As we return to strong public education K-college with Equal Protection opportunity and access we need to understand that as with all national justice organizations that used to work for justice----most are now led at the national level by a director who is a Clinton neo-liberal. Remember, Clinton wrote the Federalism Act just so Equal Protection could be ignored at the Federal level----this is especially true of education. Clinton went on to start privatization of public education and dismantling of all equal opportunity in education from university to K-12. So, as with NOW for women's rights and NAACP for civil rights, the ACLU and this national organizations looks at education reform through the eyes of Clinton neo-liberalism. Anyone who visits Baltimore for example first sees the mass closing of schools in order to move people of color and the poor out of neighborhoods. Schools used as development tools is not what ACLU and civil rights is about. You don't hear this organization speak of school choice and schools as businesses as they are privatized as the problem-----they see strong discipline as a good thing. This is the neo-liberal KIPP charter chain modus operandus. Now, corporeal punishment in schools can look very different so giving a teacher the right to get tough means many things. KIPP is on record nationally for crossing that line in great fashion as has several other private charter chains.
The point is this-----the first thing a civil liberties group would see in Baltimore is the extreme attempts to segregate according to class and race---the inability of families to find adequate school resources in their own communities-----and the targeting by class and race of what is the vocational tracking structure being built in Baltimore having children assigned to a vocational track according to testing and evaluations. It would notice school choice lotteries are fixed. So, this is not a progressive equal protection ACLU---this is a NEW CIVIL RIGHTS neo-liberal ACLU. That is why in Baltimore Maryland ACLU leads in all this privatization by being the Baltimore Education Coalition-----the Michelle Rhee of privatization group in Baltimore and by leading the school building bond issue knowing this bond market crash will kill public schools and education.
It’s about civil rights
Posted by League of Education Voters
on November 26, 2013
Representatives from League of Education Voters and community-based organizations recently traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to learn more about the discipline reforms that have been implemented by Baltimore City Public Schools with great success. This is the fourth in the series, Lessons from Baltimore: Transforming School Discipline.
By Linda Mangel, Education Policy Director, ACLU of Washington
Children’s misbehavior should never be something they can’t recover from.
Linda Mangel, Education Policy Director, ACLU of Washington
That was the overarching message I heard on a recent trip to meet with leaders and advocates from the Baltimore City School District. Thanks to a generous invitation from the League of Education Voters (LEV), I recently joined other education advocates, clergy, and LEV staff on a “scouting” mission to Baltimore.
About six years ago, Baltimore school leaders adopted the basic principle that student misconduct should never mean the end of a student’s education. They recognized that not only do suspensions and expulsions not work as a form of deterring future misconduct, but that these frequently spell the end of a student’s education. And, they recognized what we know to be true in Washington; that students of color are suspended and expelled far more often and for longer periods of time than their white peers, even when they engage in the same conduct.
Baltimore decided to stop suspending and expelling students from school for most forms of misbehavior—while some students may need a break from a particular class or may need to be removed from their home school for a time, no one should lose their right to an education for breaking a school rule.
One of the most important steps Baltimore took was to replace harsh discipline practices with a restorative approach. This focuses on having students who misbehave take responsibility and make amends for their actions, through such means as apologizing or performing community service. Rather than simply punishing and ostracizing students through suspensions or expulsions, restorative discipline addresses the needs of all parties involved (victims, community, and offenders). And efforts are made to repair the situation and return the student back to their classroom.
LEV and the ACLU have been advocating for this approach here in Washington. What we learned from our visit to Baltimore was that if you have committed school leaders, sufficient support and training for your teachers, community groups in your corner, and lots of patience, incredible change can happen (and it doesn’t take a whole lot of money).
The results have been impressive. In the first year suspensions dropped by over 36%, and in the past six years suspensions have dropped 67%. This reduction has been accompanied by a 20% reduction in chronically absent students, improved graduation rates, and improved overall student performance and student conduct.
Across the country in places such as Oakland, Denver, Baltimore, and Chicago, these restorative discipline efforts are having similar results. Suspensions and expulsions are way down, test scores and graduation rates are up, and the overall school climates have vastly improved. All by simply taking the time to get to the bottom of a student’s misconduct rather than just getting rid of the student.
Here in Washington, in places like First Creek Middle School in Tacoma, Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, and in every school in the Highline School District, administrators and teachers have started using alternative approaches to school discipline. All have seen the same positive results as Baltimore—suspensions are down, grades are up, and overall student behavior has improved.
After the visit to Baltimore, I returned to Washington with a renewed conviction that we can make this happen here at home. Our school leaders are passionate, our teachers are innovative, and our communities are beginning to call for precisely the kind of change in discipline that we saw in Baltimore. The ACLU looks forward to continuing to work with LEV and others to see these alternatives to suspension and expulsions adopted by schools throughout Washington.
Linda Mangel is the Director of the ACLU-WA‘s Education Equity Program which works to ensure that all students have equal education opportunities. This program focuses on collaborating with state and local policy makers to expand protections and opportunities for students, and works directly with school districts to promote voluntary compliance with federal, state and local civil rights laws. The ACLU is particularly focused on trying to transform school discipline to employ restorative rather than punitive practices. Prior to working at the ACLU, Linda worked for the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Linda also has worked as a Title IX consultant for school districts throughout the Northwest.
I have more than once shown the stats used in the article about are juked education stats. The policies of not allowing a child into a school because under current policies of school choice these children are excluded as our schools are forced to look at how to operate with less and less revenue. So, school choice moves these students out of some schools and centralizes them in others often so far from home they are taking city buses to get to them and what happens then? These children do not go to school----they are late-----and we have more children dropping out in Baltimore as a result.
Since Baltimore's schools are tied to development changes in graduation rates for example comes from moving the most challenged children out of a school system and it represents the deregulation of what graduating high school means. Now in Baltimore a student does not have to be in a public school to graduate----there are all kinds of non-profit and for-profit schools for students challenged by behavior and the record shows they do not provide quality education for these children.
For those thinking we must get bad students out of classrooms so teachers can teach and other students learn---the system used in the past was placing students with behavioral problems in special needs classrooms in these same schools. Now, I never advocated moving students behaving badly into special needs----but I do advocate having facilities in these same community schools for these students. What Baltimore is doing is selecting students out and centralizing them by problems----poverty, disability, behavior, criminal records etc.
THAT IS NOT WHAT CIVIL RIGHTS EDUCATION IS ABOUT. IT IS NOT WHAT PUBLIC EDUCATION AND FEDERALLY PROTECTED EQUAL RIGHTS TO EDUCATION IS ABOUT.
It is the global corporate structure for education that places value according to what that child will look like as a worker. Ultimately, sending children to work in elementary school because they are deemed non-productive will occur in an International Economic Zone society.
WILL YOUR CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN FALL INTO THESE CATEGORIES? OF COURSE----NO ONE HAS PERFECT CHILDREN.
Below you see where this model has been taken-----New Orleans and its complete transition of its public schools to national charter chains. I do not read many parents statements saying they like this takeover----in fact there is widespread revolt. Yet, national education organizations are supporting what this neo-conservative Bobby Jindal installed just as in neo-conservative Johns Hopkins' Baltimore City. This is of course why O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake brought Dr Thornton from Milwaukee -----working to install Tea Party Scott Walker's education reform. The key here is ----IT IS ALL RIGHT WING EDUCATION POLICY.
Obama praises New Orleans' educational progress, doesn't credit school choice By Jason Russell • 8/28/15 1:04 PM
'In New Orleans – perhaps America’s choiciest school district, where 70 percent of students attend charter schools – most of the schools remain the lowest performing in one of the lowest performing states, and parent activists have come to the conclusion that choice means “a choice to apply” while still remaining “trapped” in the same lousy schools.'
Real consequences of ‘school choice’
By Valerie Strauss March 12, 2013 Washington Post
Here’s an argument that the school choice movement doesn’t really deliver on its promise of more choice, especially the “Parent Trigger.” It was written by Jeff Bryant, a marketing and creative strategist with nearly 30 years of experience as a freelance writer, consultant, and search engine marketing provider. He’s written extensively about public education policy. This appeared on the Campaign for America’s Future website.By Jeff Bryant
For years, policy initiatives stemming from right-wing belief tanks have been wrapped in the rhetoric of positive outcomes that are, in fact, the complete opposite of what the measures are really intended to do.
A bill called Clear Skies that called for more pollution. Another called Healthy Forests offered incentives for cutting down valuable trees. No Child Left Behind, perhaps the crowning glory of duplicity, worsened the education of disadvantaged children it was purported to magically improve.
But without a doubt the most enduring of these wolf-wrapped-in-sheep’s-clothing ideas is the promise of “school choice” that’s been promoted to parents since the presidencies of Nixon and Reagan.
Sold as a way to “empower” parents to improve the education attainment of their children, school choice initiatives take on many forms, including vouchers, “scholarships,” and tax credits. But the most radical form of school choice is the so-called “parent trigger.”
The parent trigger has been relentlessly marketed to parents and policy makers as an “empowerment” that enables parents to conduct a petition campaign in their community to fire their school’s staff and change its governance. This has all the rhetoric of democratic activism – a majority of the parents deciding “what’s best” for the education of their children. But what are the results?
So far, the trigger has only been carried out to its fullest extent in one school: Desert Trails Elementary School in Adelanto, California. A new video “Parent Triggers: Another Reform Misfires,” (see below) released by the Education Opportunity Network, recently looked at the results of the parent trigger in Adelanto and found that rather then uniting parents in doing what’s best for children, the parent trigger brought deception, division and disruption to the community.
Thus, parent trigger bills join the ranks of other school choice schemes that are proliferating across the country. And rather than giving parents more control of the trajectory of their children, these policies are leaving more parents overwhelmed and powerless.
So what should parents expect when the parent trigger or any other school choice scheme comes to town?
In New Orleans – perhaps America’s choiciest school district, where 70 percent of students attend charter schools – most of the schools remain the lowest performing in one of the lowest performing states, and parent activists have come to the conclusion that choice means “a choice to apply” while still remaining “trapped” in the same lousy schools.
A recent article in The Washington Post told the story of how the District of Columbia’s complex school choice landscape has led some parents to hire an educational consultant to navigate the public school system — and this is being seen by some as the wave of the future in districts around the country. More than 40 percent of the District’s 80,000 students attend charter schools. Even when parents do choose traditional public schools for their children, “more than half do not attend their assigned neighborhood school.”
“It’s just totally overwhelming,” one parent was quoted as saying in the Post story.
And the results? D.C. schools have among the lowest high school graduation rates in the country and the largest achievement gap of any urban school district.
According to this New York Times story, parents in New York City face a similar, if not more daunting, “school choice maze” that leaves thousands of children “shut out” of any real choice at all. Parents trying to navigate the complex system end up “feeling inadequate, frustrated and angry.”
Not to worry, school choice advocates reassure us. We’re told, as in this article at greatschools.org, to rejoice in the fact that while “it used to be that when it was time to find a school for the kids, most Americans looked no further than the neighborhood school.” Now we have a wonderful “open” system where our precious little darlings get to “compete” against the precious little darlings of our friends and neighbors.
Just make sure you’re one of the “smart parents” who knows how to “work the system.”
How could choice possibly lead to fewer options for parents?
Charter and private schools operate with less regulation than a traditional public school, so they can practice abhorrent discipline policies, in some cases deny access to hard-to-teach students, and, in the case of private schools, teach a religion-based curriculum that would never be allowed in a traditional public school — even though public dollars pay tuition for students who win vouchers. So all of a sudden a “choice” becomes a consequence where parents don’t have the leverage of any democratic governing system.
Further, more taxpayer dollars diverted to charter and private schools means less money for traditional local schools, which affects the options of the parents “left behind” in their community schools. And regardless of the choice scheme, more well-off parents will always have the means to game the system while less well-off parents are left scrambling in the wake of a more competitive landscape.
The parent trigger is all this and more.
Writing at The Huffington Post, Mary Bottari from the Center for Media and Democracy has explained where the parent trigger came from:
While parent trigger was first promoted by a small charter school operator in California, it was taken up and launched into hyperdrive by two controversial right-wing organizations: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute.
If enough parents in a community sign a petition they can force the school governance body to do one or more of the following, according to Bottari: “1) fire the principal, 2) fire half of the teachers, 3) close the school and let parents find another option, or 4) convert the school into a charter school.”
Over 20 states have considered laws enacting the parent trigger, and according to Wikipedia, seven states have passed those laws: California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, Indiana, and Ohio. Now lawmakers are pushing parent trigger legislation all over the place: Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
This is indeed school choice on steroids. But is it “empowering”?
To date, the most ambitious marketing effort for the parent trigger has been the Hollywood production of “Won’t Back Down,” a movie starring the popular actresses Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal, in which a parent empowerment law is used by a group of sympathetic parents to wrestle school governance away from educators, who are negatively portrayed.
According to the grassroots parent advocacy group Parents Across America, “While the movie depicts an inspiring story of parental revolt, actual efforts to use the Parent Trigger have been driven by billionaire-funded supporters of privatization, and have sparked acrimony and division. None of these efforts has actually improved a school.”
The movie, according to Parents Across America, resulted from a collaboration between Rupert Murdoch and Philip Anschutz, “an oil-and-gas billionaire who co-produced the anti-teacher film, ‘Waiting for Superman,’ ” and who gives financial support to “organizations that oppose gay rights and support teaching creationism in schools. Anschutz has also donated to Americans for Prosperity, founded by the Koch brothers, which opposes environmental regulations and union rights.”
Reviewers of the film called it “inept and bizarre” . . . “sentimental and hackneyed.” And it completely tanked at the box office. But among the many insults committed by “Won’t Back Down,” and there were many, probably the worst was the movie gave the parent trigger a pretty face by casting something that has actually never been done in an aura of moral certainty and right-headedness.
The truth, it turns out, isn’t so pretty.
Our video, “Parent Triggers: Another Reform Misfires,” interviewed witnesses to the implementation of this mistaken policy in Adelanto. In talking to real people, rather than actors, we learned that the trigger agenda was propelled into the town by an outside organization called Parent Revolution.
NOTE THAT THIS IS THE WASSERMAN WHO IS CHAIR OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE THAT ALWAYS FUNDS NEO-LIBERALS IN ALL DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES.
According to an article in Mother Jones, Parent Revolution is “funded primarily by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.”
We also learned that rather than empowering parents, many parents felt they were deceived in signing the petition. According to local media accounts, most parents had no idea the change in the school would bring in a charter operator, and 93 parents who had signed the petition filled out forms to rescind their signatures.
This prompted the district board to initially reject the petition in March of last year. The rejection prompted deep-pocketed Parent Revolution to eventually take their case to court where, in July, a judge ruled the petition could not be revoked.
According to this article in The Huffington Post: “In the fall, the district tried to implement curriculum changes and an alternative governance committee comprised of parents in place of a charter conversion. But in October, another judge ruled the district must let the charter conversion press on.” Now the board has selected a charter, which will take over next school year.
But anyone thinking this is a “happy ending” like in “Won’t Back Down“ needs to actually listen to the teachers and parents in Adelanto. They talk of how their community has been divided and how their children’s learning has been disrupted for what is a completely unproven idea coming from rich people outside their town.
Rather than feeling empowered, they feel disenfranchised.
Although “Won’t Back Down“ was so unpopular it was quickly taken off the market, the movie isn’t going away.
As education historian Diane Ravitch warned from her blog site, “with the help of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” the movie is being shown “to legislators in conservative states, hoping to keep their campaign alive with a zombie film that died months ago.”
As long as the even more enduring zombie of school choice remains a right-wing bromide, the parent trigger – like its cousins, vouchers and tax credits – is going to continue to be sold to parents as an empowerment. But parents don’t need any more false promises about the power of choice. What they need from the nation’s leadership is a guarantee that all children have access to high quality schools.
Below you see why the numbers are appearing more positive in Baltimore City schools-----they have developed a system of alternative schools mostly non-profit or for-profit. I'm not saying all alternative schools are not doing what they say----I'm saying most are not doing what they say and the policy of creating separate facilities for students with any kind of challenge is unnecessary. Deregulation means students can be given high school diplomas while not achieving the same level of education as others----bringing down the value of this degree. Are all children going to be able to get a high school degree? Maybe not---that has been the case throughout public school history. The key is having the employment avenues for students that cannot----
So, when Baltimore says its graduation rates are up-----you can bet these alternative schools are the reason and you can bet more education structures like this Crooked Places Made Straight exist.
When students are allowed to attend schools in their own communities with all other children they are more successful. This is not being done in corporate education reform because the goal is cheapest education platform----not quality or equality.
Baltimore foster care youths get diploma in a day in PhiladelphiaCity agency has spent $40,000 to send students to small Christian academy
The Baltimore City Department of Social Services has sent 80… (Erica L. Green, Baltimore…) November 23, 2013|By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun
The journey to a high school diploma for most Maryland students spans four years, 720 days of classes, and a slate of state tests. But for dozens of Baltimore youths, the journey has involved a two-hour trip up Interstate 95, a three-hour exam and a $500 check.
Over the past year and a half, the Baltimore City Department of Social Services paid $40,000 of taxpayer money to send youths in foster care to a private Christian school in Philadelphia where they have obtained a high school diploma in one day.
Social Services officials defend the program, despite its unusual method of providing diplomas. They say the overwhelming majority of the 80 youths who have traveled to Crooked Places Made Straight Christian Academy have been successful at the small K-12 school.
The youths, most age 18 and older, went to the academy in the morning, took a series of exams, and if they passed, returned to Baltimore that afternoon with a Pennsylvania diploma.
Molly McGrath Tierney, director of the city social services agency, said those diplomas are like "keys to the kingdom" for youths whose life circumstances have prevented them from having a traditional school career.
"I'm not an expert in what everyone has to do to get a high school diploma, but what I do know is … these diplomas opened doors where they would have otherwise been slammed shut," she said.
City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke questions why Baltimore's public school system — which has several alternative programs that help students as old as 21 meet graduation requirements — could not meet the needs of the youths in foster care.
"There's no reason that the school system and DSS couldn't have made these diplomas accessible in an accelerated way through a partnership with GED," said Clarke, who chairs the council's Education Committee and has advocated for improved access to alternative and adult education programs.
She added that with the money spent on the diplomas from the Philadelphia school, "we could pay for a lot of GED tests for our students, or we could jump-start the education required for them to get those diplomas."
Others questioned whether this was the best use of taxpayer funds and said such a decision should have been publicly vetted.
"For an investment of this nature, you really do need a holistic analysis of whether this is the best way to handle these students," said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland.
"We don't want to just fail our kids, and leave them behind … but with government funds, especially sent to religious institutions, this needs to be holistically decided."
The Crooked Places Made Straight option is similar to the General Educational Development (GED) certificate, a nationally recognized program that offers a series of tests in lieu of state-required course work in order to obtain a high school diploma, or the equivalency.
The GED is a regulated program that can only be administered at approved sites, and test-takers generally pay an out-of-pocket fee that ranges from $45 to $150, depending on whether the test is done on paper or on a computer.
Winona Stewart, principal of Crooked Places Made Straight, said she has run the program for 15 years.
In a telephone interview Monday, she staunchly defended the program, which has served young adults from Baltimore and other states she did not specify, though she acknowledged that its legitimacy has been challenged.
"I don't get why people are questioning me when people get GEDs all day long," she said. "Most kids don't graduate on a 12th-grade level, no way."
She added that "a lot of kids who left from here, they're going to college, the Marines. At least they can move to the next level, and they can do something positive with their life."
But after inquiries from The Baltimore Sun to the school's accrediting body, the National Association of Private Schools, Stewart said Friday that she was shutting the one-day testing program down.
"My boss explained some things that I was doing wrong that I just didn't know that I was doing wrong," Stewart said. Of note, she learned that Baltimore students would have to do at least a year's worth of work to earn the diploma she was awarding.
"I've learned a whole lot from this," she added through tears, "mostly that shortcuts don't work."
Tierney said the social services agency provides alternative education options to older youths — about 40 percent of the city's foster children are age 17 or older — who are nearing the end of their time in the system, and "the gap for them, from where they're standing, is too wide."
Some attend the city's alternative programs, and others chose Crooked Places Made Straight.
She said that 90 percent of the students who have attended the Philadelphia school obtained diplomas, and 75 percent of the successful students have used the diploma to enroll in college and to secure jobs.
I spoke Sunday about the Baltimore organization ACY.org partnering with Maryland ACLU and as a member of Baltimore Education Coalition -----the Michelle Rhee privatization group all being behind moving all of Race to the Top and schools as businesses forward. They support schools being given private donations by the rich and corporations creating funding inequities and tying schools to corporate campuses. The Urban League is tops in moving all this Clinton and Obama neo-liberal policy forward and works hand-in-hand with Johns Hopkins in a Master Plan of making Baltimore an International Economic Zone. None of this has anything to do with civil rights----known of this has anything to do with strong public schools. So, when the Urban League says it is bringing civil rights to education you can bet there will be lots of education businesses ----non-profit and for-profit moving into communities spending tons of money that could be SUPPORTING PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THOSE COMMUNITIES.
IF WE GET CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS OUT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY---THEN WE RETURN TO A PROGRESSIVE LABOR AND JUSTICE REAL CIVIL RIGHTS.
Stop allowing them to redefine what civil rights looks like.
Baltimore has landed the 2016 annual convention for a national civil rights organization — a big win for a city whose tourism and convention industries have taken a hard hit since April's riots.
The National Urban League will bring its 2016 annual conference to the Baltimore Convention Center on Aug. 3-6, 2016.
The decision comes after Baltimore’s April riots and a spike in crime have deterred many leisure visitors and business groups; the unrest has had a lasting impact on the city's hospitality and tourism business.
The National Urban League is bringing its 2016 convention to Baltimore.
With expected attendance of 13,000 and an economic impact of $4.2 million, the National Urban League's conference will provide a needed boost.
“Our desire to come to Baltimore was also a timely one,” Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, said in a statement. “We are committed to partnering with our affiliate, the Greater Baltimore Urban League, Mayor Rawlings-Blake and the entire city of Baltimore to empower residents and make a notable impact in the local community.”
The conference will include sessions and workshops designed to empower communities and individuals working to secure economic independence, power and civil rights.
The purpose of Race to the Top was to deregulate the K-12 public education system and to do that Clinton neo-liberals along with Republicans are posing progressive as they pretend to use these privatization policies to help underserved students. Now, magnet schools and charters WERE progressive a few decades ago----they were specialty schools that offered choice to a Federally regulated public education. What is happening now is a complete dismantling of Federal public education using this once progressive issue to the point of creating tiers of non-profit and for-profit education businesses to address problems in education equity caused by the Reagan/Clinton dismantling and defunding of public K-college. This is when schools became too poor to purchase resources and staff for school rooms----when they became too poor to fund building reconstruction and all this is what allowed children in underserved communities be subjected to separate and unequal education. Clinton neo-liberals wanted to kill Equal Protection education and started in the 1990s with this defunding, deregulation, and failure to enforce Federal Constitutional Equal Education laws.
THEY ARE SIMPLY USING ALL THIS PROGRESSIVE POSING TO CREATE A PRIVATE SECTOR PLATFORM THAT WILL BE TAKEN BY GLOBAL EDUCATION CORPORATIONS WHO COULD CARE LESS ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN HOW A HUMAN CAN MAXIMIZE PROFITS.
Having a few alternative programs was never bad------having the system fill with alternative programs combined with dismantled oversight and accountability has as a goal to end Federal Constitutional protections to equal opportunity and access public education.
GLOBAL POLS ARE PRETENDING THEIR GLOBAL MARKET ECONOMY IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN AND THEY KNOW AMERICAN STUDENTS THAT CANNOT EXCEL WILL BE TREATED AS ANY IN THIRD WORLD NATIONS.
Maryland Department of Education-----
Dropout Prevention and Alternative Programs
Dropping out of school has especially dire consequences for young people and for society as a whole. Twenty-five years ago, almost 90% of high school dropouts could find regular work. Today, slightly more than a third of young dropouts find full-time employment and only 11% of them are earning more than poverty wages. And while some full-time job opportunities remain, the ability to earn a living wage without a high school diploma is difficult at best in today’s society. Today, a dropout earns about $260,000 less in a lifetime than a high school graduate (Alliance for Excellent Education, September 2007). As we watch our nation develop and transition to a technology-based society, more and more workers are being displaced. High school graduation becomes imperative as high school graduates do twice as well, and college graduates fare six times better than dropouts. Clearly education pays off for students who complete high school. From the class of 2007 dropouts, the United States will lose $329 billion in wages, taxes, and productivity (Alliance for Excellent Education, September 2007).
Beyond the personal costs of dropping out of school, the average dropout costs the community more than $300,000. We know that 75% of the individuals received by the Maryland Division of Corrections (1998 Dropout Prevention Taskforce Report) report themselves as high school dropouts. This means that approximately 17,250 of the 23,000 inmates are dropouts. Each year of incarceration costs state taxpayers more than $30,000 per inmate. Maryland spends about $518 million per year to house the 17,250 inmates who are dropouts. Dropping out is not the only challenge of this population, but we cannot dismiss the correlation between earning a high school diploma and incarceration. A five percent increase in Maryland’s male graduation rate could result in $160,557,762 annually in crime-related savings and $50,869,458 in additional earnings, for a total benefit to the State of $211,427,220 (Alliance for Excellent Education, August 2006)
A ten percent increase in the male graduation rate could reduce murder and assault rates by about 20 percent, motor vehicle theft by 13 percent and arson by eight percent (Moretti, 2005). Thus, we need to do everything possible to ensure that our young people have every opportunity to graduate from high school.
Each local school system (LSS) has developed strategies to address dropout prevention. A description of the services and interventions provided is included in the LSS Bridge to Excellence Master Plan, and the annual updates to that plan.
Race to the Top seeks to close many public schools and force parents and children to embrace this privatization policy as the only avenue to access to education. By hitting these underserved communities-----Wall Street has a captured group having little political voice. Pols from these districts are working for the Wall Street development corporations pushing these policies. The American people must stand up and FIGHT FOR ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND ACCESS FOR ALL TO EQUAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES OR WE WILL HAVE A CORPORATE CAMPUS WITH SCHOOLS ATTACHED TO A VOCATIONALLY TRACKED JOB TRAINING SCHOOL STRUCTURE FOR ALL.
If you live in parts of America that have race and class issues like Baltimore City Maryland-----don't allow separate keep you from equal. We have had this fight before with Brown vs Board of Ed. We demand every community have a public school funded to serve all students in that community regardless of ability. That is why we pay taxes. Look for national groups like Parents Across America ----Diane Ravitch is a great national advocate against this privatization----look to her website for like-minded groups and people. STOP WHAT IS IN BALTIMORE ONE OF THE MOST PRIVATIZED, CORPORATE EDUCATION REFORMS IN AMERICA.
As a former high school teacher I understand how disruptive just a few students with behavior problems can be. All this testing and evaluation is forcing teachers to think how to score well rather than what is best for the child. That is the goal of these policies. This is why most public school teachers are against these Race to the Top policies---it is not only that they are fighting for their own employment issues.
What a radical group---------shouting that Federal Constitutional guarantees to Equal Protection be enforced! Remember, these privatization issues are happening in Chicago---home of Obama.................................................................................................................'PAA supports the vision and the choice of the Dyett hunger strikers for a school governed by the community, with a strong parent voice '-
PAA supports Dyett hunger strikers
Parents Across America stands in solidarity with Chicago’s Dyett High School hunger strikers, parents fighting for high quality community schools for their children. Today is the 11th day of this courageous protest against the district’s plan to close their high school. For years, Dyett parents and community have been calling on the district and the city to pay better attention to their high school and its students, but instead Dyett suffered increasing disinvestment and marginalization, with faculty and programs cut to the bone. Students had to take classes like art and gym online, despite the fact that the school recently won a gorgeous new gymnasium in a contest sponsored by ESPN. Dyett parents and community members haven’t simply protested. They have spent months developing a strong, community-supported proposal to transition the school into an open-enrollment global leadership and green technology neighborhood high school. Meanwhile the district has been soliciting proposals from private companies to take over the school. PAA supports the vision and the choice of the Dyett hunger strikers for a school governed by the community, with a strong parent voice. PAA believes that quality schools are community-centered, provide services and activities that benefit students and their families, and grow in response to the expertise, experiences and relationships of members of the school community. It’s time for school and political leaders to listen to parents.