'but as Timothy Noah of the New Republic points out—in this case about Maryland’s Prince George County—“When 10 percent of a school district’s teachers are foreign migrants, that isn’t cultural exchange. It’s sweatshop labor—and a depressing indicator of how low a priority public education has become.”'
That sounds pretty different than what Anthony Brown and O'Malley say out on the campaign trail. Indeed, I have spent years outing the lies regarding education achievement in Maryland as pure propaganda used to pretend these education privatization policies are providing quality. THESE EDUCATION REFORMS LOWER QUALITY AND ACCESS THEY DO NOT RAISE THEM! The intent is to eliminate access to strong humanities and democratic education for 90% of the US population......the entire middle/working class and poor. That means Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland, coming from a middle-class family would not have the multiple degrees I have and the career opportunities that I have had.
Below you see how spin occurs. Education Week places Maryland as tops on a few issues and O'Malley and neo-liberals milk those rankings for all their worth. Look at the overall record and Maryland is ranked at the bottom for most measures in education policy and achievement. That is because neo-liberals do not care about achievement and quality for 90% of Marylanders. They are working only for those they deem the 'best' students......and that is 10% of Maryland citizens.
WALL STREET'S MEDIA 'MARKETPLACE MONEY' LAUGHED THAT MOST US STUDENTS ATTENDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE POOR BECAUSE THE MIDDLE-CLASS HAS BEEN LOOTED OF ITS WEALTH BY MASSIVE CORPORATE FRAUD. INDEED, THE ATTACK CONTINUES AND IF YOU THINK YOUR UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS STATUS IS SAFE YOU DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THE COMING ECONOMIC CRASH!
What we see is a funding level for K-12 that appears at higher levels than in the past. Look at the distribution-----most of that funding is going to the schools having students that are scoring the best on tests----they are identified in elementary school as the 'best' students and receive a bulk of that education funding. Again, these students are only 10% of the population so 90% of students are receiving far less. In Baltimore, neo-liberals and neo-cons have built a system that is far more repressive in that the tiered funding is tied to decentralizing the city's school system into 'schools as businesses' and has created individual schools most of which receive so little funding as to barely pay for toilet paper and a few that receive enough to create the best of programs within the schools. Add to that the practice of charter schools receiving private donations and the entire public school system and equal opportunity and access is thrown out the door. Remember, over 70% of Americans are at or near poverty and growing fast so 90% of people will be exposed to this education funding scheme. Mike Miller of the Maryland Assembly says that state funding of public schools will stop altogether so that 90% will be thrown into the hands of private corporations for support----national charter chains.
Maryland has a second problem with funding in that with no oversight and accountability we do not know that money actually ends up where it is supposed to go.
Take a look at these charts----I am not going to post them in this blog.....just note that what looks to be good is not good for 90% of Marylanders and it is reflected with actual achievement stats which again are skewed by elected officials and the media. Achievement in Maryland was low to begin with because of poor standards of funding and resourcing schools....it is now only slightly better and that may simply be a statistical error.
State-By-State Report Card Unearths Inequities In School Funding
“Is school funding fair"?
A report by that name was released this week. And it answered its own question with a resounding ‘no’ … The authors find that school funding was flat between 2010 and 2011, with about half the states making cuts and 14 spending less in 2011 than in 2007, even without adjusting for inflation … Most states did not allot more money for high-poverty districts, where report authors contend that students have higher needs … All but three states spent a smaller percentage of their GDP on education in 2011.”
Table 2. Fairness Measure #1: Funding Level
Maryland ranked 8th in funding level
Table 3. Fairness Measure #2: Funding Distribution
Maryland ranked at the bottom for distribution
$13,656 $13,167 $12,695 $12,240
I am not bragging but I would have fallen into this high achieving category and as a student having the skills to achieve early on----I did not need the resources other children needed because I was able to find what I needed and I excelled. That is what high-achieving students do.
THEY DO NOT NEED THE BULK OF SPENDING.
It is those children not having the benefit of learning skills that need the funding to allow them the opportunity to achieve in later grades. So, this funding leaves the children needing that development most without the funding and resources to reach this goal.
Let's not forget that this dynamic moved more children from poverty to graduating with high achievement in the 1950s - 1970s than in any period in history----IT WORKS AND THERE IS NO REASON TO STOP THIS FUNDING EQUITY.
Note as well that Maryland has placed so much emphasis on reading and math to the exclusion of all other courses that children are graduating today with little or no background in humanities and liberal arts----which is what neo-liberals and neo-cons want----children in Baltimore in schools deemed low performance are sitting in front of Rupert Murdoch online lessons for goodness sake. In Baltimore this is driven by Johns Hopkins.
THIS IGNORES ALL OF THE EQUAL PROTECTION LAWS REGARDING ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITY IN EDUCATION.
Consequently, students are graduating not knowing anything about history, civics, social studies, and culture and I dare say that the methods of instruction are so bad in Maryland that even the constant emphasis on math and reading are achieving little. Again, it is Johns Hopkin infusing the Baltimore education system with methods that do not work and that looks to be the goal.
This is what happens when a state is captured by neo-liberal and neo-con politicians-----the policy is all about corporate profit and benefit and not people's rights and what is best for them. This is not a black, brown, or white issue. It is not even a class issue because middle-class is facing the same discrimination. It is a complete dismantling of a public education system for 90% of Americans that allows for the movement of students into higher achievement and ability to access the best schools.
Funding Student Needs: Per Pupil Weights
How are schools funded under Student Based Budgeting (SBB)?
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS14201 SCHOOL LANE, UPPER MARLBORO, MD 20772
Students in grades 3 to 8 receiving the “High Academic Performance” weight have scored advanced in both Reading and Math tests, while students in high school receive the weight if they have passed all HSA exams by the 10th grade.
Low Performance.Students in grades 3 to 8 receiving the “Low Academic Performance” weight have scored basic in both Reading and Math tests, while students in high school receive the weight if they have failed all HSA exams.
As Maryland citizens know our schools were allowed to crumble as the heyday of market boom and bust brought plenty of money to government coffers but all that money went to expand corporations like Johns Hopkins----now a global corporation and its Baltimore headquarters----and to rebuild downtown into global corporate meccas. So, there is no excuse for crumbling school infrastructure except that neo-liberals and neo-cons do not value public education. Remember, this happened from the Reagan/Clinton years forward----neo-liberalism took hold of the Democratic Party.
We have the bulk of public schools not receiving the funding they need and these schools are being rebuilt with a funding scheme designed specifically to hand huge profits to Wall Street along with the deed to the school building itself as the coming economic crash will cause the state and city to default on these building funds.
THE ENTIRE FUNDING SCHEME SURROUNDING PUBLIC EDUCATION IS DESIGNED TO HAND OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM TO PRIVATE CORPORATIONS WITH A DISMANTLING OF THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION 90% OF PEOPLE RECEIVE. THERE GOES OUR SCHOOL BUILDINGS!
This is another reason for public banks -----another issue Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland supports! Boy, no wonder corporate Maryland censured my campaign!
People were brought out to support this scheme not knowing the implications-----and this happens because there is NO CONVERSATIONS ABOUT PUBLIC POLICY IN MARYLAND!
School districts pay dearly for bonds…ANOTHER reason for publicly-owned banks!
by Administrator Trey Bundy and Shane Shifflett, California Watch • http://www.sfgate.com • January 31, 2013
The Napa Valley Unified School District had a quandary: The district needed a new high school in American Canyon, but taxpayers appeared unwilling to take the financial hit required to build it.
So in 2009, the district took out an unusual loan: $22 million with no payments due for 21 years. By 2049, when the debt is paid, it will have cost taxpayers $154 million - seven times the amount borrowed.
...This form of borrowing has created billions of dollars in debt for taxpayers and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for financial advisers and underwriters. Voters are usually unaware of the bonds' high interest. At least one state, Michigan, has banned their use.
Each year we listen to O'Malley and the Maryland Assembly tout their funding levels in Maryland and each year they fail to provide close to what is required according to legislation...the Thornton formula. Each year they pretend to have met or exceeded a goal and that does not even bring them to what they should be doing.
The Maryland Education Coalition works hard to demand these Thornton requirements are met, but the problem with lobbying is that a group becomes afraid to alienate pols----this makes citizens beggars for policy and not drivers of policy. The reason an education coalition has become a beggar of policy is that the entire Maryland Assembly are neo-liberals and neo-cons---not a democrat to be found. Yet every election labor and justice back the same incumbents killing their membership. Now, how can politicians act as though they make education in Maryland a priority when all of the education advocacy groups are pushing just to get funding up to where it should have been a decade ago? The media selects stats and makes it appear that pols are doing something when they are not.
Remember, Maryland has a record amount of money going to corporate subsidy and tax breaks......there is no shortage of revenue.....
'We are currently $700 million per year behind the original Thornton formula for state aid to public schools, and our bill is designed to prevent the State from falling further behind the funding levels necessary to achieve these goals'.
Maryland Education CoalitionMEC Newsletter
April 1, 2013
The 430th Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session is drawing towards an end. This is our second newsletter, and we will publish a Session wrap-up edition in April. Please feel free to email David Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns. MEC Priorities
We worked hard on MEC’s main policy initiative for the 2013 session – to make the State actually protect public school funding. House Bill 1474 and Senate Bill 958 would directly advance our mission and our current priorities
Directly countering a very serious threat to learning – the eroding power of school funding under the current inflation cap on State aid; Protecting the Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI) so that children in higher-cost jurisdictions have fair funding. Setting a goal for State capital aid that updates the target– set by the Kopp Commission nine years ago - to reflect current construction costs. In the Thornton Commission process, the State very carefully considered the cost of providing an adequate education and closing achievement gaps. We are currently $700 million per year behind the original Thornton formula for state aid to public schools, and our bill is designed to prevent the State from falling further behind the funding levels necessary to achieve these goals. Considering the past five years of structural deficits, it was an accomplishment to win the support of well-positioned sponsors: Sen. Madaleno of the Budget and Taxation Committee and Del. Luedtke of the Ways and Means Committee, but we missed the filing deadline. The Ways and Means Committee heard HB 1474 on March 19th. The local school boards, the State teachers’ union, and the Budget and Tax Policy Institute provided strong support and testimony. Baltimore City English teacher Iris Kirsch told her compelling story of how less funding in the classroom is affecting students. To date, however, the bill has not been brought to a vote.
This is a message from a teacher to a parent in Chicago----we know this is happening in Maryland. Teachers are so pressed to have students appear to be improving under an education regime that is the worst of possible approaches to educating students----that they will naturally look for any means possible to raise scores. This is what pushes the best teachers out of the teaching profession and it pushes education right into the same corruption that has our corporations and government---
FORCING TEACHERS TO REACH GOALS THAT ARE UNATTAINABLE IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE WILL CREATE A CORRUPT EDUCATION SYSTEM. WHEN THE GOAL IS SIMPLY SKEWED DATA---THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM.
CPS test cheating – focus on “bubble” kids From a parent who received this message from a teacher:
This kind of thing is happening all over, and it’s awful. This idea of concentrating on kids “on the bubble” is terrible educational practice (or malpractice…)
Begin forwarded message:
From: (teacher wishes to remain anonymous)
Date: February 12, 2014 at 9:39:42 AM CST
Today we had a grade level meeting about the NWEA scores for the fourth grade students at my school. We teachers were all given printouts of our students’ most recent scores: RIT bands, percentiles, the whole shebang.
Then we were instructed to highlight the students in our classes who had scored between the 37th and 50th percentile. These students, the admin informed us, are the most important students in the class; they are the ones most likely to reach the 51st percentile when students take the NWEA again in May.
Making the 51st percentile is VERY important to CPS, and thus to principals, literacy coordinators, test specialists and teachers-who-don’t-want-to-lose-their-jobs.
It might not be important to individual students, their parents or anyone else, but it is life or death in Chicago Public Schools.
We nodded, wide-eyed. These students, our guide continued, should be your primary focus. Make sure they get whatever they need to bring them up to that percentile. Sign them up for any and all academic programs, meet with them daily in small groups, give them extra homework, have them work with available tutors…whatever it takes.
What about the kids at the very bottom, one teacher wondered, the kids under the 20th percentile…shouldn’t they be offered more support too? The admin squirmed a bit. Well, they don’t really have any chance of hitting the goal, so for right now, no. There was silence.
Left unsaid was what might, could, will happen to any school that does NOT have enough students meet that magic number. No one really needs to say it. We all saw the 50 schools that got closed down last year. We see the charters multiplying around us. We’ve also seen the steady stream of displaced teachers come through our school doors as substitutes. We know that we could be next.
- See more at: http://pureparents.org/?p=21149#sthash.KYq3Vl6C.dpuf
I use reports from other cities and states because there is no education activism in Maryland....there is only collected voices by private non-profits aligned with the education privatization groups. In Baltimore, that is the Baltimore Education Coalition----BEC, a Johns Hopkins organization of charter school, Teach for America, and Michelle Rhee supporters. They, like this article below are the ones who bring bus loads of citizens from Baltimore to support policy that works against the interest of the communities where the policy is being implemented. Charter and Teach for America advocates seem less worried about the tiered funding and closing of schools then they are about the right to have charters used in Baltimore as development tools. If you think using schools as development tools is OK since you are in the midst of needing better schools----please look at the longer term implication of these policies----they do not stop with moving the poor out of neighborhoods----these policies will effect your schools as well!
All across the country we know the stats on charters are largely fictional and skewed. Yet, we are subjected to these reports because we have pols simply moving these privatization policies forward with no regard to citizens and the quality of education children will receive.
PLEASE STOP RE-ELECTING THESE VERY INCUMBENTS EACH ELECTION CYCLE. IF THEY ARE NOT SHOUTING THESE EDUCATION POLICIES ARE BAD FOR EVERYONE-----THEY ARE NEO-LIBERALS OR NEO-CONS AND NEED TO GO.
In Baltimore, the stats on charters are not online and when you call Baltimore School Board they pretend they do not have a problem. All of this is illegal and has nothing to do with public education.
PSAT for 4-8-14: Let Springfield know the truth about charter schools Today, charter school advocates will be taking out their checkbooks to fund Springfield trips for folks to lobby for less oversight of and more money for charter schools.
Mayor Emanuel says that the truth about charter schools’ mediocre performance compared with regular schools is “yesterday’s debate.”
Not really. The truth always matters, and the truth about charter schools is only beginning to get front page coverage.
So, while Bill Gates’ and the Walton’s minions are trudging down to Springfield to echo the Mayor’s efforts to brush off the truth about charters, please call, fax, or e-mail your state representative and senator with the truth.
Here’s what I faxed to every member of the Illinois House:
Look at charter school evidence, not expensive PR
Yesterday, Chicago’s two major newspapers made it very clear that charter schools can be very problematic and DO NOT provide better academic results.
But today you will be approached by busloads of well-financed charter school advocates trying to spin the facts while they ask you to ignore the truth and pave the way for more money and “freedom” for charters.
Here’s the truth about charter schools:
The Chicago Tribune reported on the drastic, regressive discipline policy of one of the largest of these charter franchises, the Noble Network of Charter Schools. Even as the Chicago Public Schools is working toward more effective, positive discipline policies that keep students in school and learning, Noble is suspending and expelling students at a vastly greater rate than the district, and making their families pay significant dollars in the process.
The Sun-Times reported that Chicago’s charter school achievement rates are no better than that of the district overall, and far worse than the more comparable district magnet schools which have similar non-selective lottery enrollment systems. This confirms years of research which has been largely ignored as corporate reformers demand an ever-expanding “marketplace” for privately-run charter schools.
PURE ASKS YOU TO :
- Pay attention to the research, not the rhetoric about charter schools.
- Support HB3937, (HCA1) which extends the moratorium on virtual charter schools.
- Support HB4591, which would require charter schools to return pro-rated funds for the kids they “counsel out.
- Support HB5328, LSCs and other accountability for charter schools.
- Support HB5887, which puts reasonable financial accountability on virtual charter schools.
- Support HB6005, a major charter school accountability act.
- See more at: http://pureparents.org/?p=21237#sthash.6dWJajMn.dpuf