1/10/2019 – “Choice” Has Become An Excuse For Charter And Voucher Schools To Discriminate

THIS WEEK: LA Teacher Strike … Charters Discriminate … #Red4Ed in 2019 … Dirty Secret of Ed Reform … Who Is Stifling Teachers?


“Choice” Has Become An Excuse For Charter And Voucher Schools To Discriminate

By Jeff Bryant

“When prominent advocates for ‘school choice’ … talk about how a market-based approach for education works, the very stories they might cite as successes actually reveal serious shortcomings of charter schools and vouchers, especially about how they can have detrimental effects on parents, children, and communities … While the primacy of parental choice might work well on a bumper sticker … this can create problems in a public education system that is supposed to serve the needs and interests of all students … Charter schools … while [they] advertise themselves as schools of choice, the reality is as much as you choose it, the school chooses you.”
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As L.A. Teachers Threaten To Strike, Union Leaders Are Fighting A Controversial School Reform Strategy


“If Los Angeles teachers go on strike this week or next, it won’t just be about dollars and cents — it will be part of a broader fight over the role of charter schools and an obscure but influential school reform idea … ‘This approach, drawn from Wall Street, is called the ‘portfolio’ model, and it has been criticized for having a negative effect on student equity and parent inclusion’ … For United Teachers Los Angeles, that includes stopping the growth of charter schools, which are tied closely to the portfolio model. Instead of dictating how schools should be run, school boards should contract out their management to outside groups, portfolio advocates believe. The term ‘portfolio’ came from comparing a school board to an investment manager.”
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Tailoring The Charter School Population

US News & World Report

“Charter schools and public schools of choice – those in school districts that allow students to choose from any number of schools instead of zoning them to just one – are less likely to encourage students with a history of poor behavior, low academic achievement or special needs to apply. Charter schools, in particular, were less likely to encourage students with a potentially significant special need to apply.… Researchers sent emails from fictitious parents to nearly 6,500 schools … asking whether any student is eligible to apply to the school and how to do so. Each email signaled either a disability status, poor behavior, high or low prior academic achievement, or no characteristic at all … If an email signaled a child had a significant special need, charter schools were 7 percentage points less likely to respond … Students with disabilities are, on average, twice as expensive to educate than students without a disability, and those with severe disabilities, they said, can cost eight to 14 times to educate.”
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The #RedforEd Wave Is Likely To Build, Not Subside, In 2019

The Progressive

“The wave of education activism shows no signs of ebbing … Educators in Alabama … held the state’s first #RedforEd rally … citing rising health insurance premiums as well as inadequate pay and minimal classroom funding … Teachers in Louisiana, too, are contemplating collective action in 2019, in defiance of their state’s restrictive labor laws … Charter school teachers in Chicago … walked off the job in the nation’s first-ever collective action by charter school employees … Teachers in Oakland, California are currently gearing up to walk off the job, citing pay that is thousands of dollars less than that of teachers in neighboring districts.”
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The ‘Dirty Secret’ About Educational Innovation

Hechinger Report

“As part of the federal recovery effort to boost the economy after the 2008 recession, the U.S. Education Department suddenly had a big pot of money to give away to ‘innovations’ in education … More than $1.5 billion has been spent on almost 200 ideas … Big chunks went to building new KIPP charter schools and training thousands of new Teach for America recruits to become teachers … Many of the grant projects involved technology … Only 12 of the 67 innovations, or 18%, were found to have any positive impact on student achievement.”
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Arizona: Proposed Teacher Gag Law Part of National Push


Peter Greene writes, “The proposed teacher gag law in Arizona may look like a piece of small-time revenge legislation, but it is actually part of a larger movement to silence teachers in and out of the classroom … If we roll the clock back to January of 2018, we find Dave LaRock, a Virginia choicer, proposing a Teacher Code of Ethics that reads like a rough draft of the … AZ version. But it turns out that LaRock appears to have cribbed his proposal from a website called StopK12Indoctrination … StopK12 posted their version of the Teacher Code of Ethics in June of 2017, and it’s clear that the other teacher codes are all versions of this original … If you decide you want to contribute to the muzzling of teachers, the link will take you to a site that will let you contribute to the David Horowitz Freedom Center … [David Horowitz’s] Center for the Study of Popular Culture has been tagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the ‘right-wing foundations and think tanks support[ing] efforts to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable.’ He’s a vocal anti-Muslim who joined the smear party labeling Barack Obama a secret Muslim. He has been very active in trying to squelch liberal voices in college and university teaching positions. And, perhaps most notably, this Steve Bannon buddy was the early mentor of Stephen Miller, the angry voice of racism in the Trump administration.”
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