YOUR INCUMBENT IS NOT WARM AND FUZZY FOLKS!
Regarding Mary Pat Clarke coming to the aid of Baltimore principals:
Did you know that Mary Pat Clarke heads the education committee in a city that is privatizing public education and getting rid of seasoned teachers and educators just to replace them with Teach for America and VISTA employees and principals trained in making schools a business? Now you see why these principals are being targeted with an impossible task of getting students to come to school when Baltimore public policy works to make this almost impossible.
THAT'S MARY PAT CLARKE FOR YOU.....PRETENDING TO WORK FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE WHEN SHE IS WORKING TO INSTALL THE WORST OF GLOBAL CORPORATE POLICY! MARY PAT ONCE LOOKED AT ME WHEN IN CITY HALL A JUSTICE ACTIVIST YELLED ABOUT THE MOST RECENT INJUSTICE AND SAID ------'SHUT UP AND TELL HER, SHE'LL WRITE ABOUT IT'.
You won't hear Mary Pat Clarke use her position of head of labor and education to shout out what I do! That's because she is not a democrat. Feeling people's pain while being silent as totalitarian policy is put into place just isn't the same. So, if you do not like labor and education policies in Baltimore-------Mary Pat Clarke is the face of it. But it is Rawlings-Blake that gives O'Malley the power to appoint the privatization Baltimore School Board and Superintendent not Clarke you say.........
HER JOB AS THE ELECTED OFFICIAL HEADING LABOR AND EDUCATION IS TO SHOUT OUT AGAINST ALL OF THESE POLICIES FOR WHICH I WRITE. MARY PAT IS NOT WARM AND FUZZY......SHE IS A CORPORATE POL.
The first thing Alonzo did when Wall Street sent him to Baltimore was to shake out many of Baltimore's teachers and administrators who labored for decades in school environments underfunded and resourced. There was fraud and corruption in education administration just as it is systemic throughout Baltimore government so much of the funding for Baltimore schools was lost to fraud and corruption from the state to local people in power. THIS IS NOT A REFLECTION ON TEACHERS AND MANY FRONT-LINE ADMINISTRATORS YET THEY ARE THE ONES BEING AXED. Baltimore City has one of the worst environments for its schools in the nation and the WYPR report on student attendance problems is reflected in bad public policy these school principals have no ability to control MARY PAT CLARKE IS THE VOICE FOR THIS. So, simply standing up against retaliation on principals not able to keep students in schools, we should hear City Hall shouting that Baltimore Development Corporation which runs City Hall has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to buying and running COLLEGE TOWN VEOLA bus systems with the only bus system with enough buses that they can actually run on time while sending these elementary and middle-school children to attend schools outside of their neighborhoods often having to change city buses to get there each morning. This policy is meant to push families to relocate near the schools these children are being forced to attend because schools in their communities have closed and because schools that are funded and doing a good job are on the other side of town. KIPP is a private chain charter that is allowed to operate outside of all public school parameters in order to look successful and the Maryland Assembly has even targeted this private charter chain with exclusive student college grants to make going to a private charter chain attractive. THESE ARE THE POLICIES THAT MAKE IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY CHILD TO WANT TO COME TO SCHOOL. Can you imagine having to catch a city bus to and from and get to school built as a business abandoning all quality education principals? WELCOME TO BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOLS. IT IS A MESS.
Since the Baltimore Development Corporation has as an objective of having maybe 8 healthy Baltimore districts and allowing all surrounding districts to deteriorate, this is what drives what schools stay open and where children are tracked. Remember, the City of Baltimore has hundreds of millions of dollars from the subprime mortgage fraud much of which needs to come to Baltimore and what better way to provide justice for communities targeted by fraud to have their schools rebuilt. Also, the Algebra Project won a $700 million dollar award from the State of Maryland for black schools in Baltimore but O'Malley/Brown has refused to pay.
WHAT ANTHONY BROWN NOT SHOUTING TO GET ALL THIS MONEY TO BALTIMORE CITY TO REBUILD SCHOOLS? RATHER, ALL THESE NEO-LIBERALS ARE SHOUTING FOR MORE WALL STREET LEVERAGE FOR SCHOOL BUILDING BUT JUST ENOUGH FOR THOSE 8 DISTRICTS. Remember, this is money simply recovered from fraud.....it does not have to come from our government coffers.
No matter the development plans, all communities are required to offer its residence the opportunity and access to good public schools. Gentrification does not have to have such a high level of injustice just because people at the top want to steal all the public's money by fraud and corruption. Working class and poor communities are being hit hardest with these horrible education policies but the middle-class need to know these are people with no conscience and they will take all public schools just to maximize profit!
March 23, 2014
“TFA Truth Tour” to Expose Dark Side of Corporate Education Reform
By Robert Ascherman and Karen Li
Starting tomorrow, USAS is launching the next stage in our campaign to fight back against corporate robber barons of education reform on our campuses: the Teach for America Truth Tour. The tour will visit 15 campuses to expose the truth about TFA: not only does it fail to prepare teachers for the classroom, but it is systematically pushing to replace our system of community public education and replace it with an alternative largely controlled by profit-seeking corporations.
Imagine your favorite professor. Now imagine that this professor will be replaced by someone who has only been trained for 5 weeks and will only be at your university for two years. They don’t know anything about you, they don’t know anything about the community at your university, and they don’t know anything about your life and how it relates to your capacity to learn. Now imagine that this isn’t happening just to your favorite professor, but to every professor at your university. As you can tell, this is a situation that would devastate and destabilize your university.
That’s what’s happening in K-12 public education. For example, in Chicago the Board of Education slashed the budget for schools and fired teachers, yet increased its financing of TFA from $600,000 to $1.6 million and brought in over 300 TFA corps members. In Newark, the superintendent, an TFA alumnus, is likely to fire 700 teachers and replace most of them with TFA corps members. But as one study noted, TFA “is best understood as a weak Band-Aid that sometimes provides some benefits but that is recurrently and systematically ripped away and replaced.”
In order to operate, TFA depends on its partnerships with universities to get corps members certified to teach in each state. While teaching, corps members must attend classes at a university, which in some programs can lead to a master’s degree. In effect, TFA uses our universities’ names to make up for its own weak training programs and convince state boards of education that its members are “highly qualified” to teach.
But students are refusing to allow this to happen any longer. We are joining together with parents, teachers, and TFA alumni to expose the truth about TFA.
The TFA Truth Tour is just part of a larger campaign by USAS, our allies at Students United for Public Education, and the many TFA alumni who are beginning to organize and speak out against the organization, and is only the beginning of a growing groundswell of opposition to TFA’s destructive effect on our public schools.
TFA Truth Tour Itinerary
3/24/2014 George Mason University
3/24/2014 American University
3/25/2014 University of Pennsylvania
3/25/2014 Temple University
3/26/2014 New York University
3/26/2014 Hunter College
3/26/2014 Seton Hall University
3/27/2014 Boston University
3/28/2014 Harvard University
3/31/2014 University of Minnesota
3/31/2014 Macalester College
3/31/2014 Hamline University
4/2/2014 University of Wisconsin
4/3/2014 University of Illinois at Chicago
4/3/2014 University of Chicago
Below you see the sad state of affairs in Baltimore's public transportation system. It all centers on privatization of public bus service to private contractors who then place employees working under the worst of conditions. Wages, work schedules, and route schedules that are not realistic all contribute to employee misconduct and bring danger to all citizens. We watched as a
VEOLA CIRCULATOR DRIVER CHOSE TO DRAG AN WOMAN IN DISTRESS OFF A BUS A LEAVE HER. HE WAS A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR NOT MEETING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THIS JOB BECAUSE THE PAY IS SO LOW.
I was riding on a COLLEGE TOWN VEOLA BUS that had the driver under pressure to stay on schedule that clearing could not be met because of traffic and road closures speed up and drive dangerously because a dispatcher phoned to tell him to get on schedule. THE PROBLEM IS WITH BAD ROUTE SCHEDULES FROM INCOMPETENT OR NO INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS. Now, all drivers are not innocent but this is what drives poor quality and labor abuse on the job. At the same time, our children are being made to use these kinds of services every day. CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM ------WE KNOW THE REAL PROBLEMS!
IT ALL HAS TO DO WITH PRIVATIZING ALL THAT IS PUBLIC.
The answer to cost is to have schools in each community that offer quality education opportunities for all and fund it with the billions of dollar stolen each year in fraud and corruption.
'Approximately 300 drivers are contracted to transport students in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, but the companies holding these contracts are not required to tell the districts when their drivers receive citations, WMAR reported'.
Baltimore Area Bus Drivers Cited for Over 800 Dangerous Traffic Violations
Oct. 25, 2012
By KEVIN DOLAK WMAR
Baltimore School Bus Caught Running Red Light
Next Video School Buses Over the Limit
School bus drivers in the Baltimore area have been caught on camera committing dangerous traffic violations, including speeding and running red lights, which have potentially put the lives of thousands of school children at risk and led to hundreds of citations.
Traffic citations obtained by ABC affiliate WMAR that were issued to Baltimore City and County bus drivers in the past two years show drivers breaking the law, often with children on-board. Speed and red light cameras have caught drivers in the area barreling up to 40 miles per hour over the speed limit and blowing through lights across the city and county.
"They're a driver like everybody else. If they're speeding or going through a red light, cameras are going to take them as well," said Kristy Knuppel, a concerned parent.
Of at least 99 camera citations that were issued to public school bus drivers in Baltimore County, 19 citations were issued for red light violations, 80 were for speeding, with 37 of the tickets issued specifically to drivers operating within a school zone, which is by law a half-mile radius of a schools.
Many citations for drivers who had repeated violations have been found. In an investigation launched by WMAR in Baltimore, at least 17 repeat offenders were found in the Baltimore County records, including a single bus that was cited five times in three months.
Baltimore City school records show at least 74 camera citations were issued in the same time frame. Eighteen of those tickets were issued for red light camera violations while 56 buses were cited for speeding.
The $40 tickets are issued only to vehicles recorded driving at least 12 mph over the speed limit, according to the Baltimore Sun, which reported that privately owned buses have received at least 800 automated speed citations in Baltimore City. The Sun reported that one bus was clocked at 74 mph.
Approximately 300 drivers are contracted to transport students in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, but the companies holding these contracts are not required to tell the districts when their drivers receive citations, WMAR reported.
Charles Herndon, a spokesman for Baltimore County Public Schools told ABCNews.com that the county has a progressive course of discipline for drivers that receive citations, which begins with a letters of reprimand and with repeated offenses can lead to dismissal. He said that in the county the drivers cover over 1,400 miles and 900 routes.
"When you take the mileage into consideration, it's a small number. But even one [citation] is too many," he said.
Herndon said that the county is now nearing the end of a five-year contract with its vendors, which he describes as "longstanding, reputable companies." Since the speed and red light cameras were installed in the county in the past few years, this was not a factor in the original contracts. As new contracts are negotiated with the three vendors Baltimore county uses, Herndon says they will find a way or "verifying who and how many" drivers received citations.
Herndon also noted that in instances where drivers received multiple citations, at the time of their offenses they were unaware the cameras were filming them. He said that though it's no excuse for speeding or running lights, it will influence future behavior.
"It's something that would help to moderate behave of drivers that are violation," he said. "And we'd hope drivers would not get into that position."
THE PROBLEMS ARE NOT ONLY WITH THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENS AND CHILDREN, BALTIMORE CITY HAS SUCH A HOSTILE LABOR ENVIRONMENT AS TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR EMPLOYEES TO DO THEIR JOBS SAFELY AND WITH REASONABLE WORK CONDITIONS. SEE WHY PARENTS MAY NOT WANT THEIR CHILDREN ON THESE BUSES?
This is what creates a bad public policy cycle that comes back to schools and achievement.
'The Maryland School Bus Contractors Association strongly supports the locally-owned school bus owner/operator and values greatly their contribution and commitment to their respective local communities. These hardworking men and women not only frequently service the school bus routes they rode as children, they are often second and third generation contractors, continuing the legacy of their parents and grandparents. They employ fellow local residents, support local charitable causes and pay local taxes. It is MSBCA's belief that local school systems should seek to protect these small business owners as best they can'.
School bus drivers threaten to strike over deal with city
Joce Sterman 4:38 PM, Mar 8, 2013 12:42 PM, Mar 11, 2013 WMAR
Baltimore school bus drivers threaten strike
WMAR BALTIMORE - A group of nine local school bus contractors is threatening to strike in Baltimore city over a contract given to an out-of-state company. ABC2 News Investigators broke the story Friday afternoon on Twitter, letting you know thousands of kids could be without a ride to school, all over an agreement they say will put hundreds of local drivers out of work.
Roots and Branches is a chain charter school that does well in Mt Washington. It gets lots of private donations, school choice lotteries have fixed the demographics that attend this school, and it gets public education funding because it is classified as a public school. It does just what this article states----creams off the most engaged parents making the existing public school to struggle with less funding for the most challenging students. Flash forward a decade of doing this and you have the model where these private 'public' charters are privatized and profit-driven and are no longer receiving all that private donation.
IT'S GOAL IS TO WIN APPROVAL IN THE SHORT TERM SO AS TO END PUBLIC EDUCATION AND PRIVATIZE TO NATIONAL CHARTER CHAINS IN THE FUTURE. THESE ARE VERY BAD POLICIES FOR 90% OF AMERICAN CITIZENS.
It is not choice when communities are left with only these charters.
Why do you think church leaders are not shouting against casino neo-liberalism taking all public money through fraud so that public schools can be supported with funding and resources?
THE IDEA THAT THERE IS SCHOOL CHOICE IN BALTIMORE IS RIDICULOUS. HAVING A NATIONAL CHARTER CHAIN MOVE INTO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AS PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE BEING CLOSED IS CHOICE?
A Hampden parent on Roots & Branches charter school: ‘not in my backyard’
Brew Editors May 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm
Hampden has sweet potato fries, banh mi, organic haircuts “and the deftest waxing north (or south) of the equator,” but it won’t have the Roots & Branches charter school, which — after recently floating the idea of moving into Hampden’s Florence Crittenden Center — is now moving into another neighborhood.
So writes Hampden parent Edit Barry, in this strongly-worded blog post that argues that a charter would “cream off the most engaged parents” and hurt the local public school, Hampden Elementary/Middle School.
It’s “a disappointing” reaction, responds Jen Shaud, founder and executive director of Roots & Branches, which will announce its new location on Wednesday.
“I believe in choice,” said Shaud, who hadn’t seen Barry’s piece. “When charter schools and parochial schools and community schools work together then all schools, all of Baltimore, all Baltimore students, benefit.”
Whichever side of the charter debate you take, you’ll find Barry’s Hampden-flavored version of the “anti” position interesting.
Everyone understands that creating a system where only 10% of students of color have a strong education is not good. People involved in these schools are making money on this charter chain that seeks to dismantle equal opportunity and access for most children of color. It is very, very, very bad.
Why should middle-class America care what is happening to schools in underserved communities? As with the article about Hampden above------IT WILL COME TO ALL COMMUNITIES.
The problems for the citizens of Baltimore regarding education and funding is that a crony system of politicians are allowing massive fraud and corruption to take money away from public schools-----
STOP VOTING FOR THESE CRONY POLITICIANS.
KIPP - Knowledge is Power Program (student attrition)
STUDY FINDS HIGH DROPOUT RATES FOR BLACK MALES IN KIPP SCHOOLS; March 31, 2011; Education Week
KIPP charter middle schools enroll a significantly higher proportion of African-American students than the local school districts they draw from, but 40 percent of the black males they enroll leave between grades 6 and 8, says a new nationwide study by researchers at Western Michigan University.
“The dropout rate for African-American males is really shocking,” said Gary J. Miron, a professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, and the lead researcher for the study. “KIPP is doing a great job of educating students who persist, but not all who come.”…
This is what we call policy deliberately designed to create winners and losers and it happens because schools in Baltimore are so underfunded that parents are made to go to extremes to get a child into any school that provides funding.
THAT IS NOT PUBLIC EDUCATION. KIPP IS DESIGNED TO SELL THE IDEA OF CHARTERS AS WORKING WHEN ALL THEY DO IS SKEW ALL EDUCATION DATA AND UNDERMINE A PUBLIC SYSTEM THAT WORKS JUST FINE WHEN FUNDED.
People who say----we don't want our tax money going to underserved schools need to think this way....your tax money is being stolen through massive corporate fraud. Do you really think it better to allow a few people all the money rather than allowing all people equal opportunity quality to education? KIPP has a goal of becoming a national private charter chain that will not be providing good education as profits trump public service.
STOP SUPPORTING THE DISMANTLING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AND FIGHT FOR WELL-FUNDED PUBLIC SCHOOLS!
NATIONAL REPORT SAYS CHARTER SCHOOL HAS HIGH STUDENT ATTRITION;
March 31, 2011; Baltimore Sun (MD)
A charter network that has two schools in Baltimore has a high level of student attrition and of private and public funding that have positioned it to be successful, according to a national report published Thursday.
The report on Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), which opened its first school in Baltimore about a decade ago and recently reached a long-term deal to remain in the city for another 10 years, suggests that the national charter school network's high performance is a result of having advantages over its public school counterparts.
The study, which was published by Western Michigan University and jointly released with Columbia University, "What Makes KIPP Work: A study of student characteristics, attrition and school finance," based its conclusions on publicly available KIPP data measured against districtwide data…
Nationally, the report found, on average about 15 percent of students leave KIPP every year, compared with 3 percent in public schools. Moreover, between grades six and eight, about 30 percent of students drop off KIPP's rolls.
The majority of students who leave are African-American males, the report found, and the schools primarily serve African-American students.
The lead researcher, Gary Miron, called KIPP's attrition a "tremendous drop-off," concluding that he believes "their outcomes would change" without the attrition.
The study also concluded that KIPP's high performance, when compared to public schools, could be a result of serving significantly fewer special-education students and English language learners — two populations that are often less competitive academically and more expensive to educate…
The report's researchers found that in addition to receiving more public funding per pupil than its public school counterparts, KIPP also received $5,760 per pupil from private funding…
"Kids who persist at KIPP do well," Miron said. "But the question is, is KIPP lifting the public schools, or are they lifting the kids who have the support to persist?"
This policy of catholic schools closing and reopening as 'public' charters is indeed another step towards privatization of public schools. So, we can see why so many public schools are having to close as large numbers of private schools are now receiving public money to run religious schools. We do not care if religious schools exist------
BUT THERE IS SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE THAT FORBIDS THIS. WE WANT PUBLIC MONEY FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
When I see catholic justice people out in the streets shouting for justice for the poor I ask does the Catholic Church really think ending the public structures of democracy really help the poor? Remember, we fought revolutions to end the Medieval church's capture of public knowledge----we do not want to go back there do we? No one believes charters paying money to churches for space is nothing but privatized church schools.
Remember, when Obama and Congressional neo-liberals pushed Race to the Top with all the charters as public schools.....this is exactly what they were moving towards....good-bye public schools and public education!
CHURCH LEADERS NEED TO SHOUT OUT FOR STRONG DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION AND NOT DRIVE THE PRIVATIZATION!
Catholic schools see new life as public charter schools
Education Top News — 01 February 2012
By Tim Ebner
Capital News Service
BALTIMORE – At first glance, visitors to Tunbridge Public Charter School in Baltimore might confuse it with a Catholic school.
The outside of the building is adorned with stained glass windows, stone archways and a cornerstone inlaid with a cross.
But on the inside, the school looks like many other public schools.
“All of the religious materials and figures have been removed from the classroom,” said Lydia Lemon, the school’s principal. “When we brought students into the school, we made sure to explain that this was a public school even though it’s next to a Catholic Church,” she said.
Tunbridge is located on the parish grounds of St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church, one of a number of public schools that have taken over space that once housed a Catholic school in Baltimore.
As the Archdiocese of Baltimore confronts tough decisions on school consolidations and closures — tied to declines in student enrollment — 20 charter schools, early childhood development programs, nonprofits and private schools have moved into the once-sacred buildings.
The transformations represent a sizable share of the 70 Catholic schools currently in operation in the Baltimore archdiocese.
Almost half of the sites – nine schools – are being used as public charter schools or for head start programs for early childhood development. Charters are the single largest occupant of former Catholic schools, making up a quarter of all leases and sales.
Charter schools, like Tunbridge, offer parents and students greater school choice and free tuition, a benefit for families facing tough economic decisions, said J. Keith Scroggins, chief operating officer of Baltimore City Public Schools.
Tunbridge expects a competitive pool of 300 applicants for approximately 40 spots in next year’s class. To make room, the school is expanding by renovating the former church convent.
“By bringing charters in and by creating transformed city schools, we are trying to put identical educational opportunities in every segment of Baltimore,” Scroggins said.
But church leaders worry that charters compete directly with Catholic schools for student enrollment, especially for non-religious families attending the schools as an alternative to public education.
Last year, student enrollment dropped by 4.3 percent in the archdiocese, which followed a 9 percent drop the year before, said archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine.
“Schools stay open because parents want their children to receive an excellent education. We see families overcome difficulties to send their children to our schools because they believe it’s important,” Cardinal-designate Edwin O’Brien said.
During a visit to St. Michael’s the Archangel School Tuesday, located just outside the city in Overlea, O’Brien stressed the importance of Catholic education in forming student character.
In Baltimore, Catholic schools play a historic role. The city was the first archdiocese in the United States, and a number of schools have been rooted in Baltimore neighborhoods for more than 100 years.
But at St. Michael’s, where student enrollment is down and nuns no longer serve as teachers, the school will consolidate from two buildings to one for the first time in its history.
“It’s an issue of economic climate, but people are also having fewer children, and there are more schools to compete with,” said the school principal Patricia Kelly.
Because remaining Catholic schools face competition from charters, the archdiocese has delayed allowing charter schools to move into some of their buildings.
In March 2011, church leaders delayed an application request by a local charter school, Baltimore International Academy, to move to St. Anthony’s of Padua because of concerns that the charter would affect enrollment at other nearby Catholic schools.
“We look at the population that the school will be serving, the proximity to other schools and considerations that may interfere with our schools’ viability,” said Barbara McGraw Edmondson, superintendent of the archdiocese’s Catholic schools.
Edmondson said she did not know when the archdiocese would make a final decision on St. Anthony’s.
“We think about both the long-term and temporary needs. We consider all the factors and decide on how to use the property when it’s the right time,” she said.
The archdiocese does not track the total revenue made by facility sales and leases within the archdiocese because a majority of funds go directly to local parishes.
Charters are not the only organizations moving into buildings that once housed Catholic schools.
When Mount Washington Elementary School in Baltimore, which is not a charter school, made an offer for space at Shrine of the Sacred Heart, the community made a hard sell for the archdiocese to accept the public school’s application even though the school was not the highest paying bidder, Caine said.
The archdiocese accepted the offer.
In other instances, the archdiocese has leased or sold buildings to programs funded by the federal government’s Head Start program and to private schools and nonprofits.
While charters may be seen as a threat, Lemon said she does not think that’s the case at Tunbridge. Charter school leaders worked with parishioners to host meetings while the school was being renovated in 2009 and they still continue to interact with the parish.
“We’ve had a very positive experience with the parish,” Lemon said. “I think we work together and both serve the community.”