The following behavior exists at all levels of community action:
WYPR does a piece on the school building that basically gives an impression that the plan offered is foregone. It then lists the next meeting as on a Thursday rather then on its actual Wednesday even as I corrected it. No other news outlet announced this critical meeting. The Baltimore Teacher's Union sent an email that gave the meeting on Wednesday but said it would be at the City School Administration Building on North Ave. and parents from these affected schools said only a last minute robo-call was made on the subject. The turnout was huge because of community networking by average citizens not any of the public structures.
I deliberately arrived early because I like to witness the process from start to finish. When I went to sign up to speak there were several groups already listed that were all in the same handwriting and none of them were there. We were to be given 3 minutes as is usual which gives enough time to send out issues with no explanation. Remember, this is a scheduled 2 hour event and they stick to these time schedules. First to sign in will assure you get to testify. I SHOUTED LOUDLY TO THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING HANDLER STATIONED NEXT TO ME......IT APPEARS THAT THEY HAVE FRONT-LOADED THE SPEAKER SHEET WITH PEOPLE CONNECTED TO THE ALONZO PLAN.
They did in fact do that with the intention that the very families who never get a voice at any of these staged meetings will yet again see time end without their words being heard. As it was, after making very public the stacked list the leader of the event extended the forum to hear all testimony, but as everyone knew to be the case, several of the groups had to leave because they have no transportation and had rented buses for a select period and had to leave without comment.
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE UNDERSERVED IN URBAN AREAS GENERALLY HAVE NO TRANSPORTATION AND IF THEY CAME WOULD BE RESTRICTED TO TIME CONSTRAINTS? EVERYBODY IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM UNDERSTANDS THIS.
So, the people who were pre-listed were the usual Johns Hopkins organization non-profits that direct Alonzo's school development plans.....and I am going to out what I am 99.9% sure but since I didn't see it I cannot say with certainty.....Greater Homewood Development Corporation as the integrity-compromised entity......SURPRISED?????? OF COURSE NOT......THAT IS THEIR MODUS OPERANDUS. For those not familiar Greater Homewood is the academic branch of the Johns Hopkins development group. So all of these private non-profits put into place by Hopkins to promote these policies came late and left immediately and took up a chunk of time. By the time the last group spoke the auditorium was almost empty.......which was the point. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT ACLU-MD LEADS THIS BEHAVIOR....THE VERY ORGANIZATION SET UP TO PROTECT CIVIL LIBERTIES!!!!
The recurring theme of the testimony was that the schools slated to close were often well-performing and supported schools in neighborhoods that were higher functioning then others schools left open. It was stressed as to how families living in those communities would be placed in hardship as children would be endangered and in many cases there isn't even any public transportation to and from these communities allowing for transfer to other schools. The stats used in all of the studies that qualified these school building decisions were constantly shown to be false and/or in conflict with the stated goal. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME PARENTS WERE ABLE TO PUBLICLY SPEAK TO THESE ISSUES AND IT IS AT A TIME AFTER THE CITY COUNCIL AND THE SCHOOL BOARD VOTED TO APPROVE THE ENTIRE PROJECT AND SEND IT TO THE STATE LEGISLATURE.
IT IS LIKE DEALING WITH A KANGAROO COURT IN A BANANA REPUBLIC.
It is the same environment as exists when you attend the Baltimore Board of Estimate meetings and the existing plans are pushed forward regardless of legality or public interest.
What happens when a government becomes this corrupt and criminal? YOU HAVE AN AUTOCRACY JUST AS THEY DO IN ANY THIRD WORLD COUNTRY......THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE FOLKS AND YOUR INCUMBENT IS PROVIDING THIS CULTURE FOR YOU!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
I ATTENDED A SCHOOL BOARD MEETING IN BALTIMORE RECENTLY WHERE EVERYONE STOOD ASKING EACH OTHER 'WHERE DO THEY GET THE TERM 'SCHOOL CHOICE' WHEN WE ALL KNOW THAT IT IS REALLY 'NO CHOICE' FOR THE WORKING-CLASS AND POOR FAMILIES WHO ARE WATCHING AS THIS PROGRAM IS USED TO GENTRIFY THE LOW-INCOME OUT AND THE AFFLUENT IN TO URBAN CENTERS AND TO SEGREGATE IN RURAL AREAS.
I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO CONTACT THIS GENTLEMAN WHO WANTS TO STUDY THIS ACADEMICALLY TO LET HIM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL THIS SCHOOL 'CHOICE' IS WORKING.
YOU SEE HIM EXPLAINING THAT COSTS AND SERVICES ARE GOING TO VARY, ETC. SO YOU CAN TELL THIS IS A STUDY THAT COMES FROM THE PERSPECTIVE THAT EQUAL ACCESS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IS NOT A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT.......EVEN THOUGH IT IS.
New Brief Points
to Key Considerations
in Funding ‘Choice’ Schools
Contact William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, email@example.com
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/aa4fvcb
BOULDER, CO (December 13, 2012) – The newest in a series of two- and three-page briefs summarizing current relevant findings in education policy research describes important issues and questions that policymakers should consider in determining public funding of alternatives to conventional public schools.
Dr. William Mathis, author of Public Funding of School Choice, explains, “When lawmakers do decide to allocate public funding to choice schools, as they have increasingly done over the past couple of decades, they must then engage in a new level of scrutiny regarding the structure, level and conditions of these subsidies.”
Mathis notes that the specific costs as well as the specific needs of students will vary from school to school, meaning that funding requirements can correspondingly vary widely. Similarly, wide variations among states in funding levels, funding sources, regulatory scrutiny and the details of choice mechanisms complicate the decisions policymakers face. Mathis also explains that recipients of public funding should be open to rigorous scrutiny that emphasizes equity, transparency, and the assurance that the funding is reaching the intended students.
Dr. William Mathis is managing director of the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Public Funding of School Choice is part of Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking, a multipart brief that takes up a number of important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research. Each section focuses on a different issue, and its recommendations to policymakers are based on the latest scholarship.
The brief is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.
Find William Mathis’s brief on the NEPC website at:
The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence. For more information on the NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/.
This brief is also found on the GLC website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/
YOUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBER WAS SILENT IN ALL OF THIS DEBATE AND YOUR MAYOR RAWLINGS-BLAKE HAS HANDED YOUR SCHOOLS OFF TO GOVERNOR O'MALLEY WHO THEN APPOINTS A SCHOOL BOARD THAT WORKS AGAINST THE PEOPLE'S INTEREST. IF YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS ARE NOT RUNNING A CANDIDATE AGAINST ALL INCUMBENTS.....THEY ARE NOT WORKING FOR YOU AND ME!!!
THE FACT THAT MARYLAND ALLOWS THE GOVERNOR THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE SCHOOL BOARDS IS THE WORST POLICY IN THE WORLD AND IT REFLECTS YET AGAIN HOW MARYLAND IS NOT A DEMOCRATIC STATE.....WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE'S VOICES? BALTIMORE WAS HANDED TO O'MALLEY BY RAWLINGS-BLAKE AND WE HAVE ALONZO TRYING TO MAKE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS INTO VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTERS.
THESE PUBLIC OFFICES SHOULD BE ELECTED IN ALL ACCOUNTS.......PUBLIC SERVICES COMMISSION? ELECTED.......GAMBLING COMMISSION.....ELECTED.....
IS YOUR INCUMBENT SHOUTING FOR ELECTED BALTIMORE SCHOOL BOARD? WHY DOES THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS SHOUT OUT FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY AND NOT BALTIMORE CITY? LET'S ASK THEM.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENTS OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Some Balto. Co. lawmakers renew push for school board change
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who last year lobbied hard against changing the school board's structure, has signaled that he may be willing to compromise this time around. (Sarah Pastrana, Baltimore Sun Media Group / December 9, 2012)
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun 4:52 p.m. EST, December 9, 2012
Baltimore County residents and lawmakers who want to add elected members to the county school board are gearing up for a familiar push as the legislative session nears, and they say they are better organized this time around.
With state lawmakers set to meet in January, supporters of changing the all-appointed school board say they're stepping up outreach efforts to legislators and county residents. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who last session lobbied hard against changing the board's structure, has signaled that he may be willing to compromise this time around.
Earlier this year, a bill nearly passed but died during the last minutes of the session.
"The process last [session] brought into focus a lot of people's concerns about the issue," said Del. John Olszewski Jr., a Dundalk Democrat who chairs the county's House delegation. "I think it'd be best to find some solution and maybe once and for all get this issue behind us."
The board is now appointed by the governor based on the county executive's recommendations. Those who want elected members say it would make the board more accountable and responsive. But opponents' concerns include whether changing the board's structure would lessen minority representation or make it harder for board members to make unpopular decisions.
Sen. Bobby Zirkin, a Pikesville Democrat and longtime advocate of adding elected members to the board, plans to again introduce a bill that would create a "hybrid" school board, a combination of elected and appointed members.
"I intend to put that bill in right at the beginning of the session and hope for the best," said Zirkin, adding that he's working with Del. Steve Lafferty, who plans to introduce the House version. "It's long past time that the citizens of Baltimore County join the rest of the world in having a democratic process in the selection of their school board."
Earlier this year, a coalition called Advocates for Baltimore County Schools formed to organize support for a hybrid board. Also, the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County is taking a more active role in promoting the idea.
"We have been making a concerted effort ... to meet with as many as we possibly can," said Judy Miller, chair of the county league's education committee. "We're really stepping it up."
The league intensely studied the issue and feels it's an "issue of democracy," she said.
The county chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People opposes altering the selection process for the board, as it has in the past, said President Tony Fugett.
Fugett said the organization doesn't believe that an elected board would serve children best, and that the people who are most qualified to serve on the board might not be the same as the people who would "run the best campaign." He added that the organization plans to discuss the issue in detail at an upcoming state conference.
According to a letter sent to Zirkin and other lawmakers Friday by Kamenetz's director of government affairs, Yolanda Winkler, Zirkin proposed a compromise in talks with the Kamenetz administration that would involve choosing school board members through a process similar to the way judges are nominated, allowing for the retention or rejection of board members by popular vote.
Zirkin called that assertion "an out and out lie" and said he only discussed the idea of a nominating commission, but did not propose it as an agreement.
"Unfortunately, he's just not a trustworthy partner in government," Zirkin said of the county executive.
In September, Kamenetz wrote to state lawmakers, asking them to avoid discussion of the school board issue, saying it would take focus away from supporting new Superintendent Dallas Dance.
Still, Kamenetz's chief of staff, Don Mohler, said that in recent talks between Zirkin and Kamenetz, "they both are eager to see if they can reach some kind of an agreement."
"They have made substantial progress in trying to reach common ground," Mohler said.
The school board itself has previously opposed changing the panel's structure. Board President Lawrence Schmidt said members haven't yet taken a position this time.
"I would expect that we would be consistent with the position we have taken in the past, but that would be subject to the board taking a look at what [legislation] is filed," Schmidt said.
One of the recurring themes in my talks with families in the city center is that their schools are disappearing and those that are renovated come back as charters. This city-wide school construction plan will involve over a hundred schools and we all are aware that when a school is renovated in an underserved community, Alonzo very well has been instructed by Johns Hopkins to convert it to a charter.
Regardless of what Alonzo states, families do not want charters and they do not want choice. They want all schools treated equally in funding and resources.....WHICH IS NOT THE CASE IN BALTIMORE----DON'T COMPLAIN OR YOU MAY NOT FIND A PLACE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM! Sound autocratic? IT IS!
Below you see what all of the billions in Enterprise Zone development has brought underserved families.
Daily Record investigation: The education solution Posted: 7:49 pm Wed, February 2, 2011
By Melody Simmons and Joan Jacobson
Daily Record Business Writer
After half a billion dollars of investment, the latest hopes of success for The New East Baltimore project are housed in three humble trailers on what used to be the playground of a now vacant and vandalized city school. There, 207 students in kindergarten, elementary and middle school grades at the public East Baltimore Community School ...
Read more: http://thedailyrecord.com/2011/02/02/daily-record-investigation-the-education-solution/#ixzz2FhzB5ye4