Southern Education Foundation: Charters and Vouchers Increase Segregation, Decrease Opportunity for Neediest

The Southern Education Foundation has released a new report that explodes the myth that charters and vouchers increase opportunity for students of color and low-income students. Far from it. Privatization via charters and vouchers has intensified racial segregation and is reversing the Brown Decision of 1954. The disreputable concept of “separate but equal” is returning under the guise of “school choice.”




CONTACT: Autumn Blanchard


State-funded “separate but unequal” education billed as opportunity for underrepresented


MARCH 29, 2016 – The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), an advocate for equity in education, releases Race & Ethnicity in a New Era of Public Funding of Private Schools: Private School Enrollment in the South and the Nation. This report explores the phenomenon of publicly funded private school segregation occurring more than 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education verdict declared segregated public schools unconstitutional. It closely examines racial demographics in contemporary private schools and finds that they remain segregated, with white students significantly overrepresented as compared to public school populations.


Currently, 19 states have programs that provide public funding to support children’s attendance in private schools. Last year alone, approximately $1 billion was diverted to private schools from state treasuries across the country, spreading thinner already limited resources. Though such state initiatives exist in each region of the nation, they are especially concentrated in the South.


“The prevailing message is that these voucher and neo-voucher tax credit scholarship programs offer better or more opportunities to students of color and low-income students…the data does not reflect that story,” said Dr. Kent McGuire, president of SEF. In reality, it perpetuates a trend of financially supporting private schools that as a whole remain overwhelming white – no less than 75 percent of all white students in private schools attend schools where 90 percent or more of the student body is white. As segregation persists in private schools, the demographics of public schools shift toward an increasingly diverse student body – fertile ground for the reemergence of a “separate but unequal” education system.


Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics from 1998 and 2012, this brief and the accompanying Southern state profiles review several indicators of racial demographics and segregation in public and private schools including: overrepresentation of white students, disproportionate white enrollment rates, virtual segregation (90% or more white student population), and virtual exclusion of students of color. All of which suggest that segregation persists in private schools across the country and especially in the South.


The six Deep South states, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina, which resisted the constitutional mandate for school desegregation the longest are the worst offenders in the nation by far – demonstrating that state support of private schooling does not appear to have led to greater access for students of color. These six states had a considerably higher rate of overrepresentation among white students in private schools than any other section or region in 2012. Five of the six states were at the top of the state rankings in 2012 and the sixth, Alabama, was ranked tenth.



Despite laws against segregation and in contrast to public schools, private schools with and without public funding continue to select which students they will admit. As long as the private school adopts a non-discriminatory policy and publicly declares that they do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin they are eligible to receive public funds in states with programs that allow for the shifting of funds to private institutions. However, enrollment patterns show that this measure primarily gives only lip service to a commitment to diversity. Despite these trends, black students can still often be found on promotional materials produced by private schools and scholarship organizations. This leaves the false impression that primarily students of color are served by such voucher initiatives and supports the oft-championed messaging that greater access to private institutions is available for students of color, which is often not the case.


The study’s findings and analysis are reminiscent of the overall patterns and conditions of attendance in private schools in the South that the authors of The Schools That Fear Built found in 1976 in the aftermath of massive resistance to desegregation: “These are schools for whites. The common thread that runs through them all, Christian, secular, or otherwise, is that they provide white ground to which blacks are admitted only on the school’s terms if at all.” This study suggests that today’s “common thread” also encompasses the exclusion of Hispanic and Native American students, as well as African American students.


“Because we must preserve the fundamental democratic principle that each child in this nation should have an opportunity for a good education, schools funded by tax dollars – be they private or public – should not be allowed to pick and choose only the students they wish to admit and educate. We know from this report the consequences: most unregulated private schools, left on their own in the South and the nation, have failed to admit any significant number of students of color,” said Steve Suitts, adjunct lecturer of Emory University who developed and wrote the report while serving at the Southern Education Foundation in his last year as a senior fellow. The prospect for better academic opportunity for students sounds attractive but in reality it manifests into an age-old practice that perpetuates a racial divide between children before they ever even learn their ABCs. Currently, these initiatives show no sign of slowing and in many cases are on the upswing. Now more than ever, our scarce public resources should be used to invest in public schools that operate under an obligation to serve any and all students.



About Southern Education Foundation
The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), founded in 1867, is an Atlanta-based research institution and policy advocate whose mission is to advance equity and excellence in education for all students in the South, particularly low-income students and students of color. SEF uses collaboration, advocacy, and research to improve outcomes from early childhood to adulthood. Our core belief is that education is the vehicle by which all students get fair chances to develop their talents and contribute to the common good. SEF has published a host of impactful reports including “A New Majority” & “Performance Funding at MSIs” as featured in The Washington Post and Inside Higher Ed, respectively. For more information, visit

For the full report visit

from sarah

Revisiting The “Coke” & “Pepsi” Of NC’s Community Banks: BNCN vs YDKN Current Pro Forma

PDF ATTACHED:FIG Partners Industry Analysis 3-31-16 – BNCN vs YDKN

North Carolina’s BNCN-BNC Bancorp and YDKN-Yadkin Financial have become the proverbial “Coke” vs. “Pepsi” in the eyes of Community Bank stock investors.  Both companies announced mergers late in 2015 creating future franchise expansion and an upward shift in earnings per share.  Since we cover both companies intimately, we can attest how investor expectations and the forward outlook for both stocks have surged and more recently retreated.

We share the math (see Page 2) on how both companies are valued using pro forma figures for March 2016 after both companies’ M&A deals have been closed.  YDKN officially closed the NewBridge Bancorp transaction in March 2016 and BNCN’s two mergers in NC and SC close in another 3-4 months.  Our figures compare the December ‘16 estimates for Tangible Book, TCE, Core Deposits, and the 4Q16 EPS run-rate to today’s stock price as well as 2017 to judge the Deposit Premiums, P/E, and Tangible Book multiples.

BNCN has a similar forward P/E as YDKN in 2016 and has stronger upside potential in the near-term, which meets our “Outperform” rating standard, while YKDN could attract a better P/E as 2017 comes better into focus (we admit that our conservative valuation next year may need revision).  In both cases, execution on merger integration as well as continued organic growth is key in the next 12 months.

Contact us or your FIG Partners Sales person for more background on our analysis.

The post Revisiting The “Coke” & “Pepsi” Of NC’s Community Banks: BNCN vs YDKN Current Pro Forma appeared first on FIG Partners.

from sarah

Parents: Don’t Be Bullied: Opt Out in 2016

Julia Sass Rubin, who lives in New Jersey, points out that the threat of cutting off federal funding is empty. No federal official would stop funding Title I schools, attended by the poorest children. The administrative funding for the program is $3.3 million.


Is $3.3 million a big deal? Not really. The state of New Jersey has spent over $8 million to defend Governor Chris Christie in Bridgegate.


$3.3 million to protect your children is a good deal.


Opt Out in 2016.

from sarah

2016 Election: Where Do the Candidates Stand?

This is a good article by Steven Rosenfeld about the 2016 election. Rosenfeld focuses on the charter school issue. He understands, as so few national commentators do, that charter schools are an existential threat to public education. 
He reviews the reactionary views of the Republican candidates, all of whom support privatization.
And he deconstructs the views of Hillary and Bernie. 

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Illinois: Don’t Believe It When They Tell You Not to Opt Out

A former Chicago Public Schools teacher left a comment and referred to this article, which features one of her students. He is organizing a boycott of PARCC. Illinois offers no “formal” way to opt out; the decision is left to children. Some schools are threatening punishments of various kinds, and school officials imply that the tests have been improved. They say, for example, that the results will arrive in the summer, instead of the fall, when there is still time to help children. On the face of it, that claim is ridiculous. The child is not in school in the summer, for starters. He or she won’t have the same teacher by the time the results come in. Worse, there is nothing in the results that will “help” the teachers or the children. How are children “helped” by learning that they have scored a 1, 2, 3, or 4? How will they be helped if they learned what percentile they scored it? This is all nonsense, which is why students and parents should opt out and demand an end of this massive waste of money and instructional time.


This week, when state standardized testing begins at many CPS schools, at least one sixth-grader at Sumner Elementary School will be sitting out PARCC.


“I’m going to refuse PARCC next week because we haven’t had typing classes,” Diontae Chatman told the Board of Education last week, missing school for the first time all year so he could testify.


“We didn’t have a qualified math teacher from September to January,” he added. Plus last year, students taking the test online were logged on and off repeatedly, among other problems.


But skipping the test, even though state law allows it, could bring about consequences that feel unfair to children.


“My school is threatening to take away our field day to students who refuse PARCC,” Diontae explained. “I think we all should get treated the same way, if we take it or if we don’t take it.”


Once again, neither Chicago Publics Schools nor the Illinois State Board of Education have any specific directive for how schools should treat children who refuse to take the exam between now and May 15.


Meanwhile, the district is urging all parents to participate in the test, saying PARCC provides useful detailed data.


“PARCC is a mandatory exam and the district’s failure to implement the exam does have serious consequences” that are financial, Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson said. “We’re making a lot of short-term fixes, so we can’t afford any reduction in financing from the state as a result of our failure to administer the test.”


PARCC — the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers — is given to third- through eighth-graders and some high schoolers. Aligned to Common Core standards, it aims to show how well students are preparing for college at each grade level. Though PARCC was designed to be interactive and taken on a computer, CPS’ third- and fourth-graders still will take a paper version.


PARCC still carries no consequences at CPS, which uses a separate test to evaluate teachers and schools.


For its second year, PARCC has been shortened. It has a simpler format, and results have been promised much sooner than last year — by the summer, rather than late autumn, so that teachers and parents can actually use the results.


Those improvements still won’t stop a number of families in Chicago from skipping it.



[Some readers said the link doesn’t work; this works for me:


PARCC Testing Begins, But Still No Opt Out Policy, in the Chicago Sun-Times



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