Wall Street is playing on the frustrations of city residents with schools left crumbling because they did not receive the Federal funding due them----and they play on the city residents need for jobs. Baltimore City is controlled by NYC via Bloomberg and his university----Johns Hopkins. So, what happens in NYC is coming to Baltimore. NYC and Chicago are the two areas having more than a decade of installing privatized K-12 with charter and school choice just to build this p...latform for national charter chains. They are making it seem to help create businesses and opportunity in underserved communities----but all the corporate funding for this stage will disappear if allowed to end public K-12. Remember, national charter chains are traded on Wall Street and they will become as profit-driven and predatory as any national or global corporation. THEY WILL NOT KEEP FUNDING ALL THESE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS OR ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS---
Below you see what appears to be a fight between New York's Cuomo---a mirror of Maryland's O'Malley who works to install all this International Economic Zone and Trans Pacific and Atlantic Trade Pact policy. I have my doubts as to de Blasio really being progressive----having a REAL progressive in the heart of Wall Street is not likely. What we do know is the intent to send these private charter chains nation-wide is the goal and Clinton neo-liberal pols seem only interested in getting in on the bottom floor of these stock deals. Remember, these national charter will attach to a global corporate campus like UnderArmour in Baltimore to become that corporation's K-career college. There will be no resemblance to public education with equal opportunity and definitely NO CHOICE.
Baltimore School Superintendent was a NYC Bloomberg plant to move these privatization policies forward and Alonzo was appointed by O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake.
IT REALLY MATTERS WHO YOU ELECT TO CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR----AND ESPECIALLY AS GOVERNOR. THE EXECUTIVE OFFICES HAVE ALL THE POWER RIGHT NOW.
With liberty and justice for all...
Some 200 parents and teachers rallied outside P.S. 149 and P.S. 811 on Monday, March 17, protesting the co-location of charter schools in public school buildings. (United Federation of Teachers)
Web Only / Features » March 13, 2014
The High Stakes of New York’s Heated Charter-School BattleThe fight is much bigger than Andrew Cuomo vs. Bill de Blasio.
BY Sarah Jaffe EmailPrint
Moskowitz's decision to close schools on Tuesday, March 4, to bus students to Albany for a pro-charter school rally coincided with the scheduled Albany lobby day by de Blasio and supporters for his universal pre-kindergarten plan and its attendant tax increase for the city's rich.
The battle over education in New York has turned nasty in the past week, as tensions over charter schools and funding for universal pre-kindergarten boiled over in Albany and across New York City.
This struggle is often portrayed in the media as a conflict between personalities—newly elected liberal Democratic NYC mayor Bill de Blasio versus fiscally conservative Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo, whose presidential ambitions are hardly a secret. But the fight for public education is much bigger than the egos of these two men (and that's saying something). It's also much bigger than a spat between de Blasio and Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Success Academy, the charter-school chain whose three rejected co-locations—siting of a charter school in an existent public school building alongside the public school– inspired a civil rights lawsuit filed this week.
Moskowitz's decision to close schools on Tuesday, March 4, to bus students to Albany for a pro-charter school rally coincided with the scheduled Albany lobby day by de Blasio and supporters for his universal pre-kindergarten plan and its attendant tax increase for the city's rich. This was probably not a coincidence, as Moskowitz's rally managed to drown out attention for de Blasio's event.
Teacher Patrick Walsh of P.S. 149 tells In These Times, “If any public school principal did that, they would be automatically fired, possibly arrested.” Charters, though, are independently-run alternative schools that are publicly funded and take public-school students—Walsh points out that because charters are not held to the same standards as other schools, this passed without much outcry. “They get public funding and get public space but they don't answer to the chancellor and there is no public oversight to any of their schools. They have a board of directors as if they're a corporation.”
Cuomo was more than happy to change the subject away from a plan he wants no part of (the governor's budget is laden with tax cuts, not increases, for the wealthy), and turned up at the charter schools rally instead. The tabloids obliged as well—the New York Post ran a cover tweaking de Blasio with “A Tale of Two Rallies” and calling the children on the buses “supporters” of charter schools.
The debate in the media over the past week shows the still-narrow range of public debate around charter schools. On one end are charter-school enthusiasts like Andrew Cuomo, who spoke to a cheering crowd at the pro-charters rally, proclaiming “I am committed to ensuring charter schools have the financial capacity, the physical space and the government support to thrive and to grow.” At the other are skeptics like Bill de Blasio, who took the moderate step of refusing proposed co-locations of nine charter schools, out of 45 that were reviewed. New York Times writer Michael Powell called it “a mild counter revo[lution].” But few politicians will say that giving private companies rent-free public space to pick and choose the students they'll educate is a practice that should be completely ended, though Public Advocate Letitia James is going forward with a lawsuit opposing 36 co-locations (including 14 new ones) that de Blasio reaffirmed.
But the question of charter schools is much bigger than the personalities and political prospects of the officials and executives involved in the current fight. Charters are at the heart of the corporate-backed agenda for education reform, which Barbara Madeloni of the Massachusetts Teachers Association calls “predatory reform.” The reform agenda backed by charter-school heads like Moskowitz and billionaires like Bloomberg often results in funneling public funds into private hands, whether that's charter chains or testing companies, while cracking down on teachers unions (charter schools are mostly non-union) and shrinking teaching time in favor of ever-more high-stakes tests.
Charters have also been widely criticized for cherrypicking students already more likely to succeed; the processes for entry tilt the playing field in favor of parents who are active and engaged with their child. As Bertha Lewis of the Black Institute wrote in an op-ed recently at the New York Daily News, just 3 percent of New York's children attend charters, yet funding for the other 97 percent of schools has been cut repeatedly at the state level. The heavy focus on charters masks the fact that the rest of New York's students are getting shortchanged. (Even the names of some NYC charters seem to acknowledge that fact—schools like “Uncommon Schools” almost seem to revel in it.)
Charter school co-locations are the epitome of this reform ideology. Co-locations are already common in New York City, where charter schools exploded during the Bloomberg years—from 17 when the billionaire former mayor took office to 159 in 2013. Some two-thirds of those schools are located rent-free in public school buildings. Instead of taking on the whole building, which would perhaps come with some expectation that they should educate all the students, the co-located schools fill up half the building, squeezing the other students and teachers into smaller spaces. Even if you accept the premise that charters are automatically better (Moskowitz touts the high test scores of her Success Academy students), what does this say then to the other children who don’t receive the same accommodations?
Under the co-location plan that de Blasio blocked, Success Academy would have expanded further into two conjoined public schools with which it already shares space, P.S. 149 and P.S. 811. The latter is a school for children with autism and behavioral or emotional problems. Parents at the public schools opposed the expansion, and even supporters of the co-location admitted it could bring the school over 130 percent of its capacity.
Mother Beajae Payne tells In These Times that co-location is unfair to special needs students like her son, who attends P.S. 811. “I think they need their own location. They should not be taking up free space in public schools. If they're going to be there, they should be paying something.” She notes that because of their special needs, her son and his fellow students “can't say 'We like our school and want to be here.' They can't speak for themselves.”
For those concerned about the encroachment of private enterprise on public space, Success Academy makes a perfect example, its coffers fat with private donations as it demands to occupy an already-crowded public school building. When Success Academy first moved in, Walsh, who's been at P.S. 149 for nine years, says that his school lost its music room and a computer room. According to Juan Gonzalez at the Daily News, if the co-location request for an additional 375 or so students at the P.S. 811/149 building had gone through, 20 percent of enrollment for the special needs students would be cut.
It's students, like Payne's son, that new schools chancellor Carmen Fariña has said she'll take into account in the future when approving charters. She told Gonzalez she would no longer allow reduced space for students with special needs, who make up only 9 percent of charter students, a number far lower than the district average.
It’s not only special needs students who suffer when charters move in. “It's my belief that [co-location] is simply another wedge to drive into the community to set one part of the community against another,” Walsh says. While the charter school students receive the best of everything, the public funds supplemented with corporate donations, the public school students suffer. It was a walk through the space at his school comparing the facilities for Success Academy students to those for P.S. 149 or 811 students, he says, that inspired a lawsuit by his union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and the NAACP in 2011 over unequal conditions for students.
That lawsuit is still pending, but Walsh and others were dismayed to see the charter school supporters using the language of civil rights this week—and filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education. The suit argues in part that de Blasio's decision to deny colocations is “improper and arbitrary” and that “If Harlem Central closes, students currently attending one of the highest-performing schools across the state will be forced to attend some of the lowest performing schools in New York City.”
Hazel Dukes, president of the New York State conference of the NAACP, released a statement calling the lawsuit “an affront to all public school parents in New York City.” She continued, “This lawsuit is an outrageous and insulting attempt by Wall Street hedge fund managers to hijack the language of civil rights in their shameless political attack on Bill de Blasio.”
If this whole battle is over halting the expansion of charters, we can see how hard it is to take back charter schools once they've been opened; few educators want to force students from one learning environment where they're thriving to another, and no politician wants to be seen as shuttering a school that someone loves. Yet in the Bloomberg years, 164 schools were closed in New York City, and some students loved those schools too. Parents like Payne see their children thriving in existing public schools and don't want to lose them either. In her son's time at P.S. 811 he's gone from speaking just a word at a time to full sentences—she calls his teacher “A match made in heaven for him.”
Meanwhile, some 200 teachers and parents gathered on Monday outside of P.S. 149 and 811 to rally against the co-location and in support of their public schools, alongside Dukes, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Reverend Michael Walrond of First Corinthian Baptist Church. However, the protest did not get as much media attention as the dueling Albany rallies on March 4. Walsh says “I'm furious at the lack of press it received.”
Ultimately, charter schools can trust that Cuomo will advance their cause, whether out of a sincere love for charters or simply a result of the campaign donations pouring into his pockets from the industry. But it’s unclear if the officials who claim to oppose them will stop their expansion. On the campaign trail, de Blasio called for a “moratorium” on co-locations and suggested that well-funded chains like Moskowitz's (they have some $35 million in reserves) could afford to pay rent to the city. But now, he has backed off while shoring up his support for pre-K, and even James takes pains to point out that she is not opposed to all charter schools. Teachers unions can be counted on to continue battling charters, particularly as New York’s UFT moves into contract negotiations and its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, looks to step up its fight against charter school chains on the national level. But it will take a real movement of teachers, parents, students, and sympathetic officials to halt the steady march toward charters and rechannel money back into public schools.
“Children are not some widgets that can somehow be distributed. It's not about random seats,” Moskowitz told reporters recently, lamenting what might happen if her charters don't open. Payne, on the other side, would quite likely agree—but it's not her children that Moskowitz is concerned with.
I know the opportunity for investment on the ground floor is driving politicians----especially Clinton neo-liberal politicians to install all this bad education policy. I listen to local WYPR board members talking about investing in KIPP or another national charter chain. First I'd like to say to those people selling out Equal Opportunity democratic public education to predatory Wall Street charter chains----
THE US PUBLIC STOCK MARKET WILL NOT BE AROUND MUCH
LONGER AND ONLY PRIVATE, RICH INVESTORS WILL OWN STOCKS -----SO YOU WILL BE THROWN UNDER THE BUS.
As Wall Street moves to make these K-12 charter chains most profitable the first thing that comes to mind----HAVING CHILDREN WORKING AS APPRENTICES AS FREE LABOR. I spoke of this goal earlier so I will not dwell----but this is where schools will become LEAN, MEAN PROFIT-MACHINES.
Keep in mind with the article below-----most of what they are calling 'Democrats' in New York are Clinton neo-liberals -----so they are not going to watch out for teacher's unions down the road. Look at the coming bond market crash that has a goal of killing public sector pensions---teacher's pensions----and you see what Clinton neo-liberals think of teacher's unions.
When Maryland only allows Clinton neo-liberals to participate in primary elections statewide -----it is this lobbying money that comes to Maryland Congressional pols to make sure this happens at the state and local level. Therefor---the only Democratic pols in primaries having a voice and campaign funds are those ready to move these education privatization policies along. That is why it is critical for all Democratic voters to look hard at candidates in primaries being allowed no voice or having no campaign funds. They may be the real deal.
This article shows the link between the school building bond deals as in Baltimore------$1 billion -----and how the bond crash places these newly recostructed building right in the hands of private investors that will turn them into national charter chains.
'A national charter school company that plans to open new schools in Texas, including one in McKinney, has run afoul of an education official in Nevada and two of its former principals, and they all pose the same question.
Does Imagine Schools Inc. force its charter schools to spend too much money on complex real estate deals and not enough money on teachers and academic programs?'
Charter Schools and The Profit Motive
1, March 16, 2013 jonathanturley Academics, Society Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger
In a 2010 New York Times article titled Charter Schools’ New Cheerleaders: Financiers, reporters Tripp Gabriel and Jennifer Medina wrote the following about what was going on in the state of New York:
Wall Street has always put its money where its interests and beliefs lie. But it is far less common that so many financial heavyweights would adopt a social cause like charter schools and advance it with a laserlike focus in the political realm…
Although the April 9 breakfast with Mr. Cuomo was not a formal fund-raiser, the hedge fund managers have been wielding their money to influence educational policy in Albany, particularly among Democrats, who control both the Senate and the Assembly but have historically been aligned with the teachers unions.
They[hedge fund managers] have been contributing generously to lawmakers in hopes of creating a friendlier climate for charter schools. More immediately, they have raised a multimillion-dollar war chest to lobby this month for a bill to raise the maximum number of charter schools statewide to 460 from 200.
That same year—2010—Juan Gonzalez believed that he had uncovered one of the reasons why hedge fund managers, some wealthy Americans, and the executives of some Wall Street banks had become such big proponents of charter schools and had gotten involved in their development. Gonzalez said the banks and other wealthy investors had been making “windfall profits” by taking advantage of “a little-known federal tax break to finance new charter-school construction.” That little know tax break, the New Markets Tax Credit, can be so lucrative, Gonzalez said, “that a lender who uses it can almost double his money in seven years.” He added that the tax break “gives an enormous federal tax credit to banks and equity funds that invest in community projects in underserved communities, and it’s been used heavily now for the last several years for charter schools.”
Gonzalez focused his research on the city of Albany—which, he wrote, “boasts the state’s highest percentage of charter school enrollments.” He provided an explanation of how lucrative investments in building new charter schools can be:
What happens is the investors who put up the money to build charter schools get to basically or virtually double their money in seven years through a thirty-nine percent tax credit from the federal government. In addition, this is a tax credit on money that they’re lending, so they’re also collecting interest on the loans as well as getting the thirty-nine percent tax credit. They piggy-back the tax credit on other kinds of federal tax credits like historic preservation or job creation or brownfields credits.
The result is, you can put in ten million dollars and in seven years double your money. The problem is, that the charter schools end up paying in rents, the debt service on these loans and so now, a lot of the charter schools in Albany are straining paying their debt service–their rent has gone up from $170,000 to $500,000 in a year or–huge increases in their rents as they strain to pay off these loans, these construction loans. The rents are eating-up huge portions of their total cost. And, of course, the money is coming from the state.
Brighter Choice Foundation
According to Gonzalez, “a nonprofit called the Brighter Choice Foundation had employed the New Markets Tax Credit to arrange private financing for five of the city’s nine charter schools.” By 2010, many of those charter schools were struggling to pay escalating rents, which were “going toward the debt service that Brighter Choice incurred during construction.”
Gonzalez gave examples of the escalating rents:
The Henry Johnson Charter School saw the rent for its 31,000-square-foot building skyrocket from $170,000 in 2008 to $560,000 in 2009.
The Albany Community School‘s went from from $195,000 to $350,000.
Green Tech High Charter School rent rose from $443,000 to $487,000.
Gonzalez reported that a number of Albany’s charter schools have fallen into debt to the Brighter Choice Foundation. He wondered why the schools’ financial problems hadn’t raised eyebrows with state regulators or caused concern for the charters’ school boards. He noted that the powerful charter school lobby had “so far successfully battled to prevent independent government audits of how its schools spend their state aid.” He added that “key officers of Albany’s charter school boards are themselves board members, employees or former employees of the Brighter Choice Foundation or its affiliates.”
Gonzalez said that the city of Albany is “exhibit A in the web of potential conflicts that keep popping up in the charter school movement.” It appears Gonzalez is correct about Albany being just one example of what’s going on in the movement. Brighter Horizons isn’t the only “foundation” or company making profits off of charter schools.
Imagine Schools Inc.
There is a national charter school company called Imagine Schools Inc., one of the biggest for-profit charter school management companies in the country. Matthew Haag of the Dallas Morning News wrote about Imagine Schools in 2008:
A national charter school company that plans to open new schools in Texas, including one in McKinney, has run afoul of an education official in Nevada and two of its former principals, and they all pose the same question.
Does Imagine Schools Inc. force its charter schools to spend too much money on complex real estate deals and not enough money on teachers and academic programs?
Virginia-based Imagine Schools has emerged as one of the largest for-profit charter school management companies, running several dozen schools in 12 states. It plans to open Imagine International Academy of North Texas in McKinney next year.
Charter schools house their students in Texas in a variety of ways, according to the former Charter Resource Center of Texas, from renting space in a shopping center to doing complex property transactions such as Imagine’s.
Typically, after an Imagine-managed charter school gets approval to open, Schoolhouse Finance, Imagine’s real estate arm, purchases a campus and charges the school rent. After the school begins to pay that rent, Schoolhouse sells the campus to a real estate investment trust, which then leases it back to Schoolhouse.
The charter school eventually sends rent payments – in one case upward of 40 percent of the school’s entire publicly funded budget – to two for-profit companies.
“The arrangement is very lucrative because it’s a direct conduit to public funds. The school [property] is paid off with public funds,” said Gary Horton, who oversees charter school funding for the Nevada Department of Education. Nevada’s charter schools include Imagine’s 100 Academy of Excellence in North Las Vegas.
Haag added that charter schools in Texas are generally exempt from the kind of financial oversight that “state education officials give school districts. The agency annually grades how school districts spend their money, but not yet for charters.”
Haag explained what happened with 100 Academy of Excellence in Nevada:
In Nevada, the state awarded 100 Academy of Excellence in North Las Vegas a charter, and the school hired Imagine to run its educational services. Schoolhouse Finance, the Imagine subsidiary, paid for the school’s property and building construction. Schoolhouse Finance then leased the property to the charter school for $1.4 million a year.
Next, Schoolhouse Finance sold the $8 million property to a real estate investment trust, Kansas City, Mo.,-based Entertainment Properties Trust. The trust then leased the property back to Schoolhouse Finance at a lower rate than the charter school pays.
Money remaining after Schoolhouse Finance pays its lease to the trust goes to Imagine Schools Inc. This tiered lease system has led to 10 percent returns on investment for owners and investors in the two companies, Sharp said.
But 100 Academy of Excellence’s annual rent, which represents 40 percent of its annual state-funded budget, leaves the school struggling to pay for textbooks, according to Nevada Department of Education records.
“My concern is that I have to make payments [to the charter school], and I know the payments aren’t going to the kids,” said Horton, a persistent critic of Imagine’s operations.
Stephanie Strom reported in the New York Times in 2010 that soon after 100 Academy of Excellence opened in 2006, the school board began documenting problems. Its bookkeeping practices were lax and it lacked a sufficient number of licensed teachers. The school had also violated regulations requiring competitive bidding when it paid Imagine “for necessities like furniture and computers.”
Strom added that the school had had three principals in four years. She said that two of the principals had been “pressured to resign after complaining that there was not enough money for essentials like textbooks and a school nurse.”
In addition, Strom reported that regulators in a number of states had found that Imagine Schools had “elbowed the charter holders out of virtually all school decision making — hiring and firing principals and staff members, controlling and profiting from school real estate, and retaining fees under contracts that often guarantee Imagine’s management in perpetuity.”
The regulators claimed that Imagine’s arrangements allowed it to use “public money with little oversight.” Marc Dean Millot, a former president of the National Charter Schools Alliance, said, “Under either charter law or traditional nonprofit law, there really is no way an entity should end up on both sides of business transactions.” He added, “Imagine works to dominate the board of the charter holder, and then it does a deal with the board it dominates — and that cannot be an arm’s length transaction.”
White Hat Management
In a 2011 Pro-Publica article titled Charter Schools Outsource Education to Management Firms, With Mixed Results, Sharona Coutts wrote about charter schools run by White Hat Management in Ohio:
Since 2008, an Ohio-based company, White Hat Management, has collected around $230 million to run charter schools in that state. The company has grown into a national chain and reports that it has about 20,000 students across the country. But now 10 of its own schools and the state of Ohio are suing, complaining that many White Hat students are failing, and that the company has refused to account for how it has spent the money.
The dispute between White Hat and Ohio, which is unfolding in state court in Franklin County, provides a glimpse at a larger trend: the growing role of private management companies in publicly funded charter schools.
Coutt reported that about one third of the charter schools in this country are now run by management companies, which can be either for-profit or non-profit, and not run locally. These companies not only have the right to hire and fire staff—they can also develop curricula and discipline students. She added that while the “shortcomings of traditional public schools” have been under scrutiny in recent years—“a look at the private sector’s efforts to run schools in Ohio, Florida and New York shows that turning things over to a company has created its own set of problems for public schools.” She said that government data on charter schools suggest that those with “for-profit managers have somewhat worse academic results than charters without management companies, and a number of boards have clashed with managers over a lack of transparency in how they are using public funds.”
The Ohio Department of Education joined the lawsuit in the fall of 2010. It asked the court to help the “group of public schools break free from dominance by private interests.” The department argued in a court motion that things had not gone well under White Hat’s management. It said, “Most of the schools have received the equivalent of D’s and F’s on their State report cards and their performance has declined during the term of the agreements.”
James D. Colner, an attorney representing the schools, said, “A big part of the argument here is being able to follow the money. We have no idea whether they’re earning a reasonable profit or not. We have no idea whether the money is being efficiently or effectively spent for our students.” That should be of great concern to citizens of Ohio. Coutt contends that oversight of the industry has lagged. She added that it has resulted “in a patchwork of state and district regulation, which experts say is failing to safeguard the interests of children and taxpayers.”
Laura Clawson (Daily Kos):
In short, education reform is a good cause. Experimentation is good — and some of the best charter schools today have experimented in what could be valuable ways. But the push, coming from Wall Street and the extremely wealthy, for this specific form of charter schools, for this specific way of funding them, is part of both short-term and long-term drives for profit that will accrue to the wealthiest while weakening the middle class. The question is not whether we should back away from the cause of education, or the cause of education reform. The question is in whose interests it should be done and who should most strongly influence the outcomes.
The American people are being told Asian nations have better performing students which by the way is tied to neo-liberal corporate education. You rarely hear that Northern European students score as high while NOT USING ALL THIS PREDATORY COMPETITION/FOR-PROFIT EDUCATION BUSINESS STRUCTURES.
Pearson is a UK corporation going global by becoming those for-profit education businesses tied to Asian K-college education. Where this education reform has pre-K and after-school programs being given for free paid for by 'good corporate donations'-----in Asia, these pre-K and after-school programs are predatory for-profit education businesses that take all of a family's disposable income ------the entire system is for-profit driven and to get a job your family must have attended and paid for all these education extras.....all of which are free in a social democracy.
ALL OF THOSE EDUCATION FUNDS OBAMA AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS IN CONGRESS ARE SENDING TO PRE-K AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS ARE SEEDING WHAT WILL BE TAKEN BY THESE GLOBAL EDUCATION CORPORATIONS----THEY WILL NOT REMAIN YOUR SMALL, LOCAL EDUCATION BUSINESS.
The US is ranked so low because of Reagan/Clinton's defunding and dismantling of our public K-college structure that was top in the world.
Note that Education Week-----which without coincidence ranks Maryland #1 each year for installing the most global, privatized education policies-----is a Bill Gates/Pearson education media outlet. This is why you see all education news filtered through Education Week. Global online lessons using Common Core creates a standarized structure of information distributed to students around the world.
Pearson Announces Publishing Distribution Agreement with Microsoft Press
Mar 11 14
Pearson has been selected by Microsoft as the official distributor of Microsoft Press products. Pearson has entered into an agreement, effective, April 1, 2014, to distribute print and digital Microsoft Press products globally. This most recent announcement adds Microsoft Press to a list of respected technology companies which have partnered with Pearson to deliver learning resources around the world. Microsoft Press will benefit from the established retailer relationships Pearson maintains both nationally and internationally, as well as translation rights and licensing programs in place. Additionally, Pearson and Microsoft Press will jointly create microsoftpressstore.com, also launching in April.
I like this------it is the culture of accountability that makes Asian students excel-----meanwhile all oversight and accountability of corporations is being dismantled bringing widespread dysfunction of business and government sector----BUT THE OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY ON PEOPLE'S ACTIONS ARE WHAT IS IMPORTANT SAY CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS!
Pearson's Global Education Index Ranks U.S. 14th in Learning and Skill Attainment
By Michele Molnar on May 13, 2014 11:19 AM |
The United States ranks 14th in the world in cognitive skills and educational attainment, while Pacific Asian countries and regions dominate the top rankings, according to a report commissioned by Pearson, the multinational education company. The report cited a "culture of accountability" as the reason South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong were ranked in the top four for their overall education performance.
The Learning Curve 2014 report analyzes the educational performance of 39 countries using a "global index" that consists of data compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which is part of Economist magazine. In addition to the report, The Learning Curve database provides education inputs, education outputs, and socioeconomic indicators from 50 countries and Hong Kong, going back to 1990. More than 60 indicators are represented in the database.The Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Attainment ranks countries based on only two categories: cognitive skills and educational outcomes, including graduation rates and literacy.
According to the global index, the United States moved up three places from its 2012 ranking of 17, and Finland dropped to 5th place. The United Kingdom ranked 6th, meaning its performance was unchanged.
In a phone interview with Education Week, Pearson's Chief Education Advisor Sir Michael Barber said that the U.S. college completion rate greatly affected its ranking. Completion rates are 50 percent in comparison to 90 percent in countries like the United Kingdom.
Pacific Asian countries have continued to outrank their peers because of an effective education system and "culture of accountability," according to the report. The research showed that teachers, students, and parents took equal responsibility for their roles in education. These countries also valued teachers and schools significantly higher than other nations.The report attributes this to a commitment to attracting good teachers into the profession and giving them the social status of other professionals, setting clear goals and expectations within the education system, and providing autonomy for education professionals to reach those goals.
Barber said he doesn't believe countries should copy each others' education models, but should instead consider what research says about strategies for improving schools, and how to implement those policies.
"In the U.K. and America we tend to think smartness is given at birth, and Pacific Asian countries don't think that," said Barber. "They believe if children work hard they can be smart, and that makes a difference."
Lifelong learning skills were another factor considered in the ranking. It found that adults' cognitive skills decline rapidly when not used on a daily basis at their jobs.The Learning Curve report states that there is a strong correlation between the number of people in a country with basic cognitive skills and the nation's labor productivity and economic growth.
Increasing education funding, on its own, was not shown to improve a country's educational performance.
Pearson commissioned the research in 2012 as part of its Learning Curve program, to provide a comprehensive database for researchers and policymakers. "We want to generate dialogue among educators and administrators about how to prepare for the 21st century," said Barber. "It shows what kinds of things are getting lots of attention in political discussions around the world but don't make much difference."
The report states that "education correlates with economic growth: the average time spent in school by a country's students and the labor productivity of its workers have been statistically linked for the last two decades."
Alan Ginsburg, a former director of policy and program studies for the U.S. Department of Education, disagrees.
In a phone interview with Education Week, Ginsburg pointed out that the countries with the highest rankings on the index are actually associated with lower rankings in labor productivity, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics International Labor Comparisons. "It's not as simple as they're saying, these tests are not measuring workplace readiness skills, they are very general and don't go past high school students," said Ginsburg.
Ginsburg said assessments other than just the PISA, TIMMS, and PIRLS--three international education studies the Learning Curve report used for data--should be used to establish a clearer picture of the link between education and economic growth. He suggests that the report should include data that covers skill attainment and educational outcomes among students in universities and colleges, the role of technology in education and the workforce, and data from studies done by international economists. "The international test scores don't take into account that U.S. students may catch up with others in educational outcomes when they attend our highly respected universities," said Ginsburg.
He agrees that the Pacific Asian countries have benefited from higher educational outcomes due to the philosophy that student effort matters more than ability. "The U.S. holds teachers and schools but not students accountable for performance on state assessments," said Ginsburg. He believes other countries could adopt the models of education used by Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, but such adoptions should be carefully implemented. He said a commitment to developing highly qualified teachers and providing extra support for lower performing students is helpful but other common practices in these countries may prove harmful in the United States. "The downside to high stakes testing is that they (Asian countries) begin to sort students by performance and that includes determining admission to high school and middle school, and we may not want that as a society," said Ginsburg.
Ginsburg believes the report was compiled in an objective manner considering it was done by a private company with financial interest in the topic. When asked what interest Pearson may have in collecting this data, Ginsburg told Education Week it could prove useful for education companies. "The relationship between education and labor productivity is very important and it's something that should be studied," said Ginsburg. "This data might be helpful for them (Pearson) in encouraging the purchase and development of certain textbooks and materials."
The Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Attainment was first created in November 2012 and recently revised in January 2014. The corresponding report with analysis was written with the help of international education experts. The Economist Intelligence Unit, the group commissioned to gather, organize and interpret the data, is part of The Economist Group, which Pearson is a stakeholder in. The full report, index and database can be found on Pearson's website.
CLARIFICATION: This item has been reworded to make it clear that ranking of the United Kingdom, which ranked 6th, remained the same from 2012 to 2014.
South Korean education is this Race to the Top neo-liberal education being installed now in the US. Korean families have had to deal with this for several decades and their society reflects this singular focus on education, competition, and spending tons of money on private education businesses. Below you see a title saying teachers are millionaires but that is not for classroom teaching----it is for creating online after-school programs designed for students to 'keep up' with the demands of competing for limited quality education spots.
This is exactly what is happening in Baltimore as the choices for quality schools dwindles and growing numbers of after-school programs become tied to whether a child can enter a school-----that is when school choice becomes corporations choosing students. All of what are pre-K and after-school programs pretending to be helping in underserved communities will become too expensive for most families to attend and will become required in order to get into schools that lead to jobs. ERGO, ALL THE COMPETITION AND ALL THE FOCUS ON READING, MATH, AND SCIENCE TO THE EXCLUSION OF HUMANITIES AND LIBERAL ARTS.
Korean mothers are so tied to this race to compete that the word TIGER MOM comes from these education policies. Remember, these education practices bring children to no different outcome than the American public education used to when it was fully funded and resourced----but the profit made by corporations is HUGE. The Federal and state funding of public education each year is hundreds of billions and all that will go to these education corporations. This is why I say what looks progressive will not be free very long or available to most families.
Sure Asian students are predisposed to do well in school---not because they are smarter---but because they are used to this driven education structure.
WE DO NOT NEED THESE EDUCATION POLICIES THAT WILL TAKE ALL EDUCATION FREEDOM AWAY ALONG WITH OUR SOCIETAL STRUCTURES THAT VALUE A CHILD HAVING TIME FOR PLAY, TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL IN THOUGHT, AND TO PURSUE LEARNING BROADLY. Asian nations do not know this social democratic structure.
ASIAN NATIONS TODAY ARE PROTESTING AND FIGHTING AGAINST THESE NEO-LIBERAL EDUCATION STRUCTURES.
Star Teachers In South Korea Are Multi-Millionaires
Posted By: Clayton BrownePosted date: December 31, 2014 10:36:09 AMIn:
Education is a very big deal in South Korea. The country boasts one of the most educated populations of nations around the globe, and Korean students consistently rank at the very top worldwide in average reading, math and science test scores.
Moreover, you really can't exaggerate the importance South Koreans place on education. In South Korea, you have to get into the right kindergarten, so that you can get into the right elementary school, then into the right middle school and high school, and of course into the right college. The belief is all of that education is needed to make sure you get the right job and attract the right spouse.
Educational system may be pushing kids too hard
The constant emphasis on education has become so pervasive that some politicians and educators have begun to question whether things are getting out of hand. The reality is, however, that even parents opposed to the race to the top educational system have no way to opt out as their children say that they can’t keep up if they don’t attend an online or brick-and-mortar after-school (called a hagwon).
Of note, Korean students come in last in OECD surveys with regard to the question are they are happy at school. South Korea also suffers from the highest suicide rate in the developed world, which experts suggest suggest is likely related to the high-stress related to education in Korean culture.
Star teachers in South Korea make millions
The great popularity of hagwons in Korea is very good news for instructors like Cha Kil-yong, who began teaching at a hagwon several years ago to pay for grad school.
Cha is a top-ranked math teacher. But instead of teaching in a school, Cha runs an online hagwon called SevenEdu that focuses on preparing students to take the college entrance exam in math
Cha said he took home more than $8 million last year. Of note, Cha's hagwon is one of the most popular in the country.
"I’m madly in love with math," said Cha, dressed fashionably in a crimson shirt and pants and tweed jacket, in his office in trendy Gangnam.
Around 300,000 students are taking his online class at any given time, paying $39 for a 20-hour course. Cha teaches students tricks for taking timed exams, including shortcuts to solve a problem faster.
Silicon valley has the highest concentration of Asian immigrant families over these few decades because the tech industry is tied to FOXCONN factory and services in Asia. Global pols in the US wanting to dismantle our public school structure and retool our social society to one of work and competition is everything love Asian immigrants to America. They come already tooled to these values and have no exposure to Constitutional freedoms and values of democratic education like the arts and humanities as part of a free public K-college. They have lived this hard-core STEM only under incredibly competitive conditions and they are bringing this to the US. When the conflict between white and Asian families over schools and education policies occurs---it is not because white, black, or Hispanics are not as intelligent---we simply know there is more to life than work and school.
Immigrants from Asia are coming to US cities like Baltimore and bringing this mentality-----and as well, foreign investors creating businesses in the US will look for these same education criteria in hiring. All of this forces America to these Republican school as business policies. As this article shows, Asian immigrants are often starting their own charter schools in order to keep this high-pressure education structure as they work for jobs in Asian corporations operating in the US as they do overseas under Trans Pacific Trade Pact and International Economic Zones.
The Tiger Parents of Silicon Valley White and Asian students in California schools self-segregate.
That’s a pity—and a problem. By Samuel Liu "[Self-segregation] was good for mutual understanding, I suppose, but utterly terrible for any sort of exchange of ideas or backgrounds."Photo by Torwaiphoto/Shutterstock
This post originally appeared on Caixin.
Tiger parenting is by now a well-documented phenomenon that has given pundits everywhere an extra column or two, and, for a certain original tiger mother, a New York Times best-seller.
I have something of a strange tie to tiger parenting. I grew up in Silicon Valley, home of Apple, Google, and the new American dream, a place where almost all my friends had Asian immigrant parents. I also go to Harvard, which is coincidentally the same school that Amy Chua’s children attend or attended. I recall Lulu, the younger daughter, walking into a dorm room and introducing herself to me while I struggled mightily to pretend that I had not already pored over her life story as told by her mother.
In my hometown, tiger parenting could be seen as a sort of litmus test to see which culture you were most familiar with. For a long time, Saratoga, my hometown of 20,000, was almost entirely white. And then the tech revolution brought new-money immigrants like my Chinese-born parents into the tech sector. After a stock market boom or two, they could afford a house in Saratoga, in all its suburban glory, with pristine lawns and an allegedly pristine school system.
Around me, I noticed that almost all the parents or students complaining about the policies were Asian.
To say that whites resented Asians or Asians resented whites would be a gross exaggeration of a largely utopian merger. Youth soccer leagues were run by parents of multiple ethnicities: Indian, white, Chinese, Korean. Often, they were co-workers in their fields. Parental involvement was unified in activities spanning from musicals to the Parent-Teacher Association.
But it was in academics where one could smell the distinct coded scent of a split. There’s a nearby high school called Lynbrook, which by now is probably upwards of 90 percent Asian. I had a friend there who used to joke that they called the white people “the few five.” Everyone knew the one black student by name.
The Wall Street Journal came out with an article in 2005 documenting “The New White Flight,” a twist on the term used to describe the phenomena of white people moving out of poor neighborhoods, taking their tax dollars with them, and often leaving largely black schools derelict and underfunded. At Lynbrook and nearby schools, the Journal writes, whites weren’t quitting schools because the schools were bad. And they weren’t harming them academically when they left; more Asians just moved in.
“Quite the contrary,” the article read. “Many white parents say they’re leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurricular activities like sports and other personal interests. The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.”
Reading that article was a bit like accessing a cipher. It swiped away the coded rhetorical veneer that I had so often heard preached at my school. The administrators at my school, largely white, had spoken for years about limiting competition, decreasing stress, preventing students from skipping math levels. Around me, I noticed that almost all the parents or students complaining about the policies were Asian.
It wasn’t until I read the article that I was able to recognize the code words that the administrators used were, intentionally or unintentionally, aimed at countering an “Asian” school. I don't mean to suggest any covert or overt racism on the part of my school administrators. They are not racist. But what their words and policies did show was a lack of understanding of Asian academic drive. At my school, we were inoculated against the evils of doing things for college applications, counseled to lessen our workload, reminded that true meaning in life was found not in academic success but in “personal worth.” I heard the phrase “self-esteem” so much that I wanted to throw up every time an inspirational speaker waltzed into our school.
This was all well and good, but at the same time the faculty advocated taking easier classes, avoiding tutors, and participating in fewer extracurricular activities. And not only was there a parent at home to scorn those ideas, our competitive drive immediately found them repulsive, also.
My cousin, who’s from China but studies in the American school system, wanted to skip a level of science. He’s kind of a lazy guy, typical middle school student who wants only to play video games. Getting that kind of self-motivation out of him was unprecedented. But when he met one-on-one with my high school’s vice principal, the administrator strongly advised him not to do so, and warned that he would fall terribly behind, as my cousin speaks English as a second language.