The day after I wrote this about PAVE and PS 15 (Having Lunch With Spencer Robertson of Pave Charter) this was seen around the school building:
|PS 15: DO NOT PASS|
|PS 15: DO NOT PASS|
So when the Unity hacks come around saying the UFT will oppose mayoral control ask them to list the cities where it is going well.
Mulgrew was very up front w/ me that he supports continued if ameliorated mayoral control and wants to look at other cities where it is going well...Yet his toadies near the top of the org will proclaim he is NOT! Are they misled? out of loop? guilty of wishful thinking?----- Anon Parent activist
Chicago teachers, district settle lawsuit over longer school day pilotBY ROSALIND ROSSI Education Reporter email@example.com March 28, 2012 6:58PM
Teachers in Chicago public schools that agreed to pilot a longer school day starting this past fall will be paid an extra $1,500 under a deal announced Wednesday.The settlement between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union resolves a CTU lawsuit accusing CPS of illegally circumventing the collective bargaining process in its attempts to forge ahead with a longer day pilot.CTU officials agreed to drop their suit in exchange for extra payments within the next 30 days of $1,500 for teachers in schools that started a 1 1/2 hour longer day in the fall, and an extra $750 for those who started a longer day in January.CPS also agreed to pay teachers at the 13 schools the difference between this year’s compensation and next year’s if a higher salary is ultimately negotiated for next school year. Contract talks have gone on for several months.The new $1,500 is on top of an extra average of $1,500 the typical CPS teacher received for working in a longer-day pilot school, starting in September. More than 200 teachers were affected, union officials said.CTU President Karen Lewis hailed the deal as “a great victory for collective bargaining.’’Said CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll: “We choose to focus on the classroom, not the courtroom and this settlement is an attempt to avoid the courtroom.”
I found it interesting that Elaine could not produce for me the language in the grants that mandates an evaluation system—you’d think the chief of turnaround would have it ready at hand, since that's what they're using to argue their hands are tied by the feds.
Why is the UFT ignoring this? --- Thoughts on turnaround, state and federal guidance.
- email from parent activist Paola de Koch
Mulgrew was very up front w/ me that he supports continued if ameliorated mayoral control and wants to look at other cities where it is going well...Yet his toadies near the top of the org will proclaim he is NOT! Are they misled? out of loop? guilty of wishful thinking?
----- Anon Parent activist in response to Paola
I cannot imagine they [the UFT] didn't see this coming and I find it very troubling that Mulgrew brushed off my question about the turnaround at the CEC presidents dinner. There's something that doesn't smell right here because you’d think they would be all over the "mass firings" required by the turnaround model. But they clearly are not-- although individual teachers at the turnaround schools are giving heartbreaking testimony about finding initiatives they spearheaded in the EIS’s for the” new schools” all the while not knowing whether they will be called back in the fall. ---Paola
March 26, 12:02 PM
Excellent work- wow!
Can we try to get UFT attorneys on this?
Does anyone know Carol Gerstel well enough to reach out to her? I know Leonie does...as does David Bloomfield....
I was at that first OPA briefing last June where the restart model was introduced- turnaround too? and the DoE explained they'd need UFT buy in on the evaluation piece but were confident they'd get it before the deadline and were creating a turnaround CFN just for these EPO's or something like that- I have to find my notes because I may have garbled this...
I certainly don't know Carol but I'm not sure how reaching out to the UFT attorneys will help. I cannot imagine they didn't see this coming and I find it very troubling that Mulgrew brushed off my question about the turnaround at the CEC presidents dinner. There's something that doesn't smell right here because you’d think they would be all over the "mass firings" required by the turnaround model. But they clearly are not-- although individual teachers at the turnaround schools are giving heartbreaking testimony about finding initiatives they spearheaded in the EIS’s for the” new schools” all the while not knowing whether they will be called back in the fall. I raised the issue of budget-busting ATRs vs. same allegedly lousy teachers recirculated through the turnaround schools with Elaine-- the pat answer is that the teachers will be "a better fit" !Parent B responds at 12:23PM
I better stop before I have a fit!
I know, I know- the UFT is either an incredibly stupid and careless organization ((there may be some of that operating here) or there is a whole series of deals; horse trades; parries, feints and thrusts being played out on so many levels that we outsiders (and I include the membership and 90% of the UFT employees here) are not aware of that come into play in these "negotiations" and position formulations.
Mulgrew was very up front w/ me that evening that he supports continued if ameliorated mayoral control and wants to look at other cities where it is going well...
yet his toadies near the top of the org will proclaim he is NOT!
Are they misled? out of loop? guilty of wishful thinking?
Between doE and UFT we are all sunk- look at the past 10 years.
The 5 men in a room- (adding Mulgrew and Bloomberg to the traditional 3) has been a disaster for our schools, kids and communities.
No matter the personalities of say the UFT head or the Governor, etc the outcome is just plain disastrous.
Why parents and teachers don't rise up is beyond me!
Good morning all:I'm going to add this comment from Gary Rubinstein on Gotham Schools re: turnaround:
-- DOE makes it up as they go along, but they do have help from the state.The New York State Education Department will provide LEAs with SIG grants under 1003(g) to facilitate implementation of one of the following four school intervention models in Tier I and Tier II schools:
Note, by the way, that DOE keeps conflating the models and the SIG grants, which are two separate and distinct things. You (probably – even this is not certain) cannot have a SIG grants without a model, but you certainly can have a model without SIG grants.
- Turnaround: Phase out and replace the school with a new school(s) or completely redesign the school, including replacing the principal and at least half the staff.
- Restart Model: Either convert a school to a charter school or replace a public school with a new charter school that will serve the students who would have attended the public school. Under certain circumstances, districts may also enter into contracts with the City University of New York or the State University of New York for them to manage public schools.
- Transformation: Similar to the turnaround model, but with a requirement for an evaluation of staff effectiveness developed by the LEA in collaboration with teachers and principals that takes into account data on student growth, multiple observation-based assessments, and portfolios of professional activities. Evaluations would serve as the basis for rewarding effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers after ample professional development opportunities. A school that opts for a transformation model does not close but rather remains identified as persistently lowest-achieving until it demonstrates improved academic results.
- School closure: Close the school and enroll the students who attended the school in higher achieving schools in the LEA.I found it interesting that Elaine could not produce for me the language in the grants that mandates an evaluation system—you’d think the chief of turnaround would have it ready at hand, since that's what they're using to argue their hands are tied by the feds. I went back and found the final US DOE regs published in Federal Register and updated guidance for the SIG grants:http://www2.ed.gov/programs/
On a quick read, I cannot find the evaluation requirement but it's pretty dense stuff so that doesn't mean it's not there or cannot be construed as being there (will review more closely later). The most likely scenario, though, is that the evaluation was a requirement added by the state (that's probably why the person who spoke with Noah attributed it to John King). And note that the evaluation requirement is not in the restart model (which was applied in some of the schools now subject to turnaround), not even at the state level. BTW, the PEP voted on Tuesday to fund the EPO’s there were given contracts under the restart model so they can continue working with the schools even after they go to turnaround. Conclusion? 1) it's not really a matter of money or federal requirements; 2) they find the money if it's a matter of paying off private contractors (which may have been the fiscally prudent thing to do anyway in view of breach of contract suits).
One thing to keep in mind: the language re: evaluations in the state guidance document is pretty ambiguous. Although it explicitly says the transformation model requires “an evaluation of staff effectiveness” that would serve as the basis for rewarding/removing teachers, it's not clear at what point the evaluation system must be in place (the guidance recognizes that at least the reward part will occur “later in the process”). What the guidance is unambiguous about, however, is that for transformation (and turnaround) model, “the principal must be replaced prior to the start of the 2010-2011 school year. There is no exception for retaining the principal was been in the school for more than two years.” So what about Barry Fried, “longtime principal” of John Dewey HS, whom many wanted out as an ineffective leader a few years ago but is still in place even though the school went into transformation? I am sure there are similar situations elsewhere. Yes, they make it up as they go along, picking and choosing the mandates they feel constrained by.
Also, on page 2 of the guidance document, the state says that the funding is "contingent on the LEA's demonstrated capacity to implement the selected models and an approved application and budget that includes sufficient funds to implement the selected intervention fully and effectively in each school." A reasonable construction of this rather opaque language is that NYC DOE must have demonstrated that it had money set aside to implement the models regardless of whether the federal funding came through. If I'm right, the public is once again being taken for fools by DOE.
Enough boring, picky stuff for now. But why is the UFT ignoring this?
Gary Rubinstein wrote:
Even if you are a current CL and Delegate – join with others who have had it with Unity and want to take back the union one school at a time.I know a lot of people focus on the big tent UFT elections which will take place in 2013. As someone who has been deeply involved in the past 3 elections I will make the claim that the upcoming school level elections for chapter leader and delegate(s) are way more significant.
Many ALEC-drafted bills pursue standard conservative goals: union-busting, undermining environmental protection, tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. ALEC seems, however, to have a special interest in privatization — that is, on turning the provision of public services, from schools to prisons, over to for-profit corporations. And some of the most prominent beneficiaries of privatization, such as the online education company K12 Inc. and the prison operator Corrections Corporation of America, are, not surprisingly, very much involved with the organization.Ahhhhh! Finally he mentions schools and the K12 online scam.
ALEC’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.
And in case you were wondering, no, the kind of privatization ALEC promotes isn’t in the public interest; instead of success stories, what we’re getting is a series of scandals. Private charter schools, for example, appear to deliver a lot of profits but little in the way of educational achievement.
I have read and heard stories about charter schools that are geared toward minority students, as most are, but this is the first time that I have watched in-depth interviews of parents who had their children in these charter school franchises.
“Behavior modification training” is a term that one parent described her son’s first experience in this charter school.
May Taliaferrow, Former parent at Achievement First, Brooklyn, NY starts out as an avid charter school supporter but finds parents are shut out and children are subjected to severe discipline and ends up telling her son how sorry she was for putting him the school.
Achievement First Charter School Parents Speak Out: Why they removed their children Part 1 from Grassroots Education Movement on Vimeo.
“My child was made to sit on the floor until he
‘earned’ a seat.” A revealing interview on how all too many charter schools view children of color when it comes to discipline: total repression.
When Leslie-Anne Byfield “won” the lottery for a charter school in Brooklyn she felt her prayers for her child’s education had been answered. Until the horror stories began.
I have long heard that schools suspect that the NYC DoE's Enrollment Office is under-enrolling schools for several years and then using the declining enrollment trend, that they create and control, as justification for colocation or closure. ---Where is the press on issues such as this?
|Snapshots of Connecticut Charter School Data|
In several previous posts I have addressed the common argument among charter advocacy organizations ...
Considering Success Academy's massive ramp-up of direct mail and advertising in just the past week here in Williamsburg, it seems obvious that, despite her claims of receiving 700 applications for her new Success Academy Williamsburg, Eva's in a desperate scramble to meet her enrollment targets.
Now we hear of a new tactic from the DOE: An SLT parent at a local public school informed us that the DOE is suddenly FORCING all non-magnet schools to issue rejection letters to all non-zoned students applying for K -- even though most local schools have plenty of kindergarten seats! The letter reads that the child has not been given a seat but has been placed on a wait-list.
So while magnet and district-wide (CHARTER) schools are able to offer acceptance letters, and have done so this week, parents may get rejections from great local schools that HAVE SEATS!
I have never heard of this, but it feels like it has the Success Academy stink all over it. Anyone have any insights?
Complaints can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bloomberg administration and the charter school operators always claim that in the rapid proliferation of charter schools across the city, they are merely responding to parent “demand” but this ignores the aggressive recruiting methods they use to build up their “waiting lists.” Eva Moskowitz has hired paid recruiters to “poach” students for her Success Academy charters, as in the video below, outside PS 261 in Brooklyn. Not to mention her extensive and expensive advertising campaigns, in which she spent $1.6 million dollars on marketing efforts alone in 2009-2010, amounting to $1,300 per incoming student.
This year, there is evidence that Harlem in particular has become so oversaturated with charters, that they have been forced to go far afield to solicit applications. Parents as far away as lower Manhattan have receiving mailings from Democracy Prep and Harlem Link.
And here is Lisa Donlan's comment in full:Last week, NYC parent Lucinda Rosenfeld wrote an op-ed regarding the effect of Success Academy Charter Schools’ marketing strategy and its detrimental impact on already struggling public schools. Yesterday, the organization issued this letter written by a Success Academy parent on the Upper West Side defending the high “demand” for Success Academy and “debunking” the claims made in the op-ed regarding the central role that charter schools play in school segregation.We wanted to sum up some of the parent and teacher responses to the organization’s letter fresh off the presses this morning (Thank you Lisa Donlan for summing up the criticisms so coherently!):The letter’s author claims that there is high parent demand for Success Academy in Cobble Hill. It would do us good to remember that the charter process centers on one question: can the school meet its target enrollment?In fact, the whole support/demand piece of the charter application is all about reaching larger enrollment numbers. The charter must do aggressive outreach to ensure that the school can meet its enrollment targets. If there is community opposition the charter must address it, changing its proposal if necessary to encompass or address any objections. This means the school risks missing its targets. There simply is not enough demand for these “choices,” which is why some charters are scaling up to capture market share dominance and break into new market segments.
So then why did UWS not meet its enrollment goals this year?And then there is this news about the replacement for Pedro Noguera on the SUNY charter authorizing board as the scum-sucking NY Post issues a warning. Initial commentary by Leonie.
Has the charter authorizer SUNY CSI monitored this?Because that is what the charter process is all about- can the school meet its target enrollment?In fact, the whole support/demand piece of the charter application is all about reaching that goal- the charter must do outreach to ensure that the school can meet its enrollment targets.If there is community opposition the charter must address it, changing its proposal if necessary to encompass or address any objections THAT MEAN THE SCHOOL RISKS MISSING THE TARGET ENROLLMENT.That is the measure of success for a charter, initially.After that it has to be financially sound (or cook the books enough that the fraud is not caught by the auditors/authorizers), and meet its performance goals ( self defined in the charter).We all hear the HSA spin that it is the "assault" ( I suppose driven by the UFT, according to the false spin) that caused parents to flee, that it was the law suit that put getting public space in danger (like it did for Girls Prep in D1) that caused otherwise willing parents to run away.But more spin and lies will not cover up the facts. There simply is not enough demand for these "options" which is why some charters are scaling up to capture market share dominance and break into new market segments.I predict that, as these charter chains expand, and the potential demand levels out or even declines, as the myths /marketing/ PR and spin are exposed as such, not only will enrollment drop but so will "performance".There just won't be enough suckers born every minute that produce high test scores and bring few needs for the charter chains to keep afloat.If and when they go bust, they 'll very likely have taken our public education system with it.No doubt the Evas and Erics and Curry Boykins, the lawyers, hedge funders and ambitious pols will be long gone, hopping onto the next sexy thing to fuel their coffers and careers.Lisa
New head of SUNY charter committee, replacing Noguera, is Ken O’Brien, who was the strongest voice in opposition to the co-locations of the SuccAcademy chain at the last televised meeting. Acc. to article below, in the letter in which he accepted appt, O’Brien wrote:
“I am committed to making certain that we do not let charters, which constitute 2.5 percent of New York’s school population, dominate our committee agenda,” O’Brien said in a letter accepting the appointment.
He also said the policy of allowing charter schools to share building space with traditional public schools — which has fueled protests and lawsuits — needs to be revisited.
I strongly suggest that all communications w/ SUNY institute be copied to both O’Brien and McCall in future. They have got to hear clearly how the co-location fiasco is undermining our public schools. Here are the emails:
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and ken.o’email@example.com
Lisa Donlan follows up with:
Charter jitters over new chief
By ERIK KRISS and CARL CAMPANILE
Last Updated: 6:58 AM, March 23, 2012
Posted: 12:59 AM, March 23, 2012
A college faculty honcho and union man has been tapped to head the powerful State University panel that approves charter schools — setting off alarm bells from advocates who fear charters will face more resistance.
SUNY Chairman Carl McCall appointed history professor Ken O’Brien, president of the University’s faculty senate, to lead the SUNY board’s committee on education and college readiness.
The panel recommends whether to approve or reject new charter- school applications.
O’Brien is a member of the Union of University Professions, which is the college affiliate of the K-to-12 teachers union that opposes charter schools.
“I am committed to making certain that we do not let charters, which constitute 2.5 percent of New York’s sc hool population, dominate our committee agenda,” O’Brien said in a letter accepting the appointment.
He also said the policy of allowing charter schools to share building space with traditional public schools — which has fueled protests and lawsuits — needs to be revisited.
Sources in the charter community — fearing retribution — expressed their worries about the O’Brien appointment anonymously. They likened it to putting the fox in the hen house.
But McCall insisted O’Brien’s union affiliation is not significant.
McCall also noted that O’Brien has been a member of the panel that has routinely approved more than 90 charter schools.
“Ken is a professional educator who has been open-minded on charter-school issues,” he said.
“Everyone on the board has been supportive of charter schools . . . I don’t know why charter -school advocates would be concerned with him.
“All you have to do is look at his record.”