Archives for category: Privatization

United Opt Out sent a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander, who chairs the HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee in the Senate. Senator Alexander intends to rewrite No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which was originally called the Elementary and Secondary Education Act when it was first passed in 1965. At that time, the law was passed to send federal aid to poor districts. It said nothing about testing and accountability. But NCLB turned the federal law into a high-stakes testing mandate. Senator Alexander conducted his first hearing on January 21 and plans another hearing on January 27. Senator Alexander proposed two options in  his draft legislation: option 1 was to replace annual testing with grade span testing; option 2 was to keep annual high-stakes testing (the status quo). UOO is opposed to high-stakes testing in the federal law, period. (So am I.)

 

Here is UOO’s letter:

 

 

United Opt Out Public Letter to Senator Alexander

 

 

 
January 22, 2015

 

Dear Senator Alexander,

 

There is a great deal of discussion about where education leaders and organizations “stand” when it comes to the latest revision for ESEA titled Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015. In response, the organizers of United Opt Out (UOO) find that we stand between Scylla and Charybdis, between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

 

In your bill you pose the question of support for Option 1, a reduction in testing to grade span, or Option 2, which continues the current testing nightmare; we support neither. We find many items in the 400 page document too egregious and insupportable even though we do accept the notion of “grade span testing,” preferably via random sampling, as an alternative to what is in place now.

 

While we understand why many of our respected colleagues have shown support for Option 1 in your bill, we cannot endorse either. This is because both options are tucked neatly inside a larger bill that promotes the expansion of charters and other policies destructive overall to the well-being of students, public schools, and communities. Another reason we are reluctant, no matter what enticing promises are included therein, is due to those who lobbied for this bill in 2013: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Alliance for Excellent Education and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has immense ties to ALEC.

 

While we are inclined to support H.R. 4172 – Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act sponsored by Rep. Chris Gibson and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, which also calls for grade span testing, we would like to see additional safeguards included against possible punitive (i.e. high stakes) state policies. Also, as stated above, we prefer random sampling. In our assessment, H.R.4172 does not go far enough to protect children, educators, and communities against state policies that are damaging in nature in spite of good intent. To elaborate, this bill requires those tests be administered at least once during: (1) grades 3 through 5, (2) grades 6 through 9, and (3) grades 10 through 12. However, “under H.R. 4172, the states would retain the ability to exceed federal testing requirements if they seek to do so.” In other words, students could be tested just as much as they are now if states choose to do so. The bill is not a guaranteed protection against over-testing and its punitive consequences; it’s just a hope. We believe that hope alone is not sufficient.

 

Make no mistake, Senator Alexander, we understand fully that you are a supporter of the privatization of public schools. Despite that fact, your bill and Gibson’s may be preferable to some who are against the privatization of public schools because they contain the possibility of being better than the existing federal and state policies. However, they are not appealing to many, in particular states that have suffered the negative impact of high stakes testing. Furthermore, we can’t see how either of the current bills proposed are the “solution” to problems such as equity in funding, re-segregation, compromised pedagogy, data mining, or the intrusion of corporate interests – to cite from a list of many – that continue to fester in public education.

 

We agree that education decisions should be decided in state legislative and local district bodies, but safeguards should be in place to ensure horrific policies such as over testing and attaching results to student, teacher, school, and community worthiness are not pushed through state and district legislative bodies. Your bill and Gibson’s include no such safeguards for polices that have been detrimental to the non-white, special needs, immigrant, and impoverished communities.

 

UOO and most other human rights organizations will vigorously oppose ANY state level measures that sanction the following:

 

Increase standardized testing even if it’s under “state control”

 

Support using high stakes to make decisions about students, educators, school buildings, or communities

 

Use of sanctions such as “shuts downs” or “turn overs” based on test data of any kind

 

Display favoritism toward increased charters and state voucher programs

 

Facilitate data mining and collection of private student information

 

Engage in sweet insider deals between state policy makers and corporations or testing companies using tax-payer dollars and at the expense of safety, quality and equity in public education

 

Therefore, we demand greater safety, equity and quality for ALL schools and that includes the elimination of ALL standardized -paper based or computer adaptive testing – that redirects tax-based funding for public education to corporations and is punitive or damaging to children, teachers, schools, and communities.

 

We will not accept ANY bill until the following criteria are included:

 

Increased resources for the inclusion of local, quality curricular adoptions devoid of “teaching to the test”

 

Quality, creative, authentic, and appropriate assessment measures for general students, special needs, and English language learners that are sustainable and classroom teacher-created

 

Smaller teacher/student ratios

 

Wrap-around social programs, arts, physical education programs, and creative play recess

 

Career-focused magnet programs

 

Additionally, we demand legislation that supports a broad and deep system-wide examination of the power structures that perpetuate poverty-level existence for millions of Americans.

 

To conclude, we find ourselves having to choose between being shot in the head and being shot in the foot. For now, we choose neither. Instead we call for continued revisions of current legislation to include the items and protections outlined in this letter. We thank you for this opportunity to share our sentiments and our voice.

 

Sincerely,

 

United Opt Out Administrators:

 

 

Rosemarie Jensen
Denisha Jones
Morna McDermott
Peggy Robertson
Ruth Rodriquez
Tim Slekar
Ceresta Smith

 

 

The Chester-Upland school district teeters once again towards bankruptcy. Half of of its students are enrolled in charter schools, and the public school district is in deep deficit. The Corbett administration refused to supply the funding needed to survive, abandoning the state’s constitutional obligation to maintain public schools. Former Governor Corbett, a proponent of privatization, appointed an emergency manager who was known as a supporter of charters and vouchers. He recommended merging the administration of public schools and charters, but the charters declined to join.

 

“The Chester-Upland School District faces a $20 million structural deficit, which Watkins attributes to costs incurred by student exodus to charter schools and the state government’s decision in 2011 to eliminate money in the budget to help districts cover the cost of departure.

 

“Almost half of the more than 7,000 students in the area attend charter schools.

 

“Watkins has floated several unorthodox fixes for the chronically underperforming and overextended school district, including talk of a partnership and an flux of more than $1 billion from a Chinese investor…

 

“Watkins unpacked his plan to partner with the charters -– which included recategorizing charter students as Chester-Upland School District students — at a hearing in December.

 

“By recategorizing charter students and making them Chester Upland students, we wouldn’t have been obligated to pay their tuition costs,” said Watkins. He said the district currently pays $9,000 to $35,000 in tuition per student, in addition to absorbing departure costs.”

 

The biggest charter in the district is the Chester Community Charter School, which is owned by a wealthy lawyer who was one of Corbett’s major campaign contributors and a member of his education transition team. When the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about him, he sued the newspaper (he lost in the appellate court). His readiness to sue stills critics; he even threatened to sue a website run by an 18-year-old that featured his fabulous homes. His for-profit company has made tens of millions by supplying goods and services to his nonprofit charter school.

 

The charter owner recently built a $28 million mansion in Palm Beach. That’s American education, folks.

 

NOTE: I WAS INFORMED THAT THE CHESTER-UPLAND SCHOOLS ARE IN DELAWARE COUNTY, NOT CHESTER COUNTY AND I CHANGED THE HEADLINE ACCORDINGLY. FORGIVE THIS TEXAN LIVING IN NEW YORK FOR HER GEOGRAPHICAL IGNORANCE OF COUNTIES IN PENNSYLVANIA.

I have had many exchanges with “reformers” who denied that they wanted to destroy public education and replace it with a privatized system. No, they insisted, competition will be good for the public schools. Charters and vouchers will improve public schools. I disagreed because I had heard many of their allies speak truthfully about their desire to privatize the public spending on education, behind closed doors, back when I was with them.

Now we know that competition doesn’t improve public schools. It takes money away from public schools. It weakens them.

But what do “reformers” want? Let them tell you. Jeanne Allen, who founded the Center for Education Reform after working for the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation in D.C., has advocated for charters and vouchers for more than two decades. In a few weeks, she will offer a seminar at the Center called “The Decline and Fall of the U.S. Education System – The Development of a Movement.”

That’s the goal of reform. Weakening and privatizing public education.

This is one of Arthur Camins’ best articles about education and its ills. He poses the question of whether there is too much federal meddling in education or whether the federal role has been corrupted by pursuing the wrong goals.

 

He argues on behalf of a vigorous federal policy in education by referring to other areas–like Social Security, Medicare, and civil rights laws– where the only “fix” was federal policy. The reason that so many are now disgusted with federal policy in education is that the Obama administration has pursued the wrong goals and alienated its allies. Its reckless promotion of high-stakes testing and privatization has actually undermined the appropriate goal of federal policy, which should be equity and justice. The so-called “reform” movement relies on federal power to impose unpopular and failed mandates, wielding power in a manner which is inherently undemocratic and even anti-democratic.

 

Camins writes:

 

The problem over the last several decades of education policy is not overreach. It is that the federal government has been reaching for the wrong things in the wrong places with the wrong policy levers. For example, the nation has largely abandoned efforts to end segregation, arguably a prime driver of education inequity. The large-scale, community-building infrastructure and WPA and CCC employment efforts of the Great Depression have given way to the limited escape from poverty marketing pitch of education policy following the Great Recession. Whereas the 1960s War on Poverty targeted community resource issues, current education efforts target the behavior of individual teachers and pits parents against one in other in competition for admission to selected schools.

 

It cannot be repeated often enough: No country that has made significant improvement in its education system has done so through test-based accountability, teacher evaluation systems, charter schools or other school choice schemes. Improvements will only come from a national commitment to the values of equity, democracy, empathy, respect and community responsibility and by providing the funding for solutions based on those values.

 

Community and individualist values have been in tension throughout U.S. history. The diminishment of inequality that characterized the 1930s-1970s was the result of empathetic community responsibility values and strong unions. The growing inequality of the 1980s through the present is the result of the dominance of competitive individualist values. When inequity is the norm, policies that favor competition over collaboration turn potential allies into foes. When competition is the norm among parents for their children’s schools and among teachers for professional advancement, narrow individual solutions undermine broad systemic solutions.

 

The rhetoric to support current education reform is that individual poor families should have choices about which schools their children attend just like rich folks. Tellingly, this does not mean that rich and poor or black and white children attend the same schools. Instead, new charter schools are located in racially and economically isolated communities so that poor families compete with one another for admission. The result has been increased segregation with no effort to ameliorate resource allocation differences between wealthy and poor communities.

 

We do not need the federal government to specify teacher evaluation mechanisms, rank teacher preparation programs based on the test scores of their graduates students, fund privately operated charter schools or promote education entrepreneurs. The proper role for the federal government is to be the guarantor of justice and equity.

 

Unfortunately, given the Obama administration’s ties with the uber-wealthy philanthropists who believe in free-market competition, there is no hope that it will change direction. It will continue to push for the very policies that promote “competitive individualist values” and pay lip service to the “values of equity, democracy, empathy, respect and community responsibility.” We can only hope that the next administration changes course from the status quo. If not, the public will turn against the federal role altogether as the values of “justice and equity” are sacrificed and abandoned. And this will be the sad legacy of the Obama administration.

In this riveting post, Jersey Jazzman quotes extensively from a presentation by the business manager of one of Hoboken’s charter schools. From state data and her recommendations, he details how charter schools cut costs.

 

1. They hire less experienced teachers, who cost less. ”

 

Perhaps the most significant difference between the staffs at district and charter schools in New Jersey is that charter school teachers have far less experience.

 

Now, contrary to what you may have heard, experience is not an impediment in teaching; to the contrary, there is plenty of evidence teachers gain in effectiveness as they gain experience well into their second decade of teaching. But there is an upside for charter schools in hiring less-experienced staffs: it improves the bottom line.

2. They pay less than district schools, even when experience is equivalent: “In all cases, district teachers make more, even accounting for experience, than their counterparts in charter schools.”

 

3. Avoid paying teachers for experience and longevity and avoid unions, which might insist on a salary scale. JJ writes: “The truth is that in most American workplaces, more experience leads to higher salaries — which is why charter schools like Elysian maintain staffs with less experience so they can keep their costs lower. Again, we should ask: is this a good thing in the long-term for the teaching profession?”

 

4. “Replace professionals when appropriate with assistants.” The examples of assistants who might be able to replace professionals are librarians, speech therapists, and teachers (with paraprofessionals). JJ reacts with scorn to this practice: “A strategy of replacing certificated teachers with lower-cost, non-certificated staff might be good for a charter school’s bottom line, but it’s almost certainly a lousy deal for students. And thinking an untrained, non-certificated librarian or speech therapy assistant can replace a fully-trained and certificated staff member is, again, insulting.”

 

5. Health benefits are costly, so try to hire unmarried staff, or hire staff married to public sector workers who have health benefits to cover them.

 

6. Aim to move your special education students into general education as soon as possible. JJ points out that this is easier when you don’t enroll students with severe disabilities.

 

7. Use technology to cut costs. As JJ points out, computers don’t need health insurance.

 

 

Florida has more than 600 charter schools. It has a significant number of for-profit charter schools that make money on management fees and paying rent to their own corporations. Many charter schools have failed and closed. But charter schools fund candidates for the state legislature who support the expansion of charter schools, and some of their champions hold key positions in the state legislature.

 

Governor Rick Scott announced that he wants $100 million for construction and maintenance of charter schools. He didn’t mention whether he would propose any funding for construction or maintenance of public schools. At his side in Miami was the rapper Pitbull, famous for his misogynistic lyrics. The announcement was made at the charter school founded by Pitbull, called the Sports Leadership and Management Academy (SLAM). It is managed by the politically powerful Academica charter chain.

 

It is all about politics, money, and power. Not kids or education. Politics, money, and power.

Michael Hynes, who is superintendent of schools of the Patchogue-Medford (NY) district, writes in Education  Week that our nation may still be at risk. He believes the “reform” agenda of the New York Board of Regents is wrong and merely echoes the wrongheaded agenda of the U.S. Department of Education. How did we go so wrong, he wonders.

 

He writes:

 

As a school system seeks to progress one should often ask, “Is this best for kids?” I believe this question was never asked by the U.S. Department of Education or the New York State Education Department. They are paving a road as “we” drive on it. As this road is paved, we have little to no say as to the road conditions that we see ahead of us, how fast we are going and where our destination is.

 

I believe this is true at both the state and national level in relation to public education. Over the years I have seen many things come and go. It’s the perpetual pendulum of mandates, ideas, movements, etc. There are some things that are still around that I wish were gone, and some things are gone but I wish were still here. I won’t mention which things because it really is a matter of perspective. My perspective, my opinion. However; I believe it is a fact that public education is under assault and “we” are driving on a road that will lead to it crashing and crashing hard….As a superintendent it is imperative that I am accountable (for myself and others) as well as building up other people’s capacities to reach their potential. If an employee is not the right fit in my district, it is my job to find someone else who is. Every aspect of the Regents Reform Agenda has very little to do with child development and everything to do with the wrong drivers for improving schools.

My question is, how are they accountable?

 

Where did we go wrong, he wonders. He reviews the findings of the famous 1983 report “A Nation at Risk” and discovers to his surprise that it did not promote the road we are now on (though it may have focused too much on test scores as the ultimate gauge of “success”):

 

This document made recommendations to focus on curricula and learning from other advanced countries. What I found most interesting was that the report doesn’t mention anything about how schools should run and rarely makes any remarks about testing. I was surprised and found that extremely refreshing.

 

Furthermore, Dr. Hynes noted what was missing from “A Nation at Risk”:

 

When I read the recommendations, I found the following items absent:

*Test children into oblivion;
*Use tests from our children to grade and assess teachers and principals;
*Develop new standards that have very little input from the educators who will teach the new standards to our children;
*Do not trust teachers, principals, superintendents and school boards to make informed decisions about what is best for their children in relation to assessments, curricula and best practices at the local level;
*Ensure that state and federal government (Governor and President) has significant influence over teacher accountability systems and assessments. They should decide what is best for children in public education (even if their children don’t attend public school);
*Guarantee corporations will make billions of dollars in the age of compliance and testing

 

Is there an alternative to our present disastrous path? Dr. Hynes believes there is.

 

Some of us believe in trusting the local control of our school systems. I believe in the capacity building of our teachers individually and collectively. It’s about climate control within our schools and trying to work with the command and control mentality outside of them. State Education Departments should be working with school districts, not against them…. I believe the underpinnings of the New York Regents Reform Agenda have never been proven to work successfully AND longitudinally in any school district…. As Alfie Kohn stated, “The goal beyond testing is about building a thriving democracy. It is about helping each child reach his/her potential as a human being and learner.” Strip away the over-testing of students, tying student scores to teachers and principal evaluations, using the new poorly designed standards and the command and control mentality from our state and national education departments.

 

It seems the world of education is divided into two camps. Those who think we are on the wrong road, and those who say full speed ahead, regardless of the warning signs. Dr. Hynes is in the first camp. He is truly putting students first.

A teacher in Connecticut, signing in as Linda, wrote the following comment:

 
Brace yourself Rhode Island…it is worse than you think. Hide your children and warn the teachers. He is coming to charterize, privatize, monetize your schools. See Pelto research here:

Gina Raimondo’s husband Andy Moffitt was Cory Booker’s roommate.
Moffitt is a member Stand for Children Board of Directors

Moffit is a Senior Practice Expert and member of core leadership team for McKinsey & Company’s Global Education Practice.

“Since co-founding the Global Education Practice in 2005, Andy has worked with multiple large urban districts, state education departments and charter management organizations to markedly improve system performance and close achievement gaps.

He co-authored a recent book, Deliverology 101: A Field Guide for School System Leaders (Corwin Press, 2010), which describes key success factors and steps in driving results in global school system reforms.

Before joining McKinsey, Andy was an elementary school teacher in an inner-city school in Houston, Texas as a corps member of Teach For America.”

From my recent article in the Progressive:

The Corporate Education Reform Industry effort to buy control of Public Education

This year’s election season provided a series of textbook examples of how corporate education reformers used their personal fortunes to contaminate the democratic process.

Let’s begin with the little state of Rhode Island, where former hedge fund owner and charter school champion, Democrat Gina Raimondo was elected governor with 40 percent of the vote in a three-way race—one in which there was an unprecedented level of campaign spending.

Raimondo, who as Rhode Island’s state treasurer won national acclaim from conservatives for successfully dismantling the state employee pension fund, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors associated with funding the education reform movement and profiting from the charter school industry. Her running mate, Cumberland Mayor Daniel McKee, one of the state’s most vocal supporters of charter schools, was elected lieutenant governor with help from many of the same donors.

Over the course of her gubernatorial campaign, Raimondo collected checks from many of the major players in the charter school and “education reform” movement, including donations from billionaires Eli Broad and members of the Walton Family. (The Broad Foundation and Walton Foundation, along with Gates Foundation, are the primary funders behind the overall education reform movement.)

Another billionaire, former Enron executive John Arnold along with his wife, not only donated directly to Raimondo’s campaign and her political action committee, called Gina PAC, but the couple’s $100,000 check made them the largest donors to the American LeadHERship Council, a Super PAC affiliated with Raimondo. The second largest donor to the Super PAC was Eli Broad with $15,000.

A proponent of doing away with public employee pensions, Arnold also donated as much as $500,000 to an advocacy group called Engage Rhode Island, which spent approximately $740,000 lobbying for Raimondo’s successful assault on public employee pensions. Over the past three years, the John and Laura Arnold Foundation has donated more than $100 million in support of charter schools and entities involved in the corporate education reform industry, including being one of the largest contributors to Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Raimondo’s success in raising funds from the charter school industry includes at least $50,000 from the members of the board of directors of Achievement First, Inc., the large charter chain that recently opened a school in Rhode Island, adding to their existing schools in Connecticut and New York.

Jonathan Sackler, an investment manager and heir to the Purdue Pharma fortune, is not only a founding member of Achievement First, Inc, but a founder of a national charter school advocacy group called 50CAN. One of 50CAN’s related entities, 50CAN Action Fund, dumped $90,000 to run TV commercials to help Raimondo’s running mate win his primary race.

Gary Rubinstein has written a series of letters to leaders of the “reform” movement. Some have replied. Up to this point, he wrote to people he knew during his years at TFA. Now he has started what (hopefully) will be a series written to “reformers I don’t know,” and he writes his first letter to Joel Klein, whose book he is reading. He patiently and civilly explains to Klein why the reform movement is floundering and foundering. He explains why TFA doesn’t make much difference; why merit pay doesn’t work; why ed tech is limited as a classroom tool; and why value-added measurement of teachers by test scores doesn’t work.

 

Since Gary has made a specialty of calling out inflated claims, he ends on this note:

 

 

The one that I really got you on was P-Tech. I wrote about how they only had a school average of about 30% on those tests. You thought this number was skewed by the fact that they require so many of their students to take the test so it is unfair to compare to a school where not so many kids take it. But when I dug deeper into the public data I learned that only 1.8% of the P-Tech students passed Geometry and 1.6% passed Algebra II. Even if every student in the school took those tests, that would be only about 5 kids passing for each test. That is really bad. P-Tech is a test score disaster. I know that you used it in the introduction to your book about how the choice to shut down a school and open another can lead to great improvement. In this case, this particular school hasn’t accomplished much. Yet, you defend this school so vigorously. Why? I think you would have more credibility if you were to admit that P-Tech is a disaster, at least when it comes to math Regents. When you give free passes to people you have relationships with — whether it is P-Tech or AP scores in Louisiana or KIPP schools in New Orleans that have low test scores — aren’t reformers supposed to be all about ‘increased autonomy for increased accountability’? When you selectively hold people and schools that you don’t have a connection to more strict accountability than the ones you do, I don’t respect that.

 

One of your friends and now a co-worker at Amplify is education reform celebrity Geoffrey Canada. I actually am very much in favor of wrap-around services as a way of helping kids overcome some of the out-of-school factors that serve as obstacles to their learning. Unfortunately when you look at the test scores at Harlem Children’s Zone, they are horrible. I know this may make it seem like wrap-around services are underrated, but in this case the poor test results are an example of a very badly run school, despite the wrap-arounds. I know this because a former student of mine who is now a very happy teacher at Success Academy spent her first miserable year of teaching at Harlem Children’s Zone. She said it was a very toxic environment where nobody in charge knew what they were doing. You surely know that Canada ‘fired’ two different cohorts of students since their bad test scores were, I suspect, dragging down his reputation. To throw away two groups of struggling kids is completely at odds with the sorts of things you write in your book about how all kids can thrive if permitted to learn in the right environment.

 

Finally, I’ve noticed many inconsistencies in many of your arguments. When critics say that graduation rate is up to back up their point that schools are not in crisis, you point to the flat long term NAEP scores to refute them. Then when critics say that New York City has not made great improvements during your tenure and use the lack of NAEP gains (that first test that was administered before you got there doesn’t count, you know!) you point to the increased graduation rate. I think you need to pick what metrics you think are valid and stick to them.

 

I hope Klein writes Gary Rubinstein a reply.

Sorry I missed this great post when it came out in November. Jersey Jazzman, one of the nation’s best education bloggers, foretells the handover of the York City public schools to a for-profit charter chain and excoriates the state officials who are permitting this travesty to happen.

 

He digs into the stats on York City to show that it is performing about where you would expect given the socioeconomic disadvantage of its students. York City, he says, needs help, more resources, not a for-profit charter chain to siphon money out of its budget.

 

He writes:

 

Let’s recap:

Tom Corbett abdicated his responsibilities to the children of York and defunded their schools.
He sent in his personal hack to force the district to turn those schools over to a private, for-profit corporation through a shell non-profit.
The hack — as if he were a made man — told the district if they didn’t take his offer, he’d take over.
No one knows how much money the charter company is going to make on this deal.
Trust me, folks, we’re just getting started…

 

Meckley believes this plan is warranted because York’s schools aren’t performing up to snuff. But the truth is that they are exactly where we’d expect them to be, given the demographics of the city.

 

Do you want to see a photo of Jon Hage’s gorgeous yacht? Look here. He is the CEO of Charter Schools USA. The yacht was up for sale recently. He lives well. His business is very profitable with taxpayer dollars.

 

Jersey Jazzman asks:

 

And what kind of performance have the good people of Florida received for all of that money?

 
The chain was considered high-performing until this year. And on Tuesday the Orange School Board voted 7-0 to deny its applications for three new campuses.

 
Because charters are publicly funded per pupil, Charter Schools USA would receive about $27 million a year to run the three schools at capacity if approved.

 
“Their performance in Orange County is abysmally poor,” board Chairman Bill Sublette said of the Renaissance schools. “They’re underperforming the schools in the area that they’re drawing from. How can we look taxpayers in the eye and approve them?”
But Jonathan Hage, president and CEO of Charter Schools USA, said he is proud of all of the company’s schools, including Chickasaw.

 
“We do an excellent job over time, even with the lowest-performing students,” he said. “We knew we wouldn’t be able to turn those scores around in a year.” [emphasis mine]

 
JJ: I guess David Meckley knows better than the entire Orange School Board. Maybe CSUSA’s history in Indiana convinced him:

 
“The four takeover schools in Indianapolis lost huge numbers of students — between 35 and 60 percent at each school — between the start of classes in 2011 and when the takeover operators took over in 2012. Schools are mostly funded on the basis of their enrollment, so the departures came at a steep cost for the private operators.
On top of that, the takeover schools saw their share of a pot of federal funds for low-performing schools that is controlled by the state shrink as more state schools became eligible to claim that money. Tindley lost $212,000, and Charter Schools USA’s three schools lost more than $601,110 because of across-the-board reductions.
Together, the cuts have left takeover operators with much higher costs than they anticipated.
Sherry Hage, CSUSA’s chief academic officer, says the operator is planning to stick with its schools despite the costs. But for some, the price tag is proving too high. Earlier this month, Tindley shocked state education officials by threatening to pull out of Arlington shortly after the start of the school year unless the nonprofit could get $2.4 million in additional aid.”

 
– See more at: http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/2014/11/york-pa-and-death-of-public-education.html#sthash.wCR7cUKg.dpuf

 

 

 

 

 

 

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