IF YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE LEADERS ARE NOT SHOUTING AGAINST THIS.....IF COMMUNITIES DO NOT RISE AGAINST THIS ......YOU WILL LOSE DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION AND BE LEFT WITH AUTOCRATIC JOB TRAINING FROM KINDERGARTEN THROUGH CAREER COLLEGE.
HERE IS A LETTER FROM A PARENT AND HER EXPERIENCE WITH BALTIMORE AND MARYLAND EDUCATION REFORM:
This is my daughter, my sacrifices, the wind beneath my wings, the whole of my heart,my one and only and the catalyst for my advocacy. 3 months ago I posted that my daughter was being bullied in school. The school did not act responsibly & I removed her from school for her safety & to keep me from going to jail.
I stepped down from many of my community efforts to focus on my daughter and my family. For 3 months I studied the history of Balto City's special education & the legislation that is in place to protect our children. I can confidently say that the school system does not take our children's future seriously. My daughter has been out of school for 3 months and no one has contacted me to see if she is alive or dead. I soon realized why it's possible to have such a high percentage of special ed students go from the school system to the prison system and homelessness. It's not just the school system's fault, parents have to start showing up & representing their children. We have a small window of time to set the stage for our children's future.
My daughter will began attending her new school on Monday for an appropriate safe education. If this could happen to us, an informed parent & special education advocate; imagine what could happen to a parent that is not showing up. The disparity and heartache I endured as a parent, brought me to my knees so many times. I was preparing to leave Maryland in order to give my child the best there was to offer. I never ask people to pray for me because I believe my relationship with God & Universe is solid, but I asked a new to pray for me because my spirit had broke. I don't want another parent's spirit to break while wanting better for their child. Though some in the community may be disappointed, my focus will remain with my daughter and special education. 32,000 special ed students were arrested in Maryland last year and no one cares. I believe that I can make a difference in the prison and homeless rate with our children and I'm going to try.
Thank you MH for your prayers. When much is given, much is required.
Whether Race to the Top or Common Core----the intent is to create an education environment structured completely on workplace training done as cheaply as possible.
The biggest issue to remember in judging the effects a policy like Common Core will have on the US is this: the idea the standardization will increase quality or achievement has no basis....all research shows otherwise. Take STEM courses....Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.....all of these subjects are based on facts so they are already standardized. To change the context of democratic education and plurality in society because the conservative states want to teach creationism over evolution is ridiculous. If national standard tests require knowledge of evolution and if evolution is taught in university......that will be the standard. What danger lies in Common Core is the standardization of the humanities and liberal arts. Keep in mind that it is the humanities that gave us THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT. You know, when all people are citizens having the right to education created by and including lives and accomplishments of all citizens. This is the major reason any democracy would reject Common Core. Every region of America has its own vision of history, religion, civics, psychology, literature, etc. This is what makes a plurality. In nations like China where plurality is not allowed-----they have standardization like Common Core. Remember when Bush/Cheney famously stated history would be kind to their administration even after they pushed the US into systemic fraud and corruption.....started war with lies.....removed the US from International Criminal Courts because they pushed crime and torture around the world? Well, Common Core started its development in the Bush Administration and you can bet the standard history lesson for Bush/Cheney will be that their administration was a beacon for American progress.
Regarding what Race to the Top really looks like in Maryland:
Below you see an article in the Baltimore Sun that addresses a media report on the state of education reform in Maryland. I only posted the first part so look for the article in its entirety. The point I make here is that while this report looks at factors that assess this reform it completely ignores what most people see as the major factors. This is deliberate. If public education is to be dismantled then the public cannot know the goals of these reforms.
Let's look at what we are told and what is actually happening. I shared this with a friend having a special needs student in Baltimore City schools and she was shocked. Remember, special needs is not only physical disability-----it includes emotional and slow-learners as well. TRUTH BE TOLD----IT WILL INCLUDE MOST OF US.
There are three issues with AP in Maryland. One can be seen with a CATO Institute chart that shows the school spending curb in Maryland grow while SAT scores stayed flat and low. Conservative CATO uses that to say more money does not improve education. In Maryland, fraud and corruption takes 1/2 of most kinds of public funding from the system so we can best assume that this chart shows that it is the fact that the money never made it to the classrooms that caused SAT scores to remain flat. Indeed, Maryland schools are so underfunded as to lack basic resources for decades.
The same is happening with AP......the funds are allocated but are not used effectively or are redirected completely.
There is a second side to AP in Maryland. IN Baltimore, AP is used as a development tool. In Baltimore you have Dunbar High School designated as an AP school with almost none of the original students capable of achieving in AP. The reason Dunbar was made AP was to change the student population from low-achieving and underserved to affluent. This means you will have students never meant to be in AP failing to pass these tests.
The third side to this AP issue is a deliberate intent to skew education data by making it appear that Maryland had a high number of achieving students and therefore strong education programs when it doesn't. This is a systemic problem in Maryland. Skewed data all meant to make a politician or program look successful when it isn't. Parents across the state are crying foul over this one. So, limiting underserved schools to teaching math and reading just so those grades would rise while neglecting all other subjects causing these students to fail science and social studies for example. Having AP classes just to have them while not funding these schools enough to make the classroom changes needed is purely political.
As an academic who writes about this nationally I will continue to encourage reporters who take the time to do good research to hold power accountable.
Destiny Miller sits in AP Biology class at Woodlawn High School. Among Baltimore County schools, AP class grades at Woodlawn have some of the weakest correlations with AP test scores, Sun analysis has found. Maryland schools have been leader in Advanced Placement, but results are mixed
Top students at low-performing schools can earn As and Bs, but still fail the exams
Story by Liz Bowie | Photos by Amy Davis BAltimore Sun
Destiny Miller went online this summer to check one last set of grades from her senior year at Woodlawn High School — scores on three Advanced Placement exams.
The 18-year-old sat alone on her bed waiting for the scores to appear on her smartphone. For many top students like Destiny, the scores might seem an academic footnote; she already had her diploma and had been admitted to college. Yet the idea that she might not have succeeded on the AP tests made her so anxious that, just as the scores began to download, she turned her phone face down, unable to look.
Destiny was experiencing the pressures of being a pioneer on the frontier of Advanced Placement, one of thousands of minority, low-income students being targeted for a nationwide expansion of the rigorous college-level courses. She took a deep breath, turned her phone back over and looked at the three numbers on the screen.
For such students, the scores show how well their education prepared them for college and whether they might earn college course credits, potentially saving thousands of dollars in tuition. For federal and state education officials who have invested $400 million in taxpayer dollars over the past decade to subsidize AP exams for bright, low-income students, the stakes are even higher.
So far, the expansion has not lived up to its promise. It has not delivered vast numbers of students from low-performing high schools to selective colleges with credits in their pockets, helping to bridge the academic gulf between the nation’s rich and poor. Too often, students who haven’t been prepared in earlier grades flounder in AP classes, or are awarded A’s and B’s in the courses and then fail the AP exams..............
When education becomes about profit there is no room for any student that just will not bring the most profit to the corporation owning these schools. Goodbye special needs structures and good bye equal opportunity and education based on what is good for the student's learning experience.....
Baltimore City schools are now individual businesses with principals given so little money they look at a student with special needs as costing money and work to get rid of them. That is what school choice and charters do....sets the stage for bypassing equal opportunity all the while handing a large chuck of public education financing to what are private businesses as charters.
Competition and fighting for funding leads to fraud and corruption in our education system just as our entire corporate and governing structure has today. Quality and access is gone.......democratic education is gone.....and an autocratic standardization is established. This is what Race to the Top with Obama and Bill Gates pushing nationally and Johns Hopkins and Rawlings-Blake/Baltimore City Hall and O'Malley/Maryland Assembly see as education reform.
ALL OF THE CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND WILL ADVANCE THIS EXCEPT CINDY WALSH FOR GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND.
Youth group accuses district of pushing out students
DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-854-5903Posted: April 09, 2014
A GROUP OF current and former students launched a campaign yesterday to identify peers they claim have been pushed out of Philadelphia public schools through closings or cutbacks to key programs.
Youth United for Change said the closure of 24 schools last year, combined with cuts to the school district's Re-Engagement Center and slots in accelerated schools, has left students who drop out with few options.
"Being pushed out is unfair," said YUC member Maury Elliott, a former Simon Gratz High student who briefly re-enrolled in an alternative school. "The school district and the [School Reform Commission] fail to stop this injustice. Instead, they influence it."
Outside school district headquarters, members of the group wore T-shirts that read, "Have You Seen Me?" and stood in front of large makeshift milk cartons with blacked-out pictures.
About 10,000 students were displaced by last year's closures, the district said. Most have been accounted for, but 600, whom YUC described as "missing," have not.
District spokesman Fernando Gallard said an analysis indicated the 600 students either left the district, enrolled in private or parochial schools, or dropped out. Dropout numbers, he said, are typically a year behind.
YUC said another major blow has been cuts to the Re-Engagement Center, which provides former students with re-engagement options and links them to services. The center's workforce is down from five full-time staffers in 2011 to one this year, plus a few interns, the district said.
YUC wants the district to implement better tracking systems for student transitions; acknowledge that school closures increase the likelihood of dropouts; locate and re-engage missing students; conduct and release an analysis of school closings; and fully fund the Re-Engagement Center.
Gallard said that the center is an important part of the district and that the hope is to restore resources to that and other programs.
"This goes to the heart of the conversation we've been having since we had to lay off over 4,000 employees," he said. "It's all directly connected to funding."
Make no mistake......this privatization will marginalize most families into substandard education. Remember, only 10% of people would fall into the Advanced Placement category that these privatizers have decided are the only students needing a humanities and democratic rich education.
Baltimore has the most cruel system of culling and throw-away tiering of schools in the nation. It is all done while Maryland media present education data that is false and propaganda that makes all of this privatization look like creation of quality education and achievement.
Remember, as most parents and academics know, Common Core lowers our current level of achievement, it does not enhance it. While rigor was deliberately removed from classrooms over the last few decades to force achievement to fall......when public schools are allowed to function as they should with full funding and resourced-----THEY PROVIDE THE BROADEST AND DEEPEST EDUCATION AND RIGOR. America ranked #1 in the world with people of color excelling when democratic education was thriving.
April 5, 2014 · 4:14 pm ↓
Jump to Comments Quick: send your kids to charters lest they be “tossed in the lion’s den with the special needs student!”
Today, The New York Times published an op-ed piece by journalism professor Andrea Gabor that essentially describes a “two-tier” educational system: one created by the presence of charters that leaves the neediest students behind. And although many official charter spokespeople wouldn’t dare say it, it’s the practice of driving out children with special needs that accounts for lots of the “success” charters brag about.
Gabor devotes a good deal of her attention to charter school attrition, focusing on the effects “no-excuses” policies have on students with special needs:
Some students with I.E.P.s find charters, which often foster a no-excuses culture, a poor fit, and leave voluntarily. But sometimes there’s pressure: Administrators may advise parents that the school can’t support a child’s disability, or punish kids for even the slightest disciplinary infractions. However it happens, it leads to rising special-needs populations at nearby public schools.
Chrystina Russell, the founding principal of Global Technology Preparatory, a Harlem middle school, says charter-school “refugees” often showed up at her school after Oct. 31, when the Department of Education makes key funding decisions for traditional public schools based on head counts. This means that it can be difficult for the schools to hire additional teachers or support personnel when new students show up (though some funding is updated for special-education students who transfer by Dec. 31).
Global Tech had no post-October transfers this year, but had as many as eight two years ago. Nearby Isaac Newton Middle School for Math and Science has had about a dozen so far this year.
Global Tech, where more than one-third of the students have I.E.P.s, does impressive work despite the challenges. If special-education kids — most of whom are black and Hispanic boys — are segregated when they get to high school, they are unlikely to graduate. So Global Tech is committed to mainstreaming them in general-education classes by the eighth grade. Instead of suspending disruptive students, the school takes away extracurricular sports privileges and holds lunchtime detentions and meetings with parents. Some of its special-needs students have been accepted to the best public high schools in the city.
Gabor further notes that the charters which push out special needs students are often the very same ones to claim that they enroll the same types of students as do district schools. Those charters aren’t, however, bound to “most regulations governing traditional public schools,” and their enrollment and financial policies allow them to manipulate the populations they serve.
Gabor ultimately concludes that “if charter schools are allowed to push out existing public schools, they should, at the very least, be subject to the same accountability measures for enrollment, attrition and disciplinary procedures, to ensure that the neediest students are being treated fairly.”
Shortly after its publication, Gabor’s piece was flooded with comments, many echoing her sentiments about the misleading nature of charter schools’ “success.” (Yay to the NYT for actually publishing a piece with this type of content; it seems, given the support for traditional public education voiced in the comments, that it was a welcome addition to the op-ed section.)
But perhaps most interesting is that the few commenters who advocate for charter expansion highlight exactly what’s wrong with charters in the first place: in general, they are publicly-funded experiments in resegregation. And, disturbingly, many people seem to be okay with that.
Here are some comments, copied and pasted from the NYT page, which show that many charter supporters condone the segregation of our nation’s children–whether it be in terms of race, class, socio-economic status, or ability/special needs. All emphasis here is mine; misspellings and typos are not!
As schools in Baltimore are closed because Carl Stokes and City Hall have decided that public funding of public schools will end and all schools will be tied to corporations and private funding......Baltimore adds its next round of national charter chains that have as a goal ending high school education and replace this with vocational job training. Now, who goes to these schools? It depends how your child tested in pre-K and the track that Johns Hopkins decides they see best. This is what school privatization is about. Restructuring schools with the complete drive being the cheapest vehicle producing made-to-order workers who will have no ability to move beyond the scope of that career focus and most of this leads to poverty wages.
This will hit communities of color first as they have no one speaking out for them. Wall Street uses the fact that many people will think this will only happen to underserved schools. Keep in mind-----WALL STREET INTENDS THIS TO REPLACE ALL PUBLIC EDUCATION AND ASK AS WELL....WILL MY CHILDREN BE MIDDLE-CLASS IN A WORLD WHERE TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT----TPP----IS LAW? OF COURSE NOT.
As I said, urban areas like Baltimore and Philadelphia are being used to create a privatized structure that will be expanded all across the state of Maryland and Pennsylvania. For those wanting to be rid of Brown vs Board of Education giving equal opportunity and protection with Race to the Top remember, conservatives are shouting because of Common Core and loss of control of their public schools and charters....so this is a bipartisan issue and it hurts all Americans regardless of class, race, or region.
Below you see that a plan to have students graduate with an associates degree......remember, what they have in community college now is simply corporate job training. These students will graduate with a certificate equivalent to training received by any Human Resources program and every time a person changes jobs,......and we know that jobs are now on contract.....you have to go back to these community college job training programs to start another job.
YOU WILL BE TRACKED INTO A CAREER LINE FOR LIFE BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD, NOR WILL YOU BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION.
Adding a Baltimore Public School to its portfolio? Sounds like consolidation of a school system readying to become a private national charter chain.
Four new schools apply to open in city Applicants include early college program
Erica L. Green 7:00 p.m. EDT, April 8, 2014 Baltimore Sun
Four new schools are vying to open in Baltimore in the next two years, including an early college high school that would bring a successful model to the city that allows students to earn a college degree by the time they graduate.
The Bard High School Early Colleges network, which operates five tuition-free college programs in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, applied to open a campus in Baltimore in the 2015-2016 school year.
The organization applied to operate a "contract school," meaning it would have an entrance criteria, that would serve 500 students in grades nine through twelve. Its college-preparatory programs focus on a liberal arts and sciences education, and allows students to complete an associate's degree by the time they graduate high school.
The Baltimore Curriculum Project, which currently runs three charter schools in the city, applied to add Govans Elementary School to its portfolio.
The school would serve 459 students in grades Pre-K through fifth grade. The application says that the BCP would bring an "array of experiences" such as visual and performing arts and physical activities.
Morgan State University has applied to save the Bluford Drew Jemison STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Academy, which has been on the district's radar for closure.
The school was one of two all-male academies started for young men in the city -- and highly sought after by parents -- but whose operators faced several challenges and recently had their charter licenses revoked. The city school board, however, has searched for a way that the school could stay in operation.
Morgan has proposed to operate the school, which would be called the Morgan State STEM Institute, for 644 boys in grades six through twelve. The school would continue to focus on the sciences and has the goal that "all students will be able to graduate within a five to six year period with a high school diploma and an associate's degree in a STEM area.
In 2016-2017, the National Education Partners has applied to operate William C. March Elementary School. The school would serve 850 students in East Baltimore.
The applicants will participate in a public review over the next several weeks. The school board will vote to accept or reject the applications on May 27.
Returning to warehousing of people with special needs and disabilities because corporations and the rich will no longer pay taxes will include not only students with physical disabilities.....it will include students who are low achievers. Remember, THE BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD are the people getting what has been standard public education in America. Not many students are going to test into Advanced Placement.
Governor Cuomo and charter lobby 'strong-arming' bid to evict special needs students in favor of corporate education expansion
NYC Parents vs. Wall Street-Backed Charter Schoolswww.commondreams.orgParents protest on the steps of the New York City Department of Education on Tuesday, April 8. (Photo: @NYChange/ Twitter)Parents and public school advocates staged a dramatic protest outside the..