THE CORNERSTONES OF MARKET-BASED SCHOOL REFORM----CORPORATE EDUCATION----SCHOOL CHOICE-----ENDING ALL FEDERAL, US CONSTITUTIONAL EQUAL PROTECTIONS TO EDUCATION, END EDUCATOR LABOR RIGHTS-----AND LOTS AND LOTS OF EDUCATION DATA SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER AND USED TO TRACK OUR CHILDREN FROM PRE-K TO CAREER COLLEGE.
The opposite of what conservative Democrats and Republican voters wanted---and the opposite of what low-income citizens need.
'Parental choice, flexibility in school management, funding following students, and clear information on school performance are the four cornerstones of a market-based model of school reform. When all four are present for public schools then let’s call the system public school vouchers.
There is no reason that a system based on these cornerstones cannot work within the regular public schools to spur innovation and reform. Existing research on the impact of open enrollment systems within the regular public schools, although limited in quantity, suggests that the benefits can be substantial for students from low-income families.vi At the very least such systems provide to low-income parents a modicum of the freedom of choice of public school that is available to higher income parents who can afford to purchase a home in the assignment zone of a good public school. In that sense, public school vouchers are an equity as well as a reform issue'.
Below we see what our Republican voters have been exposed to these few decades as Republicans hawk these policies as community-based, as opportunities to be selective and exclusive----but what they never explain is this has nothing to do with PARENTAL SCHOOL CHOICE. CATO AND HERITAGE THINK TANKS ARE THE SOURCE OF THESE POLICIES........It was always about a corporate pre-K to career college CHOOSING THAT STUDENT. In Asia, global neo-liberal education these several years created a hyper-competitive school system by making sure very few openings are available in schools needed for tracking into professional employment. Here in US cities they have been doing the same-----closing all public schools---making it harder for families to find a good school---and now folks are either forced to move out or forced to be COMPLIANT TO ALL AND ANY POLICIES placed on these corporate schools.
Leaving US citizens unable to read or do math was a Clinton era education reform. Defunding and outsourcing our public school services----was a Clinton-era education policy. Corporatization of universities to being corporate R and D moving to create global IVY LEAGUE while killing our public universities----Clinton era policies. Today we now have those hyper-global corporate universities building their own corporate K-12 education schools and after-school programs.
WE WILL NOT HAVE DUAL SCHOOL SYSTEMS----PUBLIC AND PRIVATE. IF WE ALLOW THEM TO GO PRIVATE WITH K-12 OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL CLOSE.
'To realize the positive effects of a competitive education market, school choice programs must ensure autonomy and independence for private schools and flexibility for public schools. Therefore, states should not impose regulations on existing private schools or create regulatory barriers that prevent new private school operators from entering the market. Only in this way will school choice produce the better education American children deserve'.
Next Four Years: Education Policy
November 15, 2016
Featuring Neal McCluskey You Tube video
What’s the next four years going to look like under a Trump Administration? How will public K-12 and higher education change under this administration.
Find out more about Education and other topics with Cato Institute’s new series “The Next Four Years.”
Produced by Cory Cooper and Tess Terrible
When CATO tells Republican voters that getting Federal government out of our schools will free state and local control of school policy---they are not telling us that we have no national, state, or local sovereignty in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones and they are not telling us that global education corporations will have complete control of all education of our children....and yes, they will from pre-K on think of our children as HUMAN CAPITAL THEY GET TO MOLD.
Now, some Republican voters don't care about being that corporate institutionalized person. Our military has this construct but even our military families have historically been able to attend public schools. Left Democratic voters don't want any of this-----this is to where freedom, liberty, individual choice----control of our futures lies----GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS SCHOOLING ---GLOBAL WALL STREET JUST WANTS TO TAKE CARE OF ITS HUMAN CAPITAL!
In Baltimore pols at city hall, Maryland Assembly, and Congress have set the stage with bond debt to assure there will be no government funds available for our public schools-----forcing schools into the hands of these global corporate campuses----like Hopkins, UnderArmour, Amazon.com.
Branded: Corporations and our Schools
by Jennifer Rockne
“If you own this child at an early age, you can own this child for years to come.” –Mike Searles, former president of Kids-R-Us children’s clothing store, on marketing to kids
Competition in the corporate marketing arena is fierce. No news there. But as companies vie for brand recognition, brand loyalties, and market share, schools have emerged as lucrative marketing venues. Ongoing funding challenges faced by public schools have enabled marketers to jump in with “donations”-free or low-cost supplemental materials, equipment, and cash. What does this mean for our kids and schools?
The following excerpt, from a letter to principals of School District 11 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from John Bushey, the district’s director of “school leadership,” demonstrates one effect of corporate influence in our schools. One year into an $8 million exclusive vending contract with Coca-Cola Corp., Bushey wrote:
Dear Principal: Here we are in year two of the great Coke contract.we must sell 70,000 cases of the product.. Here is how we can do it: Allow students to purchase and consume vended products throughout the day. If sodas are not allowed in classes, consider allowing the juices, teas and waters.
John Sheehan, vice president of the Douglas County, Colorado, school board, was the sole dissenter to a 10-year, $27.7 million deal struck between a three-school district consortium and Coca-Cola. Sheehan explains vividly the challenge of providing quality public education on a tight budget:
Education and marketing are like oil and water. Public education has an agenda that is already crowded enough. When we become marketers and distributors, we confuse our mission. I worry about a time when our educational goals might be influenced or even set by private companies targeting our students with their own narrow messages. . .Yes, schools need money, but turning to commercial sales for income is a cop-out. It sends the message to our voters and legislators that we can let them off the hook-that advertising and sales of consumer products can fill the gap when it comes to supporting education.
Are corporations, with priorities of profit and shareholder return, proper partners for public education?
The Commercialism in Education Research Unit at Arizona State University, in a study released September 2001, indicated commercializing activity in and around schools has increased nearly 500 percent
Children encounter the corporatization of their schools in their cafeterias, their classrooms, their buses, and on their stadium scoreboards. Companies engage kids by distributing free product samples and coupons through their schools. Even learning itself is laced with commercialism: textbooks feature brand-name products to demonstrate math and science problems, and advertisements saturate classroom magazines and television programs.
Methods Corporations Use to “Go To School”
Electronic marketing such as Channel One,a daily, ad-bearing news program for grades 6-12 broadcast “free” to 40% of all schools contracting it as a mandatory part of the curriculum. The incentive to schools? Installation and unlimited use of the provided satellite dish, VCRs, and classroom TVs. Channel One Communications owns, maintains, and insures the equipment–and repossesses it if the school drops its contract. Two minutes of each daily 12-minute program contain commercials for which corporations pay over $800 million yearly to deliver their propaganda to 8 million captive students.
“The advertiser gets a group of kids who cannot go to the bathroom, who cannot change the station. . .who cannot have their headsets on.” –Channel One executive Joel Babbit on value for advertisers.
Exclusive agreements to sell or use products, primarily with companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. (Has your child asked for money for Friday’s Taco Bell lunch?) So-called “shoe schools” arise from athletic shoe agreements with corporations like Nike and Reebok-and add unintended stress on schools that compete for students in open-enrollment districts.
Incentive programs like General Mills’ Box Tops for Education, Pizza Hut’s Book It!, and Campbell’s Soups’ Labels for Education encourage school fund raisers to influence family purchases of specific brands or to frequent certain businesses. In-school fundraisers using items like magazines or candy turn kids into salespeople. Company sponsors gain an unpaid sales force and can inflate prices since the enterprise appears charitable. Increasingly, schools are engaging in the absurd practice of encouraging purchases from certain websites like schoolpop.com, robbing their community businesses and their own sales tax base-a key part of school funding in many districts! Another ethically questionable appeal urges parents to acquire and use credit cards that provide a kickback to schools, condoning consumerism and debt.
Sponsored Educational Materials
SEMs are best described as public relations materials disguised to look like classroom activities and lesson plans a la the Chips Ahoy counting game in which kids calculate the number of chocolate chips in their cookies. Even more disturbing are nutrition lessons taught by McDonald’s and environmental issues discussed by the Shell and Chevron Corporations, all contained in widely distributed resources.
Sponsorship of programs and activities such as Canon’s National “Envirothon” high school competition and “Coke in Education Day.” Now, some high school regional and state athletic championship games–and even regions themselves–have corporate sponsors. Wells Fargo bank paid $12,000 for naming rights to an athletic conference in central Arizona.
Contests sponsored by companies like Brainstorm USA through schools to obtain demographic information on students and parents for marketing purposes. Companies are promised a potential market of over 14,000 teachers and two million students.
Privatization that shifts school or program management from public accountability to private, for-profit corporations whose accountability is to stockholders, such as Edison Schools, Inc. You have to wonder…if teachers gain stock options after a year’s tenure, where do their loyalties lie?
Can we Rely on Teachers?
While some argue that teachers can serve as gatekeepers against biased messages often found in sponsored materials, most teachers haven’t been taught how, may not see the need, or lack knowledge in the topic addressed. Similarly, claiming teachers can defuse advertising messages in sponsored materials and programs and salvage something worthwhile from them is like using textbooks containing gender or ethnic discrimination and claiming it’s a good way to teach about diversity.
“The only genuinely educational use I can see for corporate propaganda in the classroom is to inoculate students against it, so that they will not swallow it uncritically without considering other sides of the question.” David Lunney, teacher, Greenville, NC
Why Target Kids at School?
America’s kids represent a large and growing market. Elementary-aged children spend around $15 billion per year and influence another $160 billion of their parents’ spending. Teenagers have even greater economic clout, spending $57 billion personally and another $36 billion of their families’ money annually.
Are Corporation Solving Financial Troubles?
Taxpayers fund classroom time that is being wasted on ads. A 1998 study by educator Alex Molnar and economist Max Sawicky indicated that taxpayers in the U.S. pay $1.8 billion per year for the class time–twelve minutes spent by students on the required nine out of ten school days–lost to Channel One. Channel One’s commercials alone cost taxpayers $300 million per year, and taxpayer cost for just the advertising time exceeds the equipment’s total value.
Citizens can act to keep schools free of commercialism schools in several ways:
1. Support adoption and enforcement of guidelines ensuring public debate on commercialized money offers and keep commercially-sponsored programs out of classrooms (contact us for specific local and state model policies).
2. Teach children to evaluate commercial content and bias in materials they receive in school, Tv shows, commercials and other sources. Discuss your purchasing and finance decisions with kids where appropriate
ReclaimDemocracy.org is developing and testing a critical thinking curriculum for use in K-12 classrooms-contact us for details.
3. Raise the commercialism issue with school fundraising committees-or better yet, get involved-and directly impact how schools augment funding.
4. Proactively address the larger problem of school funding and disparities between communities, which leads well-intentioned administrators to rely on corporate sponsorship and advertising revenues.
5. Push to eliminate corporate tax breaks for contributions carrying commercial messages to schools, insisting corporations pay their fair share of school funding.
Jennifer Rockne is the assistant director of ReclaimDemocracy.org
We already know these several years of K-12 as corporate charters has filled our public school with the same fraud and corruption as seen in for-profit higher education corporations. Then, place on top of that VOUCHERS-----schools competing for students funded by vouchers with absolutely no standardize regulations allowing parents to know each school in a community is providing the best education for citizens. Of course parents in US cities having these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA defunding and dismantling public schools---they may think how can this get worse. Whereas US city schools have been left rudderless with classrooms hard to control---students unable to focus---what they haven't seen is corporate classrooms and child labor as apprenticeships.
What a Trump will do with charters and vouchers is the next stage of deregulating and corporatizing our public K-12----that was mentioned in the Brookings Institute article-----removing the intra-county restrictions of public school districts opening to inter-state national charter chains. Vouchers will be used for this-----saying it is a good thing for a low-income family to send their child to HOWARD COUNTY---BALTIMORE COUNTY----to get to that better charter school.
US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES LIKE BALTIMORE THESE GLOBAL EDUCATION CORPORATIONS ARE WELL ON THERE WAY AND THEY WILL BE EXPANDING INTO CITIES ACROSS THE NATION AS MARKET-BASED K-12.
Will Anyone Stop Charter School Corruption?
When politicians and pundits take to the barricades to defend “wonderful charter schools,” is this what they’re thinking of?
A recent article in a Minnesota newspaper reported about a change in state law that could imperil the existence of a charter school that serves a student body sorely in need of heroic efforts. According to the reporter, “Nine out of 10 of the school’s 275 high schoolers meet the legal definition of ‘highly mobile,’ meaning they do not have stable housing; 109 are flat-out homeless. Some couch-surf. Some sleep in cars, some in bus stations. Often they spend the night in small groups, for safety. Poverty – a given – is usually the least of their worries. To teens forced to support themselves, a diploma is a life raft.”
The schools founder and chief operator is quoted: “We have kids who are one credit away from graduating … We are one of the first consistent things in their lives.”
A compelling story for sure and likely one example, among others, that was in the minds of most in Congress when the US House of Representatives recently passed controversial legislation to expand federal funds for more charter schools without placing any substantial new regulations on those schools.
What lawmakers in Washington, DC had been told, of course, was that starting up lots and lots of charter schools was going to create a “marketplace of education,” where the problem of “quality” would take care of itself as “bad” charters “go out of business,” and the wonderful ones that do such great things for the most unfortunate children get picked up and replicated all over the world.
For sure, there were those on “the outside” who advocated against expanding charter schools without taking into account steps toward stricter regulation. As The Nation’s Zoe Carpenter pointed out, the bill’s emergence in the House coincided with publication of a report by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education that documented “shocking misuses of the federal funds being funneled into the poorly regulated charter industry.”
Nevertheless the charter sector won the Hill that day and has continued to ascend in state capitals around the country since. Meanwhile, real evidence of “the good charters” remains mostly anecdotal, as financial corruption and poor education results from “bad ones” continue to mount with every passing month.
Just look at Ohio.
Buckeye State Boondoggle
The Buckeye State, where charter schools have operated for well over a decade, has had loose regulations, business-minded state governance, and a Beltway-based conservative think tank serving as a charter sponsor. According to a recent report in the Akron Beacon, “Enrollment in Ohio charter schools now stands at more than 120,000 in nearly 400 schools, with seven more schools expected to open next year. These quasi-public schools enroll less than 7 percent of Ohio’s students and receive $912 million in state tax dollars, about 11 percent of all state funds set aside for primary and secondary education.”
According to charter school enthusiasts at the Center for Education Reform, Ohio is a “Top Ten” state – number 3, in fact – on its rating scale for states that provide “parent power” – something that is, apparently, in abundance when lots of charter and virtual schools and just about anything else but good traditional public schools are prevalent. (Vermont, one of the top performing school systems in the country, based on the National Assessment of Education Progress, is number 47 in “parent power.”) Contributing significantly to Ohio’s top rating no doubt is the state’s citation for “providing even more growth” in the charter school sector. But nowhere on the CER site is there a hint of how all this choice and growth have actually benefited Ohio students and taxpayers.
For that information, you have to turn to the progressive state group Innovation Ohio who earlier this year found that, in the 2011-2012 school year, the state’s enthusiastic support of charter schools had resulted in a transference of $774 million from the public school system to charter schools that tend to perform worse on the state’s school performance rating system.
Since that report, very little to any improvements seem to have occurred. As a recent series of reports appearing in the Akron Beacon revealed, one of the states’ most popular charter school chains, run by White Hat Management, has enjoyed such carte blanche operation that Ohio lawmakers approved additional funding for about 77 of those schools and exempted them from “full accountability until at least 2017.” The legislation passed despite the fact that dropouts are so prevalent at these schools that many of them report “single-digit graduation rates.” The Beacon reporter found that during last school year, more students dropped out of these schools than attended on the average day.
Anther Ohio newspaper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, carried a recent editorial explaining that the primary beneficiary of the loophole legislation favoring White Hat run charter schools is not the state’s students nor its taxpayers but the charter school operator, Akron businessman David Brennan who “has poured more than $4 million into the coffers of Republican candidates in Ohio during the last decade.”
In the face of lagging academic results, higher dropout rates, and the aroma of crony corruption, what do Ohio charter promoters do to improve their performance? Amp up their marketing. As another recent Beacon report found, “State audits suggest that some Ohio charter schools spend more than $400 in public money per student to attract them away from public schools.” Using keywords such as “free, flexible, one-on-one and find your future,” Ohio charter school companies are “advertising on television, radio, billboards, handbills and even automated telephone messages to entice students away from public schools.”
You have to wonder if this is how the taxpayers in Ohio like to see their hard earned money spent.
In the meantime, one state over in Pennsylvania, the situation with charter schools doesn’t look any better.
Quaker State Cash Cow
In the Quaker State, charter schools have long competed for funds with traditional public schools on an uneven playing field that exempts them from serving the full range of student abilities and revealing financial details of their operations to the public. Despite all this freedom from regulation, according to the Pennsylvania School Board Association, “Charter schools continue to academically underperform traditional public schools, with less than half of the brick and mortar charter schools meeting acceptable benchmark scores … None of the cyber charter schools met the mark. Nearly three-quarters of traditional public schools, however, earned passing scores in the first year of the new measuring system.”
Despite poor academic results, Pennsylvania scores a 12 on the reform index contrived by CER. But what CER calls “parent power” in Pennsylvania is actually “no real oversight” according to the Keystone State Coalition, a “non-partisan public education advocacy group of several hundred locally elected, volunteer school board members and administrators from school districts throughout Pennsylvania.” That organization’s recent report tallied exorbitant costs associated with charter school operations and lavish CEO salaries and bonuses for charter school operators despite vastly underperforming the state’s traditional public schools.
A more recent KSC report revealed how Pennsylvania charters have gamed the system for special education funding, resulting in annual profits of $200 million to the schools. As one local Pennsylvania blogger explained, “Charter schools collected $350,562,878 last year for special education funding and spent $156,003,034 for special education! Where did the other $200 million go? The fact of the matter is that charter schools are not obligated to spend special education funding for special education purposes. That money can be spent for numerous miscellaneous reasons.” (emphasis original)
A KSC video that education historian Diane Ravitch linked to on her blog explained how Pennsylvania charters also game the special education financial process by luring away students from public schools who are classified special education in the least expensive disability categories, which would include relatively mild disabilities such as speech impairment, and neglect to educate students in more expensive disability categories that would include more severe disabilities such as autism.
This is especially devastating to school districts such as Philadelphia where budgets are in perennial crisis. As the local news outlet The Notebook reported, ” Philadelphia charter schools received more than $175 million last year to educate special education students, but spent only about $77 million for that purpose … nearly $100 million gap at a time when city education leaders are considering raising some class sizes to 41 students and laying off 800 more teachers.”
To fix a funding system that rewards charter schools for services they do not provide, Pennsylvania lawmakers from both parties introduced a bill (HB 2138 and SB 1316) to fund each district based on the actual number of students with disabilities it has and on each child’s needs. Charter advocates responded to this proposed legislation by opposing it.
As bad as the situation is with charter schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania, it may be even worse in Michigan.
The Great Lakes Robbery
In the Great Lakes State, a series by the Detroit Free Press this month reported, “Michigan taxpayers pour nearly $1 billion a year into charter schools – but state laws regulating charters are among the nation’s weakest, and the state demands little accountability in how taxpayer dollars are spent and how well children are educated.”
The yearlong investigation found, “Wasteful spending and double-dipping. Board members, school founders and employees steering lucrative deals to themselves or insiders. Schools allowed to operate for years despite poor academic records. No state standards for who operates charter schools or how to oversee them.”
Meanwhile, “38 percent of charter schools that received state academic rankings during the 2012-13 school year fell below the 25th percentile, meaning at least 75 percent of all schools in the state performed better. Only 23 percent of traditional public schools fell below the 25th percentile.”
For-profit corporations are permitted to run 61 percent of charter schools in Michigan even though over a third of those schools are in the bottom 25 percentile for academic performance.
The variety of scams at work in the Michigan charter sector make your head spin. In one example, a real estate/investment firm bought property for $375,000 that it sold six days later to a charter school, for $425,000. The quick $50,000 profit went to founders of the firm – one the president of school’s management company, the other married to the school’s top administrator.
At another charter school, members of the founder’s family were paid to provide meals and maintenance to the school,” and “family members still rent the building to the school or collect a management fee for running it.”
How does the charter industry respond to such damning evidence of failure and corruption? With a marketing campaign of course.
As the local Michigan blog Eclectablog noted, just as the Detroit Free Press series was unfolding, the state’s largest for-profit charter chain National Heritage Academies sprung into action and proceeded to purchase nearly all of the available ad space on the newspaper’s website.
And by the way, the “parent power” ranking CER gives Michigan is 11, commending the state for its “robust charter law.”
The unchecked charter school chicanery is not limited to the Northern Mid West.
Sunshine State Scam
A new investigation by the Orlando Sun Sentinel found, “Unchecked charter-school operators are exploiting South Florida’s public school system, collecting taxpayer dollars for schools that quickly shut down … virtually anyone can open or run a charter school and spend public education money with near impunity.”
Examples cited in the series include a man who received $450,000 in tax dollars to open two new charter schools just months after his first collapsed. The schools closed in seven weeks. Another example: A man with “a history of foreclosures, court-ordered payments, and bankruptcy received $100,000 to start a charter school.” It closed in two months.
Sun Sentinel reporters found an elementary charter school that “sometimes had no toilet paper, soap or paper towels in the student bathrooms … Students sometimes ate hours after their designated lunchtimes, often from fast-food restaurants.”
School districts have little to no recourse when charters fail to submit financial reports – “some don’t file them or turn in unreliable paperwork.” And management companies that run two-thirds of South Florida’s charter schools add to the problems of transparency and financial disclosure.
Despite these problems, charter schools continue to “pop up within blocks of each other – or in the same building – offering similar programs as neighboring schools. With such wild growth, district officials say, many new charters no longer fill a niche or offer innovation. Yet Florida lawmakers repeatedly have declined to tighten charter-school regulations.”
Florida’s score in the CER ranking:
Someone Please Say, “Stop!”
Despite this cavalcade of corruption – most of which has been published in just the past two months, mind you – must we now pay homage to the “wonderful” charter schools?
Take that charter program for homeless children cited above. Do we demand more of those schools to be replicated? Do we ask whether we need an outside, unregulated vendor to reveal the unsurprising conclusion that it’s important to pay attention to the special needs of children? Do we ask why these children aren’t being accommodated in local schools and take the necessary steps to ensure they are? Or do we ask, why the hell do we have record numbers of homeless school children in this country to begin with?
Good questions for sure. Yet in the meantime, at the urging of charter school advocates and others promoting “school choice,” lawmakers around the country are proposing and enacting new policies to feed more children into an increasingly corrupt charter chain pipeline.
And in Washington, DC, that house legislation that would expand federal funding to these sorts of schools has been joined by a Senate version that is now steaming toward bipartisan consideration.
Certainly, faced with such a growing calamity, it’s not being “negative” or “oppositional” or a “status quo defender” to stand in the pathway and yell, “Stop!”
We have 23 states already moving towards INTRA-DISTRICT/INTER-STATE PUBLIC K-12 and they all are using vouchers et al to do this. Most are simply trying to gentrify citizens out of city centers----but the top goal of these intra-district/inter-state district policies is DEREGULATION OF STRONG COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS that give citizens a chance to effect voice and control. If these county structures are eliminated as is the goal of intra-district school choice----then all national charter chains built these few decades in US cities like NYC ----Chicago-----Baltimore----San Fran----will simply expand those brands all over the nation. Remember, most of these national charter chains are simply global K-12 corporations being brought back to the US and made to look locally grown.
'None of the candidates has to date mentioned, much less taken a position on, what is likely to be one of the most powerful levers of K-12 education reform: open enrollment in regular public schools tied to portable funding. Systems allowing parents to choose schools within their district of residence (intra-district choice) are presently available in 55% of the nation’s largest school districts, more than double the percent of districts that offered school choice 15 years ago. In addition, programs that allow students to enroll in a school outside their home district are available in at least twenty-three states'.
As this article shows -----THESE INTRA-DISTRICT SCHOOL CHOICE POLICIES will fail because they are bad policies----but for global 1% Wall Street it hasn't failed because these policies are statutes on the book CORPORATIONS CAN NOW EXPLOIT. That is why New Jersey and Georgia did that----it is why Texas and California did that---and it is why Maryland pols are now pushing for this coming from Baltimore.
WE KNOW IT IS BAD POLICY BUT THAT DOESN'T MATTER --THE GOAL WAS ALWAYS DEREGULATION TO MOVE GLOBAL CORPORATE K-12 INTO OUR STATES.
February 1, 2015, 10:45 PM Last updated: Sunday, February 1, 2015, 10:46 PM
N.J. limits its school choice program
By HANNAN ADELY
Staff Writer |
In an effort to cut down on rising costs, the state is capping a program that allows students to attend schools outside their own district at no extra cost, limiting some Bergen and Passaic schools to just a handful of open spots for the coming school year.
“It’s fiscally unsustainable,” state Education Commissioner David Hespe said in an interview. “The program has increased fivefold. The cost has increased fivefold.”
The education commissioner is also considering preventing additional students from high-performing schools, which would include many in Bergen County, from participating. The program was meant to give students access to better schools, but many of the students who took advantage already had good schools in their hometown, Hespe said.
State officials say they need to stop the Interdistrict Public School Choice Program’s growth because it has ballooned to about 5,000 students at a cost of $50 million a year. But supporters of the program say the decision to cap it seems to contradict the Christie administration’s stated policy of creating more taxpayer-financed options for students who don’t want to attend struggling local schools.
In his State of the State speech on Jan. 13, Governor Christie signaled that he still supported school choice. “Let’s give families an alternative to chronically failing neighborhood schools,” Christie said. “Let’s keep driving for better outcomes. Let’s give parents and students more choice.”
Education Department spokesman Michael Yaple defended the Christie administration’s support of the program, noting its robust growth since the governor signed it into law. The reason it is being limited now is that the department can’t expand it beyond what the state Legislature has budgeted, he said.
New Jersey pays participating school districts an average of $10,500 for each student they enroll, while the student’s home district pays transportation costs up to 20 miles. The home district does not receive the state aid it would have for the student.
Students apply for a limited number of seats at schools that are part of the program, and a lottery is held if the number of interested students exceeds the available slots. In five years, the program has gone from 1,000 students in 15 districts to about 5,000 in 136 districts.
The biggest numbers were from Winslow Township, which lost 469 students, Jersey City with 128, Trenton with 120 and Dover with 111.
Bergenfield got about $250,000 this year for its participation, Superintendent Michael Kuchar said. The district joined the programs to raise money as it faced budget constraints because of the 2 percent cap on tax increases, he said.
But the district, with 17 students from elementary to high school in the program, won’t be able to offer any new seats in the coming school year because of the freeze. Districts can seek waivers for siblings, though.
Stefany Koslow of Fort Lee said she feels lucky that her 15-year-old son, Gabriel Goldstein-Koslow, was able to attend Bergenfield High School through the choice program. The school has a forward-thinking, top-notch program in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, known as STEM, and a great music program, she said. Gabriel was able to take Advanced Placement physics in his freshman year and work on a yearlong science project.
“For my kid it was a wonderful opportunity to satisfy intellectual curiosity and creativity,” she said.
While many suburban districts — including Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Paramus, Hawthorne and Wayne — send fewer than 20 students and often just one or two to choice schools outside the district, some urban districts, like Paterson, send more than 100.
Isaiah Nieves, 16, a Paterson resident who chose to go to Manchester Regional High School in Haledon, said he picked the school for its academic rigor, after-school activities and resources for gifted students.
“If they’re not going to give more funding to districts that need it, like Paterson, why would we cut off this program that is benefiting so many people?” he said.
Manchester Regional, which mostly takes students from Paterson, sees the program as a great success, Principal Richard Ney said. Forty percent of the students from outside the district made the honor roll in the first marking period this school year, Ney said.
“We are accomplishing the goals that the program set out to do — to increase diversity and to provide more options for students of other districts,” he said.
Manchester has used the extra state money, including $1.3 million received this year, to upgrade lockers and improve the heating system, Ney said.
Valarie Smith, co-director of the New Jersey Interdistrict Public School Choice Association, an advocacy group, said the program was very popular in low-income, urban areas, like Camden, where students are on wait lists to get out. She said some Atlantic City parents were making commutes of 30 miles one way to take their children to school in Hammonton.
In Winslow, a New Jersey township near Philadelphia where 469 students left, Board of Education President Cheryl Pitts said many of the parents withdrew students because they weren’t happy with the scores students were getting on state tests.
“They felt perhaps that Winslow’s curriculum and teaching was just not at the level that they thought it should be,” Pitts said. “They began to pull them out as I think any caring parent would do if that was their perception.”
Philly and PA are of course right in there with corporate K-12----here is an article from Bush era 2003-----the key words are-----THESE POLICIES ARE ENTERED INTO LAW----fast-forward ten years to finding these policies bad---doesn't matter because the goal was always to make way for the global K-12 corporate education schools MOVING FORWARD IN US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES---like Baltimore.
My friends around the nation need to watch as those states allowing these policies early have already built those global corporate K-12 and will be expanding into your neck of the woods under Trump ----especially after this economic crash.
'In addition, over one third of states, including Pennsylvania, permit but do not require school districts to participate in interdistrict choice'.
Of course none of these education policies have anything to do with helping low-income students----they are simply deregulating our US public school system.....PHILLY and Baltimore are tag-team in these corporatization of public K-university. If your state does not have intra-district school choice policies fight to keep them out----we can expect a Trump and Republican controlled Congress to make these Federal laws-----
September 24, 2003 — 11:00pm
Interdistrict choice on rise - at least in law
by the Notebook
Interdistrict school choice programs allowing students to enroll in schools outside of the school district where they reside have been bolstered by dozens of state laws passed since the 1980s.
According to a May 2003 report by the Education Commission of the States, almost a quarter of the states have laws mandating school districts to participate in interdistrict school choice (often called open enrollment programs).
In addition, over one third of states, including Pennsylvania, permit but do not require school districts to participate in interdistrict choice.
State laws about interdistrict choice are a relatively recent phenomenon, sparked by a statewide open enrollment program launched in Minnesota in the late 1980s. Other open enrollment programs have been included as part of metropolitan desegregation programs.
Interdistrict choice has received new attention recently as a result of a push spurred by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to offer families more public school choices.
While the No Child Left Behind Act only requires that choice be provided within school districts, it also suggests offering interdistrict options if adequate choice is not available within a district.
Some districts have been forced to look outside of their boundaries to provide school choice because the majority of schools in their district have been labeled low-performing and are therefore not a transfer option. In such cases, the No Child Left Behind Act requires the district to try "to the extent practicable" to make agreements with outside school districts.
In Pennsylvania's Chester Upland School District, where the district is obligated to offer students choice but has no eligible schools within the district to which they could transfer, the schools chief has met with superintendents from several surrounding Delaware County school districts to discuss the possibility of allowing interdistrict transfers.
The Radnor School Board voted in late August to deny the Chester School District's request. Other districts have not yet announced formal decisions; no district has offered to participate in the interdistrict choice with Chester.
State Secretary of Education Vicki Phillips said in an August press conference that while Pennsylvania law does not mandate interdistrict choice nor stipulate financial arrangements should districts choose to participate, the state's Department of Education encourages school districts to work together to provide interdistrict choice where and how they deem it appropriate.
Even in many states where interdistrict choice is mandated by law, it is not easily implemented. Out-of-district student transfers are usually subject to space availability.
For school districts like Chester Upland or Philadelphia, where surrounding school districts spend significantly higher amounts per student, financial agreements usually leave little incentive for richer districts to participate.
This website is great and folks should go there to see what is a complex network to install a global K-12 corporate structure from Boston to Indianapolis----from Milwaukee to Minneapolis----to the same San Fran region giving us all these other for-profit higher education corporations filled with fraud.
Interdistrict deregulation as with vouchers are sold as helping low-income students by INTEGRATING THEM INTO HIGHER INCOME communities. Know what? They have no intentions of keeping these schools integrated---the goal is only to get that interdistrict law on the books. Global neo-liberal education is the most predatory----profit-making----exclusive corporate education so there is no intent of helping low-income students OR ANY AMERICAN 99% OF STUDENTS.
KIRWAN INSTITUTE looks to be the same as an Aspen or Roosevelt Institute in pretending to be left-leaning when it is right wing.
The sad thing for WE THE PEOPLE-----these global 1% and their 2% prey on both sides of our political stances. They are selling to right wing voters and citizens that these policies will bring back segregated and class education so these citizens push them. At the same time these 5% to the 1 % CLINTON/OBAMA ----are selling labor and justice as to these policies being empowering for low-income ----
Global labor pool corporate campus schools kill ALL GLOBAL CITIZENS.
Kirwan Institute’s opportunity framework –
invest in people, places, and linkages.
Interdistrict Desegregation Programs
A (Brief) National Overview
Can “school choice” be
used to increase equity and
access for traditionally
Traditional “School Choice” Policies
• In addition to standards, tests and
accountability systems being used to improve
student achievement, the use of “school
choice” policies has been a central focus of
our nation’s education reform agenda for
• Many choice policies (e.g. vouchers, charters)
allow alternative, private providers to compete
for students and public funding in an
unregulated educational marketplace.
• In theory, school choice policies increase
students’ and parents’ access to high quality
• In practice, school choice policies often allow
schools to control the demographic makeup
of the student populations they serve, whether
by race, income, or performance level.
• Without an explicit focus on equity, school
choice policies often exclude the students
most in need of educational opportunity,
exacerbating opportunity gaps that have real
consequences for student achievement.
“The benefits for students of color come
not from sitting next to white students
but rather because of a reduction in
social isolation that exists in their own
communities and schools as well as the
networks and relationships that they
develop in integrated settings.”
Avoid the dichotomy between integration and place-based interventions.
• Kirwan Institute’s opportunity framework –
invest in people, places, and linkages.
• In theory, interdistrict integration policies
connect traditionally underserved
students to schools that are already
smoothly functioning and not struggling
with the educational challenges that are
commonly found in racially isolated
schools with high concentrations of
poverty (e.g. high teacher turnover).
• Few states have grappled with the
questions being discussed today – to
what extent should integration be
included in a comprehensive reform
strategy and how can reformers ensure
that school choice policies work together
with other reform strategies?
“Despite the fact that [interdistrict] programs are out of sync with the current political framing of problems and solutions in the field of education, the research… to date suggests that they are far more successful than recent choice and accountability policies at closing the achievement gaps and offering meaningful school choices.”
All Americans are being denied an ability to find REAL information from any of our former news journals-----from our universities now global corporations---and from our national labor and justice organizations having captured CLINTON/OBAMA GLOBAL 1% WALL STREET NEO-LIBERAL----leadership posing left social progressive. WE ALL ARE HAVING TO FIGHT TO FIND THE TRUTH. I think black citizens are having the most difficulty because their 5% to the 1% often include all black leadership.
I shout out to my black US friends----and to global friends looking to the United Nations as a friend of global citizens----to the Roosevelt Institute which is simply global right FDR posing tied to the UN----and we talked earlier of leadership at Black Lives Matters being Wall Street players rather than grassroots leaders. What is important in this discussion of education policy is this------the goal of 1% Wall Street is GLOBAL ONE WORLD ONE EDUCATION ----UNIVERSALISM is just that. The last thing world citizens want is to lose all cultural identity---to lose that sense of our histories good or bad. These cultural identities fill our humanities and liberal arts with diversity of voice----and GLOBAL COMMON CORE/ONE WORLD EDUCATION kills all this with the view of bringing world citizens into a common cultural history. This the 1% tells us is the answer to ending wars and poverty----
KNOW WHAT? THE GOAL IS ENDING HUMANITY.
What leads me to feel strongly that this UNIVERSALISM movement whether KIRWAN or this Black Lives Matter United Nations stance is coming from the global 1% and their 2%----they bring forward GLOBAL BASIC INCOME----this is the march to ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE ONE WAGE-----and it is the third world $3-6 a day----$20-30 a day wage-----this is the MARXISM tied to FAR-RIGHT, AUTHORITARIAN, MILITARISTIC, GLOBAL WALL STREET ONLY WANTS TO TAKE CARE OF ITS HUMAN CAPITAL ----- global corporate socialism.
'So we checked in with Dorian Warren, a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute and the Center for Community Change's board chairman. He helped to write a section of the Movement for Black Lives' economic platform. Warren, a former professor at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, has taught courses on racial inequality, economic inequality, social movements and community organizing. Warren also hosts an MSNBC online show, "Nerding Out."'
I ask US black citizens to think about this idea of needing a system that is separate or tailored to succeed. We somehow lifted a record number of black citizens into the middle-class last century using good old fashion rigorous public schools and education. It worked when it was fully funded----resourced---staffed.......it is the same global 1% Wall Street CLINTON/OBAMA neo-liberals bringing our public schools down now selling these education policies of UNIVERSALISM. The Washington Post would not be giving this article exposure if these policies worked against MOVING FORWARD TO ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE.
What a Black Lives Matter economic agenda looks like
By Janell Ross August 29
U.S. $100 bills. (Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg)
Amid all the news and noise that Trump's black voter appeal created, an umbrella operation known as the Movement for Black Lives released an economic plan.
Think of the Movement for Black Lives, also known as M4BL, like the civil rights movement: a broad, multi-pronged attempt to create social and legal change populated, fueled and driven by a wide variety of individuals and organizations committed to a common set of political goals. M4BL also includes the formal organization known as Black Lives Matter and a loose collective of individuals, additional organizations and activists associated with it.
The M4BL economic policy paper issued this month includes some of the things that a largely black collective of activists, academics and voters think black Americans both have to lose and need to gain in coming years.
So we checked in with Dorian Warren, a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute and the Center for Community Change's board chairman. He helped to write a section of the Movement for Black Lives' economic platform. Warren, a former professor at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, has taught courses on racial inequality, economic inequality, social movements and community organizing. Warren also hosts an MSNBC online show, "Nerding Out."
What follows is a Q&A with Warren, conducted via email and edited for clarity and length.
THE FIX: Why did the Movement for Black Lives issue an economic policy paper?
WARREN: First, there is a broad recognition that many of the roots and causes of police violence in black communities are both racial and economic. High levels of unemployment and decades of disinvestment in black communities have led to dangerous interactions with police. For example, Eric Garner and Alton Sterling were working in the "underground economy" to make ends meet when local law enforcement used lethal force to unjustly take their lives.
Second, as the Ferguson Report by the Justice Department so clearly articulates, local police and criminal justice systems have engaged in predatory targeting of black residents as a means to raise revenue via excessive tickets and fines, further impoverishing black communities.
Third, the focus on economic policy continues a long legacy of black activists and organizers raising economic justice demands. Whether the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, or the Black Panther Party’s 10-point platform, economic demands, along with demands for racial justice, are part of the "Dual Agenda" of black freedom movements.
[The 12 key highlights from the DOJ’s scathing Ferguson report]
Black Lives Matter movement, explained
The phrase Black Lives Matter first received national attention in summer 2014 and, since then, has become part of conversations on race in America. Here's how the phrase became a movement. (Claritza Jimenez, Julio Negron/The Washington Post)
THE FIX: What are the major and key components of the group’s economic plan?
WARREN: There are so many! It's a comprehensive set of economic demands (nine alone under economic justice). One of the key components is guaranteed livable income. Often called a "universal basic income," the idea is for a guaranteed basic floor of income for all, especially given a precarious job market and rates of black unemployment double that of whites for over 40 years. Again, this isn't so new. Dr. King and the Black Panther Party alike called for [a] policy of a guaranteed income and full employment.
[Opinion: For black Americans, this week was a nightmare. Does our country care?]
THE FIX: In November, if the nation’s next president said pick three things in the M4BL proposal and this administration will try to make them policy, what would you select?
WARREN: That's not my decision. [However,] the three most critical in my view include: (1) [a] federal and state jobs program, (2) the right for workers to organize and (3) reparations [for past and continued harms].
All three of these economic reforms would fundamentally change the material conditions in black communities by eliminating absolute poverty, ensuring full employment and access to the labor market with increased power to shape the conditions of work and rebuild the black middle class.
These three policies would begin the process of economic empowerment, especially for the most economically marginalized in black communities. While no policy is a magic bullet for the complex problems facing black Americans, resolving some of the most long-standing and fundamental economic problems would radically improve life-chances [for] the vast majority.
WARREN: Let’s be very clear: Donald Trump is not targeting black voters. He’s targeting moderate white voters to signal to them he might not be racist and therefore they should feel comfortable voting for him. His speeches supposedly aimed at black voters paint a stark economic picture for black communities, with tiny elements of truth.
[Dear educated white America, Donald Trump is really trying to reach you]
What Trump gets wrong is that all black people in America do not live in poverty, are uneducated and are doing poorly. There are millions who are, in fact, highly educated and middle-class or more. Trump’s conflation of “black” and “poor” is very ironically similar to how Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) also talked about race and black Americans.
[About Donald Trump’s ‘black voter’ pitch …]
That said, yes, the black unemployment rate has been double that of whites for decades, and especially high for black youth; ladders to the middle class have been disappearing; there has been disinvestment in economic development for decades in black communities while simultaneous investments in the criminal justice system; the racial wealth gap was exacerbated by the Great Recession and is still far too unequal (whether housing values or liquid assets).
But the causes of continuing economic strife in black communities are decades in the making, mostly as a result of conservative economic policies that insofar as he has any policy specifics (tax policy for instance), Trump supports.
[Donald Trump’s new tax plan could have a big winner: Donald Trump’s companies]
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)THE FIX: What do you make of each of the two major party candidates' economic plans?
WARREN: The Republican Party nominee essentially has no economic plan. Insofar as one has been articulated, it would be harmful to black communities. The Democratic Party nominee (and the Democratic Party platform) is a good start, especially around plans for job creation and infrastructure investment to put people to work. But even a good job creation/infrastructure bill must include "targeted" language to ensure that funds flow into black communities, and community residents have access to those jobs.
[Transcript: Donald Trump’s economic speech, annotated]
Most of what is in the Democratic Party platform around job creation, raising wages, workers' rights, etc., does indeed overlap with the M4BL policy demands. The key question isn't one of ideas, however, but one of building the political will to enact any of these policies.
[Transcript: Hillary Clinton%u2019s interview with the Washington Post on economic policy]
THE FIX: Okay, why is targeted economic policy needed and why does it typically get stuck? For instance, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) has advocated for his 10-20-30 economic plan for years.
WARREN: Most progressive policies have not moved in a polarized and divided government, including Rep. Clyburn’s innovative and targeted 10-20-30 plan.
Targeted policies are important because seemingly “universal” social policies, from the New Deal to the Great Society, often do not benefit those in greatest need. And universal policies have had intended and unintended consequences of maintaining or exacerbating existing racial and gender inequalities. From racial and gender-based exclusions in the National Labor Relations Act, to the Social Security Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the discriminatory implementation of the GI Bill, and housing and access to credit and asset building, many supposedly “universal” policies ultimately were not.
“Targeted universalism” means everyone benefits (the “universalism”) while also ensuring that the policy reaches the most vulnerable among us (the “targeted”). When policies are simply “means-tested,” like in the case of public assistance, they lack the broad public support necessary to remain viable.
THE FIX: Has the economic state of black America received sufficient attention in this election?
WARREN: No. The candidate and party statements are necessary, but not nearly sufficient.
While we might all wish that mainstream political parties would automatically advance bold and transformative policies, it's always social movements that do that work in American politics.
That's precisely what the MBL is doing.
How do we define targeted universalism?
Oakland CA is outside of San Fran-----and is about as captured by global Wall Street and IVY LEAGUES Stanford as Baltimore is by Johns Hopkins. This is why Oakland citizens have been protesting for several years. Here we see Seattle-----I'm afraid Washington State and my old stomping grounds of Seattle are global Bill Gates captured to ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE policies as well. We see these policies of UNIVERSALISM----stem from Harvard professors-----all of this leads me to suspect this is simply policy to MOVE FORWARD global labor pool corporate schools. This is from where the idea of universalism is being pushed---but at the same time what these policies look like in the US will be the same as all Foreign Economic Zones overseas----WE REALLY DO NOT WANT THIS---IT IS NOT LEFT LEANING OR JUSTICE----do some research and know all of this is getting media attention because this will move forward as structures for global K-12.
'The term is generally credited to Theda Skocpol, a sociologist/political scientist at Harvard University. From her webpage: Skocpol’s research focuses on health reform, social policy, and civic engagement amidst the shifting inequalities in American democracy'.
THIS IS WHAT KILLED ACHIEVEMENT FOR OUR CHILDREN IN US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES------IT WAS THESE FEW DECADES OF DEEPENING POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND DEFUNDED SCHOOLS----LET'S FIX THAT---
“Nine out of 10 of the school’s 275 high schoolers meet the legal definition of ‘highly mobile,’ meaning they do not have stable housing; 109 are flat-out homeless. Some couch-surf. Some sleep in cars, some in bus stations. Often they spend the night in small groups, for safety. Poverty – a given – is usually the least of their worries. To teens forced to support themselves, a diploma is a life raft.”
Seattle Schools Community ForumDebate the issues facing Seattle Public Schools, share your opinions, read the latest news. Organize and work for high quality public schools that educate all students to become passionate, lifelong learners.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016Race and Equity; Targeted Universalism (Part Two) --> In part two of this thread, I want to analyze the theory around which the MTSS-B initiative seems to be based – targeted universalism.
I hadn’t heard of this theory before now and it’s always good to hear about what ideas are out there for better public education. I did some research and lots of reading and found several good articles including ones about the Oakland School District’s program.
Let’s start from the premise that if you see a problem that affects the population broadly, then you attempt to create a solution that will negate or end that problem. That premise, of course, supposes that all people are affected in the same way by both the problem and your solution.
Universalism – across all sectors, not just education – is discussed in a paper by Thandika Mkandawire called Targeting and Universalism in Poverty Reduction.
In my reading, I found it fascinating that this idea of targeted universalism is NOT just a topic for public education. What I found is that it mostly covers the issue of poverty, around the world, on whether targeting efforts for certain groups truly work.
Another criticism levelled against universalism is derived from the post-modernist emphasis on difference and diversity. The charge is that universalism has been used to create a false sense of unity, which conceals the fact that it discriminated against certain social groups on grounds of gender and race and that, through tutelage, it imposed on new groups standards set by the dominant group.
Some good examples that I found to explain the problems with this notion of universalism were these:
From National Equity Project:
It is possible, even likely, that universal programs will exacerbate existing inequalities. Some universal programs were designed to benefit whites more than non-whites, but let us consider programs where this was not the clear design.
Defined as one of this country’s greatest accomplishments, the Interstate Highway Act of 1956 used federal dollars to subsidize the creation of the suburbs. This was the largest public works project in American history at the time. It gave impetus to waves of migrating middle- and upper-class families to abandon the central cities for the suburbs.
At the same time, many downtown regions were surrounded or demolished by massive highway construction, and the revenue generated by these projects did not return to the communities that were losing their churches, schools, and homes. As one author put it, “highways made suburban housing available on one end while destroying urban housing on the other.”
The ensuing arrangement of racially isolated urban dwellers and equally racially isolated suburban residents, hastened by the white flight that followed Brown v. Board of Education’s integration mandate the same year, is a pattern we live with today.
Simply put, ostensibly universal programs have no less potential to exacerbate inequality than to ameliorate it. Treating people who are situated differently as if they were the same can result in much greater inequities.
From the leader in targeted universalism, John Powell, Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and Professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley:
What if we want to raise everyone up, so we use the metaphor of the structure of a rising tide? It turns out that some folks may not have a boat and the rising tide does not raise them up but instead drowns them. Consider the universal goal of getting everyone out of New Orleans as the levees broke after Hurricane Katrina. The strategy was: get in your vehicle and drive to safety. But as it turned out many people, a disproportionate many of whom were African American, did not have cars. The universal strategy -- safety for all -- turned out to not be attainable for many.
We can understand this idea if we think of individuals who are in a wheelchair trying to reach an upper floor. An escalator will not support those individuals in the same way as it would those who are able-bodied. It is not the disabled group that needs fixing, but the structure. The goal is to convey everyone to the upper floor and it is universal. But the strategy to achieve this goal must be targeted toward the disabled individuals to address their circumstances, which differ from those of other groups.
How do we define targeted universalism?
The term is generally credited to Theda Skocpol, a sociologist/political scientist at Harvard University. From her webpage: Skocpol’s research focuses on health reform, social policy, and civic engagement amidst the shifting inequalities in American democracy.
In the book, The Urban Underclass, she argues that there is a tension between groups over targeted programs, for example, for the poor.
This standoff certainly exists as long as we remain at the level of logical or highly speculative arguments. Yet three conclusions can be drawn by examining the history of public policies dealing with, or including, poor people in the U.S.
First, when U.S. antipoverty efforts have featured policies targeted on the poor alone, they have not been politically sustainable, and they have stigmatized and demeaned the poor.
Second, some kinds of relatively universal social policies have been politically very successful.
Third, room has been made within certain universal policy frameworks for extra benefits and services that disproportional help less privileged people without stigmatizing them. What I shall call “targeting within universalism” has delivered extra benefits and special services to certain poor people throughout the history of modern American social provision, and new versions of it could be devised today to revitalize and redirect U.S. public social provision.
This is interesting as Dr. Skocpol was talking about targeting WITHIN an initiative to aid sub-groups and not necessarily creating a whole other initiative. It’s a worthy consideration in terms of both cost and efficacy.
However, there is not a lot of variation in what people who use the term for public education understand it to mean. Here are a couple of definitions.
From the March/April 2009 issue of Poverty and Race at the Poverty and Race Research Action Council:
Targeting within universalism means identifying a problem, particularly one suffered by marginalized people, proposing a solution, and then broadening its scope to cover as many people as possible.
That turns the traditional route to a large-scale problem – to cover as many people as possible first – on its head, saying target the most needy and it will end up covering more people as you see positive outcomes.
An alternative to either a straight universal program or a solely particularistic program is to pursue what we call “targeted universalism.” This is an approach that supports the needs of the particular while reminding us that we are all part of the same social fabric. Targeted universalism rejects a blanket universal which is likely to be indifferent to the reality that different groups are situated differently relative to the institutions and resources of society. It also rejects the claim of formal equality that would treat all people the same as a way of denying difference.
From the National Equity Project:
A targeted universal strategy is one that is inclusive of the needs of both the dominant and the marginal groups, but pays particular attention to the situation of the marginal group.
Targeted universalism rejects a blanket universal which is likely to be indifferent to the reality that different groups are situated differently relative to the institutions and resources of society. It also rejects the claim of formal equality that would treat all people the same as a way of denying difference. Any proposal would be evaluated by the outcome, not just the intent. While the effort would be universal for the poor, it would be especially sensitive to the most marginal groups.
One thing that I believe is striking is that these definitions do not necessarily say that the targeting has to be to one group. They speak of “groups” repeatedly.
One good article I found that used targeted universalism (but for health care) was Making Health Equity Work: How to Implement Targeted Universalism Policies from the Leadership for Health Communities by Stephen Menendian, JD, Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society.
One slide had these easy-to-read/comprehend steps for implementing targeted universalism:
1. Articulate a particular goal based upon a robust understanding and analysis of the problem at hand
2. Assess difference of general population from universal goal
3. Assess particular geographies and population segments divergence from goal
4. Assess barriers to achieving the goal for each group/geography
5. Craft targeted processes to each group to reach universal goal
Interestingly, they DID have a section as it applies to education (see pages 9-13 where they break it down from a big picture to smaller and smaller groups – this makes more sense to me.)
This brings us to the example that the district seems to be pivoting from –Oakland Unified School District. Living Cities has a good series of articles in a series about equity in collective impact that includes the Oakland program.
They talk about the courage of the OUSD to focus on color because of the meme that we should not see race but rather just see children needing to be educated. As well, they raise the issue of the legalities of using public resources to target a certain racial group.
What’s interesting is that they make quite a point about using disaggregated data to track outcomes. I find this surprising because I would have hoped, by 2016, that all school districts were doing this across all data points like race, gender, ethnicity, etc. Apparently not.
They also note the issue of “community voice and data gaps” whereby many smaller ethnic communities are often not sought out for their thoughts and concerns.
When leaders of public systems and members of marginalized communities regularly work together, they jointly can increase understanding and create better targeted strategies to improve the outcomes of those who face the greatest barriers to thriving.
When I am out in the community, this is a theme I increasingly hear. I think this quite important because we need to acknowledge the ethnic differences within a race (between native-born African-Americans and immigrant blacks.) This is something that the SPS presentation does not address and that’s troubling.
As well, the big umbrella of “Asian” certainly does not cover the differences among all Asian groups.
Lastly, the article speaks of “an equity lens in public systems.”
For example, when partners in the Oakland-Alameda County Opportunity Youth Initiative were designing their plan to reconnect opportunity youth to education and family-sustaining career employment, they asked “Which opportunity youth face the greatest barriers to re-connection?” From that conversation came a particular focus on cross-over youth – young people who have been involved in both the child welfare and juvenile or criminal justice systems.
Back to John Powell and his basic question that could be asked for Seattle’s proposal:
Important questions about My Brother’s Keeper have been raised. Even those who undoubtedly care about men and boys of color have questioned, “But why this group and not others?” Some may acknowledge that there is a strong case that black boys need focused support, but also ask, “What about girls and women of color?” We can continue to add to that line of questioning, “What about white girls and women? What about the disabled? What about any group that through no fault of their own find themselves struggling to stay in their homes, afford higher education or keep their families on track?”
These are important and legitimate questions, and they deserve to be answered. The government, in using its resources—including its moral authority—has an obligation to all of its members, not just to some. When it focuses on some and not all, we need an explanation as to why. What must inform our policies is not equal treatment, but equal concern for all groups and individuals. A plan that focuses on everyone, without recognizing that different groups are in unique situations and need responses appropriate to their position, will fail at delivering equal concern or effective outcomes.
I’m not sure the second paragraph answers the first.
Here’s what Oakland Unified School District writes about its own program.
The Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) works to engage, encourage, and empower African American male students throughout the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).
The Office of African American Male Achievement was launched in 2010 and creates the systems, structures, and spaces that guarantee success for all African American male students in OUSD.
I found that the Oakland webpage on their program to be a lot shorter and easier to read than what the district is presenting. As well, I see some overlap in what the district seems to be proposing to do with what Oakland has.
I note this:
In 2010, the superintendent, together with Oakland's Board of Education, the Urban Strategies Council, and the East Bay Community Foundation, examined longitudinal data and came to a jarring conclusion: Past initiatives had done little to transform the experiences, access, or educational attainment of African American male students. Regardless of the reform or learning theory or even school site, en masse, the educational needs of Black children were not being met.
And there you have what is NOT in this presentation – a look at what had gone before in Oakland.
They go on:
Data revealed that African American males were the furthest away from opportunity. (On every positive indicator of success, African American boys were consistently in the lowest position while on every negative indicator African American boys were consistently in the highest position.) OUSD's theory of action, Targeted Universalism, ascertains that by transforming the system to support successful outcomes for OUSD's lowest performing subgroup, OUSD can create a district that improves academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students.
A couple of things. While the first part of that paragraph may be true in Oakland, for academic outcomes in SPS, that’s not true. Looking at the district’s own data, Native American students and Hispanic students come out lower in some academic data points than do African-American students.
Second, the latter part of the paragraph is the first time in my research I see “targeted universalism” linked to just one group. (If anyone else can lead me to other research with that linkage, I would appreciate it. I found one on just single mothers but that’s one gender across multiple races.)
As I said in the first part of this two-part thread, besides not reviewing past initiatives, SPS also put no price tag on this effort nor where the money would come from. Oakland has a long list of funders. Funders
It’s great to reach out to multiple community groups for input but if the weight of this program is solely on the district, that’s has to be a consideration. There’s a dynamic tension in any district between fiscal constraints and the quest for better outcomes.
I also reviewed the outcomes of Oakland’s program which they also have available.
Testing for 10th grade African-American students shows slightly more passing both parts of the state test (from 36.5% to 37.3%) with the rate of not passing both went from 51.6% down to 46.7%) but the did “not take” went up from 11.9% to 15.9%.