Samuel Abrams Reviews Joanne Golann’s Critique of “No Excuses” Charter Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

Samuel Abrams worked for many years as a teacher in a New York City public school. After earning his doctorate, he became executive director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. The Center consistently produces valuable reports about privatization. Consider joining its mailing list.

Here, Abrams reviews Joanne Golann’s recent book Scripting the Moves, a close analysis of “no excuses” charter schools. Open the link to read the full review and an excerpt from the book.

Abrams writes:

Few education initiatives have generated as much praise as well as philanthropic funding as the “no-excuses” charter school movement. Yet criticism of the movement has recently been growing, from both inside and out, so much so that KIPP (short for Knowledge Is Power Program), the movement’s standard-bearer, dropped its motto—“Work Hard. Be Nice.”—one year ago in acknowledgement of the conflict between the…

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Jeff Bryant: Charter Industry Lobbies Hard to Prevent Ban on Federal Funding of For-Profit Charters

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeff Bryant is one of the best informed writers about charter schools in the nation. He is chief correspondent for Our Schools and director of the Education Opportunity Network. He explains here why the charter industry is using misinformation to stop a Democratic proposal to ban federal funding for for-profit charter schools.

He begins:

The top lobbying group for the charter school industry is rushing to preserve millions in funds from the federal government that flow to charter operators that have turned their K-12 schools into profit-making enterprises, often in low-income communities of color.

The group, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), objects to a provision in the House Appropriations Committee’s proposed 2022 education budget that closes loopholes that have long been exploited by charter school operators that profit from their schools through management contracts, real estate deals, and other business arrangements. NAPCS also objects to the legislation’s…

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Maurice Cunningham: Phony Parent Groups Lead Attacks on Critical Race Theory

Diane Ravitch's blog

Maurice Cunningham is a political scientist with a deep interest in how Dark Money influences education policy. His motto is: “Dark Money never sleeps.” He is a master at following the money. He customarily blogs at a website called MassPoliticsProfs, but was kind enough to send me this post first.

He writes here about the groups pushing the attacks on critical race theory:

The Corporate Critical Race Theory Attack: Chaos is the Product

“The backlash” begins an opinion piece in Newsweek by Parents Defending Education outreach director Erika Sanzi, and these may be the most accurate two words published by those who are attacking “wokeness,” gender studies, and Critical Race Theory. The sad fact is that white backlash has a proven record of effectiveness in American politics and it is once again being employed in the service of right wing corporate interests. The end product desired has less to…

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Commack Public Schools Riven by Rage about CRT

Some parents can be bat-schist crazy…read on!

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Commack Public School District is located on Long Island in New York. The district has about 79% white students, 9% Asian, 9% Hispanic, 1% African American, and a small number of multiracial students. The Commack public schools have strong academic outcomes. 95% of their graduates go to college.

Recently the district and its school board have been under attack by parents who insist that their children are subjected to Critical Race Theory and The 1619 Project. At a recent public hearing, parents listened to administrators and school board members, who assured them that the Commack schools did not teach CRT or The 1619 Project. Angry parents were not mollified, as you will see if you watch the video posted below.

Jake Jacobs, a NYC art teacher and co-administrator of the New York BATS, watched the video and wrote the following commentary.

CRT DEBATE BLOWS UP: In Commack, NY this…

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How to End the Pandemic

Diane Ravitch's blog

Everyone knows how to end the pandemic: mandate vaccinations for everyone over the age of 2. When vaccines are available for children under 2, vaccinate them too. Almost everyone is vaccinated against other infectious diseases, like smallpox, mumps, and measles. Many schools will not admit new students who are unvaccinated. Why make an exception for the deadly coronavirus?

But for purely political reasons, this will not happen. Libertarians, Trumpers, and others will refuse to be vaccinated, insisting that the government can’t force them to protect themselves and the lives of their families, friends, and communities. Conspiracy theorists would spin crazy ideas about secret plots, and those opposed would go to court to prevent being vaccinated involuntarily.

And this resistance to life-saving vaccines will make it impossible to end the pandemic. At this point, most new cases and deaths occur among the unvaccinated. The anti-vaxxers will not accept direction. And they…

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Peter Greene: Children Should Not Go to School in a Bubble

Diane Ravitch's blog

Peter Greene has written a powerful case against the argument of the school choice lobby, who insist that children should choose a school that affirms their parents’ values. The choice lobby says that it causes conflict when students go to school with others who don’t share their worldview and challenge their beliefs.

Greene refutes this assertion:

The argument here, pushed daily on Twitterby Cato’s Neal McClusky, is that “public schools leave people no choice but to be at each others’ throats” and that the system leaves no choice but to either ban or impose policies and ideas. Therefor, the argument goes, school choice offers a chance to make all the conflict go away. Folks over here can choose a school that actively pursues diversity and anti-racists policies, while folks over here can choose a school that actively blocks such policies. Allowing diverse school approaches will, the argument goes…

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How Charter Schools Select Their Students

Diane Ravitch's blog

Wagma Mommandi and Kevin Welner write in The Progressive about the ways that charter schools select and remove students. These practices are not permitted in real public schools.

Some make it difficult to apply, like the charter in Philadelphia that required parents to travel to a private golf club in the suburbs to seek admission. Or the charter school that sent recruitment letters, but not to the zip codes with the highest number of black and brown families.

Some charters have rules so strict (“no excuses”) that it is easy to suspend students repeatedly to get rid of them

Are charter schools “public schools,” as their advocates claim? Many are not.

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The New Broad Center at Yale

tultican

By Thomas Ultican 7/19/2021

December 5, 2019, the LA Times reported“Broad Center to move from L.A. to Yale along with $100-million gift.” On that occasion, the well known blogger Mercedes Schneider described the Los Angeles-based “Broad Center,” which includes the “Broad Academy” and “Broad Residency” as a “pseudo-credentialing mechanism for would-be leaders espousing market-based ed reform…” The new Ivy League center has adopted Eli Broad’s philosophy while giving it a sheen of academic respectability.

On July 1, 2019, Kerwin K. Charles was selected as dean of the Yale School of Management (SOM). Evidently, while looking around for a way to secure his Broad Center legacy, Eli Broad found the new leadership at Yale SOM a comfortable fit.

Blogger Jan Resseger says the $100 million gift means “that mega philanthropist, Eli Broad is buying a prestigious institutional home for a training program he alone devised.” The development of the Broad…

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Nina Rees on Efforts to Reduce Funding for Charter Schools | C-SPAN.org

Diane Ravitch's blog

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ Nina Rees talked about congressional efforts to reduce federal funding of charter schools.
— Watch on www.c-span.org/video/

House Democrats want to ban for-profit charter management organizations, as Biden promised. Rees thinks this is terrible. CSPAN quotes the NPE report on for-profit EMOs (Chartered for Profit). Listen to call-ins at the end, which are opposed to charters. One call-in comes from Carol Burris, who wrote the NPE report. Rees makes for/profit charters sound benign. They are not. They are in it for the money.

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