Massachusetts: Billionaires Ready to Pour Up to $18 Million into Charter Referendum

Massachusetts: Billionaires Ready to Pour Up to $18 Million into Charter Referendum

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jonathan Pelto reports on the big money that will flow into the Massachusetts referendum on expanding charters. Most of it will flow from the coffers of hedge fund managers, who never showed any prior interest in improving public schools but get excited by the opportunity to privatize them.

He writes:

A group of billionaires and corporate executives are using a front group called Great Schools Massachusetts and the New York based charter school advocacy group, Families for Excellent Schools, to pour an unprecedented amount of money into a campaign to expand the number of charter schools in Massachusetts.

According to published reports, the charter school industry is on track to dump up to $18 million into a record-breaking campaign in support of Massachusetts Question 2, a referendum question on this year’s ballot that would effectively lift the legislatively mandated cap on the number of charter schools in the Commonwealth of…

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Cheri Kiesecker: What Parents Need to Know About Google Apps for Education

Google and other apps may be “free”, but as privacy experts warn, your child’s data is the price.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Cheri Kiesecker is a Colorado parent who pays close attention to technology that invades student privacy.

She left the following warning as a comment:

In response to the question about GAFE. Below are a few links that may be of help.
GAFE, Google, Chromebooks… seem to suffer transparency issues on how they track and use and analyze student data. When parents have asked to see what data points Google collects, how that information is analyzed, who it is shared with, there are no transparent answers.

Many privacy organizations and advocates have concerns and questions about the algorithms used and data collection/ sharing in GAFE.
Google Chromebooks are pre-set to send student data, all user activity, back to Google.

This article explains how ChromeSync feature tracks students. Some schools purposely leave the SYNC feature on. Others, however, turn off Sync before asking students to use Chromebooks. MANY schools and parents are…

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New York Revises the Common Core Learning Standards–by a Lot or a Little, Depending on Whom You Believe

Many opinions on Common Core Standards.

Diane Ravitch's blog

New York State just released a draft of its revision of the Common Core standards.

There are different interpretations of how much has changed. Some say more than half of the standards were tweaked. Defenders of the standards insist they were barely changed at all.

We will have to wait until teachers have seen the revisions and offered their comments.

In New York, the Common Core standards have also became part of a larger discussion about other policy reforms, such as the use of state standardized test scores in teacher evaluations. Replacing the standards is the first step in redefining what it means to get an education in New York state, which will include revising assessments, teacher evaluations and how the state rates schools.

The standards will now go out for public comment, which will be open until Nov. 4. The Board of Regents are expected to consider the standards…

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Kenneth Zeichner: What We Know (and Don’t Know) about Non-Traditional Teacher Education Programs

Relay has a campus in Delaware.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Kenneth Zeichner is Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington in Seattle. He recently reviewed five alternate routes into teaching. Here is a question-and-answer session with him about his study.

The study is here.

He said:


My examination of the research on the five programs (The Relay Graduate School of Education, Match Teacher Residency, High Tech High’s Internship, iTeach and TEACH-NOW) concludes that there is no credible evidence that supports the claims of success that are made about them, and that the continued expansion of these programs is driven by ideology rather than by empirical evidence of success.

He added:

First of all, in the U.S. we have very serious problems of an inequitable distribution of teachers and inequitable access to a high-quality education, which enables students to interact with knowledge in authentic and meaningful ways. Students living in communities highly impacted by poverty are disproportionately…

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Mississippi: State Officials Devise Formula to Degrade Public Schools

In their hunger to make their underfunded schools look far worse than they are, Mississippi officials have come up with a truly absurd way to grade the schools. If you care about the children, teac…

Source: Mississippi: State Officials Devise Formula to Degrade Public Schools

BREAKING NEWS: Teachers Win Vergara Case, California Supreme Court Won’t Hear Appeal!

“In a big win for teachers and their unions, the California “Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a lower court ruling. The vote was 4-3. See the report in the LA School Report.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

In a big win for teachers and their unions, the California Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a lower court ruling. The vote was 4-3. See the report in the LA School Report (controlled by Campbell Brown and The 74) here.

The initial decision had over-ruled state laws that protected teacher tenure and seniority. That decision by Judge Rolf Treu was overturned on appeal by a unanimous three-judge court. The state supreme court let stand the last decision.

Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times reports:

In a major victory for teachers unions, the California Supreme Court has let stand a ruling that preserves traditional teacher job protections such as tenure and seniority-based layoffs.

In refusing to hear the case, the state’s high court sided not only with unions, but also the state of California and others, who contended that these job protections are both constitutional and reasonable.

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Ah HA! They Pulled The Audit…..

More about the Auditor’s Office.

kavips

All of Delaware was on their seats… the normally passive auditor’s office was on fire…. Investigating charter schools up and down the state, finding malfeasance here, corruption there, criminal activity everywhere….  and just like a close basketball game between two top Delaware female school’s teams, down to the wire at the last second, a 3 pointer gets lofted and the ball arcs through the air and all eyes turn to the basket and watch, … watch… wait for it… watching… huh?   No ball?  Their eyes try to follow its intended arc back to the now famous player who shot it…. and no one is there!

That properly describes the charter school audit that was underway in the state of Delaware performed by the Auditor’s office of the State of Delaware….

The State Auditor is an elected official.  His job is to audit the state of Delaware to make sure…

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The Charter School Petty Cash Audit You Will Never See

Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner has a lot of explaining to do.  And possibly Governor Markell as well! Things are getting a bit clearer now.  On the Kavips blog, Delaware State Representative Kim…

Source: The Charter School Petty Cash Audit You Will Never See