We see below that 3 new charters are opening in Baltimore after several closed for lack of performance and many more are still open with lack of performance. The key word here is 'LACK OF PERFORMANCE BY MOST CHARTER SCHOOLS IN BALTIMORE'! We watch on our local news WBAL an interview with City Neighbors Charter President MacDonald telling us they have lots of families on waiting lists wanting to attend a charter. Carol Beck of Supporting Public Schools of Choice says the support for more charters is there. WHERE IS THIS SUPPORT? We need a disclaimer for Carol Beck's group as it seeks funding from the ABAG.....Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers....the shadow government of private non-profits controlled by wealthy donors writing public policy.
Below you see the charter group talking to this funding agency and you will note that Southwest Charter has poor performance and wanting to select its students and the Transformation schools have mostly been converted to charters for no reason.
'In recent years, Baltimore City Schools has considerably expanded its choice offerings, including the creation of many new charter and transformation schools. Baltimore now has 29 charter schools, 15 transformation schools, and 5 schools with similar operating contracts - together these schools compose 25% of the District’s schools and serve 17% of its students. Please join the Education Funders Affinity Group for a briefing on charter and transformation schools by Carol Beck, Director of Supporting Public Schools of Choice. We will also be joined by Erika Brockman, Executive Director of Southwest Baltimore Charter School, and Chris Maher, Chief Academic Officer for the Friendship Schools, who will discuss their efforts to operate successful schools. We will discuss policy issues, demographics and student performance data, and also address the ways that the funding community might support the District’s expanding portfolio of schools'.
You will never hear a parent or student on any local media decrying these charter schools because first, the media won't allow it, but also there is fear of speaking out and losing an ability to access ever changing schools locations .......you have to be admitted to city schools by lottery.....school choice. IS THAT INTIMIDATION OR WHAT? So, public schools are closing right and left in the city center neighborhoods and charters are opening as the only resource making parents desperate for a school and a need to compete for slots. Regardless of how many times school officials tell you that these lotteries are open......THEY ARE SELECTIVE AND SELECTING PEOPLE OUT OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
Every family with which I speak decry the closing of their public schools and being forced to travel to charter schools that are not doing any better than the school that was closed. THERE ARE A FEW CHARTERS PERFORMING WELL.....THIS IS NOT A CHARTER-HATING WEBSITE. WE SIMPLY WANT THEM TO BE THE EXCEPTION NOT THE RULE!
The charter CEO from City Neighbors in the report below is always in the news stomping for charters. She works for the 1% in the city pushing charter expansion. If you look at City Neighbors charter school performance below you will see they failed abysmally in one school and performed unsatisfactorily in the other. THE MEDIA CONSTANTLY ALLOW PEOPLE TO SPEAK WHO HAVE NO HISTORY OF PERFORMANCE.....THEY SIMPLY REPRESENT THE SCHOOL PRIVATIZATION MODEL SO HAVE A VOICE. Her schools are failing to provide adequate achievement yet she wants to expand her brand. It's like the Interim school board CEO whose charter had to close because of poor performance now is head of the school board and their spokesperson. THE MEDIA PROVIDE VOICE TO ONLY THE PEOPLE PERFORMING BADLY.
We see below a reminder about more public schools closing .....adding that to a decade of school closings and Baltimore looks a lot like Chicago. This education reform model is in fact coming from the same source.....Wall Street. Why are people on waiting lists for charters? There are no public school openings for families that are seeing their neighborhood schools close. There is no CHOICE. So you see all of the media working to set the stage for expansion of charters all with information that does not portray the facts.
There is also an expectation that the schools that are being refurbished with this $1 billion school building financial instrument will all become charters as that is what New York City did with all the schools it refurbished. CHARTER SCHOOLS AND THE STRUCTURAL CHANGES NEEDED ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED EACH YEAR!
If you look at the private foundations funding this privatization of public schools.....the Casey Foundation (UPS), Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Joyce Foundation, and Broad Foundation......all of which fund public media by the way....you see from where Obama and Arne Duncan comes and it has nothing to do with the democratic party. All of Maryland's democrats are neo-liberals!
This is a neo-liberal policy and your Third Way corporate neo-liberal is approving all of these policies.
Chicago School Closings And The Joyce Foundation: The Obama Connection
By Steve Horn | July 9, 2013
President Barack Obama left, talks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel right, after arriving at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
The Windy City is is undergoing a tumultuous historical moment, with the uprising of the Chicago Teachers Union occurring alongside the ongoing restructuring and privatization of the Chicago Public Schools system.
Most recently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel oversaw the closing of 50 public schools, many of which will be replaced by charter schools. A bulk of the 550 laid-off teachers will be replaced by Teach for America contractors, many of whom teach in charter schools.
“Statewide enrollment in charter schools has surged from 6,152 students in 2000 to 54,054 this school year — with most of them in Chicago — according to the Illinois State Board of Education,” an April Chicago Tribune editorial explained. “The first charter school in Illinois opened in 1996. Now there are 132 campuses operating under 58 charters.”
A thus-far underreported story of the retooling of CPS concerns a foundation close the epicenter of it all: the Joyce Foundation.
Joyce is a major liberal foundation. President Barack Obama sat on its board of directors from 1994 to 2002, as did Valerie Jarrett, his former senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement .
A look at major organizations dedicated to restructuring U.S. education turns up a slew of current and former upper-level Joyce staff and board members.
Between 1995 and 2012, the Joyce Foundation spent $135.58 million on education reform.
“They’re really in bed now with conservative elements nationwide,” said Mike Klonsky, a Chicago public schools activist and professor at DePaul University, in an interview with Mint Press News. “Anything that has to do with corporate-style school reform, you’ll probably see Joyce’s name in it.”
A Mint Press News investigation reveals the veracity of Klonsky’s statement — and then some.
In the sphere of school privatization, Joyce mirrors Milwaukee’s Bradley Foundation, a key foundation of the Republican Party referred to by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as the “Bradley Empire” in a November 2011 investigation.
In his book, “The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy,” Kenneth Saltman, Klonsky’s colleague at DePaul, describes the activity of Joyce and allied foundations in the sphere of education reform as “venture philanthropy” — transforming a once-public education system into a for-profit market.
“Such a view carries significant implications for a society theoretically dedicated to public, democratic ideals,” Saltman explains in the book’s introduction. “This is no small matter in terms of how the public and civil roles of public schooling have become nearly overtaken by the … perspective [of] public schooling as principally a matter of producing workers and consumers for the economy and for global economic competition.”
With assets of over $900 million, Joyce has helped in applying “shock doctrine”-type “venture philanthropy” to CPS, with tight-knit ties to the highest levels of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.
Nuts and bolts: Mayoral takeover as launching pad for reform Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — derided as “Mayor 1 Percent” by some activists and “One-Term Mayor” by others — formerly served as White House chief of staff under Obama.
Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, is the former CEO of CPS. Duncan’s federal policy agenda — notably the Race to the Top program — is Emanuel’s agenda in Chicago.
To understand the origins of that agenda, rewind to 1995, when Chicago joined numerous major U.S. cities in granting full control of the public school system to the mayor. Other members of that club included Boston, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles.
Photo of a September 2012 protest against school closings and budget cuts in Chicago, Ill. (Photo/Shutter Stutter via Flickr)
”I think the reason for the crisis in American education is that no one was accountable,” Duncan, then CEO of CPS, said in a 2002 article published in The New York Times. ”Mayors could throw rocks and criticize, but they couldn’t really do anything about it. If you have a mayor who says he’s in charge of the schools, he’s the one on the line, and he has to get results or he’ll be voted out.”
Mayoral control, though described by Duncan in terms of “accountability” because of the ability to quantify things like standardized test scores, is key for advocates of reconfiguring K-12 education systems.
“This is when the role of power philanthropy really began to play its role,” said Klonsky. “They were very much worried about this democratic movement. It was too broad, too difficult to control and there were too many radicals involved in it. Thus, they were afraid of how it would play out politically.”
Put most concisely, the mayoral takeover in Chicago served as a launching pad for the modern school reform movement in the Windy City.
The Chicago Public Education Fund and its Obama-run precursor Not long after the mayoral takeover took place, the Chicago Public Education Fund was created. The fund is a public-private enterprise bankrolled in part by Joyce. Its precursor was the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which launched in 1995 and morphed into its current form in 1999 via $2 million in seed money.
Obama, well before his rise to national fame, served as the chair of the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. He also sat on the board of the Joyce Foundation.
“[A] group of corporate and civic leaders in the Chicago area believed they could help their home city do a better job educating its students, so they put their minds, financial assets, and talents together, and the result was The Chicago Public Education Fund,” the right-wing organization Philanthropy Roundtable wrote. “The Fund’s strategy is to serve as a catalyst and investment partner … to invest dollars and ideas into high-impact programs that will improve student achievement and school leadership system-wide.”
An ode to “venture philanthropy,” Joyce invests somewhere between $1 million and $2 million of its assets in the Chicago Public Education Fund, according to its website. Joyce was the key funding stream behind the fund’s launch.
“Joyce… was one of the first foundations to commit significant dollars to The Fund,” Janet Knupp, former CEO of CPEF said in an interview with Philanthropy Roundtable. “They played a critical role in helping us forge relationships with larger foundations across the nation. They saw the value of our work on a local level but had enough of a national reach to start connecting us.”
The fund’s connections to power centers are illustrative:
– CEO Heather Anichini once worked in the CPS Office of Planning and Development under Duncan, leveraging that gig to become vice president of Teach for America.
– Jesse Rothstein, former chief economist at Obama’s Labor Department, sits on the fund’s External Advisory Council.
– Alice Phillips, who lobbied on the fund’s behalf in 2006 and 2007, formerly worked alongside Loretta Durbin — wife of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — as a lobbyist for Government Affairs Specialists Inc.
– Penny Pritzker, once a member of Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and now his secretary of commerce, served on the fund’s board of directors and the Chicago Board of Education.
– Elizabeth Swanson, now the deputy chief of staff for education to Emanuel, formerly served as executive director of the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, which is overseen by Pritzker’s family. Earlier, Swanson led the CPS Office of Management and Budget under Duncan.
Arne Duncan: ‘Tapping into’ CPS restructuring with teacher incentive fund As CEO of CPS, Duncan “tapped into” President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy. He subsequently rebranded it as “Race to the Top” when he took over the U.S. Department of Education.
“Pushing competitive market approaches and armed with unprecedented funding and support from the president, he is possibly the most powerful education secretary ever,” The Christian Science Monitor wrote in an August 2010 article.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, speaks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors 81st winter meeting in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
A cornerstone of Duncan’s agenda as CPS head was the Recognizing Excellence in Academic Leadership/Teacher Advancement Program, funded by a five-year, $27.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant.
The program fit under the umbrella of Bush’s No Child Left Behind: standardized testing, “teacher accountability,” charter school promotion and the creation of an online charter school market. Its origins center around right-wing financier Lowell Milken’s System for Teacher and Student Advancement program, now overseen by his National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, founded in 2005.
The Teacher Advancement Program, or TAP, “was launched in 1999 as a comprehensive school reform that restructures and revitalizes the teaching profession by providing teachers with powerful opportunities for career advancement, ongoing professional development, a fair evaluation system and performance-based compensation,” the program’s website explains.
The now-extinct Chicago Teacher Advancement Program website explicitly states that the program is modeled after Milken’s program. Furthermore, Milken’s website lists the Joyce Foundation as a financial supporter of its national TAP system. The Chicago Teachers Union, then run under different leadership, signed the original contract to take part in TAP.
“When teachers are given powerful opportunities for career advancement, ongoing professional growth and recognition for outstanding achievement, we see increased student achievement in TAP schools,” Lowell Milken said in a December 2008 press release. “Chicago TAP schools are off to a strong start in continuing efforts to achieve these goals.”
Milken, unmentioned in most accounts, has a vested financial interest in school reform efforts and “fixing failing schools.”
That’s because Milken is a major investor in K12 Inc., a corporation traded on Wall Street that sells online schooling and curriculum to state and local governments. Milken invested $10 million in K12 Inc. in 2000, a stake that is now worth over $125 million, according to a July 2008 article in Forbes.
“If it were a school district, K12 Inc. would rank among the 30 largest of the nation’s 1,500 districts. The company, which began in two states a decade ago, now teaches about 95,000 students in virtual schools in 29 states and the District of Columbia,” The Washington Post reported in a November 2011 investigation.
Duncan now oversees the federal Teacher Incentive Fund, which “supports efforts to develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools,” according to its website. It’s the funding arm for Race to the Top and served the same function for “No Child Left Behind.”
Yet another player is Deane Mariotti. According to her biographical sketch, she “led [the] joint effort with the Chicago Public Schools to secure the … Teacher Incentive Fund” while working as manager of program investments for the Chicago Public Education Fund in 2007.
In fall 2010, CPS received another five-year Teacher Incentive Fund grant, this time worth even more: $34.1 million. It did so, once again, with the helping hand of the Chicago Public Education Fund.
In a clear depiction of aligned interests, the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy — funded by the right-wing Devos Foundation and Koch Family Foundations and a key proponent of “emergency financial managers” of cities in fiscal trouble, such as Detroit and Benton Harbor — praised Chicago’s TAP system and “merit pay” for teachers in a September 2008 policy briefing.
The prominent liberal group Center for American Progress — run by John Podesta, who served as co-chair of Obama’s transition team after he won the 2008 presidential race — also praised “merit pay” in a May 2009 report funded by Joyce. One of the co-authors of that report, Raegan Miller, is now the vice president of research partnerships for Teach for America.
Revolving doors, interlocking directorates: Joyce’s K-12 restructuring machine The government-industry revolving door and what sociologist G. William Domhoff coined as the “interlocking directorate” are the name of the game with Joyce. Joyce’s ties go straight to the commanding heights of power of CPS and national K-12 school restructuring.
The executive director of Joyce, Ellen Alberding, serves as a case in point of how intricately the web is wound.
Alberding was personally invited to an Obama-led event convened in June 2009 to “highlight innovative non-profits programs that are making a difference in communities across the country.” She also sits on the advisory board of Obama’s Skills for America’s Future initiative, which was launched in June 2011. Prior to being named secretary of commerce, Pritzker also served on the advisory board.
Alberding also sits on the board of directors of Advance Illinois, a powerhouse pro-charter school and school restructuring think tank.
Alongside Alberding on Advance Illinois’ board sits Obama’s former chief of staff, Bill Daley, who has tossed his hat in the ring to run for governor of Illinois in 2014. Dennis Hastert, former speaker of the U.S. House, also sits on Advance Illinois’ board, as does Timothy Knowles, who simultaneously serves on the board of the Chicago Public Education Fund.
Advance Illinois took $1.37 million from Joyce from 2010-2012, according to Joyce’s annual reports. Its policy director, Benjamin Boer, worked as an interim project manager for Obama for America during the 2008 election cycle.
The group’s lobbyists work for Taylor Uhe LLC, which is co-owned by Mark Taylor and Rob Uhe. Taylor formerly served as legal counsel for the Democratic Party of Illinois, while Uhe formerly served as chief counsel to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
John Luczak, former Joyce Education Program Director, left his gig to became a co-owner at Education First. One of the clients Education First highlights as a success story is Advance Illinois.
“Over the course of nearly a year, Education First, together with … the Joyce Foundation … researched effective practices and staffed a steering committee and launch team of prominent Illinois leaders,” the Education First website says. “Education First also prepared the organization’s first major report, a case-making analysis of why Illinois education performance must improve dramatically if Illinois and its residents are to prosper.”
That report, titled “The State We’re In: Advancing Public Education in Illinois,” served as Advance Illinois’ launching pad on Nov. 18, 2008, just two weeks after Obama was elected president. The report and the public relations pageantry surrounding it followed the “tobacco playbook” — the tactic of using of industry-funded research to promote industry objectives.
That’s because the Hill & Knowlton, the multinational firm that did PR on behalf of Big Tobacco during that industry’s zenith, also did the groundbreaking PR for Advance Illinois, a press release announcing its entrance into the public square demonstrates. Hill & Knowlton also did graphic design work for that initial report.
Luczak’s successor at Joyce’s education program was Angela Rudolph, now policy director for Democrats for Education Reform’s Illinois branch and vice chair of the Illinois State Charter School Commission.
Rudolph, wearing her Democrats for Education Reform hat, aided in spearheading a media blitz called “Put Students First” in fall 2012 to fend off the nascent Chicago Teachers Union strike.
Despite a campaign clearly meant to discredit teachers and unions, Rudolph told Catalyst Chicago in a June 2012 article, “What we have been most troubled by is this notion that we are anti-teacher or anti-union. We are a Democratic organization and one of the cornerstones of the Democratic Party is unions.”
The “man behind the curtain” in that PR campaign was Ben Schaffer, the owner of Media Mezcla and media consultant for Howard Dean’s 2004 run for president, according to a web domain search for the “Put Students First” website.
Rudolph’s successor, now head of Joyce’s education program, was Butch Trusty, who before coming to Joyce in May 2012 worked at The Bridgespan Group, a Bain Capital offshoot. Obama’s 2012 Republican Party opponent in the presidential race was Mitt Romney, a former upper-level executive at Bain.
Though most famous for its Romney ties, Bain actually gave far more money to Democratic Party candidates for elected office before the 2012 election than it did Republicans.
Teach for America’s ‘scabs’ and principal (CEO) development Just over a month after the 50 CPS school closings and firing of 550 teachers, the Chicago Board of Education announced an increase from $600,000 to $1.58 million in spending to hire 570 Teach for America teachers. Klonsky told Mint Press News that Teach for America contractors serve as de facto strike-breaking “scabs” – usually unknowingly.
“They’re providing the non-union teachers for the charter schools and they’re almost like a scab organization,” he said. “What you do is you close public schools and fire hundreds of teachers like we’re doing here, then you open neighborhood charter schools and bring in Teach for America 5-week wonders who work cheap and last for about two or three years. Then they’re gone and another batch comes in.”
The Joyce Foundation gave $23.77 million to Teach for America in its first 20 years in existence, according to The Washington Post. It is one of 10 foundations whose funding accounted for over half of Teach for America’s budget during that time period. Joyce gave Teach for America another $400,000 grant in 2012.
The Chicago Public Education Fund also has lended a modest amount of money to Teach for America. Between 2000 and 2005, the fund gave just under $400,000 to the organization, tax filings reveal.
Since 2001, the Chicago Board of Education has doled out close to $6.6 million in contracts and hired 1,931 teachers from Teach for America, Board of Education contract records show. During that same period, thousands of CPS teachers got pink slips.
The rubber meets the road in the relationship between the Chicago school restructuring movement’s goal of creating CEO-type school principals and Teach for America’s Principal Leadership Pipeline, which was launched in September 2007. The Principal Leadership Pipeline was a collaboration between CPS and Teach for America, financed by the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Pritzker Family Foundation.
“CPS will recruit high-performing Teach For America alumni to attend a school leadership program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then enter into a one-year residency under the tutelage of a principal at a Chicago elementary or high school,” a press release announcing the program’s launch explains. “After the residency, the new principals will then take the helm of some of Chicago’s most challenged schools…Over the next five years, Teach For America could have as many as 50 school leaders in the pipeline, a group that would reach some 15,000 Chicago children a year.”
The program arose out of the Public Education Fund’s “Great Principals Blue Ribbon Task Force,” formed in 2005. Its members included Pritzker and Duncan.
“A consensus has developed over the last few years that a principal is the most important person in the school building,” Pritzker said. “Just like a [CEO], the principal sets the tone, creates the culture, manages the team and ties it all together by articulating a shared vision for what the organization ought to be. So if we get the principal right, other things can fall into place.”
Battle for the ‘right to the city’ Pauline Lipman, an education policy studies professor at University of Illinois-Chicago and author of the book “The New Political Economy of Urban Education,” says that what’s taking place in Chicago — the heart and soul of the Democratic Party — is fundamentally a battle over the “right to the city.”
The concept, she explains in her book, was coined by French sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre.
“[T]he city’s vitality is its diversity of people, ways of living, and perspectives — and thus its potential as a creative space of vibrant democratic dialogue and debate,” she wrote in the book’s conclusion. “Education is integral to a movement to reclaim the city… It is also a cry for education that develops our human potential, that prepares us to be subjects of history — to read and write the world.”
It’s a battle for the “right to the city” in Chicago, then, pitting the moneyed interests of Joyce and Friends against the Chicago Teachers Union and grassroots activists. The weeks, months and years ahead will determine who comes out on top.
Thousands of public school teachers rally for the second consecutive day outside the Chicago Board of Education district headquarters on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 in Chicago. (AP/Sitthixay Ditthavong)
City schools unveil 10-year renovation planTwenty-six buildings to close; more than 100 to be rehabbed
Baltimore's Northwestern High School is one of 26 school… (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina…)
November 27, 2012|By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun
In the next 10 years, Baltimore's school system will have a leaner, modernized look under a proposed $2.4 billion facilities plan that calls for closing 26 school buildings and upgrading 136 others in a large-scale face-lift of Maryland's oldest school infrastructure.
The plan, announced by CEO Andrés Alonso on Tuesday, would orchestrate the relocation of some schools to different buildings; others would cease to exist.
The first schools affected are four recommended to close at the end of the current school year: Baltimore Rising Star Academy, Garrison Middle, Patapsco Elementary/Middle, and William C. March Middle.
"There will be many difficult decisions, but all will place students in better buildings than they are in today," Alonso said in a news conference attended by the mayor and other political leaders. "Big picture: The plan is right for kids and necessary to take their progress to the next level."
The revamped system will allow for a more efficient use of space, Alonso said, adding that "every single one of those buildings will be equal to the need of our students."
But as news spread across the city, parents and educators in schools that could face closures grappled with the uncertainty of their students' futures.
"I'm totally shocked," said Dana Jones-Hines, who has a junior and a freshman at Northwestern High School, which is recommended for closing in 2015-2016. "I had anticipated my kids graduating from here. I am just mind-boggled right now."
The school board is expected to vote on the 10-year plan in January, and will also have to approve any school closures slated in a given year.
School board members who attended the news conference held at Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary School -- a school at 119 percent of its rated capacity and slated for a renovation -- supported the plan.
Board President Neil Duke said that the plan's announcement wasn't the time to "take a victory lap."
"A decade is too long," Duke said. "We have to hustle, folks."
"This is a day of reckoning," echoed School Board Commissioner Bob Heck. "This is our shot. There's no question about that."
The four schools recommended for 2012-2013 closures had building utilization rates between 20 percent and 50 percent, and have also struggled academically, school officials said. Fewer than 1,000 students will be affected by this year's proposed closures, officials said, and teachers will be shifted around to accommodate students who disperse to different schools next year.
The view from Garrison
As students and staffers at Garrison Middle School poured out of the building into a chilly afternoon after the final bell at 4:05, the community was just starting to digest the news.
Debra Powell, a special education paraprofessional, said the news shocked and unnerved her a bit -- she's two years from retirement and expected to finish her career at Garrison. Still, it wasn't a complete surprise.
Since joining the staff a year and a half ago, she'd heard rumors this might be coming.
"I guess I just didn't believe it would ever really happen," she said.
Powell was guardedly positive about the choice of Garrison. Although she said it is much safer than in the 1980s, when her nephews attended it, she also said it lacks the variety of after-school programs that students deserve.
"If [the closing] ends up giving them more opportunities, we have to accept it and move on," said Powell, who expects to be assigned to another school next year. "We have to be sure that their education continues so they can reach the goals they have."
Officials and advocates said the sacrifices that school communities face will mean facilities better suited to serve students in the 21st century -- from basics such as drinking water and temperature control to state-of-the-art amenities like technology hubs and culinary kitchens.
"There are not many moments in your life when you realize you are standing on the edge of something great," said Sherelle Savage, a parent advocate with the Baltimore Education Coalition, who spoke through tears at the news conference.
She said her "budding artist" and her "chef in the making" lack the facilities to hone their skills in their schools. Her youngest son, she said, is among the lucky students in his school because his classroom's windows open.
"Our buildings are in crisis," Savage said.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake lauded the plan as a "tremendous day for our schools," saying it built upon the legacy of her late father, a former state delegate and dogged champion for education.
"The decisions that have to be made to close some schools are going to be rough all around," Rawlings-Blake said. "Everyone has an emotional attachment, a historic attachment, but we have to have a stronger attachment to these [students]."
Bobbi Macdonald, president of the City Neighbors governing board, which plans to open a second school in August, said she recently heard a principal complain that City Neighbors is taking his "best" families away. "My response was, 'Look at your program,' " said Macdonald, also co-chair of the Coalition of Baltimore Charter Schools. "If every school looks at their program and makes sure they are creating the best school they can imagine, we won't be worrying about which families are going to which schools."
CHARTER SCHOOLS / # OF STUDENTS / TEST RATING (1=LOW)
BY EDUCATION .COM
Kipp Harmony Baltimore, MD 21215 Charter / K 125 NO RATING
Collington Square Elementary School Baltimore, MD 21213 Charter / PK, K-8 599 1
Dr. Rayner Browne Elementary School Baltimore, MD 21205 Charter / PK, K-8 280 1
Southwest Baltimore Charter School Baltimore, MD 21223 Charter / K-4 258 1
Baltimore Freedom Academy Baltimore, MD 21231 Charter / 6-12 564 1
City Neighbors Hamilton Baltimore, MD 21214 Charter / K-3 87 1
Bluford Drew Jemison Stem Academy West Baltimore, MD 21223 Charter / 6 82 1
Baltimore Liberation Diploma Plus High School Baltimore, MD 21216 Charter / 8-12 170 1
Baltimore Community High School Baltimore, MD 21224 Charter / 7-10 159 1
Connexions Community Leadership Academy Baltimore, MD 21216 Charter / 6-12 337 2
Bluford Drew Jemison Mst Academy Baltimore, MD 21213 Charter / 6-8 365 2
Imagine Discovery Charter School Baltimore, MD 21207 Charter / K-4 552 2
Baltimore Antioch Diploma Plus High School Baltimore, MD 21218 Charter / 8-10 172 2
City Springs Elementary School Baltimore, MD 21236 Charter / PK, K-8 572 3
General Wolfe Elementary School Baltimore, MD 21231 Charter / PK, K-5 204 3
Inner Harbor East Academy Baltimore, MD 21202 Charter / PK, K-6 312 3
MD Academy of Technology and Health Sciences Baltimore, MD 21209 Charter / 6-12 370 3
Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School Baltimore, MD 21202 Charter / PK, K-4 201 3
Naca Freedom and Democracy Academy II Baltimore, MD 21214 Charter / 6-9 124 3
Rosemont Elementary School Baltimore, MD 21216 Charter / PK, K-8 430 4
The Green School Baltimore, MD 21213 Charter / K-5 139 4
Baltimore International Academy Baltimore, MD 21236 Charter / K-7 323 4
Afya Public Charter School Baltimore, MD 21213 Charter / 6 206 4
Hampstead Hill Academy Baltimore, MD 21224 Charter / PK, K-8 586 5
The Crossroads School Baltimore, MD 21231 Charter / 6-8 152 5
City Neighbors Charter School Baltimore, MD 21206 Charter / K-8 198 5
Patterson Park Public Charter School Baltimore, MD 21224 Charter / K-7 564 5
Northwood Community Academy Baltimore, MD 21218 Charter / K-5 260 5
Independence School Local I Baltimore, MD 21211 Charter / 9-12 103 5
Midtown Academy Baltimore, MD 21217 Charter / K-8 182 7
Kipp Ujima Village Academy Baltimore, MD 21209 Charter / 5-8 374 NO RATING
Coppin Academy Baltimore, MD 21216 Charter / 9-12 333 7
Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women Baltimore, MD 21209 Charter / 6 121 7
Empowerment Academy Baltimore, MD 21216 Charter / PK, K-8 237 8
Waiting lists long for city's public charter schools Maryland Charter School network estimates 12K students on waiting lists
UPDATED 7:40 AM EDT Jul 10, 2013
BALTIMORE —There is a long waiting list for students trying to enroll in public charter schools.
A recent survey estimates the numbers are close to 1 million students nationwide. It's also a local concern for charter school operators.
The public charter school movement has really taken off in Maryland over the past decade or so. At last check, more than half of the state's 46 charter schools are in Baltimore City.
The Maryland Charter School Network estimates that there's a waiting list of more than 12,000 students hoping to find seats. Even though a handful of new schools are set to open in the fall, they won't be able to handle a growing backlog of applications. The Baltimore City charter school operators meet once a month to compare notes on topics such as waiting lists.
"This year, all of the languages have wait lists. We have close to 198 students on the wait list, but for Spanish Emerson, we have 100 students," said Kona-Facia Nepay of the Baltimore International Academy.
One example is Bobbi MacDonald. A longtime charter school operator, MacDonald believes she knows why the numbers are going up.
"There's not one great way to have a public school. The kids deserve many different options, and families want that. I have three schools up in northeast Baltimore, at City Neighbors (Charter School). We could open four more schools this fall based on our wait list," MacDonald said.
A group called Supporting Public Schools of Choice is trying to help operators find a solution.
"Baltimore School District has actually embraced the idea of having a portfolio of options, which means a variety of schools for all different kinds of needs -- kids on the verge of dropping out, kids that are very young, and everything in between," said Carol Beck of Supporting Public Schools of Choice.
But there are a few exceptions in schools, which until now have been able to balance enrollment.
Here you see another corporate foundation.....Broad Foundation
'After creating shareholder wealth by providing vital homebuilding and retirement savings services through the two Fortune 500 companies he created—KB Home and SunAmerica, Inc'
Now what do we know about Home-building and Retirement Savings these few decades? IT IS WHERE THE MOST FRAUD HAPPENED. I am not accusing this foundation of such....but we know they are a school privatization group. Below you can see they are part of what is becoming a national chain.
Uncommon Schools Wins 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013
WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Uncommon Schools is the winner of the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools and will receive $250,000 to support college-readiness efforts for their students, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today.
Uncommon Schools is a network of 32 public charter schools across Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, serving more than 7,900 students. More than 78 percent of students are low-income, and 98 percent are African-American or Hispanic. Uncommon Schools students are outperforming their low-income and African-American peers in the states where they operate, and they have closed income and ethnic achievement gaps four times as often as other large charter management organizations across the country.
The Broad (rhymes with "road") Prize for Public Charter Schools is an annual award to honor the public charter school system that has demonstrated the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement in the nation in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color.
The winner was announced by Roberto J. Rodriguez, special assistant to the President for education, at the 2013 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C. to an audience of more than 4,000 public charter school leaders.
A nine-member review board of prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from around the country evaluated publicly available student achievement data on 27 large established charter school systems. They selected the top three public charter systems—Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and Uncommon Schools—and ultimately found that Uncommon Schools had the best overall student academic performance between 2009 and 2012. The Broad Foundation did not play a role in selecting the winner.
"While we congratulate Uncommon Schools for their progress in raising student achievement and their steadfast commitment to ensuring that every child—regardless of family income or background—deserves a world-class education, the real winners are the students who are served by these and other high-quality charter management organizations," said Rebecca Wolf DiBiase, managing director of programs for The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. "It is our hope that the success of Uncommon Schools serves as an example for traditional public schools and others in the charter sector of what is possible."
At the core of Uncommon's philosophy is the belief that a student's family income shouldn't determine his or her opportunities in life. Uncommon Schools all share key attributes: a college-preparatory mission; high standards for academics and character; a highly structured learning environment; a longer school day and longer school year; a focus on accountability and data-driven instruction; and a faculty of committed and talented leaders and teachers.
Among the reasons Uncommon Schools won the 2013 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools:
- In 2012, 100 percent of Uncommon's seniors took the SAT exam. These seniors achieved an average SAT score of 1570—20 points above the college-readiness benchmark of 1550 established by the College Board.
- In 2012, in 84 percent of available comparisons (elementary, middle and high school reading, math and science), proficiency rates for Uncommon's low-income students ranked in the top 30 percent of their respective states when compared to low-income students in the rest of that state, according to The Broad Prize methodology. By comparison, The Broad Prize-eligible CMO average was 39 percent.
- In 2012, in 89 percent of available comparisons, proficiency rates for Uncommon's African-American students ranked in the top 30 percent of their respective states when compared to African-American students in the rest of that state, according to The Broad Prize methodology. By comparison, the eligible CMO average was 57 percent.
- In recent years, Uncommon closed 56 percent of achievement gaps between its low-income students and the state's non-low-income students across the available comparisons, compared to the eligible CMO average of 13 percent. Uncommon also closed 56 percent of achievement gaps between its African-American students and the state's white students across the available comparisons, compared to the eligible CMO average of 12 percent.
In selecting the winner, The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools review board examined publicly available data since the 2008/09 school year collected by RTI International, a leading global research institute. The review board considered student outcomes, scalability, size, poverty and demographics, and selected the charter management organization that it believed showed the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement while reducing achievement gaps. No formula was used. For more information on the methodology and review board, visit http://www.broadprize.org/publiccharterschools/FAQ.html.
Charter management organizations eligible for the 2013 award operated a minimum of five schools for at least four years, had at least 1,500 enrolled each year since 2008/09 and served sizeable percentages of low-income students and students of color. Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. For a list of eligible organizations, visit http://www.broadprize.org/publiccharterschools/eligible.html. The list of organizations eligible for the 2014 award will be released this fall.
The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is the sister award to The Broad Prize for Urban Education that is awarded to traditional public school districts. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation launched both awards to help schools and school systems across America learn from innovative public school systems producing the strongest student outcomes. The Broad Foundation will release data summary analyses on all organizations eligible for the award next month, followed by the research-based best practice findings from a site visit to Uncommon Schools this fall.
"Uncommon Schools is a shining example of great public charter schools changing the course of children's lives," said Nina Rees, CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. "By narrowing the achievement gap for low-income students and students of color, Uncommon is driving learning at an accelerated rate for thousands of students. I commend their work and encourage all public schools to learn from their success."
Founded by entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a philanthropy that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. For more information, visit www.broadeducation.org.
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SOURCE The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation