boys: ‘They’re not worth it’: A Florida middle school teacher has been suspended after students told the administration that he made racist remarks in class last year. Local news station Action News Jax reports that David Swinyar, a teacher at the Kernan Middle School in Jacksonville, has been suspended without pay for ten days after an investigation by the school concluded that he dropped the “n-word” in class and told students that “you should not be dating all these different …

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Student-Teacher Relations Are Central to Authentic Education

March 3, 2018

Today I share a guest post from an elementary school teacher in Maine, a state in the vanguard of Ed Reform 2.0 implementation. Unless changes are made, this year’s freshmen are expected to graduate under the state’s new proficiency-based diploma requirements. In recent months, push-back against this new educational paradigm has grown substantially. Parents, teachers and students are finding standards-based education, a model that emphasizes technology-based education delivery, highly problematic. Here is one teacher’s perspective:

“I love technology. I love it so much that I got my Masters in educational technology through Boise State University in Idaho. Through this program I learned to teach online, gamify my curriculum, personalize learning, use countless technology tools, and promote digital literacy in the classroom.

When I switched to a school district that had one to one technology for my students, I was over the moon! That was until I actually saw it implemented on a large scale. What I saw was not more engaged students, but students clicking through activities without a moment’s notice or even thought. What I found were kids wanting tablets, but not wanting to learn on them; they just wanted to play on the devices.

So I tried to implement activities that would get them really thinking and creating. We made PowToons for our learning. We used educreations to show our thinking. We used Google docs to share writing. Most of what we tried did not enhance learning one bit. Sure, it looked cool and professional, but my students could present a wonderful powerpoint and not even be able to answer questions about what they presented.

In addition, I had to sift through hundreds of different websites, tech tools, and resources to see what would be the best to use in my classroom. I found very little that was better than what I had been using in the classroom before technology. I was disheartened to discover that this was not the silver bullet I thought it was for education. The funny thing is that I thought technology would save me so much time. It really hasn’t, except for a few instances where I don’t have to grade spelling tests; and the apps that I use for spelling do not promote better spellers.

Unless you think I am now anti-technology, I am not. I use technology every day both personally and professionally. I appreciate how it connects me with some of my family far away. I love how I can create products only imagined before, like an iMovie. I love the ease of a word processor and platforms to collaborate and share my writing with others. I also love having my students use the technology for many of the things listed above, but now I know they need so much more than a flashy program for learning. They need me. They need my instruction. They need to discuss face to face with myself and their peers. They need to struggle through problems, with me encouraging them to press on and knowing when to come alongside them and help, but not enable. They need human accountability.

There is a movement in our country to transition students into more digital learning. I could go on about why this is all happening, but others have done that work for me (see Save Maine Schools and Wrench in the Gears). In the end, it will boil down to fewer teachers and more screen time for even our youngest learners. Kids will adapt and learn to click through the system like Pavlovian subjects. We will probably have “experts” claiming increased performance on their very narrow metrics.

What I see in my own school district is not better learning but more behavior. As we push kids beyond what they are capable of understanding, and think that “personalized learning” through technology will be the answer, we are sorely misinformed. Technology has its place in the classroom, but it should never replace what has made education great for hundreds of years-teachers.”

Signed, An Elementary School Teacher in Maine

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Florida public school teacher busted for white nationalist podcast calling for complete elimination of Muslims

If there is anything positive about the Trump Era, it is that racist, hate-mongering "teachers" have become so brazen that some of them, at least, self-identify so that they can dealt with.  

It is now the responsibility of the Citrus County School District to act.

Florida public school teacher busted for white nationalist podcast calling for complete elimination of Muslims: According to a report at the Huffpost, a Florida public school teacher  has been using an alias to to secretly host a white nationalist podcast and has been bragging about teaching her views in the school where she teaches. The report states that Dayanna Volitich, a 25-year-old social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School, uses the name “Tiana Dalichov” and preaches white superiority while calling for genocide of Muslims. According to the report, “her …

UPDATE: Teacher with white supremacist podcast removed from Florida classroom: A Florida teacher who hosted a white supremacist podcast in which he bragged about indoctrinating her students has been removed from the classroom pending an investigation, the Miami Herald is reporting. The teacher, Dayanna Voltich, had allegedly used an alias while interviewing leading white nationalists like the notorious “lipstick fascist” Lena Lokteff. “Children is very important,” the podcaster said. “The communists always knew that. They always wanted the minds of the children. That’s the future. …

Friday, March 02, 2018

Dear Democrats, Corporate America Is Not Your Friend

By Krystal Ball published at The Hill:
Repeat after me: Corporate America is not your friend. They are not your friend when they stop running ads on a right-wing propaganda show. They are not your friend when they run feel-good multicultural rainbow Super Bowl ads. They are not your friend when they pull their NRA perks. They are not your friend when they defend LGBTQ rights. They are not your friend when they restrict sales of AR-15s. 
Are we glad when big corporations make these choices, often under pressure and duress, which happen to coincide with the public good? Absolutely. Do not let yourself imagine, though, that they are making these decisions out of some charitable or noble impulse. There is a reason that the bottom line is called the bottom line. Corporations act for one reason alone: to maximize executive salaries and shareholder value. They don’t act to maximize value to you, or to be loyal to a nation, or to promote tolerance or any other lovely thing. Corporations are there to make money for their wealthy execs and wealthy shareholders.
Sometimes, the bottom line means capitulating to decent behavior through organized public shaming. Note that Delta Air Lines and many other corporations were perfectly happy to be cozy with the NRA until a group of nearly murdered high school students in Florida shamed them into doing otherwise. And again, to be clear, the shaming has convinced them that their continued ties to the NRA will hurt the bottom line, not that cutting ties is the right thing to do.

Here, the counter-example of FedEx is an instructive one. FedEx has not cut ties with the NRA. Why? Because FedEx makes a lot of money from a special relationship with the NRA and the gun manufacturers that the NRA represents. They are not any more or less benevolent than UPS (although I vastly prefer UPS, thanks to their Teamsters-organized workforce). FedEx did the math and it came out differently for them because they have a special deal with dozens of gun makers that enables them to make a mint off the shipment of handguns.
So no, I’m not sad that Georgia Republicans have decided to punish Deltafor walking away from the NRA by pulling Delta’s corporate welfare. It’s a nasty tactic but they understand the game. The politicians were just trying to change the math for Delta. I didn’t support that corporate tax giveaway before Delta gave the NRA the cold shoulder and I don’t support it now.
Sometimes maximizing shareholder value happens to coincide with decent behavior such as advocating for immigration or LGBTQ tolerance, or throwing some token dollars at corporate social responsibility window-dressing. These are lucky coincidences.
Consider, for example, the treatment of their workforces. Why does the white-collar professional creative class get plied with extensive perks and decent pay while blue-collar and service workers get treated like a chain gang? Corporate America happens to see value in professional workers and treats them like actual human beings so that they will actually stick around. The working class, on the other hand, is viewed as disposable, a commodity to be continually replaced (unless forced to do otherwise by unions or bad publicity).
If you fall on the happy side of that divide, it doesn’t mean the corporation is your friend. When a robot comes along to read your spreadsheets or write your news articles, you’ll see just how friendly things are. 
So if corporate America decides that running a pro-immigrant ad during the Super Bowl will help sell more Cokes, than that’s what they will do. And if they decide that selling millions of pain pills into a town of 400 people will enrich their shareholder beyond belief, they will do that too. Corporate America is not your friend when they sponsor Chamber of Commerce seminars on how to break unions, and they are not your friend when they sponsor summits on women  empowerment.
We forget this at our peril, and the nation’s. Because, Democrats, we are supposed to be the friend of the worker, not the corporation. The more we forget this fact, aligning ourselves with supposedly benevolent corporations and happily taking their cash, the more the multiracial working class of this nation is left to fend for itself. The more desperate these workers become, the more willing they will be to trust the siren song of scarcity that says, “There are only so many seats at the table, so we must secure those seats for US and good luck to THEM, the immigrants.  Forget about the poor, rural whites who struggle, or the urban African-Americans who might be jobless or disproportionately incarcerated.”
Democrats, it’s the multiracial working class that is your friend — and you need to be their friend again. Tell Corporate America that you appreciate their ethical opportunism and their election cash, but you are going to stick with workers, thank you very much.
Krystal Ball is president of The People’s House Project, which recruits Democratic candidates in Republican-held congressional districts of the Midwest and Appalachia. A former candidate for Congress in Virginia and host on MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” she is a video host for the soon-to-be-launched Hill.TV project. Follow her on Twitter @krystalball.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Georgia teacher in custody after reports of gunfire at high school

More guns for teachers, anyone?  Anyone?

Georgia teacher in custody after reports of gunfire at high school: An armed high school teacher in Georgia barricaded himself alone inside his classroom, then fired a gunshot when the principal tried to force open the door, but no one was seriously injured, police said after the instructor was arrested. The shooting, which unfolded as schools around the country remained on edge from gun violence earlier this month that claimed 17 lives in the neighboring state of Florida, unfolded around lunchtime at Dalton High School, about …

Monday, February 26, 2018

KIPP Co-Founder, Mike Feinberg, Fired for Sexually Abusing Middle Schooler

Always an advocate of a kind of heedless "let the stallions run" mentality for charter school administrators, Michael Feinberg was fired last Thursday for sexually abusing a KIPP student in Houston in the late 1990s, where Feinberg was the principal of the only KIPP school in Houston at the time. The KIPP home office carefully avoided pointing that this was a middle school, grades five through eight.

According to KIPP Houston, which now manages 28 schools in the Houston area, the KIPP home office learned in 2017 about Feinberg's sex crimes against a KIPP child in the late 1990s.  
. . . sources confirm an investigation was launched into a new allegation of sex assault of a student. Feinberg was reportedly instructed he couldn't be around students or at the school unsupervised.
Even though KIPP launched an investigation in the Spring of 2017, the charges remained a close secret until last week, with parents and students, alike, in the dark about the allegations.  

The KIPP Foundation also acknowledges (finally) that KIPP was party to a financial payout in 2004 to a KIPP employee, who was a victim, too, of Feinberg's sexual harassment. Punishment for Feinberg?  He was suspended for two weeks!

Feinberg's high-dollar lawyer is now quick to point out that the KIPP home office did not offer Feinberg "even the most rudimentary form of due process."  Perhaps Feinberg will come to know a tiny bit of how the thousands of fired KIPP teachers feel when they are summarily riffed with no reasons given.  At least Feinberg knew something about why he was fired.

We can only hope that Feinberg will take the KIPP home office to court.  That is probably the only way we will ever find out the extent of Feinberg's sex offenses.  In other words, don't expect to see Mike Feinberg in court.  

But I suspect that the KIPP Foundation made sure that Feinberg will be taken care of, that no court action will be taken, and that the KIPP home office will celebrate its decisive action, even if it was 20 years after the fact.

Charter school parents everywhere must wonder how many more privileged pedophiles like Mike Feinberg are lurking in charter schools, which are not subject to public oversight or public accountability for administrative conduct.  What price must school children pay so that paternalists and privatizers can achieve their ideological goals and the economic ends?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Help Stop Charter Co-Location at North Hollywood High School

A concerned student at NHHS, Anna Winikow, contacted Schools Matter asking for help.  

Please sign her petition and share it widely everywhere.  Thank you.

Stop Charter Co-Location at North Hollywood HS
1,501 SIGNATURES (as of 1:08PM)
LAUSD School Board Members
LAUSD Superintendent, Local District Superintendent
Los Angeles Mayor, City Council Member, Neighborhood Council, CA Senator, CA Assembly Member
School Construction Bond Oversight Committee
LAUSD Charter Division
We strongly oppose the addition of VIP charter school to the campus of North Hollywood High School. LAUSD offering this campus for co-location is unrealistic, short-sighted, and wasteful of public funds.
NHHS facilities, which have already been determined outdated and unsafe enough to necessitate a $200+ million construction modernization project, do NOT have appropriate space for 330+ additional students. This would cause innumerable problems with safety, security, traffic, cleanliness, instruction, and much more. Many tiny classrooms were built 100 years ago when classes had 25 students, not 40. Many rooms cannot even fit 40 desks and chairs, so they are used for other purposes.
To give up 14 classrooms to a charter, North Hollywood would need to eliminate or reduce spaces and programs that are at the heart of our students' success, such as: College and Careers Center, computer labs, Parent Center, music room, weight room, workshops needed by Robotics teams, Student Government, Science Olympiad, Cyber Patriots, and other award-winning extracurricular programs.
Because major construction is scheduled to begin at NHHS in 2 years, this charter co-location offer is limited to 1 year, even though the charter application was for 5 years. This causes unnecessary chaos for both North Hollywood HS and the charter, which would need to move again to another co-location campus. Why not choose a long-term campus now?
Every new charter co-location requires construction work to create separate entrances, offices, technology, infrastructure, possibly disabled access, paid for with school bond funds. At schools slated for major construction, these adjustments would be demolished in 1-2 years and the charter would be re-located to another campus, where new construction would again be required. Why would LAUSD waste limited school bond funds this way?
Please join us in challenging this co-location proposal.
For more info: wernoho@gmail.com

Prez Buffoonery Reaches New Heights: Teacher Merit Bonuses Based on Marksmanship

Trump promises 'shootings will not happen again' if states give yearly bonuses to 'Armed Educators': After remaining silent most of Saturday, President Donald Trump once again made the pitch to arm school teachers with the promise that it will bring to end school shootings. Writing on Twitter, Trump pushed back against law enforcement officials and educators who want to see no weapons on school campuses at all, saying states should take the lead and give pistol-packing school officials “yearly bonuses.” “Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) …

Friday, February 23, 2018

Philadelphia's School Reform Commission denies six new charters and approves one with conditions.

by Greg Windle and Dale Messacappa
Philadelphia Public School Notebook

The School Reform Commission denied six of seven applications for new charter schools on Thursday, heeding evaluations by the Charter School Office and information from follow-up hearings that raised significant questions about most of them.

Among those rejected were an elementary school in Yorktown proposed by Mastery, the largest charter operator in the city; two schools to be managed by ASPIRA Inc. of Pennsylvania; and a middle school on the Franklin Towne campus in Bridesburg, which already provides grades K-12.

Also rejected were bids from two new operators. The Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM), a community organization that builds affordable housing and runs preschools, wanted to open a K-8 school in North Philadelphia for 702 students. And Hebrew Public, a nonprofit that runs four schools in New York City, sought to operate a dual-language K-8 school in East Falls in which students would learn Hebrew and study the history of Israel.

The one that was approved, a third MaST school in Far Northeast Philadelphia, had significant conditions attached. One condition cut its planned enrollment in half – from 2,600 to 1.300. Another required that the school accept half its students from certain zip codes so that it can attract a more diverse population. And under a third, it must work to provide transportation to kindergarten students, because the District doesn’t provide transportation for them and the expectation is that many students will travel some distance to the school.

With the conditions, the MaST vote was 5-0 in favor. 

Click here to read the entire article. 

Click here to read the MaST III Charter report from the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools

Also see:
APPS members have an Op Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer protesting the lack of transparency in Mayoral selecction of a new school Board
by Richard Migilore and Karel Kilimnik
Unlike those in every other school district in the state, and in almost every district in the nation, we the people of Philadelphia continue to be disenfranchised in the governance of our public schools. To make matters worse, the return to local control, after the 17-year reign of the state-imposed School Reform Commission, will devolve into one-person control unless our elected officials take steps to guarantee the independence of the new school board.
 Following the mandates of the current City Charter, Mayor Kenney appointed a 13-member nominating panel, which is scheduled to hold a public meeting Monday and vote on a list of names that Kenney will draw from to select a nine-person school board. The mayor had directed the panel to hold previous meetings in executive session, effectively barring members of the public from witnessing or taking part in the process in any way.
This absolute control by the mayor can be mitigated in several ways. First, the nominating panel, under the leadership of Chair Wendell Pritchett, should have opened all of its meetings to the public. As city officials, members of the panel are obligated to obey all laws, including the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, which codifies the right of the people to witness the actions of all government officials, whether elected or appointed.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Resistance After Trump Must Target the Zuckerbergs of the World

An astute piece at The Daily Beast on the emerging dystopian dream of the total surveillance urban society.

A clip:

Mark Zuckerberg, even as he fought to expand his own sprawling suburban homestead, envisions his employees living in crowded dormitories close to work, including a planned 1,500-unit apartment development near Facebook’s Menlo Park campus. Zuckerberg, like most oligarchs, prefers workers unengaged with the mundanities of family life.
“Young people just have simpler lives,” he explained to the San Francisco Chronicle. “We may not own a car. We may not have a family. Simplicity in life is what allows you to focus on what’s important.”
The man preaching this diminished view of urban life, of course, has a car, a family and all the benefits that come with a vast fortune. He is not part of the “we” he’s purporting to speak for.
The city that he is envisioning, that “we” are supposed to enjoy, will be organized not by civic loyalty but pools of constantly tracked personal information collected and sold by his company.

Trump rigged Miss Universe pageants to favor countries where he had business interests: report

Anyone surprised?  Anyone? Anyone?

Trump rigged Miss Universe pageants to favor countries where he had business interests: report: A new report from the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin alleges that President Donald Trump used to regularly rig Miss Universe pageants to favor women who hailed from countries where he had business interests. Former contestants at the Miss Universe pageant told Toobin that Trump would regularly talk with them about business deals that he did in their countries — and that women whose countries were doing business with Trump would routinely get selected as finalists, …

Fox News host floats idea of 'Department of Education and Security' instead of gun control

Is anyone surprised that the proposed "solution" to mass murder with weapons of war would be to turn schools into armed camps? Will teachers get pre-checks?

Fox News host floats idea of 'Department of Education and Security' instead of gun control: Fox News host Brian Kilmeade argued on Monday that the way to prevent school shootings was for the Department of Education to be more like the Transportation and Security Agency (TSA), which is tasked with keeping firearms out of airports. During a discussion about the Parkland school shooting on Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy said that the lesson from the incident was that “unstable people should not have access to guns.” “Something needs to …

Friday, February 16, 2018

Fuck Your Thoughts and Fuck Your Prayers

Yes, again, a mass murderer too young to buy a beer but not too young to buy an AR-15 has killed another group of innocent humans (17 of them), whose only offense was going to school.   Yesterday morning Lamar Alexander, another of those U. S. Senators whose decency has been exchanged for undying fealty to a gangster buffoon president and his fascist funders, tweeted his "thoughts and prayers" to the school shooting victims and their families.

Like every other politician who hides behind the Second Amendment to sustain the gun lobby's insistence on marketing war weapons to adolescents, crazy people, and Nazis, Lamar Alexander has blood on his hands, and they get bloodier each time these predictable and avoidable tragedies unfold.  The U. S. is the only country on Earth where this kind of legalized and ongoing mayhem occurs, and it's way past time for it to stop.

A change has to happen, and a change will happen this time, I feel.  Law enforcement, parents, students, clergy, hunters, target shooters, and even a couple of politicians are going to make this change.  It will not be stopped by all the money that the NRA can hand out, and it will happen despite the cowardly scumbags hiding out in their Washington offices tweeting out their thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Philadelphia's Proposed New Charter School Reports: February 22, 2018


by Lisa Haver
The Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools
February 14, 2018

On February 22, the  lame-duck School Reform Commission (SRC) will vote to accept or reject applications from seven charter companies: APM Community Charter School, Franklin Towne Charter Middle School, Mastery Charter Elementary, MaST Community Charter School,  Philadelphia Hebrew Charter School, Antonia Pantoja Preparatory Charter School and Eugenio Maria de Hostos Preparatory Charter School.  (Pennsylvania Institute Charter School withdrew its application at the hearing; Qor Charter withdrew its application subsequent to the hearing.)

APPS members have read and analyzed the applications, attended the hearings, researched the charter company and its officers, and examined the records of any existing schools the company operates in the district.

Those who scratch the surface of this process begin to realize the depth and breadth of the questions surrounding the funneling of tax dollars into institutions that are not “public” in the sense of serving the common good.  Dig further to discover highly paid top administration officials, cozy and complicated financial dealings, far from transparent or open organizational practices, and academics that are rarely superior to public schools.

In defense of a truly public education system that serves the common good as a cornerstone of democracy, APPS continues to delve into the facts and history of charters. Our tax dollars should be spent to improve the quality of education for all of our students and should not be spent on a wasteful, corrupt, two-tiered system made possible by those who benefit from the provisions in what PA Auditor General Anthony De Pasquale has called “the worst charter school law in the country”.

Following are the reports by APPS members along with written testimony submitted to the SRC.

APM Community Charter School

Aspira Inc: Antonia Pantoja Preparatory Charter School

Aspira Inc: Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School

Franklin Towne Middle Charter School

Philadelphia Hebrew Charter School

Mastery Charter Elementary School

MaST III Charter School

Also see:
Philadelphia charter operators rally to demand deregulation and removal of oversight of charter schools. Read the comments. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Commentary: Philadelphia’s children deserve human teachers, not algorithms and data-mining

Commentary: Philadelphia’s children deserve human teachers, not algorithms and data-mining: On Thursday, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission will vote on two resolutions. One (B-12) allocates $10 million for virtual classes and adaptive learning systems, while the other (A-7) awards...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Is Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School a dropout factory?

Here is John Harris Loflin’s latest research.  Please read John’s piece and visit his website.  Doug Martin

Dear reader,

Although this report is about the Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School, it serves as a call for transparency regarding graduation rate figures for all Indiana public schools. It is the hope the analysis will spark diligence on the part of the public to hold school boards and charter boards accountable.

We must especially find ways to make clear what goes on in schools especially before/after “count day” when each public school in the state totals up all of the students attending their schools. The number of students tallied adds up to direct funding for the school. The issue is after count day, certain schools “council out” certain students, suggesting other schools as a better option/”fit.” This helps the numbers/reputation of these certain schools though at the expense of these certain students/families.

Please get back to me with your ideas about what we can do about making our public schools more honest.

John Harris Loflin

Is Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School a dropout factory?
A preliminary report and commentary on the graduation rates and promoting power of Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School

by John Harris Loflin

It is tragic to have to say that there is no need to prove urban public education in America is in trouble. We only have to look at local television to see the negative outcomes associated with urban school failure. We also know that when urban students are graduated on time and ready for careers, college and citizenship, chances of being involved in crime or violence are reduced.

The Pushout Crisis   
The Schott Foundation (2012) report “The Urgency of Now” introduces a new factor to the discussion: “The pushout crisis.” Evidently, nearly 17% of African American students and 7% of Latinx students were suspended at least once in 2009-10, compared to 5% for White students. The section of the report concludes that disproportionate use of out-of-school suspension for Black and Latinx child-ren at all levels is the first step toward pushing them out.

This Schott report defines a “pushout” as a student who leaves their school before graduation through the encouragement of the school itself.

The challenge now is a new one: trying to persuade the “Unconvinced Generation” (Evans, 2006) to stay in school while trying to keep school officials from pushing them out (Loflin & Evans, 2015).

The “pushout crisis” reflects situations where many schools try to get rid of (dump or ”shed back”/“counsel out”) students who may tarnish the school’s statistics (Lewin & Medina, 2003) when they score low on state standardized tests, or fail to graduate on time.

During recent national hearings, an NAACP task force found, “…many participants testified about students with special needs, those perceived as poor test takers, or those who pose a behavioral challenge are either not accepted, or once enrolled, disciplined or counseled out of many charter schools” (NAACP, 2017).

This trend of manipulating students’ educational lives like pawns or stick pins on a map by “hiding” students in “alternative learning experiences” (Spring, 2016) to keep the “bottom line” of academic outcomes and grad rates with other “quick fixes” is widespread (Turner, 2015). It reflects the shady underbelly of a market ideology’s system of competition and choice applied to, of all things, the lives of children (Winerip, 2011; Miller, 2015; Taylor, 2015; Wolfe, 2015; Brown, 2017).

As well, whole districts are not above throwing some students under the bus to get/maintain high grad rates (Spring, 2016; Koran, 2017).

Pushing students out is especially tempting for urban charter schools which are under intense scrutiny and pressure to perform. Taking into account the past economics of educational politics (i.e., school choice) in Indianapolis, this is especially the case for Mayor Hogsett’s bevy of charters.  

Particularly relevant to issues regarding “pushing out” students is the December 19, 2015 Indiana Business Journal (IBJ) story on events at the Charles Tindley Accelerated School (CTAS): “Charter star Tindley in cash crunch as CEO’s expenses questioned” (Columbo, 2015). Though the story raises concerns, IBJ joins other local media in validating the “star” status of the Tindley brand (www.tindley.org). Note, both Indy’s local establishment (Pulliam, 2013) and Black community (Perry, 2013) hold CTAS up to everyone and praise the school as a model for other urban charters.* In fact, CTAS is recognized nationally as one of the “highest-scoring schools” by US News and World Report (2015).

A scrutiny of this blend of concern and praise suggests a public discussion.  A deeper review of factors behind the school’s graduation rates, which are in the lower 90% for the classes 2013 and 2014, will promote dialogue and clarity.

Introducing “Promoting Power”
In order to open a conversation about the “success” of CTAS, fostering a clear view of the school’s graduation rates (or those of any Indiana public school) is needed. The concept of Promoting Power (holding power) is being used because it can provide a quick way to determine how a school is doing. Promoting Power also circumvents certain graduation rate formulas which can hide the inability of schools to keep students in school and graduating.

Promoting Power takes the number of 9th graders and divides that by the number of these students who make it to 12th grade. It does not determine graduation rates--those 9th graders (cohort) who actually graduate. A Promoting Power of <60% is weak Promoting Power.  High schools with weak Promoting Power are called “dropout factories.” The term was used in the Indy Star’s 2005 “Left Behind” series: http://rishawnbiddle.org/RRB/Starfiles/leftbehind/Dropout_factories.pdf
To understand more about Promoting Power and the dropout factory term see:

Comparing graduation rates and promoting power: Is CTAS a dropout factory?
Linking both the Promoting Power concept and “pushout crisis” factors will bring another possible explanation of the “success” of CTAS. Contrasting Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) graduation rates for CTAS with the school’s Promoting Power percentages reveals CTAS as a dropout factory in all but 1 of the graduating classes for the 2007-2008 to 2017-2018 school years. See Table II.

To illustrate, the graduation rate for CTAS for 2012-2013 was 90%. A closer look at the data shows only 27 of the 2009-2010 9th grade cohort of 61 graduated. The 90% rate was determined by dividing the number of seniors (30) into the number who actually graduated (27). In other words, the class of 2012-2013 had 30 seniors of which 27 graduated. Even though the cohort lost over half of its members after 3 years, it still had a graduation rate of 90%.  See Table II.
The Promoting Power formula measures the ability of CTAS to hold on to its 9th graders. Comparing the 61 freshmen who started the 2009-2010 school year with the 30 who made it to their senior year, CTAS has a Promoting Power of (30/61) 49%--making it, for that class, a dropout factory. See Table II.

An Indiana public school both traditional or charter can lose over half its freshman class after 3 years and still have a graduation rate of 90% 
How does this happen? According to IDOE guidelines, a school’s graduation rate will not be affected by students who leave a high school and are enrolled elsewhere. With regard to determining graduation rates, the “home school” does not have to count these students among those in that year’s cohort.  For example, a particular public high school could have 20 9th graders and 4 years later have 5 (seniors) left in that cohort due to 15 students leaving and enrolling in another high school. If all 5 graduate, and even though the school lost 75% of its freshmen class after 3 years, the school’s grad rate for that year will be 100%.

This raises the question and thus the rub: what if the student/family is counseled out or persuaded to “self-select”--pushed away from their school before they are graduated, through the encouragement of the school itself?

Also, what about a school coaching a student/family to choose homeschooling as an alternative to expulsion? In this way, these negative marks do not appear on the student’s or school’s record, and does not count against the school’s gradua-tion rate. However, are there drawbacks to the home schooling option for the student/family? See Appendix B

On the surface “self-opting” makes sense and appears fair to all parties: schools, and students and their families. Yet, the issues brought to the surface by the Schott report on the national “pushout crisis” raises questions as to whether these students left “on their own” or were they “pushed” out.

As stated above, “The ‘pushout crisis’ reflects situations where many schools are trying to get rid of (dump/’shed back’ or ‘counsel out’) students who may tarnish a school’s statistics (Lewin & Medina, 2003) such as by scoring low on state standard tests, or failing to graduate on time.”

Commentary: Why is weeding-out students disguised and excused by the status quo
All of this is worrisome.  A closer look at the January 2013 commentary about Tindley by Russ Pulliam (2013) is needed. Here Pulliam quotes Brian Payne, the president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation who said, “I think it’s human nature that people generally rise to the level of expectations.” Payne went on, “When you create a culture of high expectations, people generally will self-select out of that culture if they are not committed. They have this culture at Tindley that you will work hard. If you aren’t ready to work, you may not want to be there.” 

Respecting the school in light of graduation rate vs. Promoting Power percents, CTAS and its supporters attempt to “spin” the pushout phenomenon as one where the student and their family leave on their own accord.  So, the school is left free of responsibility: We didn’t push the student out, she/he “self-opted” out.

Again, the “self-select out” concoction is endorsed by Indy Star’s distinguished political pundit Mr. Pulliam who is plainly pushing the idea that this rationale makes sense. Perhaps local media and the CTAS board want the public to believe that such a covert “self-select out” masquerade is justified in order to keep up the school’s reputation.

Even in some cases regarding disciplinary action/s, a student/family may be offered “a deal you can’t refuse.” In this situation, a school intends to suspend or expel a student, but proposes not to if he/she leaves (supposedly) by their own choice and then enrolls in another school. Perhaps for certain students, such “counseling” is used to help them realize they “…may not want to be there.”

Due to this “trade-off,” neither the school nor the student will have a suspension or expulsion on their record and the school unapologetically gets rid of a student they can label as one who just wasn’t a good “fit.”  

And, most likely those students/families that pick a Tindley-type charter will go to another school, thus removing that student from the cohort. Now, she/he will not be counted toward determining the graduating rate of that group/class.

Another obvious concern involves schools with high test scores—and the efforts of these schools to maintain such status. How is it fair and equitable when schools, can under the cover of the “self-selection” alibi, actually “weed out” poor test takers?

Our “pushout crisis” and the Promotion Power idea call for transparency
Indeed, the above report/commentary is presumptuous and even accusatory. Still, with over 20 years of pressure on certain high schools (notably urban charters), and in this case the very contentious, over 10-year local and state-wide debate over school choice, this level of suspicion simply cannot be avoided.

To the extent that Mayor Hogsett is the only mayor in the United State of America who can charter a school, to that same extent tremendous political-economic pressure is put on the mayor’s charters to perform. Thus, he cannot afford to have any of his schools fall below the norm--let alone be suspect of any deceptions exposed by the pushout emergency and a Promoting Power analysis.

As Indianapolis, Indiana, and the country praise the Charles Tindley Accelerated School for having high expectations for its students, families and staff, the Tindley board must maintain credibility by virtue of transparency and public accountability, practicing the same level of expectancy it holds for the school.
*This was especially the case when Mayor Ballard closed The Project School (TPS) charter over financial issues. TPS also had low test scores—which was why the Mind Trust’s David Harris said the school must be closed (Peg with Pen, 2012). Yet, many believe the closure happened because 28 students opted-out of ISTEP. In the wake of the closing, CTAS was presented to the public as the blueprint to follow—the opposite of TPS (RTV Channel 6, 2012).

Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School
(IDOE school #6208)
Enrollment numbers per 9th grade 4-year cohort for 2004-2015

      04-05  05-06  06-07  07-08  08-09  09-10  10-11  11-12   12-13   13-14   14-15 15-16 16-17
  9   66     59     29     40     46     61     69     62      68     93     135   94    89
10            44     34     26     30     28     52     52      48     54      79    87    80
11                     15    22     23      23    22     43       32     41     42    44    64
12                             14     19     22     13     18      30     30      32    35    40  

Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School
Enrollment numbers, graduation numbers and rates,
and Promoting Power percentages for 9th grade cohorts

School                                                          IDOE *                Class       IDOE *      Promoting     Weak/  Dropout
Year       9th  10th          11th          12th       # grads                  of          Grad %    Power <60%    Strong   Factory
04/05   66   44 (-22)   15 (-29)   14 (-1)      12      12/19   2007-08   63.2%     14/66=21.2%      W          Yes          

05/06   59   34 (-25)   22 (-12)   19 (-3)      15      15/25   2008-09   60.0%     19/59=34.5%      W          Yes

06/07   29   26 (-3)     23 (-3)     22 (-1)      15      15/19   2009-10   78.9%     22/29=75.8%       S            No                                                                                    

07/08   40   30 (-10)   23 (-7)     13 (-10)    12      12/16   2010-11   75.0%     13/40=32.5%      W          Yes

08/09   46   28 (-18)   22 (-6)     18 (-4)      15      15/19   2011-12   78.9%     18/46=39.1%      W          Yes     

09/10   61   52 (-9)     43 (-9)     30 (-13)    27      27/30   2012-13   90.0%     30/61=49.1%      W          Yes    

10/11   69   52 (-17)   32 (-20)   30 (-2)      29      29/32   2013-14   90.6%     30/69=43.4%      W          Yes

11/12   62   48 (-14)   41 (-7)     32 (-9)      24      24/28   2014-15   85.7%     32/62=51.6%      W          Yes

12/13   68   54 (-14)   42 (-12)   35 (-7)      32      32/36   2015-16   88.9%     35/68=51.5%      W          Yes
13/14   93   79 (-14)   44 (-35)   40 (-4)      35      35/38   2016-17   92.1%     40/93=43.0%      W          Yes

14/15 135  87 (-48)   64  (-23)   61 (-3)                              2017-18                   61/135=45%       W          Yes        

15/16   94   80 (-14)   72 (-8)

16/17   89   77 (-12)

17/18   91

Breakdown of Graduation Rate Calculations
Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School

Class of 07-08 
IDOE # in 12th grade =14     
  Grad rate  # of grads
    63.2%       12
GED  5.3%       1
SiS   10.5%      2
DO   21.1%      4
Class of 12-13 
IDOE # in 12th grade =30     
  Grad rate  # of grads
    90.0%         27
DO   10.0%        3
                       30: 27/30=90.0%
Class of 08-09 
IDOE # in 12th grade =19     
    Grad rate  # of grads
     60.0%        15
SiS   40.%        10
                       25: 15/25=60.0%
Class of 13-14 
IDOE # in 12th grade=30     
  Grad rate  # of grads
   90.6%          29
SiS    6.3%         2
DO   3.1%          1
                       32: 29/32=90.6%
Class of 09-10 
IDOE # in 12th grade =22     
  Grad rate  # of grads
     78.9%       15
SiS   10.5%       2
DO   10.5%       2
      Class of 14-15 
IDOE # in 12th grade=32     
  Grad rate  # of grads
    85.7%         24
SiS   10.7%        3
DO     3.6%        2
                       28: 24/28=85.7%
Class of 10-11 
IDOE # in 12th grade =13     
  Grad rate  # of grads
    75.0%          12
SiS   18.8%         3
DO     6.3%         1
      Class of 15-16 
IDOE # in 12th grade=35     
  Grad rate  # of grads
    88.9%         32
SiS   11.1%        4
DO     0.0%        0
                       36: 32/36=88.9%
Class of 11-12 
IDOE # in 12th grade=18     
  Grad rate  # of grads
   78.9%         15
SiS   10.5%       2
DO   10.5%       2
                      19: 15/19=78.9%

      Class of 16-17 
IDOE # in 12th grade=40     
  Grad rate  # of grads
    92.1%         35
SiS     2.6%        1
DO     5.3%        2
                        38: 35/38=92.1%
SiS=Still in School students are expelled students, yet are still “enrolled” & expected to return. Until that happens or not, this is counted against a school’s graduation rate.

Appendix B
The limitations of homeschooling as an alternative to expulsion:
Why high schools benefit, but students, families, and society may not

The language of “counsel out,” “self-select out,” “shed-back” (Lewin & Medina, 2003) and now “de-selection” and “Got to Go” lists (Miller, 2015), even “thrive or transfer” bullying (Winerip, 2011) become alarming as analysis shows public school administrators have the option to offer parents and students the use of home-schooling as a “transfer” over expulsion.

·         Is this a good choice for low-income, marginalized families living in poor neighborhoods, characterized by crime and violence? 

This is noted because Indiana home schooling guidelines are non-in-forcible by the state. Indiana has no accountability for record keeping for students and/or families who select this expulsion option. This worries some important local and national community vitality and public policy groups (Fiddian-Green & Bridgeland, 2017).

·         What happens to those students being “homeschooled” without adequate or little or no parent involvement, or formal supervision?
o    What about situations where the parent/s works during the day and the student, who is normally in school, is left unsupervised? 
o    What if parent/s do not have the level of education needed to home school adequately?

This led to speculation that there is a possible correlation between the Indiana home schooling guidelines and the school to prison pipeline.

·         Are high schools inadvertently placing students in jeopardy by counseling families to choose this alternative?

The homeschooling choice is popular because it can benefit both parties: neither the student nor the school has the expulsion mark on their official school records.

Does count against a school’s grad rate
Does not count against grad rate
A student leaves a high school and drops out completely and does not enroll at another school

A student is expelled though counted as “Still in School”

The student/family “self-selects” out or is “counseled” out, or is just “pushed” out. The student leaves and then enrolls in another school.  

A student/family chooses homeschooling over expulsion

Grasp the analysis of Appendix B via the discussion about the homeschool option which resulted from an analysis by the National Council on Educating Black Children, the Black & Latino Policy Institute, and Indiana University’s School of Social Work. It was presented 02.17.16 to the Indiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Other information

Office of Education Innovation 2013-2014/2014-2015 reports on CTAS

Chalkbeat 10.21.16 CTAS as one of the better local high schools regarding ISTEP

CTAS 2017 2nd Best Charter HS Out of 19 in Indy Metro Area

·         Overall Niche Grade is a B
·         288 Students
·         99% Free or Reduced Lunch
·         55% Female
·         45% Male

·         93.45%  African American
·         92% Proficient--Reading
·         95% Proficient--Math
·         85% Average Graduation Rate
·         1080 Average SAT composite score out of 1600

2017 Indianapolis Star Of the Indiana high schools reporting data since 2014, CTAS was 1 of only 16 enrolling at least 90% of their students in some sort of post-secondary education in Indiana or elsewhere as well as attaining a 90% readiness rate at Indiana public colleges. Of the 16 schools, 12 are private. (Herron, 2017). http://www.indystar.com/story/news/education/2017/07/30/how-well-indiana-high-schools-preparing-students-college/453616001/
Links to IDOE* Compass website data on CTAS

 Is Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School a dropout factory? A preliminary report and commentary on the graduation rates and promoting power is a compilation of data and analysis byjohnharrisloflin@yahoo.com of www.vorcreatex.com ©2018 John Harris Loflin  

Brown, E. (2017, July 26). NAACP School choice is not the answer to improving-education for black students. Washington Post.
Colombo, H. (2015, December 19). Charter star Tindley in cash crunch as CEO’s   
     expenses questioned. Indianapolis Business Journal.
 Evans, J. (2006, October 25). The Unconvinced generation. NUVO. Indianapolis, IN.  http://www.nuvo.net/news/news/the-unconvinced-generation/article_c17d716a-a04f-5f61-90db-cc5c00f46f5c.html
Fiddian-Green, C. & Bridgeland, J. (2017, November 14). State still has work to do   
     on increasing graduation rates [Letter to the editor]. Indianapolis Star, p. 23A.
Herron, A. (2017, July 30). How well are Indiana high schools preparing students   
Koran, M. (2017). Struggling Students Moved to Online Charters, Boosting District’s Record Grad Rate.  Voice of San Diego. http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/education/struggling-students-moved-to-online-charters-boosting-districts-record-grad-rate/
 Lewin, T. & Medina, J. (2003, July 31). To cut failure rates, schools shed students. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/31/nyregion/to-cut-failure-rate-schools-shed-students.html
Loflin, J. & Evans, J. (2015). “They Say that We are Prone to Violence, but It's
     Home Sweet Home”: The Praxis of Hip Hop, Self-Actualization, and Democratic
     Education for Addressing the Roots of Violence. International Journal for Cross
     Disciplinary Subjects in Education. 6(4): 2358-2367.
Miller, L. (2015). Charter School “De-selection”, “Counseling Out”, High Behavioral Suspension Rates and Now, “Got to Go” Lists. Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog. https://millermps.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/charter-school-de-selection-counseling-out-high-behavioral-suspension-rates-and-now-got-to-go-lists/
 NAACP.  (2017). Quality Education for all…one school at a time. Task Force on    
     Education--Hearing Report. July 28.  p. 16-17.
Peg with Pen. (2012). Mind Trust's David Harris: His Next Step Will Be Over You.
Perry, B. (2013, September 25). The Tindley Model: School raises expectations for students and area. The Indianapolis Recorder.  p. A1. http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/news/local/article_9c10939a-265b-11e3-893d-001a4bcf887a.html
Pulliam, R. (2013, January 24). A culture of high expectations. Indianapolis Star.
RTV Channel 6. (2012, August 1). Judge Sides With Mayor; Project School Closed.
Schott Foundation. (2012). The Pushout Crisis: The Urgency of Now.
Spring, D. (2016).  How the Highline School District Uses the Struggling Student Shell Game to Artificially Inflate their Graduation Rate. Coalition to Protect our Public Schools. https://coalitiontoprotectourpublicschools.org/latest-news/how-the-highline-school-district-artificially-inflates-their-graduation-rate
Taylor, K. (2015, October 29). At a Success Academy Charter School, Singling Out Pupils Who Have ‘Got to Go.’ New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/30/nyregion/at-a-success-academy-charter-school-singling-out-pupils-who-have-got-to-go.html
Turner, C. (2015, June 10). Raising Graduation Rates With Questionable Quick Fixes. National Public Radio: How Learning Happens. http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/06/10/412240568/raising-graduation-rates-with-questionable-quick-fixes
US News and World Report. (2015). Best High School Rankings 2015.
Winerip, M. (2011, July 10). Message From a Charter School: Thrive or Transfer. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/nyregion/charter-school-sends-message-thrive-or-transfer.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Wolfe, A. (2015, March 11). Are Schools Still Pushing Kids Out? Jackson Free Press. http://itsoureconomy.us/2013/03/charter-schools-counseling-out-to-keep-public-funds-coming-in/