Charter schools give parents choices. Every family in Baltimore City has the opportunity to apply to charter schools, and to explore a variety of innovative approaches to instruction.
WHY ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS FOUND ONLY IN URBAN CENTERS WITH LARGE POPULATIONS OF UNDERSERVED IF THEY ARE GIVING CHOICE AND OPPORTUNITIES....AND WHY ARE MANY OF THEM FAILING TO TURN THE ACHIEVEMENT SCORES FOR THEIR STUDENTS AROUND? CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE MEANT TO LEGITIMIZE SOCIAL ENGINEERING OF LOWER-INCOME PEOPLE OUT OF AN ENTERPRISE ZONE WHILE DIRECTING THESE SAME CHILDREN INTO VOCATIONAL TRAINING SCHOOLS THAT WILL OFFER FEW OPPORTUNITIES. BALTIMORE IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF THIS USE OF PUBLIC ASSETS AGAINST THE PEOPLE THESE INSTITUTIONS ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE, FOLLOWING AS ALWAYS BLOOMBERG'S NEW YORK CITY.
THIS 'EDUCATION REFORM' STARTED WITH THE REMOVAL OF A MAJORITY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS IDENTIFIED AS 'BAD' BECAUSE OF A LACK OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT. THERE WERE NO DOUBT SOME BAD TEACHERS IN THE GROUP, BUT IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT MOST WERE PROBABLY BURNED OUT FROM DECADES OF NEGLECT AND FAILED FUNDING OF THE CITY SCHOOLS AND SIMPLY NEEDED FUNDING AND RESOURCES. HAD THE OBJECTIVE BEEN TO HELP THE MAJORITY MINORITY STUDENTS IN THE CITY'S SCHOOL SYSTEM, IT IS EASY TO SEE THAT THESE TEACHERS WOULD BE A VALUABLE RESOURCE IN CONNECTING WITH AND DEVELOPING USEFUL APPROACHES TO TEACHING 'AT-RISK' CHILDREN. SO NOW, AFTER 3 YEARS OF 'EDUCATION REFORM' BRINGING NEW TEACHERS, NEW ADMINISTRATORS, AND A RESTRUCTURING OF ADMINISTERING CLASSES WE SEE LITTLE GAIN IN TEST SCORES FOR THE UNDERSERVED.
ANYONE CAN SEE THAT THIS SHOCK AND AWE TECHNIQUE OF REFORM THAT WOULD MAKE BUSH-CHENEY PROUD WOULD NOT WORK. ITS APPROACH CARRIES ALMOST NONE OF THE KNOWN METHODS OF LEARNING DEVELOPED OVER THESE DECADES.....BECAUSE WHAT WAS OLD SCHOOL IS FAILED, THEY SAY. PROPAGANDA!! THE REAL REASON FOR REFORM WAS OF COURSE NOT ONLY GENTRIFICATION BUT THE RESTRUCTURING OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS INTO VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS TIED TO CORPORATE JOB TRAINING AND WHO BEST TO START WITH THAN THE UNDERSERVED WHO HAVE NO VOICE. SO THIS IS WHAT WE ARE WATCHING IN BALTIMORE AS POLITICIANS NOT ONLY PUSH TO STEAL OUR MONEY THROUGH FRAUD BUT PUSH TO STEAL OUR PUBLIC ASSETS LIKE SCHOOLS AS WELL. I NO DOUBT MAKE MANY PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT THE GENTRIFICATION PART OF THIS MAD AS THIS SORT OF THING IS BEST DONE QUIETLY, BUT AS I SAY OVER AND AGAIN, THIS IS ABOUT CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND WE KNOW BY CURRENT EXPERIENCE THAT CORPORATE CONTROL IS NOT A GOOD THING FOR THE PEOPLE AS WE ALL GET PUSHED TO POVERTY AND LOSE OUR QUALITY OF LIFE.
WE MUST SEPARATE WHAT WALL STREET HAS CLEVERLY COMBINED IN AN ATTEMPT TO GAIN A FOOTHOLD INTO THE K-12 'MARKET' OF SCHOOLING CHILDREN. BELOW YOU WILL SEE THE FUTURE FOR THIS AS NEW YORK, GROUND ZERO FOR CHARTER SCHOOL PRIVATIZING FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, MOVES TO CREATE SPECIALIZED 'PUBLIC' SCHOOLS WITH TAXPAYER MONEY FOR HIGHER SKILLED STUDENTS WHILE TYING VOCATIONAL TRAINING TO LOWER SKILLED STUDENTS. THIS IS NOT DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION......THIS IS NOT EQUAL OPPORTUNITY.....THIS DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR SOCIAL CLIMBING AND THE AMERICAN DREAM........QUITE THE OPPOSITE.......IT IS A DREAM KILLER FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF CITIZENS IN AMERICA AND EVERYONE SHOULD BE SHOUTING LOUDLY AND STRONGLY AGAINST THIS ASSAULT ON PUBLIC EDUCATION! IT IS WHY THEY ARE PUSHING FOR ONLINE CLASSES TO CHEAPEN EDUCATION FOR THE MASSES AS THEY STARVE GOVERNMENT OF REVENUE THROUGH EVER LOWER TAX RATES, TAX BREAKS, AND FRAUD.
City launches plan to build schools to train whiz kids in computers and cutting-edge technology
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson helping bankroll baby genius school, which will help students land coveted interships at tech firms
By Tina Moore / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, June 21, 2012, 11:56 PM
While Cornell builds the city’s next “genius” school for tech grad students, Mayor Bloomberg is launching a sort of farm team for public school kids.
One of his top deputies on Thursday announced plans to build several baby genius schools around the city in the coming years.
They will train high school kids in computers and cutting-edge technology — and score them coveted internships with innovative tech firms.
“Just as Aviation High School was founded in Queens in the 1930s at the dawn of the Jet Age . . . we will position students for careers in the Information Age,” Deputy Mayor Robert Steel told an Association for a Better New York breakfast Thursday.
The first of the baby genius schools — bankrolled in part by venture capitalist Fred Wilson — is set to open near Union Square this fall with 100 kids.
Steel said 800 kids had applied for the lottery for the Academy for Software Engineering, prompting the city to start raising other private funds to open more schools.
The goal, Steel said, is “to give thousands more stude nts the opportunity to learn a skill set that is only increasing in importance.”
The administration said fund-raising was ongoing and declined to detail how much Wilson was donating to the venture.
Wilson is a prominent venture capitalist and a partner at Union Square Ventures, which invests in major technology firms, including Twitter, Foursquare and Zynga. He also runs a popular blog on venture capitalism.
Bloomberg has made promoting New York as an incubator for new technology a priority of his third term.
The centerpiece of that effort was his high-profile international competition last year to choose the city’s next “genius” school.
Cornell beat out six other teams of universities to claim the right to free land and $100 million in subsidies and is now building a state-of-the-art, 2 million-square-foot campus that will spawn more than 30,000 permanent jobs and 600 new companies.
Other new tech initiatives announced Thursday include plans to speed up broadband connections for businesses, improve business customer service, streamline the development approval process and help the city’s Business Improvement Districts.
Steel, who pointed out that Bloomberg has 558 days left in his third term, said the administration was looking to the future.
“These are not issues just for our administration,” Steel said. “These are challenges and opportunities for New York City going forward.”
MY COMMENTS TO INSIDE HIGHER ED, AN EDUCATION JOURNAL PROMOTING THE CORPORATIZING OF HIGHER EDUCATION ARE BELOW. YOU CAN SEE THEIR NEXT STEP NOW THAT OBAMA AND GOVERNORS ARE PUSHING THIS ASSAULT ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES IS TO MAKE EMPLOYERS LOOK AT ONLINE DEGREES WITH THE SAME VALUE AS BRICK AND MORTAR DEGREES......WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF QUALITY AND CAN WALL STREET REDEFINE THAT AS WELL..........I THINK THERE WILL BE A BACKLASH.....WE ARE SEEING IT ALREADY!
You fail to mention in this public private partnership that it is the taxpayer who is paying for these human resource job training programs. The corporations partnering are fighting corporate tax rates at the federal level and are demanding business tax cuts at the local and state level, so you se where the monetary contribution for vocational job-training is completely missing.
These online programs are not academic, they are vocational and as such belong in a high school vocational program not in our community colleges. Community colleges are geared towards advancing students to brick and mortar colleges where they can get a degree that will place their resume at the top of the recruiter's list, not at the bottom and a degree that will allow hiring/job diversity not certificates that hold people in low wage jobs with no advancement opportunities. This is what online education offers and as parents and their children understand the dynamics, they will demand less online programs
Manufacturing industry taps colleges for help with alternative credential
July 18, 2012 - 3:00am By Paul Fain Inside Higher Ed
Potential “disruptions” to higher education typically portend a diminished role for the academy in workforce training, as students ditch college for, well, something else. But one of the most promising alternative credentialing movements – the manufacturing industry’s system of stackable certificates – has actually led to a deeper, more symbiotic relationship between employers and colleges.
The growing partnership has also given rise to a blended model of higher education, where the manufacturing industry takes the lead on standards for competency-based education, with a helping hand from colleges, which then provide the traditional degree path.
For example, Harper College, a community college in Illinois, last month launched a program where students can earn industry-endorsed certificates in manufacturing. And 54 companies have agreed to hire students from the two-year college as paid interns, as soon as students complete the first level certificate, which, at 16 credits, can be earned in less than four months.
If Harper students thrive in their internships and are able to progress in their manufacturing careers without earning more credentials, everybody wins (except for the college’s graduation rate). But even better if students decide to continue their educations and work toward more advanced certificates or degrees.
This hybrid approach, with both employers and colleges at the table, is a promising way to “bridge the worlds of workplace competencies and postsecondary education,” Louis Soares, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote in a recent report.
Going It Alone?
That’s not to say that manufacturers and colleges always see eye-to-eye. In fact, many companies feel higher education has failed to create a pipeline of skilled workers. An estimated 600,000 manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled.
“We’re dealing with an industry that has lost a lot of faith in working with education,” said Jacey Wilkins, a spokeswoman for the Manufacturing Institute, which is affiliated with the National Association of Manufacturers. In particular, Wilkins said manufacturers have been frustrated with the dismantling of vocational education.
So the institute decided to take matters into its own hands, and came up with standards for the education of manufacturing employees. The group created its manufacturing skills certification system in 2009. The “stackable” credentials include four tiers of competency for applicants and veteran employees to demonstrate, ranging from basic aptitude – like showing that they can get to work on time and work in teams – to proving that they have high-tech skills in specialized manufacturing fields, like machinery or medical technology.
The certifications are stackable because they build on each other, with each level presumably having value but also leading to a next step, which can in turn lead to promotions on the job.
Plenty of praise rolled in for the certification system, including from President Obama. But there’s a problem: manufacturers themselves have been slow to recognize the certification, relying on the old standby of college-issued certificates and degrees, many of which do not address the key competencies needed in manufacturing jobs.
That’s where higher education, most notably the University of Phoenix and a growing number of community colleges, has stepped in to give the stackable credential system a fighting chance to become widely accepted.
The institute’s stackable credentials are designed to match up with curriculums at colleges (as well as high schools at the entry level). And in recent months the industry has signed up higher education partners to strengthen those curricular links.
Phoenix, for example, last year announced a new bachelor degree track -- the bachelor of science in management with a concentration in manufacturing sector -- that incorporates competencies from the industry’s credential system. Soares calls the partnership between Phoenix and the institute a major “step up” in the development of stackable credentials.
Creating the new curriculum to align with the certification system wasn’t easy, said Tim Welsh, senior vice president for Phoenix’s national industry strategy group. It required a substantial financial investment for the university to put faculty members and administrators to work building competencies into the degree program, in a way that met manufacturers’ needs. As result, Phoenix needed to be sure the final product had value, for both students and employers.
“For us, it keeps the University of Phoenix relevant to the needs of industry,” Welsh said. “We really do want to get this right.”
Early returns have been positive, with manufacturers backing the degree. And Phoenix doesn’t plan to stop with one industry. Welsh said the university is planning to work with national associations for other industries to create similar tailored degrees, with retail, energy, defense and health care as possibilities.
There are 80,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in Illinois alone, a striking number for a state that has been walloped by the recession’s lingering effects.
That’s why Harper College recently sat down with local manufacturers to look for an answer.
“You’ve got to find local solutions to these problems,” said Kenneth Ender, president of the college, which is about 30 miles northwest of Chicago.
Part of the reason companies can’t find applicants who are prepared to enter manufacturing is that relatively few college students are interested in the industry, often because they have outdated ideas about it and think the jobs are dirty, menial and probably dead-ends. So the college decided to create a stackable, and portable, system of credentials where students can give manufacturing a whirl and “find out if they really like it,” Ender said.
While manufacturing may be a tough sell, the promise of a paid internship helps. College officials worked with industry partners to create an entry-level certificate that gave students enough safety skills and a basic idea of technical measurement and quality control, including some mathematics, so that they could go to work as interns after only one semester of coursework.
The college also designed several more-specialized certificates in four fields: mechatronics/automation, precision machining, metal fabrication and supply chain management. The just-launched program includes at least two certificates in each specialization, which range from 6 to 15 credits to earn.
There are two further layers in the “stack.” Students can earn a manufacturing-oriented associate of applied science degree from Harper, or transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree, perhaps in engineering. The idea is that many students will continue to work in manufacturing jobs while earning their degrees. And Harper has booked articulation agreements on the manufacturing pathway with both Northern Illinois University and Roosevelt University.
Harper’s manufacturing credentials were created to match up with the industry’s competency-based skills certification system. Manufacturers served on panels at the college and contributed to the curriculum’s design. Ender said some of the companies were not aware of the industry’s own stackable system.
“They endorsed it and were amazed that they didn’t know about it,” he said.
'Part of the Supply Chain'
Phoenix and Harper are not alone in partnering with the manufacturing industry. Wilkins said about 115 institutions, mostly two-year colleges, have incorporated elements of the institute’s system into academic programs.
“We’re talking about system change here. That doesn’t happen overnight,” she said. “Eventually we’ll get to the point where this is the standard for manufacturing education.”
But the sluggish start for the system has shown that the business sector probably needs higher education to get an alternative credential off the ground. As further proof, few industries are more geared to going it alone than manufacturing.
Information technology and certified financial planning also are industries where companies and associations issue credentials. But even those two fields have made moves toward credentialing pathways in higher education. Phoenix, for example, recently inked an agreement with Cisco, the computer networking company, to create the first associate degree program that will also serve as a Cisco networking certificate. And a spokesman for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards said his organization had seen a rise in the number of bachelor and advanced degree programs that are designed to train financial planners.
Observers said the ideal outcome of partnerships like those between the manufacturers and colleges is degree programs that are better geared to jobs, and that test competencies that are vetted by employers.
Welsh said Phoenix increasingly sees itself as “part of a supply chain” of talent for the broader economy, adding that “there’s so much demand out there.”
And supply chains don’t work without suppliers, which, when it comes to training workers, tend to be colleges.
“We’re operating in a society that still values college,” Wilkins said.