Monday, August 15, 2011

Follow the money: Who benefits financially from the pro-market charter school movement?

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Follow the money: Who benefits financially from the pro-market charter school movement?

Louisiana School Boards Association, Following the Charter Dollars - Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The charter school reform emerged in part out of a progressive effort to promote innovation that could be used to improve all public schools, and to open up discus­sion on the relationship between school and community, particularly in urban areas. It was a movement initiated by Ray Budde, a professor at the University of Massachusetts and envisioned as a school that would gain freedom to try different methods of teaching that could be transferred to all public schools.

However, a funny thing happened along the way.  Free-market zealots (with riches) realized that over $600 billion is spent in the U.S. on public schools.  A whole new frontier leading to stable profits was recognized.  Everyone knows "it takes money to make money," and the faces behind the voucher/charter "reform" movement are not bashful in stepping up to the bar.


If you make it through the entire article above you may note some connections with our Pennsylvania education policymakers.  Education Secretary Tomalis was a Director for Dutko Worldwide, Budget Secretary Zogby was Senior VP of Education & Policy for K-12, Joel Greenberg of the Susquehanna International Group was the co-chair of Governor Corbett's Education Transition Team, Governor Corbett and Senator Williams were both key speakers at the DeVos' American Federation for Children conference in Washington, DC earlier this year.


State Challenges Seen as Whittling Away Federal Education Law

New York Times By SAM DILLON, Published: August 14, 2011
HELENA, Mont. — As hundreds of schools here and across the nation faced being labeled failures under the federal No Child Left Behind law, Montana education officials defiantly informed Washington this spring that they would stop raising testing targets as the law requires, despite warnings that doing so could cost the state millions of dollars in federal aid.
But in an agreement to be announced here on Monday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will allow Montana to keep most of the schools off the law's blacklist, and the state will pay no penalty.


John Baer: Where's the fairness in school cuts
By John Baer, Philadelphia Daily News
Daily News Political Columnist Posted on Mon, Aug. 15, 2011
LET ME BE CLEAR. Not arguing for more school funding. Not arguing for less. Arguing that whatever taxpayers spend on schools should be spent fairly.


Schools: No evidence of cheating on Pennsylvania standardized tests
Reviews analyzed data from 2009
By Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Saturday, August 13, 2011
Several southwestern Pennsylvania school districts flagged for irregularities in a recently discovered analysis of 2009 standardized test data said Friday they have uncovered no evidence of cheating.

Read more:


Report cites Philadelphia's lead role in fixing underperforming high schools
By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer Posted on Mon, Aug. 15, 2011
Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education, has encouraged school districts to adopt bold strategies to improve the nation's worst-performing high schools, including converting them into charter schools.
Only a handful of districts have chosen the charter option. A recent report from a Washington think tank said Philadelphia and Los Angeles were in the forefront.


Proposed grant cut would crush vo-techs

Layoffs could hit Valley's technical high schools under Obama administration's proposal to cut grants by 20 percent.

By Steve Esack, Of The Allentown Morning Call, 10:47 p.m. EDT, August 13, 2011
John E. McGlade, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Lehigh Valley's biggest publicly traded company, Air Products, credits some of his success to vocational education.,0,230868.story


The PA House Education Committee has scheduled additional public hearings on school choice and the Charter School Act on Wednesday, August 17th and Thursday, August 18th starting at 10:00 am in Room 140, Main Capitol
Although we do not have published times, the tentative agenda follows:

Wednesday August 17th
PA State Education Association (PSEA) - Michael Crossey
American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – PA - Valerie Braman
PA Virtual Charter School - Dr. Joanne Barnett
Center of Education Reform - Jeanne Allen
Rep Roebuck - HB 1657
REACH - Otto Banks

Thursday August 18th
PA Assoc Rural and Small Schools (PARSS) - Brian Griffith, Penns Valley Area SD Superintendent
PA School Board Assoc (PSBA) - Tom Gentzel
PASA, Richard Fry - Big Spring School District
Northside Urban Pathways Charter School, Dr. Linda Clautti
Dr. Eugene Hickok, Former Secretary of Education
Central IU - Kelly Hastings, Keystone Central SD Superintendent


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