Meanwhile, the Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organization leaders behind all these frauds are at it again---pushing community schools when they know all the funding is selectively going to pay-to-play or expanding a corporate charter brand. If we look at the Wall Street ratings corporation GREAT SCHOOLS----it always tags schools deemed to become national charter chains and if we look at PROMISE ACADEMY----just as many other national charter chains---we see GREAT SCHOOLS. At the same time, it is those community schools deemed to be global education corporations receiving corporate private donations and foundation funding. The progressive posing of helping the poor will disappear after these community school brands reach market saturation and our public K-12 schools are gone. The Wall Street players ------the 5% black, white, brown -----partnered to promote this fraud are the ones either receiving the few millions in pay-to-play or they think they are getting in on the ground floor of a stock market startup not WAKING UP to the fact they will lose any investment---time or money----when Wall Street finishes these expansions.
The major vehicle for committing this round of fraud is the charter agreements that say charters can be called PUBLIC while closed to oversight and accountability because they are proprietary. Those citizens wanting to use community charters for race and class issues are made to think this privacy has to do with juked lottery lists or other methods to exclude. These charter agreements are really to be used to hide the fact that those national charter chains are using all government funding both the public education funding and all those social service funds meant for wrap-around services and all that private donation are simply being used to expand a brand while juking education and social benefit stats saying all this is working.
AGAIN, SOME COMMUNITY SCHOOLS HAVE LEADERS REALLY TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING----YOU CAN BET THEY ARE NOT THE ONES GETTING THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR STABILITY.
“There is no proactive system to monitor for fraud, waste and abuse,” Serrette said about the charter schools studied in the report. “California set up a system that prosecutes fraud rather than prevents it.”
He added, "We want to be able to detect the sheep from the sheep in wolves' clothing.”
National labor and justice leaders know this is the next decades-long fraud as do those state and local leaders appointed by organization leaders. So, the same faces-----the Urban League, the Family League, the NAACP, the ACLU, community association leaders in underserved communities-----that pushed the subprime mortgage fraud, the for-profit higher-education fraud, the Enterprise Zone frauds----are now pushing this HARLEM COMMUNITY SCHOOL MODEL fraud knowing it is posing progressive.
THE STATEMENT ABOVE TELLS US WHAT REAL SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS WOULD BE DOING-----AUDITING ALL COMMUNITY SCHOOLS TO ASSURE FUNDING REACHES THESE SCHOOLS, THAT THE MONEY IS SPENT TOWARDS GOALS, AND THAT THE RESOURCES THAT DO REACH THE SCHOOLS ARE QUALITY AND NOT YET ANOTHER LEVEL OF FRAUD.
Of course that is what Baltimore City Hall agencies, Maryland Assembly committees and pols, labor and justice organization leaders are supposed to be doing instead of simply getting everyone to volunteer.
Federal watchdog reviews charter management agreements
Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press 12:16 a.m. EST December 14, 2014Several schools in Michigan are part of federal audit of charter schools
The inspector general's office of the U.S. Department of Education is taking a nationwide look at charter schools' relationships with their management companies, including schools in Michigan.
Auditors have looked at half a dozen charter schools in Michigan, including three charters managed by National Heritage Academies of Grand Rapids and a now-closed charter managed by the nonprofit EightCAP in Greenville, northeast of Grand Rapids, according to a source familiar with audit.
Dan Petersen, president of EightCAP, said auditors looked at multiple documents related to Threshold Academy's governance, financials, personnel, contracts and enrollment.
Petersen said he is not aware of any issues with the management agreement but said auditors did identify what they called a common theme: that the management company owned the school building and leased it to the academy, "making the management organization its landlord."
NHA spokesman John Truscott said the company also was contacted by the inspector general's office and it complied with its requests. The company declined further comment because the report has not been published, and did not confirm how many schools were contacted by the inspector general's office. All of NHA's Michigan schools lease their buildings from the company.
In a report to Congress outlining its annual plan for 2014, the inspector general's office said its work would include assessing the "current and emerging risk" posed by the relationships between charter schools and their for-profit and nonprofit management companies. The work remains ongoing in fiscal 2015.
Issues under scrutiny include conflicts of interest.
Detroit, MI is Baltimore, MD is Oakland, CA, is Newark, NJ--these are all US International Economic Zones allowed to operate under NO RULE OF LAW OR OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY---allowing global corporations to steal all government funding. While Detroit was brought to bankruptcy from deliberate fraud as will these other cities----in Baltimore the private property fraud comes from first the $1 BILLION SCHOOL REBUILDING BOND FRAUD----and then the community school misappropriation frauds that will move funding meant for services to the poor to buying real estate for what will become that national charter chain.
In Baltimore, it is the Baltimore Education Coalition tied to a very, very, very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins and the Michelle Rhee/Bill Gates K-12 privatization crew that says it will audit ----KNOW WHAT? A citizen caring about their community public school should not allow corporate non-profits to say they will audit. Parents in all public schools should have AUDITING as their #1 justice action.
Public money for schools buys private property
Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press 12:31 a.m. EST December 14, 2014
- National Heritage Academies is one of the largest full-service charter school management companies.
- The Grand Rapids-based company typically owns contents of the schools it manages around country.
- Critics say school boards lack leverage with NHA when they allow the company to own everything.
- Critics say it's bad public policy to let a private company own goods purchased with tax money.
The company also owns most of the buildings where it manages schools. NHA fronts the money to build or renovate those properties, recouping its investment through rents charged to the schools. Those rents, paid with public dollars, generally don't come down even after NHA has recovered its initial investment, according to an eight-part series — "State of Charter Schools" — the Detroit Free Press published in June.
Ownership of both the school building and its contents means charter school boards have little leverage to remove the company if they are unhappy with NHA's stewardship. If NHA is fired, it could take school property with it.
David Arsen, a professor of K-12 educational administration at Michigan State University, said Michigan law should clearly spell out that school goods purchased with state funding remain school property "to assure that public assets, financed by taxpayers, are not inappropriately diverted to private parties."
The bigger issue, he said, is that a board's ability to cancel a management agreement for poor performance is compromised "if the school does not own the durable goods. ... This is a provision that clearly weakens the presumed accountability of charter school policy."
The arrangement makes NHA unique among the six largest for-profit management companies in Michigan, which, combined, operate about a third of the state's roughly 300 charters. In the case of the other five companies — the Romine Group, Choice Schools Associates, CS Partners, the Leona Group and Global Educational Excellence -- the schools own the contents of their buildings, and in most cases, either own their buildings or rent from someone other than their management company.
"If public dollars paid for a piece of equipment, technology or furniture to educate the kids, that belongs to the school," said Paul Romine, president and CEO of the Romine Group of Utica, which manages eight charters in Michigan. "It's common sense."
Most of NHA's Michigan schools have management agreements that say property owned by the school "excludes items leased, financed or purchased by NHA" with its management fee. NHA takes at least 95% of a school's state aid payments as its fee, pays school bills with the money, and keeps whatever is left over as profit.
The Free Press sent NHA's spokesman a list of questions about why most of the agreements with its Michigan schools spell out that the company owns school property. Nick Paradiso, NHA vice president of government relations and partner services, responded by e-mail:
"Thank you for your continued interest in NHA and our mission. We have gathered and shared volumes of information with you and your colleagues on our work and our success. We are confident we have provided sufficient information for full, fair, and accurate coverage of NHA and our relationship with partner charter school boards."
NHA spokesman John Truscott noted that management contracts vary based on negotiations with individual boards.
"The bottom line is, these are all independent boards and they negotiate ... agreements that have differences in them," Truscott said.
William DiSessa, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education, said the state has no law prohibiting the NHA management agreements. He said NHA is "simply operating amid a lack of specificity in the law. NHA has used the same business model to operate charter schools in Michigan since 1995 and, to our knowledge, the Legislature has made no serious effort to address this issue."
Not all of NHA's management agreements have such provisions. The Free Press found two of NHA's 48 charters in Michigan have agreements that allow the school to own its contents.
Authorizers in Michigan contacted by the Free Press could not, or would not, explain why NHA has this provision while other management companies do not.
Greg Richmond, president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, said the standard set by his Chicago-based organization is clear: Property purchased with school funds must belong to the school.
"If the company gets to own everything, then they can hold the school hostage, requiring the school's board to continue to contract with the company, no matter the company's performance," Richmond said.
Question of ownership
Based in Grand Rapids, National Heritage Academies manages 48 schools in Michigan and 32 others in eight states from Colorado to New York.
Its management agreements are known as "sweeps" contracts because the company sweeps almost all state revenues from a school's bank account into its own account.
The money is taxpayer money, yet 46 of NHA's Michigan schools have management agreements that say school property excludesitems financed or paid for with its fee. Only two, Endeavor Charter Academy in the Battle Creek area and Windemere Park Charter Academy in Lansing, have management agreements that state the school owns its contents.
Nola Batch, Endeavor board president, said two board members "were adamant we not sign over everything to the management company. ... At the time, there were people who felt strongly that we keep control of the assets."
Batch said she was against the move because "if the school failed, we would have an obligation to run the school. We're board members, not school administrators."
Keith Ledbetter, president of South Canton Scholars, said the school board is "contracting with NHA to provide an educational service" and the board is "not in the business of collecting assets; we're in the business of educating kids."
Ledbetter said he feels "very good with what's happening in our school" academically and the board has "no interest ... in severing our relationship with NHA ... we're not going to quibble over things that really don't matter."
Ledbetter, who works in government relations for a large manufacturer, said he believes school furnishings have a negligible value.
Richmond said that while the costs of school supplies and furnishings may be a small percentage of a school's budget (labor costs are the biggest single expense), the NHA provision is worth far more than those goods alone — "it is a way for the company to prevent itself from being fired.
"Whether it's $100 or $100,000, if the company is asserting they own the computers, the textbooks, the light fixtures, everything, and if you fire us, we take it all, it's a poison pill, and the dollar amount is secondary to the fact that it is designed to prevent the company from being held accountable."
NHA will sweep about $228 million in state aid payments from its Michigan schools into its account this academic year, according to a Free Press analysis of state data.
Leigh Dingerson, a consultant to the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, said the costs of school contents "add up over time. ... Computers that become obsolete and need to be replaced ... ongoing expenses with all kinds of things, new desks every few years."
Some purchases are one-time only. Others are recurring, such as teacher or janitorial supplies. And yet others may be unanticipated — such as a broken piece of equipment. A school's contents also may depend on its mission: Some schools are high-tech; others are not.
A well-established Michigan company with experience in school construction said it costs about $375,000 to $450,000 to furnish or equip a new school building the size of an average NHA property. Those costs do not include technology, kitchen or playground equipment.
A second well-established company with experience in school construction estimates those costs are closer to $500,000 to $600,000, and those figures also do not include technology, kitchen or playground equipment.
Michigan's five other large, for-profit management companies have agreements that say that property purchased with school funds belongs to the school, according to a Free Press review of more than 50 management agreements.
Michael Atkins, general counsel for the Leona Group, an Okemos company that manages 13 charters in Michigan, said whatever the company buys for its schools, "it's always purchased with public funds from those public school academies. They own it, it's their money, they bought it and it's an asset on their books and records. We didn't buy it with our money, we helped them buy it."
Maria Dockins, president and CFO of CS Partners, the Brighton company that manages 16 charters in Michigan, said company policy requires that anything "purchased with school funds is the property of the school. ... Anything the school pays for is their property. ... Their money is their money, our money is our money, we don't comingle our funds at all."
Dingerson, the Annenberg consultant, said the NHA model is problematic because it allows a private company to use public dollars "to enlarge their own holdings."
Dingerson said companies such as NHA are "taking public money that is provided to them to offer a public service — educating kids in a public school system — and converting it into private property for themselves."
She is the author of a report, released in September by the institute, that recommends ways to improve charter school oversight nationwide. The report noted that charter schools were expected to be only a small component of state systems of education when the first laws were written in the 1990s.
At that time, according to the report, there was little concern "that for-profit corporations would buy up property and lease it back to schools at a substantial profit. Regrettably, the exponential growth of the charter industry has not coincided with increased oversight."
In an interview, Dingerson said: "It's expensive for a school system to be paying for real estate that's going to belong to someone else ... any expenditure of public funds, any benefit received through the use of public funds, needs to remain in the public sphere. ... This industry of real estate speculators, wheeler-dealers who use the system to make a fast buck, has grown up so fast that it's overtaken the capacity of current oversight agencies."
In other states
Several NHA schools outside Michigan also have management agreements that spell out that school property excludes items purchased, leased or financed with NHA's fee, according to a Free Press review of most of NHA's management agreements.
At least one NHA board and its authorizer, Ball State University, insisted the management agreement spell out that the school owned its contents before Aspire Charter Academy in Gary, Ind., opened in 2008.
Robert Marra, executive director of Ball State's charter office, said it came down to local control.
"These are local tax dollars, resources, and they were going to stay in the community if the relationship went sour. They couldn't pull everything away, they (the board) would have books, desks," Marra said. "It was a local control issue and Ball State supported that concept. The board runs the school," not the management company. "That was the concept."
Authorizers in Georgia and Indianapolis say they will push for changes to their schools' management agreements with NHA when those charters are up for renewal. Those charters and management agreements were negotiated under a different authorizer in Georgia and a prior mayor in Indianapolis.
Richmond, the CEO of the charter authorizer organization, said that shows some authorizers have not allowed to NHA to own school goods, yet the company is still able to manage the school. He questioned why authorizers in Michigan allow the practice, "when they know full well what our national standards are, and that other authorizers are not doing this."
In Michigan, NHA's schools are authorized by Bay Mills Community College and Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Northern Michigan and Lake Superior State universities. All have NHA schools that allow the company to own school property. But they also have authorized charter schools managed by other for-profit companies that give the school ownership of the building's contents.
Nick Oshelski, who runs the charter office at Lake Superior State, which has two NHA schools, said he could not explain why NHA has the ownership provision in its management agreement, and other schools in his portfolio do not.
"I can't tell you the reason why it's in their agreement," he said. However, "every time we receive an agreement, it's reviewed by our legal counsel but we don't really get into the details."
While Michigan law requires authorizers to review management contracts, the Free Press series found that many authorizers say management agreements are between the school's board and the management company, and they don't get involved in the details.
Derek Hall, assistant vice president at Northern, which has three NHA schools, said those contracts meet state law.
"State law currently permits this designation within contracts concerning the designated management company," Hall said in an e-mail. He declined to say whether the agreements are good for taxpayers.
Tim Wood, who runs the charter office at Grand Valley, the largest NHA authorizer with 21 schools, said NHA owns school property because it assumes the risk involved in building and opening a school. But, he conceded, that makes it difficult for a board that might want to replace the company.
"Having a private corporation assume the risk would be better than a public board," Wood said. "It's problematic on the other hand if you want to fire NHA as a management company, it's very difficult to do. You have to do a lot of advance planning with building, procurement, and curriculum development, and most people who have issues with NHA try to work with them, as opposed to trying to fire them, and they work with boards."
Central Michigan's charter office issued a statement saying it's the responsibility of its schools' boards to "determine how the school will be managed, which includes the decision of whether or not to contract with a service provider."
Bay Mills said it understands that various charter operators' business models vary, and in the case of NHA, "a portion of its model is to offer to bear the risk of running a school, while providing a solid educational offering to its students."
John Chamberlin, professor emeritus at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, said it's not clear now NHA's management agreements serve the public interest.
"Why would the public want to let them own what they buy with public funds? I see no way in which that's good for the citizens, the taxpayers of Michigan."
Contact Jennifer Dixon: 313-223-4410, email@example.com, or @jennbdixon.
State of charter schools
A Detroit Free Press eight-day series on Michigan's charter schools, published in June, found the state's charters receive nearly $1 billion a year in state taxpayer money, often with little accountability or transparency on how those dollars are spent.
Among the other findings:
¦Nearly two-thirds of charter schools in Michigan have hired a full-service, for-profit management company to run school operations, more than any other state.
¦Academic performance is mixed, and charter schools, on average, fare no better than traditional public schools in educating students in poverty.
¦Charter school board members have been removed by their authorizer or resigned after challenging their management companies to be more transparent about school finances.
¦Conflicts of interest, insider dealing and wasteful spending have been issues at some schools.
As we saw yesterday the community school model took a turn towards Wall Street and profit from an original goal of helping underserved students in NYC during the Clinton Administration. NYC is driven by Bloomberg's national K-12 charter chain movement using community schools to get more and more government funding. It is the same as using GREEN FUNDS for a school as Warnock does with his GREEN ACADEMY ----a venture capitalist national chain K-12. At the same time Chicago was installing these corporate K-12 policies and Obama as a young state assembly pol from Chicago with all his COMMUNITY ORGANIZING would have been the one selling charter schools to underserved citizens as public schools were closed. Today, the Clinton and Obama machine are sending those 5% to the 1% to US cities to expand the damage done to NYC and Chicago with Obama and Arne Duncan leading the way.
When we know PRAGMATIC NILISM drives 1% Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons then we know any attempt at funding social issues has a goal of misappropriation to global corporate profit. Until we GET THOSE GLOBAL CORPORATE POLS OUT OF OFFICE----we need to be that OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY. The time global pols want citizens to spend being the public sector should be aimed at this.
Community Schools Initiative,
Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
A Large System Spurred by Public and Private Investment
The Chicago Community Schools Initiative (CSI) case study includes a brief overview of the system as well as three individual Chicago community schools.
In 2001, corporate and philanthropic leaders, building on the pioneering work of the Polk Bros. Foundation in three community schools in the 1990s, approached the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) with a proposal to seed more community schools through a public/private venture. CEO Arne Duncan accepted this proposal and agreed to match private dollars with city funds saying, “We have to look at learning as a holistic process. Children need to be healthy and well-nourished; they need homes that are supportive of schooling; they need to be safe both in school and after school. In other words, they need a community.”18
CSI started with a goal of developing 100 community schools in five years. Fifty thousand private dollars and $50,000 public dollars were directed to 20 initial schools and their lead partners, with additional funds set aside for systemic technical assistance and evaluation. At each school, these funds provided for a full-time resource coordinator employed by a lead partner and expanded academic enrichment activities.
Under the CSI, a school joins with a lead partner agency that has at least three years of experience in adult and youth programming. The school’s oversight group, which includes school staff, the lead partner, parents and residents, collaborate to develop programming for the community school. Programming typically includes after-school and weekend activities, sports and recreation, arts and cultural activities, tutoring, and other academic enrichment opportunities. Programming for adults comes in the form of English-as-a-second-language classes, career education, and nutrition and parenting classes. In some schools, additional services, such as on-site medical and dental care, are available.
The CSI has expanded to 154 schools as of early 2010. In our interviews with CSI, we learned that CPS invested roughly $18 million in the community school initiative for the 2009-2010 school year, with additional support for individual schools coming from private funders, including the Polk Bros. Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and The Chicago Community Trust. Funding from the 21st CCLC program is also incorporated as part of the Chicago community school strategy.
CSI hired an external evaluator from the University of Illinois to study the impact of community schools on closing the achievement gap relative to their traditional school counterparts. The evaluation’s findings lend credence to community school effectiveness, and those who were previously concerned began to embrace the transition.19
Oversight and support for community schools comes from the district’s Office of Student Support and Engagement. This office solicits proposal requests from local schools to apply for community schools maintenance grants, as well as grants to support more unique student needs. The Office also provides three annual professional development sessions and technical support for site leadership to enhance their community school operation. Additionally, local schools benefit from the advocacy efforts of the Federation for Community Schools, a state-wide entity that grew out of the Chicago initiative.
The following case studies provide an overview of individual CPS community schools (two elementary and one high school) and demonstrate their power to leverage resources.
Burroughs Elementary School
Burroughs Elementary School relies on a coordinated approach to governance that has bearing on its financial oversight. This approach includes: 1) an Executive Committee, including the principal, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) executive director, and the school’s resource coordinator who participate in weekly planning meetings; 2) an Evaluation Committee driven primarily by parents meets on a monthly basis to evaluate programs and activities; 3) an Oversight Committee, involving parents, business representatives, and community entities, meets monthly to receive status briefings and to complete broad strategic planning. Intermediary functions are shared between the lead agency (administration, advocacy, fund-raising, and infrastructure functions) and CPS (technical assistance, fund-raising, and evaluation).
I will finish this week on oversight and accountability in education policy by extending the goals of K-12 corporate schools to that of last decade's education frauds---the higher-education for-profit vocational degree schools. As this article states----we all know those degrees open very few doors for anyone other than a Wall Street player. Obama and Clinton neo-liberals with Maryland Assembly passed all kinds of policy lowering degree standards of our rigorous public universities and strong academic community colleges once stepping stones to those 4 year degrees----to that of what these for-profit vocational colleges provide. So, the scam was tons of Federal funding going to these fraudulent for-profits and the solution was to lower our strong community college and public university curricula to that of those weak for-profits.
That is the old injustice---the coming injustice is this------with a goal of ending REAL public high school for US children----grades after 8th grade are apprenticeships tied to what are called 'DEGREE CERTIFICATES' that are simply these lower-standard for-profits. They are integrating lower-quality standards into what used to be our strong public school curricula. Not only does it eliminate that pathway to strong 4 year universities for what will become 90% of Americans----it sends our children to global corporate campuses as free labor under the guise of internship/apprenticeship---IT IS ALL DELIBERATE AND CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA WALL STREET GLOBAL POLS KNOW AND WANT THIS.
'The Federal government knows these schools are scams (for the most part) but has no choice in the matter, as the law is written so that all accredited schools, no matter how corrupt, must play by the same rules when it comes time to doling out the student loan loot. It’s possible that the law might be changed at some point, of course'.
They have replaced our stepping stone to 4 year universities with what used to be union apprenticeship certifications and/or simple on-the-job training certificates.
For-profit College degrees are worthless
Posted by Professor Doom | December 30, 2014
I’ve often said for-profit colleges generally offer worthless degrees at an extreme price, but I hate simply expecting the reader to trust my word on such things. A recent article, mainstream news even, gave some nice examples of the over-the-top uselessness of these degrees.
Students across the country are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for degrees that end up being completely worthless.
I do want to point out, however, that non-profit schools, while cheaper, also offer a great number of degrees that are, in terms of the marketplace, completely worthless. Back when higher education was cheap, this was not a problem…tuition was low enough that “work your way through college” at a fast food place was quite possible. But now that campuses are overrun with 6- and 7-figure salaried administrators (and 4-figure paid adjuncts teaching the actual courses), there are huge disconnects between the cost of education that students pay, the cost that is actually paid to the educators, and, most importantly, the quality of the education that the students receive. For-profits may be the worst, but a great many state institutions are only a few shades better.
…So at age 23, she enrolled in a two-year criminal justice program at for-profit Everest College in Chesapeake, Va.
But the wealth of job opportunities the school had touted never transpired, and all she ended up with was more than $22,000 in student loan debt. She said classes were terrible, she didn\’t receive any of the training she needed, …
Criminal Justice is a popular field, because it can provide entry into the incredibly lucrative “law enforcement” industry (law enforcement, health care, and education are really the big job producers in last few decades of extreme government growth…do note government is now in the process of wrapping more of its tentacles around health care even as you read this). I had the pleasure of teaching an entire class full of police officers when one of my institutions set up a Criminal Justice outreach program. I know the police are often (and often justifiably) vilified, but, for what it’s worth, they are better than average as students (they are also slightly older, which may well be the important factor).
Back to the point, the above poor student shelled out over $20,000 for coursework, supposedly job-related coursework, which provided none of the training or education she needed to get an actual job. Of course, the student didn’t actually pay that money. Instead, it was provided via a student loan.
This is quite common, and so, for the sake of new readers, allow me to explain the game being played. The first thing a school does when it opens its doors is work to get accredited. Only accredited schools can qualify their students for the various Federal student aid programs, including those all-important student loans.
Before the school becomes accredited, the school keeps tuition low, because it needs to attract students, and being affordable helps with that. The school also tries to be reasonably legitimate, as far as the education it provides. It needs this because accreditors need to have some reason to believe the school is legitimate before they will award full accreditation.
Once the school becomes accredited, it all changes. First, the school jacks up the tuition to as much as they can get away with, which usually means whatever the student loan money available is. Then, the school sacrifices all integrity, annihilating all educational standards, the better to draw in, and keep, students that think that merely because they’re getting good grades, they’re actually learning something relevant.
While the article focuses on for-profit schools, it’s the same pattern at many state and non-profit schools. I totally grant that there are many exceptions, but they are exceptions. Having worked to bring a school through the accreditation process and seen what happens once accreditation is awarded, my own eyes tell me that this pattern is the reality of higher education today…state schools often have a harder time increasing tuition, and that’s the ONLY reason they’re cheaper than the for-profit schools. But, otherwise, the pattern is the same.
You might be wondering how the bogus schools can keep accreditation, but the reason behind this is simple: accredited schools generally self-report their legitimacy, and only need do so every 5 to 10 years. So, the bogus school self-reports that their students are getting good grades, self-reports that their students are getting good jobs, self-reports that their coursework is of the highest standards, and so on…and accreditors are perfectly happy with this.
Of course, the rubber meets the road when it comes time to actually pay off those student loans, and that’s where problems become visible in a way that self-reporting won’t work. There’s a big difference between words on paper and checks for actual money, after all.
“…student loan default rate (of up to 27% for its Everest College campuses) is lower than other community colleges and its graduation and job placement rates are higher…”
So, at this school, the self-reported graduation and job placement rates are (supposedly) as good as any community college (that’s a low, low, bar, since many community colleges “boast” a lower than 10% graduation rate). The student loan default rate, however, is not so easily buried, since someone has to write an actual check.
Despite what’s said here, for-profit schools generally have a worse default rate than state schools. While it is claimed that this is due to the bogus nature of the for-profit coursework, I find this assertion dubious, as I’ve shown and seen many times that the coursework in state schools to be comparably bogus. No, the reason for the higher default rate is very simple: students at for-profit schools are charged more for tuition, and thus get deeper into debt. It is simply the larger debts that explain the higher default rates.
But, back to the article:
“…the school spent six months convincing him to enroll — promising to provide all the training and help he needed to find a high-paying computer science job…
But upon enrolling in the computer science program, he said the quality of education \”was a complete joke\” and job assistance was nonexistent…”
The main expense of for-profit schools isn’t on education (like state schools, they pay the highly educated teachers very little), it’s on recruiting suckers/students to enroll. Google’s biggest customer, for example, is the for-profit University of Phoenix, which spends $200,000 a day on Google advertising. My own research on for-profits rather backfired on me—much like the luckless student involved, I too endured (and still endure) many phone calls from for-profits hoping to make a sale with me.
This is how the for-profits overcome their well-deserved reputation for worthlessness—extensive advertising for suckers that don’t know what they’re getting into.
And, again, accreditation totally doesn’t care how fraudulent these schools are. Even if it did care, accreditation can do nothing about it. For example, accreditation’s response to UNC’s 18 year scam of fake courses was to “make” UNC offer courses to all the students that felt they might be cheated by the fake courses.
“…after accumulating more than $20,000 in debt to attend the one-year program, he wasn\’t able to find a single job in computer science. He\’s still unemployed, is now homeless — and he is convinced he\’d be better off without the degree even listed on his resume.
He says multiple employers have told him that they don\’t view his degree as credible because of the for-profit industry\’s reputation and because other people they\’ve hired from the school haven\’t had the necessary skills for the job…”
The Federal government knows these schools are scams (for the most part) but has no choice in the matter, as the law is written so that all accredited schools, no matter how corrupt, must play by the same rules when it comes time to doling out the student loan loot. It’s possible that the law might be changed at some point, of course.
I agree, accreditation as it stands today is utterly useless and should have nothing to do with student loan money. But a better solution by far would be to take student loan money out of education. If University of the People can offer fully accredited 4 year degrees for $4,000 or so without taking student loan money, there’s simply no excuse for for-profits offering the same degrees for $100,000, after all.
We are told our high schools should be preparing students for jobs and indeed, we are now where what was 2 of 4 years of high school as vocational workplace experience now becoming 4 years and when Obama and Clinton neo-liberals say they want to fund free 2 years of community college---they are simply sending what was Federal education funding for high schools and their vocational shops and tech labs to private for-profit career colleges. This is creating that tiered higher-education where 90% of Americans can only access this lower-tiered degree path that will block them from higher-paying employment. Do some folks get a pathway to strong 4 year universities? Sure, if hand-picked by private scholarships to attend and those are tied to corporate charters.
As Obama is creating these lower-tiered 'degrees'-----the global education ratings corporations are setting standards to rank these for-profits globally separate from global 4 year universities.
These degrees will lead to global call center, cyber-security, robotics factory kinds of jobs all at the lowest global pay scale.
Again, these community college as high school structures designed to end the structure of high school started in NYC and Chicago and are now expanding to amongst other US cities---Baltimore.
Yes, this is what K-12 looks like overseas in third world nations-----especially in International Economic Zones with global neo-liberal education policies.
High schools go high-tech, offer associate degrees to make sure students are job- and college-ready
Fourth-year students (closest to farthest) Dharmendra Sindha, 17, Maxemiliano Liriano, 17, Nicolas Rios, 17, and Emir Bailey, 17, do their schoolwork inside City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology in Brooklyn on Nov. 30. The school incorporates higher education into its academic program to ease the transition to college.(Anthony DelMundo for New York Daily News)
BY Rachel Monahan
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 11:38 PMCareer and technical education has come a long way from the welding and plumbing of a generation ago.
At the cutting edge of preparing kids for the competitive work world of the 21st century is a new type of public high school where kids are mastering high-tech skills but also studying a rigorous academic program.
Aaron Showalter for New York Daily News
Principal Rashid Davis heads the Pathways in Technology (P-Tech) Early College High School in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Like City Poly, it has ties to City Tech college. IBM has promised its students priority in hiring consideration.
Five years after entering City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology in Brooklyn, students can earn not just a high school diploma but an associate degree from City University of New York.
New York City has been ramping up its focus on STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — to better prepare the city for the global economy. Schools like City Poly are leading the way.
The innovative facility is one of many new technical education high schools created in the last 10 years.
So far, the reviews are positive.
Like his classmates, Sindha, who chose the liberal arts and science major at City Tech with an eye on becoming a doctor, took an accelerated academic program during his first three years of high school and then immediately began an all-expenses-paid associate degree from CUNY’s City Tech College.
The idea is to prepare City Poly students to enter the science and technology industries immediately with the higher-ed degree under their belt — or to apply to four-year colleges with a head start on the academics that can smooth the difficult transition to college.
City Poly students spend at least parts of their first three years of high school on the fourth floor of the George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School campus in downtown Brooklyn.
In some classrooms, students work on engineering projects using computer-assisted drafting programs on sleek flat-screen monitors. In others, architecture students have carefully crafted models of buildings.
But these aren’t hand-picked students who had to score well on a test or ace an essay to get in. Nearly one in five City Poly students have special-education needs, and the average student scored just below grade level on eighth-grade standardized tests.
Officials work to get everyone up to speed — and fast.
City Poly runs on trimesters for kids in their first two years to pack more classes into a shorter time. Class periods last nearly an hour — longer than at most high schools — and the school day stretches from 8:10 a.m. to 4:07 p.m.
City Poly students work more quickly through the requirements of a high school diploma while taking technical education classes in architecture and engineering.
By their fourth year, students are off to City Tech, the college next door that also helped found the high school, and most of them have finished their high school graduation requirements after just three years.
Looking out the window of the high school, principal Chris Aguirre pointed out that City Tech is less than 300 yards from his building, but the divide can seem for students “as big as the Grand Canyon,” he said.
The close partnership with the college has bridged that gap, he said.
Principal Chris Aguirre speaks about the city's effort to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math schools at City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology in Brooklyn.
City Tech professors teach college-level classes, and the high school has continued to improve its classes to better prepare kids for what they’ll meet.
“If you’re going to have a conversation about college-ready, you have to be clear on what college-ready is,” said Aguirre. “And the best place to do that is go ask the college.”
The city has begun replicating the City Poly model for technical education, offering more time in high school with the promise of a two-year college degree.
Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School — called P-TECH — opened last year, and three more similar schools are planned for next year or the following.
“The kind of jobs we need in America are science, engineering, math and technology,” city schools’ deputy chief academic officer Josh Thomases said.
“We are transforming career and technology education in this city to meet that need. The leading edge of that are City Poly and P-TECH, that marry our K-12 system to the City University and ultimately to industry.”
P-TECH boasts not only a partnership with City Tech but also ties to IBM. The computer giant has promised students who successfully complete the six-year program priority for job consideration.
Across from P-TECH principal Rashid Davis’ desk hangs a jubilant photo of young high school grads in caps and gowns that serves as a cautionary tale for his new school’s mission. The first graduating class from his former, tech-focused school seemed like a huge success since 89% of students earned a diploma in four years. But they didn’t fare quite as well when the caps and gowns were put away.
Four years after the happy day of the photo, just one out of five students in that first class at Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy had finished college, Davis said.
“If I could have them leave with two years (of college) under their belt, I would know it would be easier for them to get a four-year degree,” Davis said.
“The high school diploma is really not enough,” he added. “Because of New York City, the largest urban school system in the country, and because of CUNY, the largest urban college system in the system, we really have a unique opportunity to say an associate’s degree could be our modern-day high school diploma.”
This young man is an exceptional student who would, under our once strong public school system have placed out of high school and went directly into a 4 year university with its ADVANCED DEGREES. We have always had pathways for young students like this. What this student did was spend his entire time as a K-12 student in pursuit of vocational degrees. Given the quality of education in these high school associate degrees-----he has LOST TIME in today's system that could have been spent directly in strong 4 year university pathways. The reason he was pushed into this pathway-----FREE LABOR AS INTERNSHIP AND APPRENTICESHIP -----in his case for several years.
Yes, this is what K-12 looks like overseas in third world nations-----especially in International Economic Zones with global neo-liberal education policies.
THIS STATEMENT IS PURE WALL STREET-------
“The high school diploma is really not enough,” he added. “Because of New York City, the largest urban school system in the country, and because of CUNY, the largest urban college system in the system, we really have a unique opportunity to say an associate’s degree could be our modern-day high school diploma.”
High school has always been where the strongest exposure to liberal arts and humanities lie----it is where civics and athletics lie.....and this is what broad, citizen and leadership democratic high schools have had as a goal-----this breaks down our Western public education into an Asian vocational K-12.
Teen to graduate high school with 8 college degrees
By Chris Lett, CNN
Updated 10:18 AM ET, Fri May 22, 2015
- 16-year-old scheduled to receive gubernatorial honors Thursday for earning 8 associate degrees
- He will soon graduate from Berkner High School and hopes to be biomechanical engineer one day
Prom dates and prepping for college-entrance exams tend to fill the calendars of most soon-to-be graduates. Their schedules don't typically include meetings with the Texas governor.But Joshua Chari isn't your average high schooler.
Chari attended Richland College where he studied various types of engineering ranging from biomedical to telecommunications.
The 16-year-old is scheduled to receive gubernatorial honors Thursday for completing much of his undergraduate studies and pocketing eight -- yes, eight -- associate degrees along the way.
How'd he do it? Chari is one of hundreds of students who have taken part in the Richardson Independent School District's dual credit program, where qualifying students can garner credit for both high school and college at the same time.
Joshua will soon be a Berkner High School alumnus, but at the time this article was published, his only alma mater was Richland College.
The special agreement between the college and Richardson school district "allowed him an opportunity to get ahead in regards to graduation credits for high school and also for college ... which did really allow time to be able to get those college credits out of the way and him to earn the associate degrees," Elizabeth Swaner, principal of Berkner's STEM Academy, said.
(STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.)
The Texas Legislature has lauded the teen's accomplishments in commendations and proclamations. House Resolution 80 states:
"The House of Representatives of the 84th Texas Legislature hereby congratulates Joshua Chari on his exceptional scholastic accomplishments and extend to him best wishes for continued success in all his endeavors; and, be it further resolved, that an official copy of this resolution be prepared for Mr. Chari as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives."
Young Joshua has also earned a full scholarship to The University of Texas at Dallas and because that scholarship comes with a stipend he will likely graduate in the black at a time when student loan debt is at an all-time high.
He maintains a humble attitude despite his accomplishments and told CNN he hopes his education will translate into a successful career as a biomechanical engineer.
"I really knew that ... the engineering field was what I wanted to be going into because the projects and stuff that I did from a young age, I knew that I wanted to be an engineer," he said.
Currently, he's wrapping up an internship at Marlow Industries, which focuses on thermoelectric heating, cooling, power generation and energy harvesting products.
"Education is just a small piece of all the stuff that I have learned. It's just kind of the foundation," he said. "A lot of it is actually the work experience and getting familiar with the industry and stuff like that."
The proud parents of the educational phenom has some experience churning out boy geniuses. Joshua's brother, Jonathan, also graduated high school with enough dual credit to earn multiple associate degrees. He also held two patents at age 19.
Still, Raj and Manjusha Chari were in awe of how far Joshua has taken his studies.
"We just wanted him to do his best, do what ever he could. I think he outdid our expectations," Manjusha Chari, a nurse practitioner, told CNN.
Joshua's father, a pilot-turned-information-technology-professional, attributes his sons' success to their early exposure to the sciences. From an early age, they've had subscriptions to science magazines geared toward kids, such as National Geographic Kids and Kids Discovery, along with publications like Scientific American, Raj Chari said.
If he weren't aiming to become an engineer, he'd probably set his sights on professional gaming or race car driving, Joshua said, insisting he's just a normal kid.
"I am similar to a lot of people. I do regular things. I study for finals. I go to work. I go to school. I play games," he said.
A totally normal kid, on track to earn his master's degree before he's of legal drinking age, right?
His mom said his ability to absorb knowledge comes naturally, thanks to his photographic memory, but Joshua believes it's applying what he learned that helps him remember.
"You can learn all the time and you might not remember it," he said. "But once you apply the knowledge that you have gained it kind of sticks with you forever."
The teen entrepreneurs making millions on their lunch break
Here is Obama and Clinton neo-liberals working so hard for a global education corporation standard for global profit-driven education and this standard will apply to all global labor pool human capital. The article below----gives the US 8 college degrees in one only they are not REAL college degrees. This is why the global marketing scheme kills strong education while handing what are simple workplace on-the-job training---as lower-tier 'degrees'.
Somali youth with program coding 'degrees' work for under $1 a day and US coding grads will too in US cities deemed International Economic Zones.
'Teen to graduate high school with 8 college degrees
By Chris Lett, CNN
Updated 10:18 AM ET, Fri May 22, 2015
16-year-old scheduled to receive gubernatorial honors Thursday for earning 8 associate degrees
He will soon graduate from Berkner High School and hopes to be biomechanical engineer one day'
America was a first world developed nation with citizens having the highest standards in public education and achievement----now having standards dropped to third world. What about all those Asian students with good test scores? Those are the Asian 10% affluent families able to pay for all that OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL EDUCATION. These standards are tied to the $3 a day jobs.
President Obama's New 'College Scorecard' Is A Torrent Of Data
September 12, 20154:47 PM ET
LA Johnson/NPR President Obama has been talking about creating a Consumer Reports-style college ratings system for more than a year. But the effort seemed to get bogged down in politics and a debate over what metrics to include.
Well, in a Saturday surprise, Obama unveiled his new College Scorecard this morning.
"You'll be able to see how much each school's graduates earn, how much debt they graduate with, and what percentage of a school's students can pay back their loans," the president said in his weekly address.
But calling this a scorecard is like calling Mt. Vesuvius a hill; at best, it's an understatement. It's also technically wrong. What the government released today isn't a scorecard at all — it's a data dump of epic proportions.
Here's how it works: You can type in the name of a college here, and the site will tell you lots of old basics, including average annual cost and graduation rate.
But there's also lots of useful, new information. You can now see how much students earn 10 years after entering a school (thanks to a joint effort between the departments of Education and the Treasury). Also accessible for the first time are the percentage of first-generation students at a given school and the percentage of students who repay at least a dollar of principal on their federal loans within three years.
"This is government working for us. My first thought was, 'Go Department of Education,' " says Sara Goldrick-Rab, who teaches education policy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "We had some information college by college before, but we didn't have most of these outcomes here."
And there are a lot of outcomes: 171 megabytes of data. That's a big step forward, says Goldrick-Rab — with one caveat:
"I still worry," she says. "It's good information to have, but it doesn't tell an individual student what to do."
And Goldrick-Rab isn't the only one who's worried.
"There are factoids here that reflect traditional, national norms that don't reflect who we are," says Pat McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The students at this historic women's college are 95 percent black and Hispanic, and predominantly low-income. According to the government's scorecard, Trinity is below average on graduation rate, retention and students paying down their debt.
But, McGuire says, a school that serves vulnerable students can't be judged by those metrics alone. She says Trinity's students often take eight, even 10 years to graduate. They might go part-time. They might leave and come back. The scorecard doesn't capture that level of nuance.
"And it would suggest to consumers that everybody would be better off going to Georgetown or to Harvard than to a school like Trinity," says McGuire. "And, of course, most of the students we serve are just delighted to be here and probably would not be admitted to those institutions."
Notice that McGuire used the word "suggest." Because, in truth, the scorecard doesn't draw direct comparisons — for this very reason. It wouldn't be fair, or accurate.
Instead, the federal government has backed a dumptruck to consumers' doors and left it to students and their parents to compare all those apples and oranges.
Here we see two of NYC Bloomberg's major players for these global K-12 Wall Street schools----Sonja Santelises and McKesson. Both have community schools and community college reforms on the mind and will bring the goal of eliminating high schools and sending students to free labor after 6th grade if tested as global factory level----and 9th grade if tested for white collar professional level. McKesson will advance this 'degree' program in high school -----Santelises will tied GREAT SCHOOLS data and ranking to schools and advance corporate school board status even as all of our appointed school board members are already for-profit education people.
As Baltimore's Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City Hall pols PRETEND they don't have the power to stop this and bring our public schools back to citizens----they somehow came together to vote for a charter amendment taking the power of Mayor away during the primary just in case a candidate wanting CHANGE won and not an establishment candidate. Once PUGH was said to win-----the votes for that amendment disappeared. So, these pols have the power to bring control back to Baltimore----they have the power to stop this corporatization and closing of all our schools----they have the power to stop all the defrauding of our K-12/public university funding ----
AND YET, SOMEHOW BALTIMORE CITIZENS VOTED FOR MORE OF THE SAME? REALLY?????????????
MARNELL COOPER THINKS BRINGING BALTIMORE SCHOOLS TO AN AUTHORITARIAN VOCATIONAL TRACKING OF CHILDREN PUSHING THEM INTO LOWER-TIERING DEGREE PATHS PLACING THEM INTO A GLOBAL LABOR POOL COMPETING WITH THIRD WORLD WORKERS FOR $3 A DAY IS A GOOD THING?
Marnell A. Cooper is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Cooper is a founding partner in the Baltimore law firm Palmer, Cooper & Hopkins, LLC, where he represents individuals and corporations in civil litigation and international business.
Mr. Cooper serves as general counsel for a U.S.-based company engaged in advising corporations in the U.S. and Europe that seek to sell services and products in the Middle East and Africa. He is involved with strategic planning for the company, along with providing counsel on corporate governance. Mr. Cooper has traveled to several countries on behalf of his clients to meet and negotiate with high-level government officials and corporate executives on sensitive matters involving trade and diplomacy.
If Baltimore becomes that US International Economic Zone filled with the world's best of the best 2%-----where will Marnell's children be? Tracked into this same bad education structure he is building for global Wall Street.
Baltimore schools CEO to be replaced by former academics chief
Sonja Santelises will replace Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton. (Baltimore Sun video)
Erica L. GreenContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Baltimore schools CEO to be replaced by former academics chief.After months of searching for a new leader amid criticism of city schools CEO Gregory Thornton, the school board announced Tuesday that he will be replaced by a former administrator who oversaw improving academic performance in the district.
Thornton will step down Friday, and Sonja Santelises will take over July 1.
"We believe Sonja has the ability to lead the district for the next 10 years," said Marnell Cooper, the school board chairman. "Her background as an educator is clear, she's incredibly strong, she understands the challenges of the school system."
Why DeRay Mckesson's Baltimore Campaign Looks Like It Comes Right Out of Teach for America's Playbook
As Mckesson launches his outsider candidacy for mayor of Baltimore, many worry his roots in the education privatization movement put the city’s public schools in peril.
By Drew Franklin / AlterNet
February 20, 2016
For those who’ve never paid much attention, Teach For America sounds like a benevolent and benign idea: recruit bright college grads, give them some teacher-training and place them in some of the nation’s neediest schools for a two-year commitment to teach kids.
The reality behind TFA’s sunny exterior is somewhat more sinister. Education policy experts today consider the nonprofit founded by Wendy Kopp in 1990 to be at the vanguard of the school privatization movement. TFA is also a media juggernaut in its own right, known for deploying a sophisticated public relations arsenal to advance an agenda focused on crushing teachers’ unions and privatizing public school systems. TFA's funders, including the Waltons, Bill and Melinda Gates and top Fortune 500 corporations, all have plenty to gain from the commodification of public goods and the destruction of public service unions, and its 11,000 corps members provide a valuable service to that end.
Teach for America’s peculiar brand of social justice was on bold display at its 25th Anniversary Summit the weekend of February 5. The confab drew 15,000 corps members, alumni and supporters to Washington for three days of seminars on lofty issues like, “Allies, Co-Conspirators and Coalition Building: Showing Up for Justice Across Lines of Power.” But one of the biggest draws was the discussion on “The New Civil Rights Agenda and Education,” co-headlined by DeRay Mckesson, the TFA alum and 30-year-old Black Lives Matter activist who received a $10,000 award from TFA last year.
When Mckesson announced his campaign for mayor of Baltimore this month, his name topped the list of trending topics on Twitter for several hours. Even without outlining a strategy to defeat better-known, more entrenched candidates, Mckesson received nearly $130,000 in online donations, met with President Barack Obama (who said Mckesson and associates “were better organizers than I was”), and secured his status as one of the country’s most closely watched political outsiders. Headlines appeared across national media, from Slate to the Guardian to the Washington Post, with the progressive online magazine Truthdig proclaiming Mckesson "Truthdigger of the Week."
With his candidacy for a city whose public schools are a key target of the education reform movement, the time seems right to scrutinize Mckesson’s relationship with Teach for America more closely. His high-profile appearance at the TFA gala only days after filing his last-minute bid to enter the race was only the latest collaboration with the organization spearheading a sustained attack on teacher's unions and traditional public schools.
Promotion From TFA, Shade From Local Organizers
DeRay Mckesson is a prolific Twitter personality who first came to national prominence during the uprising of 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. His live-tweeting of protests in the wake of Michael Brown’s death quickly garnered a massive following, and as a wave of protests swept the United States, Mckesson was consistently among the first on the scene, making him and his Twitter feed an invaluable source of information for journalists.
With his rapid emergence, Mckesson developed a well-tailored image as a media darling, known in equal measure for his ubiquitous blue Patagonia vest and composed attitude, holding his own in interviews with the most confrontational cable news hosts. The name “DeRay” became synonymous with the Black Lives Matter protest movement, boosted by features in mainstream news magazines and promotion from international celebrities like Beyonce. His influence emanates from Twitter, where he maintains over 300,000 followers, mixing live updates from demonstrations against police brutality with commercial-style promotions of corporations like McDonald's and Spotify.
As Mckesson rose to prominence, TFA was there to provide promotion through its powerful PR apparatus.
Mckesson had no connection to Ferguson when he first arrived on Aug. 16, 2014, according to an interview he gave Huffington Post later the same year. But it didn’t take him long to connect with another protester named Brittany Packnett, with whom he began working the same day. The fact that Packnett is executive director of TFA’s St. Louis chapter likely contributed to their immediate rapport.
At the time, Mckesson was senior director of human capital for Minneapolis Public Schools. He says he commuted to Ferguson on weekends before eventually quitting his job to protest full-time.
A Twitter search query produces a clear timeline of Mckesson's subsequent transition from human resources manager to social justice talent, aided by promotion from Teach For America. It begins with a post to TFA’s official blog, in which Mckesson pontificates on his activities in Ferguson. TFA tweeted a link to that post on Aug. 21, 2014, at which point Mckesson would have been in the besieged midwestern town for five days.
The next item on the timeline, dated October 29, is an advertisement for a “national conference call featuring TFA alumni @MsPackyetti [Packnett] and @deray.” Two weeks after that, the Washington Post published a profile of McKesson and TFA promoted it on social media, identifying him again as a “TFA alumnus.” On Dec. 10, Time Magazine named him along with a handful of peers, collectively referred to as the “Ferguson protesters,” as runners-up to its 2014 Person of the Year, and TFA promoted that too.
Mckesson’s big break, however, was a cover story for the May 4 issue of the New York Times Magazine, with the headline "Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us." The 6700-word article profiles McKesson and fellow overnight celebrity Ferguson protester Johnetta Elzie, as they drop in to demonstrations in cities across the United States over the course of nine months.
I reached Mckesson by phone soon after he announced his candidacy for mayor. When I asked him how he funded all of his travel despite not having a job, he initially replied, “I don’t have an answer to that. There’s an answer in the New York Times article.”After being informed that the Times offered no such answer, Mckesson stated, “You know, people ask me this, and I haven’t even had to answer this. I, you know, me and you don’t have a relationship. You know, you’re a reporter to me, you know—I’ve answered it many times. I will put that on my list of things and try to double back with you.” Several hours later, Mckesson texted me the link to a Tweet from last spring claiming that his excursions were funded by unnamed “family and friends.”
According to the Times profile, back in mid-September 2014, he and Packnett began publishing a newsletter for the Ferguson protests called “This Is the Movement,” which boasted “a wide range of readers, from reporters to protesters to officials within the Department of Justice,” The newsletter was mostly composed of consisted of links to articles from various external publications, a few charities and several T-shirt vendors.
The article briefly touches on Mckesson’s career prior to Ferguson, describing him as having developed a reputation as a “ruthless administrator,” for whom firing teachers was always in the best interests of children. This echoes Teach For America’s union-busting culture, perhaps best exemplified by its most infamous alumna, former D.C. Public Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. Among the brazen stunts that marked her takeover of DCPS was her on-camera firing of a tenured public school principal—a humiliation later compounded by the fact that the event was staged for film, to be replayed during a nationally televised broadcast as well as in the documentary feature film, Waiting For Superman.
Mckesson the ruthless administrator is a difficult characterization to reconcile with Mckesson the protester, as he’s typically portrayed in print, nor does it come through in his television appearances. But commentary from some activists who have encountered him on the ground in Ferguson and Baltimore suggests that the public image he’s cultivated is a media fiction.
Baltimore activist Duane Davis, in a tweet addressed to DeRay, says, “[W]e crossed paths. On more than one occasion....you never engaged in conversation. [Y]ou were more focused on media attention.”
In a February 15 interview with Jared Ball on Real News Network, Hands Up United Coalition co-founder Taureen Russell offered a withering assessment of Mckesson’s alleged role as a protest organizer. “I never worked with DeRay. I’m really hard-pressed to find any local people who have worked with DeRay. All the local people that I know worked with DeRay...work with the establishment,” he said. “So when I hear him go on Colbert and Colbert is saying he’s organized protests in Ferguson...I don’t know an action or a protest that he was a part of.”
Russell is a founder of the organization that initiated the protests in Ferguson against the police killing of Michael Brown and the acquittal of the officer who gunned him down. He told Ball he was relieved that Mckesson had moved on to politics because “it makes my job [as a grassroots organizer] a little easier.”
Addressing Baltimore, Russell said of Mckesson: “He’s a proponent for charter schools. He’s not typically a fan of public schools. So the educational issue comes up. His policy, to be honest, most people see as a neoliberal kind of policy. And we know his policy comes from Teach For America.”
Mckesson’s political platform, which he has begun rolling out on the DeRay For Mayor website, seems modeled in part on those who have forced corporate education reforms under big-city mayors like Rahm Emanuel and Michael Bloomberg. Both of those mayors have justified unilateral takeovers of the public school districts in their respective cities using teacher evaluations based on standardized test scores, which have consistently been debunked as unreliable measures of academic performance.
The language in his section on education is typical of school privatization advocates, according to Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, a professor of education at California State University at Sacremento who has written extensively about Teach For America on his website, Cloaking Inequity.
“Most of it is pretty consistent with what TFA says on a daily basis,” he told me.
I could not get confirmation from Mckesson about whether his candidacy was supported by Teach For America.
Several sources told me they received emails from Mckesson’s mayoral campaign after they signed up to receive updates from Campaign Zero, a criminal justice reform organization focused on limiting abusive policing and banning quotas on tickets and arrests that he helped launch.
When I reached him by phone on February 14, Mckesson refused to discuss subjects like campaign personnel or outside donors. Asked if he was harvesting emails gathered by Campaign Zero to promote his mayoral campaign, McKesson simply said, “No comment." He wouldn't disclose any details about his campaign’s voter database management, and declined to offer details about a private policy meeting in January that was covered by the Washington Post. Among about a dozen attendees of the meeting were members of Campaign Zero’s planning team and Donnie O’Callaghan, a former TFA corps member and project manager for a TFA offshoot called the New Teacher Project. The New Teacher Project was founded by Michelle Rhee to supplement TFA’s efforts to supply new teachers to school districts.
Also in the room with Mckesson was Packnett, the former TFA administrator, and Elzie, who joined the two of them at TFA’s 25th anniversary. Together, they are three parts of Campaign Zero’s four-person planning team, raising further questions about the organization’s ties to TFA and its role in Mckesson’s campaign for mayor.
“The Second Half of the Movement”
TFA’s official function is to recruit recent college graduates for temporary teaching jobs in impoverished school districts, and its methods in that endeavor have been a source of increasing rancor. But its other, lesser-known and more peculiar mission is to train its corps members to become political operatives in order to directly influence public education policy.
A 2007 story in the New York Times Magazine described TFA’s efforts, which its leadership calls “the second half of the movement,” to move beyond the classroom by preparing alumni for careers in public office. A shell company called Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) provides training and funding to aspiring politicians and candidates affiliated with TFA. Mckesson refused to answer when I asked him whether LEE had contributed to his campaign.
Today, all levels of government are honeycombed with TFA alumni, from local to state to the federal level. Two of the D.C. State Board of Education’s nine members are former corps members backed by LEE, and Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss recently quoted President Obama saying, “There are even TFA alumni working for me in the White House.”
Some have already demonstrated substantial power over education policy. In 2011, when TFA alumnus John White was superintendent of the New Orleans Recovery School District, he closed every single public school and turned the RSD into the first all-charter school system in the country. White has since been promoted to superintendent of schools for the State of Louisiana by right-wing Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.
TFA’s Machiavellian agenda belies its feel-good rhetoric and carefully cultivated image as the front line of a “new civil rights movement” — a message Mckesson channels through his tweets, as well as in interviews. When I asked him if he’d ever had political aspirations before deciding to run for mayor, Mckesson said, “Being familiar with two different public school districts made it clear to me that so much of the work around justice, equity, and making communities thrive—or the conditions that allow communities to thrive—is systemic and structural. So I try to be in places where I can push systems and structures to be better, such as in protest.”
Mckesson’s candidacy in Baltimore arrived at a fortuitous time for the education reform movement. The city is already in the process of closing a dozen public schools, and as Slate’s Rachel M. Cohen noted, the future mayor gets to decide what to do with the buildings. What’s more, the city’s existing charter schools maintain a unionized teaching force and operate under substantial oversight from the city’s school district. That’s unusual for charters, and implies unfinished business in Baltimore for TFA’s network of education reformers.
In the platform provided on his campaign website, Mckesson pledged to “assess the feasibility of repurposing closed schools and recreation centers to ensure opportunities are available in all neighborhoods.”
I asked Vasquez Heilig what the implications of Mckesson’s proposal might be for Baltimore.
“Repurposing for what?” he said. “I suspect what he's after is what the Teach For America network has been after in Chicago, Detroit, and New Orleans. For example, in Chicago they've sold empty school buildings to charter schools for a dollar. These are buildings that the public has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on, so this repurposing has been at the benefit of charter schools.”
When I asked Mckesson if he would close any schools as mayor of Baltimore, he scoffed, emphasizing that the mayor doesn’t control the school system. But would he allow school closures? Would he do anything to prevent them? “That’s like asking me if I’m gonna change the bus schedule,” he declared. “The mayor doesn’t manage the bus schedule.”
In my conversation with Vasquez Heilig, he offered clues as to how the Baltimore mayor’s lack of control over schools might factor into a TFA-backed agenda. “Teach For America alums have pressed for mayoral control in Chicago and other places,” Vasquez Heilig told me. “Their modus operandi has been to control school systems in a top-down fashion. They don't support community-based approaches to education reform.”
This unfinished business is potentially very lucrative, especially for tech companies. Mckesson’s platform includes proposals to create “an online hub of academic enrichment” programs and to “collaborat[e] with local technology entrepreneurs and innovators to launch computer and coding opportunities” in schools.
Vasquez Heilig called TFA a “hub of education reform” that maintains alliances with charter schools and business interests in Silicon Valley. He said the network helps funnel millions of dollars in state and federal funds into contracts with private firms.
While there’s nothing wrong with introducing cutting edge technology in schools, according to Vasquez Heilig, the way it’s implemented is critical. “I don't think anyone disagrees with integrating technology,” he says, “but replacing good instruction and expert teachers with technology has no support in the research literature.”
The market incentives facilitated by contracts with Silicon Valley are responsible for this trend, according to Vasquez Heilig. He cites testing based on the Common Core standard, which has proliferated with education reform, as a prime example:
“You can't actually run the Common Core tests without the proper technology. Because of these tests, all these technology and software companies are making a lot of money, because districts have to invest in the technology to run the testing and have enough of it so they can test every kid. So not only do the testing companies make money hand-over-fist from the standards, the technology companies do, too.”
Even if local tech entrepreneurs lead the development of high-tech curricula in Baltimore, their execution will likely depend on expensive deals with Silicon Valley firms. In that regard, Mckesson has still more in common with his friends in TFA; Buzzfeed reports he has “strong relationships” with executives at companies like Medium and Twitter. Cultivating relationships with tech giants has become a “major tactic” of Campaign Zero, Buzzfeed says, adding that its activists are working with Twitter to host a presidential forum on racial justice.
The lack of transparency in the DeRay For Mayor campaign means the public will have to wait until March to identify all the contributors to its six-figure finances. But if history is any indicator, we can expect it to include many of the same financial interests that have waged assaults on public school teachers and students across the country. It remains to be seen if Teach For America and one of its most famous cadres will finally be held to account for their privatization agenda, before it begins to take hold in Baltimore.
1% Wall Street global corporate CLINTON/OBAMA neo-liberals have placed people of color and women as the face of their 5% working for the 1% ---but we all know those same faces will be completely gone if US cities are allowed to become International Economic Zones. The fastest decline in employment and the longest-term unemployment are people of color and women as global immigrant labor brought because have no rights as citizens and work cheaply will now take all income levels. So, when I see these corporate appointments to our local public school boards all gung ho ready to install very, very, very, very very bad far-right 1% Wall Street Libertarian Marxism and global neo-liberal education no one wants--I say SHAME ON YOU!
Soon, Not Even 1 Percent Of Fortune 500 Companies Will Have Black CEOs
01/29/2015 03:41 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2015
- Jillian Berman Associate Business Editor, The Huffington Post
When McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson officially steps down in March, there will be just four black CEOs in the Fortune 500.
Even as politicians, pundits and the business community work to increase the number of women in the C-suite, Thompson’s departure is a reminder that the highest levels of corporate America are also severely lacking in racial diversity. Black CEOs will lead just .8 percent of America’s top companies once Thompson steps down. When Marvin Ellison takes the reins of J.C. Penney in August, that share will grow to 1 percent.
Hmmmmmm----I wonder how many Baltimore or Maryland citizens will fall into this category and I wonder why they want to hand our entire first world democratic public education over to global corporations just for a short-term career!
Global Executive Academy (multi-language)
Dates: Jul 12-21, 2016
This program is a transformative learning experience designed to fit the time and language constraints of mid-level, global executives and high-potential leaders. A new frontier in executive education, it brings MIT content to the non-English speaking world through a multilingual education experience. Redesigned for 2016, the program offers a broad cross-section of content spanning leadership, innovation, organizational strategy, systems thinking, marketing, communications, finance and more. The program offers translation and simultaneous interpretation into Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish, provided there are a minimum of 10 participants per language.* Other languages may also be considered. Upon completing the program, participants will earn an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership.
*The July 12-21, 2016 Global Executive Academy will include translated materials and simultaneous interpretation into Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish. Applications for this session are no longer being accepted.