Education Opportunity Network

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6/25/2014 – Stopping Charter School Corruption

THIS WEEK: Shocking Treatment Of School Kids … Case Against School Closures … What Closes Opportunity Gaps … D.C. Halts Test-Based Teacher Evaluation … State Regulators Go Easy On For-Profit Colleges


Will Anyone Stop Charter School Corruption?

By Jeff Bryant

“Real evidence of ‘the good charters’ remains mostly anecdotal, as financial corruption and poor education results from ‘bad ones’ continue to mount with every passing month … Recent reports from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida reveal a cavalcade of corruption … Yet in the meantime, at the urging of charter school advocates and others promoting ‘school choice,’ lawmakers around the country are proposing and enacting new policies to feed more children into the charter chain pipeline.”
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Violent And Legal: The Shocking Ways School Kids Are Being Pinned Down, Isolated Against Their Will


“Mental-health facilities and other institutions have worked to curtail the practice of physically restraining children or isolating them in rooms against their will. Indeed, federal rules restrict those practices … But such limits don’t apply to public schools … The practices … were used more than 267,000 times nationwide in the 2012 school year … Three-quarters of the students restrained had physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities. Children have gotten head injuries, bloody noses, broken bones and worse while being restrained or tied down … At least 20 children nationwide have reportedly died while being restrained or isolated … Often, parents remain unaware their child has been restrained or put in a scream room … Montgomery County Public Schools in Virginia … stopped using restraints and seclusion more than two decades ago … The district uses an approach called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.”
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Report Calls For Moratorium On Chicago School Closures

Education Week

“A new report from the University of Illinois, Chicago, calls for a moratorium on school closures, turnarounds, and the expansion of charter schools in the city, citing the disruptive nature and harm those actions cause families and the lack of evidence that they have improved education … Parents felt the closures negatively impacted their children and the new schools to which they were sent were not an improvement; they felt excluded from the decisions to close the schools; and the closures left a deep distrust between parents and the Chicago Public Schools … School closures – or even plans to do so – are hot topics in urban school districts, from Philadelphia to Newark, as they struggle to address the problems confronting them.”
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Report: “Student-Centered Schools” Close Opportunity Gap


“Personalized instruction, high expectations, and hands-on and group learning experiences are helping to close the achievement gap in four Northern California schools … Such ‘student-centered’ practices improved the outcomes for African-American and Latino students at two district schools and two district-approved independent charter schools… ‘The numbers are compelling,’ said Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University professor and SCOPE faculty director, in published comments about the report. ‘Students in the study schools showed greater achievement than their peers, had higher graduation rates, were better prepared for college and showed greater persistence in college.'”
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D.C. Dumping Test Scores From Its Teacher Evaluations

Associated Press via The Huffington Post

“The District of Columbia public school system, one of the first in the country to evaluate teachers using student test scores, announced Thursday that it would suspend the practice while students adjust to new tests based on Common Core standards … Officials are concerned it wouldn’t be fair to use the new tests until a baseline is established and any complications are worked out. The District has fired hundreds of teachers under the system, which was put in place by … Michelle Rhee … Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the two largest teachers’ unions in calling for a temporary halt to evaluating teachers based on Common Core tests.”
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State Regulators Going Easy On For-Profit Colleges, Consumer Group Says

The Hechinger Report

“While state law-enforcement authorities are cracking down on abuses by private, for-profit colleges and universities, state regulators are doing little to prevent those abuses in the first place, a new report contends … The report, by the National Consumer Law Center, or NCLC, says … most [regulators] ‘continue to neglect their critical oversight and consumer protection role.’ There’s no regulation at all in most states of for-profit colleges that offer only online education … Attorneys general in at least 32 states are investigating complaints that for-profit colleges and universities use misleading marketing and leave their students with high debt. Fourteen states have reached the stage of issuing subpoenas.”
Read more …

Category: EON Newsletters

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