Ann P. Cronin: How to Prepare Students for the Future

Many years back, I wrote an essay about the poor track record of those who purport to know the jobs of the future. I looked back at predictions made by great minds over the 20th century, and they were all wrong. We don’t seem to have a magic crystal ball.Just the other day, a neighbor asked me to advise his daughter, a high school student, about how to prepare for the future. We haven’t met yet, but when we do, I will urge her to get a solid liberal arts education, to immerse herself in literature, history, and delve deeply into her interests.

Ann Cronin, who has been a teacher, administrator, and all-round accomplished educator in Connecticut, uses this post to offer advice about how to prepare for an unknown future. She calls it “a toolkit for the future.”

The most important preparation is to develop as thinkers and learners.

Here are three practical ways that teachers can do that:

“Teach students to question.
“Teach students to write essays that explore questions of importance to them.
“Teach students to write essays about how they came to know what they know.”

She observes:

“The Common Core State Standards do not ask students to think in these ways. They are falsely marketed as being about critical thinking; those standards do not give students the learning and thinking skills needed for the future. Also, no standardized test in the United States assesses questioning, collaborating, creative thinking, or learning to learn skills. Every minute of class time given to preparing students for those tests takes students away from what they really need to learn.

“The future is almost upon us; it is just about here. It’s time to give students what they need. Invite them to question, to explore possibilities, to imagine solutions, to grow and change as thinkers, and to fall in love with learning. Then sit back and watch where they take us. It will be better than we now know.”

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Ohio: Fordham Knocks Stephen Dyer for His Criticism of Charters; Dyer Strikes Back

Stephen Dyer is a Senior Fellow at Innovation Ohio and a former legislator. He has scrutinized state data exhaustively and reported that district schools outperform charter schools by every measure: test scores, graduation rates, achievement gaps. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute didn’t agree with his conclusions. Although it claims to be a think tank, it is in fact an advocacy group for school choice.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, which is technically based in Dayton (where the late Mr. Fordham lived) is actually based in D.C., is an authorizer of charter schools in Ohio. Authorizers are paid a commission on every student who enrol in charter schools so it is a lucrative role. I was a board member at TBF and an original founder. I opposed the decision to become an authorizer because I thought that it conflicted with the role of a think tank, which should be free to critique or praise anyone without fear or favor. I was outvoted.

In this post, Stephen Dyer responds to TBF criticism.

He explains that every public school in Ohio receives less money so charters can be funded.

“According to the final state payment made to school districts from June, there were 1.7 million students in Ohio set to receive $7.95 billion in total state aid. That’s works out to $4,657 (I’m rounding here) for every student in local public school districts.

“Then come charter schools.

“According to the report, $898 million left school districts last year for charters (a district-by-district breakdown I received from the Ohio Department of Education puts that tally at $935 million, so there’s that). Leaving with that funding were 113,613 students.

“So, after losing the funding and students to charter schools, the remaining 1.59 million children in Ohio school districts were set to receive $7.05 billion in state revenue, or $4,425 each.

“That means that the charter deduction costs every kid in Ohio school districts, on average, $231.51.

“This is why I compare charter school performance with school district performance. Because charter schools affect every kid in a school district. Profoundly. How profoundly? Let’s look at Columbus.

“Prior to the charter school deduction, every kid in Columbus City Schools is set to receive $4,559 in state funding. However, once the $145.65 million and 18,541 students are transferred to charter schools, the remaining 53,532 students who attend Columbus City School buildings receive $3,418 per pupil. That is a difference of $1,141.62. So charter schools cost students who are in Columbus City Schools about 1/4 of their state revenue. That’s every student in Columbus, regardless of wealth, race, or disability, Jamie.

“Every.

“Single.

“Student.

“So if this profound a change in state funding is going to happen for the 75 percent of children who remain in Columbus City Schools, or the 93 percent of children who remain in Ohio’s local public school districts, we’d better be damn sure it’s worth it. Is it worth removing $1,141.62 from kids in the best performing school in Columbus so thousands of kids can go to ECOT, for example (ECOT is the largest recipient of charter school transfer funding from Columbus)?

“I would say that’s a big, “No.”

“Now my friends at Fordham often complain that charters don’t get local revenue. And while that’s true, I fail to see how that justifies removing millions of state dollars from kids in local school districts. If the legislature believes in school choice so strongly, then set aside $260 million or so to make up for the lack of local revenue.

“Stop taking it from the 1.59 million kids who aren’t in charters.“

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Teacher: I Opted Out All My English Classes from Taking SBAC!

A daily reader and commenter who calls him/herself LeftCoastTeacher left the following comment:

I’m off topic, sorry, but I am excited.

Congratulate my students! I have just been able to Opt Out all my English classes from taking the SBAC Interim Assessments. I work in a district with criminals on the board and their deform appointees in administration, so the entire district is being forced to take the computer-based interim assessments made by the Smarter (dumber) (un)Balanced Assessment (not) Consortium (conspiracy), or SBAC. You know those interim tests are just a stepping stone toward Competency Based data collection taking over instruction time completely.

In California, schools and districts are required to inform parents of their right to Opt Out of state tests. So, I went to admin and asked for the form letter to parents before Back to School Night so I could ‘make sure parents are informed of their rights’. Admin said, Gulp. There was some back and forth about whether state law was in play for tests required by the district versus by the federal government. I insisted that California parents always have the right to have their children receive instruction instead of standardized testing, and always have the right to refuse having their children forced to sign in to a website that collects testing data.

I am being granted a waiver Out of the SBAC IAB’s. I get to instead design and implement my own formative assessments. We are going to read — together — some great, whole fiction and poetry (on paper), and write some essays about what we read. On paper. With pens. We will discuss the results — together — and learn from the experience. I won. My students won.

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Nonprofit Quarterly: Corruption Scandal Rocks Los Angeles School Board and Charter Movement

Most of the time, scandals come and go and no one remembers them after a day or two. But sometimes scandals cause a seismic reaction. Think Harvey Weinstein. Powerful men have sexually assaulted women in their employ and hoping to be in their employ or just in their proximity for as long as anyone can remember. Despite a number of high profile scandals, the larger phenomenon is ignored. Many people assumed Trump’s gloating about his sexual assaults would doom his campaign but it didn’t. Bill O’Reilly had to leave FOX news, but that passed. The Harvey story has gotten more attention and more outrage than any of the others.

Could the Ref Rodriguez corruption scandal awaken the public to the systemic problem of giving public money to private corporations and individuals without regular oversight and accountability? Could this be the Big One that tarnishes the privatization movement?

Nonprofit Quarterly writes:
“Something is rotten in the world of Los Angeles school board politics.

“Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC) charter school network founder and L.A. Unified School District Board member (and, until recently, board president) Refugio Rodriguez faces three felony charges, 25 misdemeanor charges, and conflict-of-interest allegations for laundering money in his school board campaigns in 2014 and 2015. Charges were filed last month by the city’s ethics commission.

“It might seem unusual that a charter school founder (and recent employee) would head the school board for a major city’s public K-12 system, but this was no accident. Rodriguez was part of a slate, “one of four board members who came into power with the strong backing of charter school supporters and who now make up a majority of the seven-member body.” As Rachel Cohen writes for The Intercept, Rodriguez “was backed by the well-heeled charter school movement, which spent more than $2 million to help elect him. This past spring, education reform advocates won three more seats, giving the board a slim pro-charter majority for the first time ever. Rodriguez was then elected board president in July.” After the ethics charges were filed, Rodriguez stepped down as board president, but remains a school board member.

“Then this past Monday, the other shoe dropped and a second investigation was launched. As another Los Angeles Times article explains, “Officials at PUC Schools, a local charter school network, have filed a complaint with the state Fair Political Practices Commission.”

The filing alleges that Rodriguez, who co-founded PUC, ordered the transfer of about $265,000 from PUC to a nonprofit that appeared to be under his control. An additional $20,000 went to a private company in which he might have owned a stake.

““PUC”, according to the Los Angeles Times, “operates 17 schools in Los Angeles and one in Rochester, N.Y. It is a nonprofit that operates under its own board, with L.A. Unified authorizing its local schools individually.”

“Last Friday, PUC accepted the resignation of Rodriguez’s cousin “senior manager Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez. In PUC records reviewed by the Times, Melendrez is listed as the person who requested eight of the checks Rodriguez authorized, adding up to nearly $188,000.”

“As NPQ has reported previously, conflicts of interest, or even the appearances of them, put the entire organization at risk of losing its credibility. Jacqueline Elliott, the cofounder of PUC, has distanced herself from the scandal in the media, perhaps hoping to maintain the reputation of the charter network with funders. (Elliott is not under any investigation.)

“A large and complicated web of money and influence has been woven under the feet of Los Angeles’ education leaders. Untangling it will certainly cost the district time and credibility, especially since, as noted above, the balance of the school board recently shifted toward charter school supporters, who strongly supported Rodriguez and who now occupy four of the seven board seats.“

NPQ ends hopefully on the note that “Big money and scandal are not, obviously, necessary or even frequent companions to large charter networks.“

As we have seen time and again, “big money” is indeed a necessary and frequent companion of large charter networks. Whether scandal follows depends on the extent to which there is public oversight of public money.

Given the fact that the charter industry controls the school board in Los Angeles, don’t expect LAUSD to clean its own house. Expect it to join the coverup, even if Ref is thrown off the island as a necessary sacrifice.

Will the public wake up to the waste of their tax dollars? Will this scandal be the one that ignites outrage? Should the public pay $1 Million a year for visas for Turkish teachers? Should the public pay charter CEOs over half s Million a year? Should the public pay for executives at virtual charters who collect millions a year in compensation? Should the public turn a blind eye to the millions from hedge fund managers and other financiers and rightwing foundations that want to privatize public education?

When the editorial boards of the nation’s most powerful newspapers—the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times— consistently defend private and unaccountable charters and support privatization, it makes you wonder how big a scandal is necessary before they wake up and defend the public interest? Do they know they are supporting the agenda of ALEC and Betsy DeVos? Do they care?

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Lordy, Lordy! Bill Gates Has a New Idea. Run. Hide. Protect the Children and the Teachers

After two high-profile failures that he acknowledges, and one high-profile failure that he does not acknowledge, Bill Gates is ready to start reforming the schools of America again.

Valerie Strauss reports on his announcement here.

He jumped into school reform in 2000 with his plan to break up the nation’s high schools into small schools. He promised dramatic test score gains. It wasn’t a terrible idea, but it did not get the score gains he wanted, and he gathered the creme de la creme to his digs in Seattle in 2008 to announce that he was abandoning small schools. Valerie says he dumped $650 Million into that, but my own Research says it was $2 Billion.

His next obsession was evaluating teachers by the test scores of their teachers. He partnered with Arne Duncan on that; Arne made it a condition of Race to the Top funding. The ratings were criticized by the American Statistical Association, the National Academy of Education, AERA, and many individual scholars. But Duncan and Gates plowed ahead. The Los Angeles Times and the New York Post published the ratings of individual teachers. Duncan congratulated them for doing so. A teacher in Los Angeles committed suicide after his ratings were published. Gates gave out hundreds of millions to districts that adopted his evaluations. Hillsborough County, Florida, won $100 Million to apply Gates’ ideas about teaching, and the district exhausted its reserves and abandoned the plan. Gates paid up only $80 Million, and the district was left holding the bag.

Now Gates has given up on that idea, although many states are still sticking with it. Thousands of teachers and principals have been fired based on the ideas sold by Gates and Duncan, but that’s not of any interest to him.

The failure that Gates does not yet admit is the Common Core. He paid hundreds of millions for its development and promotion, and he still loves the idea of standardizing education. He refuses to accept that it’s dead man walking.

So what’s his new idea? I’m not really sure, so I will quote Valerie. My hunch is that he is still pushing Common Core, but it is not clear.

He said 85% of the money will go to public schools and the rest to charter schools. Knowing that Gates is a charter zealot, one must wonder what medicine (or poison) he is offering.

“He said most of the new money — about 60 percent — will be used to develop new curriculums and “networks of schools” that work together to identify local problems and solutions, using data to drive “continuous improvement.” He said that over the next several years, about 30 such networks would be supported, though he didn’t describe exactly what they are. The first grants will go to high-needs schools and districts in six to eight states, which went unnamed.

“Though there wasn’t a lot of detail on exactly how the money would be spent, Gates, a believer in using big data to solve problems, repeatedly said foundation grants given to schools as part of this new effort would be driven by data. “Each [school] network will be backed by a team of education experts skilled in continuous improvement, coaching and data collection and analysis,” he said, an emphasis that is bound to worry critics already concerned about the amount of student data already collected and the way it is used for high-stakes decisions.”

What is he up to? Big data? Common Core? Data mining?

I have often said and written that if he really wanted to help children, he would open health clinics in their schools. He would provide doctors to supply good maternal care to pregnant women. He would not tell teachers how to teach or get involved in evaluating teachers or writing curriculum. He would stop pretending he knows how to reform education and do something that is actually needed.

After 17 years of failure, has he learned nothing?

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Newark: Chris Cerf to Union Leader: Drop Dead

Thanks to Bob Braun for posting this exchange.

The president of the Newark Teachers Union wrote the following letter to the chair of the Newark school board, which just regained local control after 22 years of state control:

Marques-Aquil Lewis
Board Chairperson
Newark Board of Education

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Congratulations on receiving full local control back to the Newark Board of Education.

As the elected representatives of all the NBOE’s highly skilled professional instructional workforce, paraprofessionals, Child Study Team members and various therapists servicing students, the NTU respectfully requests we be included in any plan, and be seated on any committee established by the NBOE to develop a full transition plan for the return to local control of the district pursuant to NJAC Title 6A.

As we have throughout the takeover, we remain at your service and the service of the needs of Newark’s students, their parents and community.

Sincerely,

John M Abeigon
President & Director of Organization
Newark Teachers Union, Local 481, AFT, AFL-CIO

Christopher Cerf, the State-appointed leader of the Newark schools (after serving as Chris Christie’s State Commissioner of Education in New Jersey and before that, Joel Klein’s Deputy Chancellor) writes the following response to the union leader:

Five hours after Abeigon sent his note, Cerf responds like this:

From: “Cerf, Christopher” Date: Oct 4, 2017 8:53 PM Subject: Re: Congratulations & Request to Serve To: “John Abeigon” Cc: “Randi Weingarten” , “Lewis, Marques-Aquil”

Not happening in this or any lifetime.

SENT FROM MY IPHONE

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Newark: Charter School Begins to Close Down Less Than Two Months After Opening

On August 28, 2017, Governor Chris Christie proudly cut the ribbon with an over-sized scissors to mark the opening of the M.E.T.S. Charter School in Newark. He told the students that they would get every opportunity to succeed, and now it was up to them to decide how hard they wanted to work in school.

During Christie’s two terms in office, he has doubled the number of charter schools to 89.

Well, change that to 88.

Mercedes Schneider reports that the brand new charter school, not even two months old, has announced its plans to close by the end of the school year. Starting immediately, it is sending its students in 9th and 10th grades back to the much-maligned Newark Public Schools.

She writes:

“On October 19, 2017, M.E.T.S. sent the parents of its 9th and 10th graders this “special message” that their so-called school-choice “empowerment” was being immediately overridden by the vague determination of M.E.T.S. to immediately send all 9th and 10th graders back to the Newark Public Schools.

Of course, this profound, “special announcement” jolt– delivered by an “interim lead administrator”– is being framed as responsible, caring, and smooth.”

Then follows the text of the “special announcement.”

A story on a New Jersey website provides a few horrifying details about the shabby treatment of the children of Newark, bounced from one charter to another by “reformers:”

“Almost half of the students at the charter school have already been displaced once.

“District officials said 110 of the 140 students in grades 10-12 came from three closed charter schools — Newark Prep Charter School, Paulo Freire Charter School or Merit Prep Charter School — which were shut down by the state last school year for academic problems.“

Hey, Mark Zuckerberg, is this what your $100 million paid for? Constant disruption of children’s lives.

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Ohio: Achievement Gaps Widen More in Charter Schools Compared to Public Schools

Ohio has done its very best to promote charters and vouchers. But it did a great disservice to charters by putting them in the state base. The data are there for all to see: with only a few exceptions, charter schools perform worse than public schools.

The latest release of data shows not only that graduates of public schools were more likely to graduate from college than graduates of charter schools, it also shows that achievement gaps grow wider in charter schools, in contrast to public schools.

Stephen Dyer of Innovation Ohio writes:

“Charter schools saw far greater performance gaps in reading and math than school districts. And, more troubling, a far greater percentage of gap growth compared with the previous school year.

“So achievement gaps are growing wider and quicker in Ohio charter schools than Ohio school districts…

“For example, more than 21 percent of charter school achievement gaps for African-American students grew larger in reading. That happened less than 10 percent of the time in school districts. Meanwhile, charter school reading achievement gaps for poor students grew at three times the rate of school districts. Overall, reading achievement gaps in Ohio charter schools grew bigger at more than 4 times the rate of their school district competitors.

“The same holds true for math scores. African-American achievement gaps grew at a 40 percent higher rate in Ohio charter schools and poor student gaps grew nearly 50 percent more. Overall, achievement gaps for all students grew larger at a 60 percent greater rate in Ohio charter schools than school districts.

“While it is true that more times than not Ohio’s charter schools shrank rather than grew the gaps, Ohio school districts were simply far better at shrinking their prior year’s gaps than their free market counterparts.

“What does this mean? It means that far from granting greater equity for disadvantaged students, as many choice advocates claim, with some even suggesting that access to charter schools is a civil right, Ohio charter schools actually exacerbate achievement gap issues, which is the exact opposite of the civil rights movement’s goal.”

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Florida Squanders $1 Billion on “Schools Without Rules”

This is a story about vouchers in Florida, where the state constitution forbids the use of public funds “directly or indirectly” for religious schools. Message to school-children: Ignore the state Constitution. It is meaningless.

The Florida state Constitution forbids the use of public funds in religious schools.

Article 1, Section 3 of the state Constitution says:

“Religious Freedom

“There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.”

Jeb Bush wanted to amend that language so Florida could provide vouchers for religious schools. So, he got an amendment on the ballot in 2012 called the Religious Freedom Amendment, or Amendment 8. What clever wording! How many people would vote against “religious freedom”?

Enough to defeat Amendment 8. Fifty-five point five percent (55.5%) of voters said NO to vouchers.

But that didn’t stop Jeb and his friends from cooking up ways to bypass the State Constitution and the clear will of the people.

They proceeded to develop voucher programs masquerading as something else: tax credits, scholarships, whatever.

The Orlando Sentinel just concluded an investigation of Florida’s voucher programs and concluded it is an unregulated sector that enrolls 140,000 students and costs taxpayers $1 Billion per year. All in a state whose Constitution prohibits vouchers and whose voters opposed changing the Constitution.

The series begins like this:

“Private schools in Florida will collect nearly $1 billion in state-backed scholarships this year through a system so weakly regulated that some schools hire teachers without college degrees, hold classes in aging strip malls and falsify fire-safety and health records.

“The limited oversight of Florida’s scholarship programs allowed a principal under investigation for molesting a student at his Brevard County school to open another school under a new name and still receive the money, an Orlando Sentinel investigation found.

“Another Central Florida school received millions of dollars in scholarships, sometimes called school vouchers, for nearly a decade even though it repeatedly violated program rules, including hiring staff with criminal convictions.

“Despite the problems, the number of children using Florida’s scholarship programs has more than tripled in the past decade to 140,000 students this year at nearly 2,000 private schools. If students using Florida Tax Credit, McKay and Gardiner scholarships made up their own school district, they would be Florida’s sixth-largest in student population, just ahead of the Jacksonville area.

“The scholarships are good. The problem is the school,” said Edda Melendez, an Osceola County mother. “They need to start regulating the private schools.”

“Melendez complained to the state last year about a private school in Kissimmee. The school promised specialized help for her 5-year-old twin sons, who have autism, but one of their teachers was 21 years old and didn’t have a bachelor’s degree or experience with autistic children.

“I feel bad for all the parents who didn’t know what’s going on there,” she told the state.

“Last year, nearly a quarter of all state scholarship students — 30,000 — attended 390 private schools in Central Florida. The schools received $175.6 million worth of the scholarships, which are for children from low-income families and those with disabilities.

“During its investigation, the Sentinel visited more than 30 private schools in Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola and Brevard counties, reviewed thousands of pages of public records and interviewed dozens of parents, private school operators, state officials and policy experts.

“Unlike public schools, private schools, including those that accept the state scholarships, operate free from most state rules. Private school teachers and principals, for example, are not required to have state certification or even college degrees.

“One Orlando school, which received $500,000 from the public programs last year, has a 24-year-old principal still studying at a community college.

“Nor do private schools need to follow the state’s academic standards. One curriculum, called Accelerated Christian Education or ACE, is popular in some private schools and requires students to sit at partitioned desks and fill out worksheets on their own for most of the day, with little instruction from teachers or interaction with classmates.

“And nearly anything goes in terms of where private school classes meet. The Sentinel found scholarship students in the same office building as Whozz Next Bail Bonds on South Orange Blossom Trail, in a Colonial Drive day-care center that reeked of dirty diapers and in a school near Winter Park that was facing eviction and had wires dangling from a gap in the office ceiling and a library with no books, computers or furniture.

“However, scholarships can be appealing because some private schools offer rigorous academics on modern campuses, unique programs or small classes that allow students more one-on-one attention, among other benefits. Bad experiences at public schools also fuel interest in scholarships.

“Parents opting out of public schools often cite worries about large campuses, bullying, what they call inadequate services for special-needs children and state-required testing. Escaping high-stakes testing is such a scholarship selling point that one private school administrator refers to students as “testing refugees.”

“But the Sentinel found problems with Florida’s programs, which make up the largest school voucher and scholarship initiative in the nation:

► At least 19 schools submitted documents since 2012 that misled state officials about fire or health inspections, including some with forged inspectors’ names or altered dates. Eight of the schools still received scholarship money with the state’s blessing.

► Upset parents sometimes complain to the state, assuming it has some say over academic quality at these private schools. It does not. “They can conduct their schools in the manner they believe to be appropriate,” reads a typical response from the Florida Department of Education to a parent.

► The education department has stopped some schools from taking scholarships when they violated state rules, from the one in Fort Lauderdale led by a man convicted of stealing $20,000 to a school in Gainesville caught depositing scholarship checks for students no longer enrolled. But the department often gives schools second chances and sometimes doesn’t take action even when alerted to a problem.

► Florida’s approach is so hands-off that a state directory lists private schools that can accommodate students with special needs — such as autism — without evidence the schools’ staff is trained to handle disabilities.”

Since Betsy DeVos considers Florida to be a national model, you should read this series and learn what’s heading your way and stop it before it gets into your state.

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Gary Rubinstein: The Collapse Of Tennessee’s Achievement School District

Gary Rubinstein has been tracking the progress—and the hubris—of the Tennessee Achievement School District. The ASD was created with millions drawn from Tennessee’s $500 Million Race to the Top Grant, the first in the nation. The basic idea was that the ASD would create a special district for the state’s lowest performing schools, turn them over to charter operators, and within precisely five years, these schools would be “catapulted”into the top 25% of the schools in the state.

The first cohort of six schools were in the bottom 5% of schools in the state.

“Two years into the five-year mission, the superintendent at the time, TFA alum Chris Barbic, declared in an interview that of the original six schools, two were on target to get to the top 25% in five years while one of the six schools, Brick Church Elementary, was on a trajectory to reach the goal after just four years.

“Three years into the five-year mission, the improvements that he had based these projections on did not continue and Barbic was saying that they underestimated how difficult this would be, even admitting that the ‘immigrant poverty’ he worked with as a charter school founder in Houston is very different than the ‘generational poverty’ he works with in Tennessee.

“Four years into the five-year mission, Barbic resigned from the ASD, citing among other things, his health as he had recently had a heart attack. He soon got hired by the John Arnold foundation to work on education issues for them.”

In the fifth year, the state testing system was messed up by technical glitches, so there were no scores. So the ASD got six years to work its magic.

Now the scores are out, Gary analyzed the results, and one thing is clear: the ASD was an abysmal failure.

Of the original 6 ASD schools, one is in the bottom 7%, the rest are still in the bottom 5% with two of them in the bottom 1%.

This is what is called a total and complete failure. It was not “for the kids.” It was for the ego-gratification of arrogant deformers.

Gary writes:

“There are actually other states considering starting their own ASDs, I just read that Mississippi is working on it. Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada already have them in the works. There was one in Michigan which folded and there is still the original one in New Orleans which continues to post awful test results.”

Most of the ASD schools were in Memphis. Jeannie Kaplan reported earlier today that author David Osborne was in Denver touting Memphis as a reform Success. Six out of six of the state’s lowest performing schools are still the state’s lowest performing schools. If this is success, what does failure look like?

The definition of a reformer today: Never look at evidence, never admit failure, never learn anything new, just keep pushing privatization, lower standards for teachers, and high-stakes testing. Fail, fail, fail, and do it again.

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