Monday, May 3, 2010

Billionaires’ Club of Philanthropists
Guides the SPS, No Thought Required

Some background at Wiki on NewSchools Venture Fund

New York Times ...Read THIS: Despite Push, Success at Charter Schools Is Mixed

But all doubts were dispelled when the image of Arne Duncan, the new education secretary, filled a large video screen from Washington. He pledged to combine “your ideas with our dollars” from the federal government. “What you have created,” he said, “is a real movement.

In WA State, Seattle and elsewhere we are watching extortion practiced by Arne Duncan et al.

It must be noted that the Seattle School Board refuses to use data in making decisions. Guidance from the Billionaires' Club is robotically followed by at least four school directors and has been followed for years by the board.

The Seattle School Board votes on RttT on Wednesday 5-5-2010, but really they have been voting for the Billionaires' Club agenda for years. Impossible for them to stop now.

Charters have also become a pet cause of what one education historian calls a billionaires’ club of philanthropists, including Mr. Gates, Eli Broad of Los Angeles and the Walton family of Wal-Mart.

But for all their support and cultural cachet, the majority of the 5,000 or so charter schools nationwide appear to be no better, and in many cases worse, than local public schools when measured by achievement on standardized tests, according to experts citing years of research. Last year one of the most comprehensive studies, by researchers from Stanford University, found that fewer than one-fifth of charter schools nationally offered a better education than comparable local schools, almost half offered an equivalent education and more than a third, 37 percent, were “significantly worse.”
Note: Hattie reports the effect size for charters is 0.20 ... another pointless pursuit when taking all schools into account. Perhaps we could devote some energy to fixing poor curricular choices and ineffective instructional practices. This is largely about removing local control not only from districts but from states as well. The Federal Oligarchy is a guise for the Billionaires' Club. NO THANKS... Where is the record of accomplishment from Gates or any of these Billionaires in regard to education? Gates Foundation has shown quite the opposite.

Look at Seattle and decision making ... Seattle is all about following Eli Broad and the decision making appears to be irrational unless viewed through that "Broad" lens.


In 2007, President George W. Bush visited a Harlem charter, but President Obama has done him one better, pledging to use the Harlem Children’s Zone, a network of charter schools and social services, as a model for high-poverty urban areas. The administration’s Race to the Top competition, which waves the carrot of $4.3 billion in education aid to states that comply with administration goals, has prompted three so far — Illinois, Louisiana and Tennessee — to lift limits on the number of charter schools. Advocates say there has never been more political momentum from Washington in favor of charter schools.

The club of millionaires and billionaires who support them includes Mr. Gates; Mr. Broad, whose fortune is from home building and financial services; Michael Dell of Dell Computer; Doris Fisher, who, with her late husband, Donald, founded the Gap; and the Walton family.

Rather than starting their own schools, these philanthropists largely went looking for successful charters and provided money for expansion. Thus they can boast of mainly backing academic winners.

Seattle is copying the New Technology Network Schools, which are proven under-performers but that is the direction the Gates Foundation aimed the SPS.

A reason for the current number of unresolved lawsuits against SPS Board decisions is that the Board does not follow appropriate decision making protocols in their rush to do what the Billionaires' Club desires.

I hope anyone who wondered why the Directors elected in 2007 had almost $500,000 to spend on their campaigns has figured out what is happening.

In regard to Race to the Top:
The "dollars" in question are minimal.

It would be shortsighted, in fact downright irresponsible, to sell out our schools and kids by imposing long-term unproven or damaging changes on them for a one-time shot at a small amount of cash.

But then again the SPS has quite a history of making unproven or damaging changes.

Look at a decade of math and the recent NTN contract ... early examples of what life will be like with "Broad" + RttT ==> goal accomplished Public Schools destruction assured.... SEA union members too busy teaching to notice their SEA leadership has sold them and the school system down the river. Too bad for a myriad of kids as well. Profit motive from k-12 expenditures too big to resist for the Financial Barrons of Today. {I'll buy a Tea Bag on this one}

Watch as 25% or more of schools will be restructured in a few years ... (unless a big awakening occurs) NTN plans to have 500 schools up from current 41. Note this will cost a lot of money and give worse results as that is the NTN track record.... Sundquist, Carr, Maier, and Martin-Morris are responsible for the four votes in a 4-3 NTN approval decision.

SEA Executive Director GLENN BAFIA can claim "Mission Accomplished". I would never have guessed SEA members pay his salary ... talk about a negative return on investment.


Anonymous said...

The message is clear from school officials - Pay up or lose teachers. And yes we think extortion is the answer to solving public education's problems. We pay, we lose. Philanthropists get paid well to philosophize - 16% return on investment is not bad in this economy.

Anonymous said...

Who's their teacher? Rasputin?

dan dempsey said...

The "BROAD" Report

Anonymous said...

Apartheid in the US. Broad's all for it.

Anonymous said...

If you're right, then SPS will be transformed into an LAUSD or worse CPS. I can't imagine a worse urban district than Chicago. Duncan should try a reality check by walking onto one of his own campuses but without an escort. If they were stupid, I'd forgive them, but I think this mega-failure in public policy is intentional.

dan dempsey said...

Try THIS for East Coast thinking.