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February 12, 2014

Paul Horton: Charter School Design: The New Streamlining

In the new age of the neo-liberal "futurama," charters schools are designed like "rocketships." Those who want to be saved in a society that combines multicultural meritocracy with social Darwinism and assimilated upper class aspirational hygiene will jump on board and learn the culture of data-driven success.

December 18, 2013

2013 in Review Part 1: Charter Schools: Public, Private, or Parasitic?

While I recognize that good-hearted people have been attempting to use charter schools as an avenue to help students not served well by traditional schools, the situation faced by public schools has become dire.

October 07, 2013

Charter School Defenders Insist They are "Private Entities"

Charter schools are happy to accept public dollars, but reject the oversight and accountability that comes with operation as a public school.

July 30, 2013

John Thompson: Are Accountability Hawks Chicken When it Comes to Their Charters?

The panelists in the Fordham Institute's "Opt Out or Cop Out" discussion clearly enjoyed their surrealistic discussion of "accountability." They speculated on fanciful scenarios for micromanaging educators that were so disconnected from reality as to recall panelist Charlie Barone's tweet about "Dad...

July 25, 2013

Teachers Still Dodging Silver Bullets of Ed Reform

Teachers themselves are not, unfortunately, going to eliminate poverty, even if we get rid of the "bad" ones supposedly responsible for poor test scores.

May 04, 2013

Rebirth: New Orleans -- Documentary Poses a Moral Dilemma

this highlights for me, the moral dimension that Merrow ignores, when, at the end of the film, he proclaims this experiment a success. How can we accept that a third of the schools in New Orleans have been consigned to the status of dumping grounds for the other two thirds? How can we celebrate the creation of a system that allows schools to wall themselves off from students who are the most damaged by poverty and violence - and relegates those students to schools that cannot possibly succeed in this competitive scheme?

April 11, 2013

Tony Monfiletto: A Charter School in No-Man's Land

In his invitation, Anthony pointed out my schools are outside the field of vision of technocrats and policy makers who have bet the farm on high stakes standardized tests and school reformers (charters mostly) who have drunk the Kool-Aid and see the tests as a way to disrupt the overall system. I will add that there are very few people from the education establishment have invited my schools into the fold. They find them threatening to their monopoly status and categorize us with all the CMOs with which they compete. However, I don't think I'm in a "no man's land" or even on a charter school island by myself. My schools are imbedded in the community and they sit at the intersection of hopeful families and employers who are desperate to hire their children regardless of whether they're "accredited" by public or charter schools.

March 24, 2013

Jack Hassard: School Closings in Our Cities: A Deep Ecological Problem

As Deming (1994a) points out, beware of common sense when we think about such issues as ranking children by grades, ranking schools and teachers by test scores, and rewards and punishments. Deming believes that grades should be abolished, and that the ranking of people and schools should not occur. And significant to the issue of school closure, Deming suggests that taking action (such as closing a school today) may produce more problems in the future, and that a better remedy would be investigate why children in poor neighborhoods are not doing well on state mandated tests, and then do something about it.

March 20, 2013

ALEC Promotes Vouchers in Douglas County, Colorado

Not surprisingly, the voucher program drafted and approved by this ALEC-connected group conformed to ALEC's recommendations for a voucher program in Colorado : it uses "scholarships" given to parents for their "choice" of schools; it draws exclusively on state, rather than local, monies; it is structured in a way that claims not to run afoul of the Colorado constitution's Compelled Support Clause and so-called Blaine amendments; and it is even named the "Choice Scholarship" program, in conformity with the ALEC model legislation.

March 06, 2013

Are the Poor Too Free? On the Perils of Paternalism

Paul Thomas asks a provocative question this week. Are the poor too free? Are our schools providing students with tools and skills to foster their independence? Or teaching them to be compliant cogs in a machine whose levers of control they will never touch? Thomas describes the paternalism that has become central to modern education, as well as efforts to "reform" it even further.

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