Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chicago: Planning to close schools, while opening charters

From the Chicago Tribune: Read first, CPS insists there is no school-closings list, but then check out "Document shows Emanuel administration had detailed school closing plans  and meanwhile, Chicago Public Schools pushes ahead with plans for more charter schools.

Since St. Louis gets many of its ideas, both good and bad, from Chicago, we can expect that a similar strategy is being deployed here.  It does appear that here in St. Louis, public schools continue to be discussed as targets for potential closing in some neighborhoods, while charter school advocates continue to push opening of new schools, many of which will be even smaller than the schools to be closed.

And to understand more, we could read the entire document, but the Chicago Tribune, which has long backed the top-down reform model, has not released it in its entirety.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook Tragedy: Read to Break Your Heart (Again), Diane Ravitch

On the dust-up between Diane Ravitch and a number of 'reformists' over her comments on Sandy Hook's heroic teachers:

As Jerzey Jazzman reports, TFA Vice President for Insights and Digital Media David Rosenberg attacked Diane Ravitch for her post on the Hero Teachers of Newtown, calling it "reprehensible." This personal attack may shed some light on the increasingly defensive posture of TFA and similar organizations (more than on Ravitch's post, which simply pointed out that these were union teachers doing what union teachers do), since Jerzey Jazzman concludes that Ravitch (again) gets this one right. Here's to the teachers, children, and families, of Newtown.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

More on TFA: Wendy Kopp Inflating Statistics, What's the Big Deal?

On Huffington Post, TFA founder and "CEO" Wendy Kopp stated that TFA corps members usually spend an average of 8 years teaching (which even if true would not mean that TFA is anything like a solution to our nation's education issues).  This sparked an empirically minded inquiry from EdWeek blogger Anthony Cody and a detailed analysis (and critique) of TFA's agenda by plthomasEdD at the Daily Kos.  Definitely worth reading.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Report on Charters and Special Needs Kids

Charter Schools Do Indeed Systematically Under-Enroll Students with Special Needs, According to New Review of CRPE Report

From the NEPC: http://nepc.colorado.edu/

Reference Publication: 
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Bruce Baker, (732) 932-7496, ext. 8232, bruce.baker@gse.rutgers.edu
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/b7hqavn
BOULDER, CO (December 6, 2012) – Several recent reports, including one from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, have found that charter schools generally under-enroll special education students when compared to conventional public schools. A new report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, however, asserts that charter schools’ special education rates are much closer to those of district public schools than is described by these other recent reports.
A review of that new report concludes that, even though it was touted as reaching different conclusions – more favorable to charter schools – than past research, in fact the results are very much consistent. It confirms that charter schools are systematically under-enrolling students with special needs.  READ MORE

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rethinking TIFs: Corporate Handouts or Development Tool?

As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price


A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.....
The cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created"