Even more disturbing was the group of 70 students who were chosen for a selected group within this program. It shows them connected to one another everywhere they went; even walking one after another across campus, thinking of the entire group as one thinking unit. I THINK I'M TURNING CHINESE, I REALLY THINK SO! This is exactly how the Chinese education inculcates this group speak we see in China where everyone gathers together to do one thing in syncronicity....it is why you see Asian tourists travel in groups....they are uncomfortable to act individually. THEY ARE THE PERFECT WORKER AND COMMITTED PARTY MEMBER! MIDDLE CLASS? NOT VERY PREVELENT IN CHINA. Remember, we are heading towards 70% of the US population falling close to poverty and below who would qualify for this education model.
That is what I saw when I watched this 60 minutes piece. WE ARE CONSTANTLY BEING TOLD ONE THING AND THEN WE ARE EXPECTED TO JUST ACCEPT WHEN THE OTHER HAPPENS! I will be talking this week about how we need to get the word out to not only our fellow Marylanders but we need to be a voice nationally as we hear O'Malley pushing for national office. I'm reading all kinds of promotions that look just like Obama's.......back then we didn't have a way to see Obama's history.........this election I will make sure the country knows O'Malley's....and by extention....Cuomo and Biden.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT!!!!
The Cracks in Rick Perry’s Job-Growth Record By Massimo Calabresi | June 27, 2011 Time Magazine
Texas Governor Rick Perry, at a press conference in Austin on May 27, 2011 As Texas’ Republican governor, Rick Perry, gets closer to deciding whether to enter the 2012 presidential race, it’s clear that his campaign would be about jobs. Texas has created by far the most jobs of any state since the recession ended in June 2009: 37% of all net new American jobs were created in Texas through April 2011, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve. At the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on June 18, Perry laid his rhetorical cornerstone with characteristic swagger: “I credit our conservative leadership [in Texas] for unmatched job creation,” he declared to rapturous crowds.
But how much of that job creation is due to Perry? When it comes to job growth, Texas has been blessed by three things, says Dallas Fed senior economist Pia Orennius: geology, geography and demography. Texas’ booming energy and petrochemical industries; its ports and proximity to post-NAFTA Mexico; and its steady stream of low-cost labor have all combined to fuel above-average job growth since 1990, Orennius says. And Perry inherited policies that businesses love: relatively low taxes and regulatory burdens, and pro-business union rules. “Perry’s challenge,” says GOP strategist David Winston, “will be to translate what he’s done in Texas to what he’ll do for the rest of the country.”
Whether by providence or policy, Texas is a job-generating wonder. From 2001 to 2010, Texas had annual employment growth of 1.15%, the third best in the country. What’s most remarkable about that number is that it came while the population was growing 1.89% every year. And the job growth was diverse. From 1998 to 2008, Texas spun out tens of thousands of jobs in business services, oil and gas production, transportation and logistics, heavy construction services and financial services. So while its unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high, at 8%, it is now employing fully 8% of the country’s workers. Texas, says Orennius, “is a job-creation machine.”
One policy Perry can claim credit for is tort reform. In 2003, he championed a bill imposing a $250,000 cap on punitive damages. Dallas Fed chief Peter Fisher has called tort reform “one of the most important things” fueling Texas’ job growth. “The reason [companies like John Deere] are locating their new production” in Texas, Fisher told CNBC in early June, “is largely driven by that issue of tort reform.” Supporters of unlimited punitive damages say they are necessary to prevent companies from pricing human cost into harmful but highly profitable products. But AT&T, among others, has said that business is better in Texas thanks to its tort reform: only 2% of its litigation costs are in Texas, compared with 40% in California or Ohio, Fisher says.
Perry’s main claim to job-creation fame, though, comes from his high-profile raids on other states. He is a master at the theater of job poaching. During a trip to California last November, Perry crowed that he had stolen 153 businesses from the Golden State in 2010; some 92 companies moved the other way, leaving Perry with a net gain of 61 businesses. And he’s prone to high-visibility gestures. Last October, as Washington State was preparing to vote on an income tax for those earning over $200,000, Perry sent a letter to 90 businesses, including Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon, telling them, “If Washington doesn’t want your business, Texas does.”
Perry’s biggest tool for job raiding is controversial. Beginning in 2003, he persuaded the Texas legislature to give him control over several massive, largely unsupervised funds that provide subsidies to businesses that move to Texas. His office proudly claims that the two biggest funds have created more than 54,000 jobs in the past eight years. “They’ve been immensely important to our state’s economic development,” says Catherine Frazier, Perry’s deputy press secretary. “This is about attracting jobs and making Texas a destination for companies to relocate and expand.”
The largest fund, the Texas Enterprise Fund, was created in 2003 and has awarded some $412 million in subsidies to companies nominally to create jobs. A December 2010 analysis by the Texas comptroller found that $119 million of that money went to companies that didn’t deliver on the jobs they promised. The governor’s office took back only $21 million from those underperformers, often choosing to define downward the job-creation requirements. GOP Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, whom Perry beat in last year’s GOP gubernatorial primary, called revelations that taxpayer-funded contracts sent money overseas to create jobs “disturbing” and “unacceptable.”
The second major fund under Perry’s control, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, has also proven controversial since its creation in 2005. It has spent some $320 million on tax credits and other subsidies for high-tech companies willing to move to Texas. An October 2010 investigation by the Dallas Morning News found that $16 million of that money was awarded to companies with investors or officers who are large campaign donors. Perry denied that politics influenced the awarding of money from the funds. He succeeded in fending off efforts to cut his massive subsidy fund budgets in the legislative session that ended last month, but the legislature did impose new controls and oversight on the funds.
Even those subsidy-chasing companies that do produce jobs don’t necessarily create long-lasting ones or increase a state’s overall prosperity. While 18% of all jobs in the U.S. failed to last the five years from 2001 to 2006, 26% of jobs created through interstate moves failed during the same period, according to researchers Jed Kolko of the Public Policy Institute of California and Donald Walls, a consultant and researcher.
Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School says tax-credit funds used to lure jobs from one state to another often “ultimately don’t support long-term prosperity” because companies that can move easily “are looking for the best deal, and when the deal runs out, they move,” taking their jobs with them. Anti-corporate-welfare advocates, like Greg LeRoy, executive director of the Washington-based group Good Jobs First, say the tax-credit game is worse than zero sum, because when a company gets a tax credit to move to a new state, the departed state loses jobs, while the destination state’s residents get stuck with higher taxes or worse services.
Frazier says there’s a larger purpose served by the funds. “Companies that receive taxpayer dollars are creating and pursuing technologies that are not only going to be good for our state but for the nation and the world,” she says. “Texas is creating a model for the rest of the nation to follow, both on the state level and the federal level.” Which leaves Perry in the odd position of arguing that the proper model for job creation nationwide includes funneling taxpayer money to companies partly to develop technologies that will better the world — even if that money has an inconsistent effect on job creation or on overall per capita prosperity growth. Which is exactly what the rest of the Republican presidential field is criticizing Barack Obama for doing.
The jury is out on where Texas is headed after a decade of growth. In a report written for Perry last spring, Porter found that Texas’ overall prosperity growth, as measured by the rate of change in per capita GDP, was the eighth slowest in the country from 1998 to 2008. Texas has the highest proportion of minimum-wage jobs and the lowest median wage in the country. Porter found that Texas’ labor-force productivity was growing more slowly than 37 other states, further suggesting that the job-creation machine may not be keeping pace with productivity improvements in the rest of the country.
Perry’s political success moving from mid-1980s Democrat to slayer of the 20-point favorite, Hutchison, in last year’s re-election campaign has been all about embracing his Texas roots. His deep, if intermittent, Paint Creek drawl and his 2009 suggestion that Texas could secede if push comes to shove are part of what the admiring Wall Street Journal editorial page calls pure “Texas swagger.” But when it comes to job creation, the question for candidate Perry may be one of substance, not style.
Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2011/06/27/the-cracks-in-rick-perrys-job-growth-record/#ixzz1y9YnsG8M
This public media pundit has the difficult job of appearing to give commentary while he mostly just banters the two political views of the State Assembly. In a round-about way he is saying WE KNOW THAT GAMBLING IS NOT THE WAY TO GO AND WE SEE YOU DIRECTING MORE AND MORE FROM THE GOVERNMENT COFFERS TO CORPORATE POCKETS! O'MALLEY LOOKS OUT AT US AS HE EXPLAINS THAT THE PEOPLE SEE THERE IS NO MORAL HAZARD AND THAT LOWERING THE AMOUNT THE STATE GETS FROM THE GAMBLING PROCEDES IS NOT ALL BAD....THERE'S THE JOBS. Cordish, the other gambling owner who will compete with MGM National Harbor has workers shouting loudly and strongly about illegal wage and worker rights violations all tied to business tax credits as this MGM business will as well. PAY-TO-PLAY MEANS A CORPORATE DONOR TO O'MALLEY'S CAMPAIGN......SAME AS THE EXELON MERGER.....SAME AS PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS.
Fraser Smith's Essay: June 14, 2012 WYPR
A special study commission appointed to decide whether gambling should be expanded may have nothing more to go on than guesses. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith comments in his weekly essay.
Fraser Smith: State analysts say it’s hard to know whether adding a sixth casino will help or hurt the slots industry we already have, reducing or increasing the state’s share of the revenue.
It’s the kind of guessing game we’re likely to hear increasingly often as the state’s gambling industry matures – an oddly discordant term. Is there anything really mature about relying on gambling to pay for public education – or anything else tax money pays for?
Warren Deschenaux, the legislature’s esteemed budget analyst, makes the point that others have made: If the casinos we already have had been in operation longer, we’d have more to go on. As it stands, rather than relatively hard numbers, Deschenaux says we are just guessing.
Specifically, the commission has been charged by Governor O’Malley with deciding whether a sixth casino site at National Harbor in Prince George’s County would help or hurt.
Maybe yes, probably yes – but maybe no. Will we roll the dice on that one?
National Harbor looks like a gambling paradise. Hard to resist. Lushly carpeted hotel with soccer field–sized lobbies, wide expanses of river, restaurants and other amenities are there.
But would it be an over-reach to put a casino there? Would it be a self-defeating move? It will be tempting, no doubt, to go after every gambled penny – to leave nothing on the table, as the saying goes.
The commission could also grant current casino operators authority for poker, baccarat and the like. But, since these games could be more costly to operate, they might not compensate for the competitive pressure of a sixth venue.
Competitors would say exactly that. But what if they’re right? There’s no help from the data. The system is not “mature” enough to provide it.
So, will the commission recommend moving forward on the basis of best guesses?
The metaphor may be a bit tired, but such a move seems like a big gamble.
This article gives a prospective of a Conservative who supports privatizing public schools but doesn't like the Third Way approach of 'innovative charters'. Since this was written, data show a greater number of charters closing and no increase in student performance in most cases. Boston gives statisics in 2008 that show sucess, but if you look at my charter school website under our local charter Dunbar.....the grades go consistantly downward from an earlier inflated value. If a consistant stream of resources is simply given to regular public schools, the students will achieve.....no privatizing required.
Do Charter Schools Encourage Innovation and Best Practices in TPS?
The Daily Censured
The neo-liberal argument that charters will oxygenate the practices of traditional public schools (TPS’s) with new and promising educational innovations and practices thereby raising all boats has been more propaganda than fact. The press repeats it, and the people are beguiled.
Take the study done by Good and Braden in 2000 which found that public school officials did not believe that charter schools were providing new models and programs for best practices to be highlighted; nor did they see anything being done within the charter schools that they and their schools wished to emulate (Good and Braden 2000). And in Arizona, a state where charter schools have witnessed enormous growth and support, over half the administrators polled said their districts had not been affected by charter schools nor did they believe charter schools would improve education (ibid). As Corwin and Schneider consider, charters are really not doing many things that have not been done some where else at one time or another and frankly, many public school teachers find little in common with experimental charters nor do they have any form of institutional support or mechanisms in place for learning about what they might be doing (Corwin and Schneider 2007).
Currently, when one looks at contemporary neo-liberal arguments for charter schools we find strikingly little talk anymore of innovation and best practices raising the efficacy for all TPS; the opposite seems to be true. On close scrutiny the real issue is can arguably be said to be about going about the business of eliminating TPS in totality and replacing them with large corporate educational retail chains the provide educational franchises as ‘charter schools’. This along with school closures all around the country, exceptionally in Chicago home of Arne Duncan, who was Superintendent of Schools there for seven years where he closed 75 public schools, advances the real intent of the prevaricators of doom. They want to replace public education with privatized retail charter chains, many of them military schools. They want a private option for public schools, but no public option for health care. Lovely. Where’s the logic?
Yes, indeed, while old arguments advancing innovation and best practices in charter schools might have once been the sales pitch employed by many of the early charter advocates, the game plan has shifted as far as the conservative Hoover Institute is concerned. The winter 2008 issue of Education Next, a publication put out by the Hoover Institute was straightforward in rejecting any of the theoretical arguments regarding innovation, raising ‘all boats for TPS’ and providing best practices to create innovation in TPS. In fact, innovation in TPS’s is the last thing these outspoken conservative charter advocates want. The publication is straightforward as to the ‘game plan’ charter advocates must employ to create greater and greater number of new charter schools, nationwide:
Here, in short, is one roadmap for chartering’s way forward: First, commit to drastically increasing the charter market share in a few select communities until it is the dominant system and the district is reduced to a secondary provider. The target should be 75%. Second, choose the target communities wisely. Each should begin with a solid charter base (at least 5 percent market share), a policy environment that will enable growth (fair funding, non-district authorizers, and no legislated caps), and a favorable political climate (friendly elected officials and editorial boards, a positive experience with charters to date, and unorganized opposition)… The solution is not an improved traditional district; it’s an entirely different delivery system… Charter advocates should strive to have every urban public school be a charter (Smarick, 2008). A., Wave of the Future: Why charter schools should replace failing urban schools,” Education Next 8 (Winter 2008) www.hoover.org/publications/ednext/11130241.html
The Hoover Institute’s article went on to identify Washington D.C. as such a location where a ‘corporate takeover’ of charters could proceed. With 27 percent of public school enrollment now in the hands of charter schools, D. C. was labeled a “potential fertile district” for an all out attack on TPS with the intent of replacing them with charter schools. The neo-liberal conservatives are outspoken in their aspirations: they want to completely replace TPS with charter schools. Michelle Rhee, the school chancellor of D.C. openly commented in 2007, when she was asked about the future of charter schools: The corporate world will be our model (Jaffe 2007). Jaffe, H., “Can Michelle Rhee save D.C. Schools” Washingtonian September 1, 2007 www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/5222.html
Now add, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and the list goes on and on. The plan is in efect, subsidized by the philanthropist pirates like Broad and Gates and is proceeding rapidly. With cities broke and the federal government bailing out banks, the philanthropists are the only ones with the money to “invest in our children’s future”, for the nation is broke, and they are doing it at exorbitant speeds, aided and abetted by the federal government, the way neo-liberalism works, with Race to the Top being the leveraged seed money.
Jack Buckley and Mark Schneider, notable researchers in the area of charter schools concur in their book, Charter Schools: Hope or Hype, published in 2007, that charter schools offer little in the ways of laboratories for reform: Additionally, even if we assume that one of the prime justifications for charter schools is their role as “laboratories of reform” that are free from the bureaucratic restrictions placed on traditional public schools by teacher unions and administrators (Nathan 1998; Kolderie, 1998), empirical research has found little evidence of this (Rofes, 1998; Teske et al. 2001) and the structure of real charter-school markets may actually act to inhibit programmatic competition (Lubienski, 2003).
Ironically, it may be that parents are risk-averse when it comes to their children’s education—they may choose schools that emphasize traditional values and educational approaches rather than “buy” innovative programs with a high degree of risk. This is quite reasonable from a parent perspective, but may create systemic problems in a system of schools that is designed both to innovate and to respond to parental preferences (Buckley and Schneider, 2007). When no actual systems exist to encourage, catalogue or share ‘innovative practices’ between charters and TPS, the movement towards charters can be seen not as a mechanism by which to inform and improve public education and educational curriculum, but as a vehicle for various constituencies to escape the traditional public school system and therefore the entirety of the public realm itself. This, perhaps, is the greatest tragedy of the charter school experiment; how many charter schools have been commodified as islands of specialties for purposes of segregation and sabotaged from their stated public mission – to improve traditional public education through better practices.
The Rand Report also directly confronts any claims to charter school innovation: There is no evidence in any of the locations that charter schools are negatively affecting the achievement of students in nearby TPSs. But there is also little evidence of a positive competitive impact on nearby TPSs (Rand, 2001)). Again, not all but an increasingly number of conservative charter school proponents have become very clear as the charter school movement has matured: they are not interested in raising student test scores at TPS, instead they want to replace TPS with a new educational retail chain of for-profit charter schools that would operate as educational franchises, and they need the help of elected officials and closely connected politicians to do just that. Just take a look at the new federal policy, No Child Left Behind (see Weil, D. Arne Duncan Gives a History Lesson to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT): “Elevating the Teaching Profession”? dissidentvoice.org)
Take Arizona for example, one of the beacon states that offers a “favorable political climate” for conservative charter advocates to initiate a ‘takeover’ of public schools; this is a state where there has been a phenomenal surge in charter schools and charter school legislation within the last seventeen years. El Dorado High School, a charter school operated by one of the largest for-profit Charter School groups in Arizona, The Leona Group of Arizona, an LLC (limited liability company) that is part of the national Leona Group, an educational management organization (EMO) that operates private schools across the nation was scheduled to receive about $1,151,743.82 from the Arizona Department of Education for fiscal year 2006-2007. El Dorado is listed on publicschoolsreview.com as one of the Top 20 Schools in Arizona (listed in 9th place) with the highest expenditure of money per student of $16,644. Yet according to a 2006 article in the American Chronicle, whose source contributors include The Arizona Department of Education, the US Department of Education and the Arizona Charter School Board: Despite the enormous expenditure of taxpayer dollars at El Dorado High School their performance rate indicates nothing but problems. For school year ending June 2006 the promotion rate at El Dorado High School was only 48%, as opposed to 82% for the entire state. They retained 10% of all students at the same grade, as opposed to only 3% in the state pubic schools. They had a high school drop out rate of 32% as opposed to 6% on a state wide level, and they only graduated 43% of their senior high school senior class as opposed to 79% in the states public schools (Harrington 2006). http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/12648 ARIZONA’S CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE AN ABYSMAL FAILURE THAT SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE TO THE NATION Randy L. Harrington August 20, 2006 American Chronicle
And according to the in depth investigation of El Dorado: El Dorado’s performance on the AIMS Test – required to test proficiency of school students — was even more frightening. Only 10% of El Dorado High School Students met state proficiency standards in mathematics, as opposed to 49% of all high school students in the State of Arizona. 35% of El Dorado’s students met state standards in reading compared to 63% of all Arizona high school students, and 39% met state standards in writing, compared to 63% of all Arizona High School students (ibid).
School Matters, a public policy watchdog and think tank that investigated Ohio charter schools in 2007, agreed that the school’s record has been more than a little spotty. In 2007, the Ohio state’s school report card gave more than half of Ohio’s 328 charter schools a D or an F. According to the group, with wide open authorization and an explosive gallop towards the charter school concept, they found: some charters are mediocre, and Ohio has a far higher failure rate than most states. Fifty-seven percent of its charter schools, most of which are in cities, are in academic watch or emergency, compared with 43 percent of traditional public schools in Ohio’s big cities (http://schoolsmatter.blogspot.com/2007/11/charter-school-crackdown-in-ohio.html Charter School Crackdown in Ohio November 8, 2007.
Part of the problem, School Matters noted, was that behind the Ohio charter failures are systemic weaknesses that include loopholes in oversight, a law allowing 70 government and private agencies to authorize new charters, and financial incentives that encourage sponsors to let schools stay open regardless of performance (ibid). Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, commenting on the charter school experiment in his state in 2007, was succinct and clear:
Perhaps somewhere, charter schools have been implemented in a defensible manner, where they have provided quality. But the way they’ve been implemented in Ohio has been shameful. I think charter schools have been harmful, very harmful, to Ohio students (ibid)
Strickland went even further, telling Time Magazine in 2006:
About $500 million, I believe, was taken out of our (Ohio’s) public system to fund underperforming charter schools last year. I think that’s a waste of resources — for-profit charter schools trouble me greatly (Pitluk 2006) Time Rethinking Charter Schools in Texas http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1542554,00.html October 4, 2006 ADAM PITLUK/DALLAS
Texas, another bellwether state for charter schools, is faring no better according to School Matters. According to the Texas Education Agency, one out of every six charter schools in the state is a failure (ibid). But opposing points of view regarding charter schools achievements abound, as testified to by the Center for Education Reform, a firm charter advocacy organization and distinct and early player in the charter school movement. According to their 2009 report: Performance-based accountability is the hallmark of charter schools. Unlike conventional public schools that remain open year after year despite their inability to manage a school or raise student achievement, charter schools close if they fail to perform according to their charter. And while opponents claim that charter schools are not being held accountable or that only “responsible” charters should remain open, the data on closed charter schools across the states proves that the performance-based accountability inherent in the charter school concept is working—especially in states with strong and clear charter laws (Center for Education Reform Website 2009). The Accountability Report: 2009 Charter Schools http://edreform.com/accountability/ Center for Education Reform).
As of 2008 the Center for Educational Reform cited the fact that charter schools are providing high-quality education options for Massachusetts families. Using data from the 2006-2007 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), the report documents the achievement of students in conventional public, pilot schools and charter schools in the Boston area. Among the reports key findings:
• Charter school students in Boston outpace students in pilot schools and conventional public schools on the MCAS. In eighth grade math alone, charter school students outperformed their district peers by as much as 50 percentage points.
• There are no more seats available in these successful charter schools due to the cap established by the legislature. In 2007, there were 5,649 applications for 1,249 spots in Boston charter schools.
• While pilot school programs, which operate similarly but not as independently as charters do, are better than other public schools, the report shows that charter schools are outperforming both pilot schools and conventional schools on eighth and 10th grade MCAS tests. • Boston charter schools enroll a higher percentage of African American students than the district as a whole (61 percent versus 43 percent, respectively). According to Education Week, pilot high schools enroll fewer struggling students, fewer students with severe special needs and fewer students with limited English skills than charters. These data mirror the data nationally. The report goes on to observe that charter schools in Boston receive approximately $5,000 less per pupil than their peers in conventional public schools. Additionally, districts are compensated with “impact” funds for students who move to charter schools. Nevertheless, cites the report, Boston public schools still fall, on average, 37 percentage points below charter students on statewide assessments (Center for Education Reform Website 2008). (http://www.edreform.com/index.cfm?fuseAction=document&documentID=2818§ionID=140&NEWSYEAR=2009 Student Achievement Higher at Boston Charter Schools CER Press Release Boston, MA March 13, 2008
Yet in the past decade, according to a Nightly Business Report interview conducted in 2008, about five percent of the nation’s charter schools have been closed for poor performance. This is a troubling statistic for a movement that stated its goals were to raise educational performance for all students, not just those in charter schools and especially a failure for an idea that has been in “experimentation” phase for close to 20 years. We’ll get the few “bad apples routine again”, but the whole idea is bankrupt. (Eastabrook 2008). (http://www.pbs.org/nbr/site/onair/transcripts/080218e/ The New Business of Education-Charter Schools Monday, February 18, 2008 Diana Eastabrook
The fact is, not only do many charter schools nationwide not only close they do so far more rapidly than the public is aware of. On examination, the reasons why they close seems to have to do with fraud, abuse of taxpayer’s funds, illegitimate business practices, legislative collusion, insufficient oversight, lack of financial transparency, lack of managerial responsibility and a failure of public disclosure. This certainly is troubling, even to the most ardent supporters of charter schools. In their book, Charter Schools: Hope or Hype, authors Jack Buckley and Mark Schneider confront the issue of the actual failure rates of charter schools throughout the nation. They document that:
While data calculating actual closure rates are hard to find, Hassel and Batdorff (2004) studied decisions to renew school charters throughout the nation. They looked at all 506 nationwide renewal cases through 2001, and then focusing on fifty randomly selected cases they found that 16 percent of charter schools up for renewal were terminated (conversely, 84 percent of the charter schools were renewed). The Center for Education Reform reports that 429 charter schools have closed from the inception of charter schools through 2003. If we set the number of remaining charter schools in the nation at around three thousand, we can estimate a closure rate of approximately 13 percent, not much different than the Hassel and Batdorff finding of 16 percent (also see Teske, Schneider, and Cassese 2005, who look at the politics involved in authorizing and renewing charter schools) (Buckley and Schneider 2007) Charter Schools: Hope or Hype? Jack Buckley & Mark Schneider Princeton University Press 2007).
It is hard to see from the myriad research and conclusions conducted by some of the most prestigious think tanks and educational policy experts, how an argument can be made or sustained that charter schools have raised student achievement at their schools or that they have served as a catalyst for higher student achievement and innovation at traditional public schools. The notion of competition between schools raising innovative levels of instruction, management, student performance, teacher morale and commitment and the host of claims made by charter advocates under the rubric of competition and public choice simply have not been born out by the evidence. And as the Hoover Institute so laconically and candidly stated, the real, rarely spoken of goal is the replacement of all traditional public schools, at least in urban areas, with retail charter chains run for profit, or in the case of non-profits, run by Boards of Directors – stocked with privatizers and entrepreneurs who know little if anything about education. What they do know, is that with education 5.6% of the GDP, twenty years of privatization efforts and economic disaster have provided them with a unique opportunity to make some good money. This is the Race to the Top Arne Duncan is proposing (Arne Duncan Gives a History Lesson to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT): “Elevating the Teaching Profession”?dissidentvoice.com
Now it is up to citizens, unions and “us”to confront these hucksters and begin to prevent school closures and charterization. For if not, the unions will see they must begin a century old struggle which they are beginning to see now, trying to unionize charter schools one at a time. What a tragedy that would be to turn the historical clock back; wouldn’t it be better to ally with other unions and citizen groups and begin the process of saving public education in America by promoting the alternatives to privatization? Or is there any will?
Ravitch has been the strongest voice against the use of charters to privatize public education. She started in the early days as an advocate because she, like many, see the benefit of experimenting with classroom design. Then she saw the process being co-opted by corporations into what we see today and she has been an strong voice against them. The Brookings Institute is the Third Way Think Tank that is trying to give us the 'New Economy'.......you'd understand why she has been marginalized from their group. THESE ORGANIZATIONS DO NOT INVITE DISSENT. PLEASE TAKE TIME TO THANK HER FOR SHOUTING LOUDLY AND STRONGLY....THESE PEOPLE ARE MAKING CAREER-RISKING DECISIONS FOR US!
From: Diane Ravitch
On Monday, I posted a blog called “The Day I Was Terminated.”
In that blog, I recounted that I received an email on June 5 from Grover (Russ) Whitehurst of Brookings telling me that I was being terminated–after a 19-year association with Brookings–because I was “inactive.” That’s a pretty abrupt way to finish off a 19-year affiliation.
My first thought was that the termination might be related to my pointed criticism of Mitt Romney; Whitehurst is an advisor to the Romney campaign. I then went on to admit that I might be over-reacting by assuming a political motivation. As you will see in Brookings’ response, the decision was made in April, before I blogged about Romney (it should be noted that Russ, who served during the George W. Bush administration, was unlikely to be pleased with my ongoing critique of No Child Left Behind, the administration’s signature education program).
I reviewed whether I was “inactive,” and recalled that when I asked permission to present my latest book at Brookings in 2010–in which I dissect the failings of NCLB, test-based accountability, and choice, Russ told me I had to rent the auditorium and bear other expenses that might mount into thousands of dollars. Since I do not have an organization, I had no budget to draw upon, and I declined.
As I pointed out in my original post, it is impossible to be “active” if the program leadership does not invite you to participate in forums or debates, and declines your offer to be active. Since my book went on to become a national best-seller and was, on the day that I was terminated, the #1 book in the nation in both social policy and in public policy, the whole affair seemed bizarre.
The blog went viral, with notice taken in the Wall Street Journal blog and Esquire and other media outlets, and Brookings issued a response. The response said that the decision was taken in April, which meant that Russ was not responding to my scathing analysis of Romney’s education agenda on the morning of June 5. It also defended the practice of Brookings fellows taking an active part in political campaigns, a practice that I had not questioned or even mentioned.
In its response, Brookings chose to treat the matter as a routine cleansing of the rolls, removing the names of those who were “inactive.” It did not comment on my statement that I had asked to be active and my offer was rejected (although you can infer that from the statement that “it’s up to the program or center director to pursue and to identify the necessary funding”). Since Whitehurst was not interested in having me present my book, he made no effort to pursue the necessary funding. As I wrote in my original blog, AEI–a conservative think tank–had no problem finding the funding for me to present my arguments against choice, vouchers, charters, NCLB, and high-stakes testing in its auditorium.
I don’t mind being terminated, since it was clear that the center director (Whitehurst) did not welcome my involvement in Brookings’ activities, nor was he interested in my critique of NCLB, choice and testing. If there is no role for me to play at Brookings and if the issues I care about it will not be discussed or debated, then there is no point in maintaining a connection to the institution.
It is sad, however, that the education policy program now has no one to represent “the other side” on these issues, if they should be discussed or debated at all. It’s unfitting for a great institution and will leave the punitive ideas now dominating the policy agenda without any thoughtful critique, at least not at the Brookings Institution.
Here is the Brookings response, as reported on the Wall Street Journal blog:
On an annual basis, Brookings reviews the appointments of its nonresident senior fellows. Last April, Diane Ravitch’s appointment was among three that were reviewed by the Governance Studies program and ended because, in each case, the fellows had little contact with the program and were not involved in programmatic activities. Their scholarly views had no bearing in the decision.
As you know, Brookings is a nonpartisan institution that welcomes the free exchange of ideas. Many Brookings experts in their personal capacities often serve as policy advisors to candidates and officials of both parties, in and out of government. Russ Whitehurst’s role as an advisor to the Romney campaign is in keeping with long-established policies at Brookings.
I [the Wall Street Journal writer] asked her to be more specific: Did Brookings dispute Ravitch’s account of having her overture to discuss her book turned down? How can a non-resident scholar participate if she’s not invited to? She said:
We’re not commenting much beyond the statement.
But I would add that programmatic activities with our nonresident senior fellows typically arise in one of two ways: we invite them to participate in research, events and scholarly pursuits in which they can offer expertise and can contribute in substantive ways, and, secondly, nonresident scholars approach Brookings with their own ideas. If it’s the latter, it’s up to the program or center director to agree to pursue and to identify the necessary funding.
YOU CAN SEE ON THE LOCAL SCALE HOW I CAN'T SEEM TO ENTER THESE BALTIMORE EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS OR GOVERNMENT OPEN MEETINGS TO GIVE A DIFFERENT VIEW.....THIS IS WHEN YOU HAVE DOCTRINE
Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. The Greek analogue is the etymology of catechism.
Often doctrine specifically connotes a corpus of religious dogma as it is promulgated by a church, but not necessarily: doctrine is also used to refer to a principle of law, in the common law traditions, established through a history of past decisions, such as the doctrine of self-defense, or the principle of fair use, or the more narrowly applicable first-sale doctrine. In some organizations, doctrine is simply defined as "that which is taught", in other words the basis for institutional teaching of its personnel internal ways of doing business.
Indoctrination The term indoctrination came to have awkward connotations during the 20th century, but it is necessary to retain it, in order to distinguish it from education. In education one is asked to stand as much as possible outside the body of accumulated knowledge and analyze it oneself. In indoctrination on the other hand, one stands within the body of knowledge and absorbs its teachings without critical thought.