Friday, October 24, 2014

UPDATED: 1250 Broadway - den of ed deform - Chalkbeat Cozy With Ed Deformers: Chalkbeat NY and New Classrooms (Joel Rose's company) all share office space

Hi Norm,
Your post about Chalkbeat's office space gets a few significant things wrong. Here's what's actually happening:

1. Chalkbeat rents a room from New Classrooms. No special arrangements. We're paying tenants of office space. 
2. Lightsail no longer works in this space, and hasn't for as long as we have. 
3. We have disclosed our rental arrangement with New Classrooms wherever the organization has appeared in Chalkbeat since we moved here, including the Rise & Shine that you say didn't note that link. Not sure how you could miss it. I quote: 

Class Size Matters' Leonie Haimson is criticizing a $420,000 city contract for New Classrooms, a personalized math program that was developed inside the Department of Education and now operates as an independent nonprofit. (Disclosure: Chalkbeat rents office space from New Classrooms.)

We did the same in a recent story about the iZone, which you can read here

I'd appreciate it if you would quickly correct your post. If you have any questions, as always, you can reach out to me directly.

Sarah Darville
EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Education Department official’s $420K contract violates ethics rules, critics say --- New Classrooms, started by [Chalkbeat roomie] Joel Rose, was granted a one-year contract for $420,750 in federal grant money to operate a learning program Rose created while working for the city. Critics say Rose promised the services free of charge in a previous deal... Daily News
I guess things still might get sticky when Chalkbeat people run into Joel Rose, who ran the School of One (another scam) under Joel Klein, at the water cooler if they did actual reporting.

Chalkbeat, Lightsail and New Classrooms all share offices in the same building.  Lightsail is selling itself as the ELA online platform as New Classrooms is doing for math....
Gideon Stein is the the CEO of LightSail and treasurer (!) of the board of Chalkbeat, on the board of New Classrooms, GreenDot, Teach Plus, Stand for Children; former VP of Success Academy Charters, and still apparently on the Upper West Success board.  Also, on the board of  Moriah Fund,[9] a private foundation.
So as Sarah points out Lightsail is not in that space but the connection to Stein seems to still be there.

Gideon Stein is a top-level ed deformer. Note that when Gotham went to Chalkbeat all the nightly reports of the blogs, which were the only places to read exposures of ed deform, were dropped.

Joel Rose is giving them a deal on the space? Is that corrupt?

But you all knew that Chalkbeat was not independent journalism. But then again neither is the NY Times -but there is no reason not to believe that Chalkbeat is an agent of ed deform.

Here is an interesting example regarding the conflict of interest over Joel Rose and his company, New Classrooms. Rose used his position as a Joel Klein hire at the DOE to make his bundle. Here is how Leonie Haimson, who has been on the Joel Rose case for years, reported the story.

Joel Rose and School of One get new NYC contract that violates conflict of interest rules and the terms of his earlier contract
NY Daily News reported that last month, the Panel for Educational Policy approved a contract for New Classrooms to teach math in city middle schools via an online program called the School of One.  The contract  charges the city nearly $200 per student for the licensing fee: “An estimated 2,220 students will be enrolled in the School of One program at a cost of $420,750 for license fees ($191.25 per student)."  This is the second contract granted New Classrooms; the original one was granted in January 2012.

Joel Rose, a former chief of staff to Deputy Chancellor Chris Cerf, created School of One while at DOE, starting in February 2009.  He developed the algorithm and the program along with Chris Rush, a consultant then working for Wireless Generation, now headed by former Chancellor Joel Klein for Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp.   
Really, Mulgrew can crow all he wants about change of tone at Tweed and the PEP, but the games go on.
Of course the algorithm and methodology inherent in the School of One program was developed by Rose while he worked for the DOE – and would remain fully confidential.  The city’s Conflict of interest rules also say a former employee “may never work on a particular matter or project that you were directly involved in while employed by the City.” 
Yet somehow, despite the fact that Rose is head of the company and his company would clearly benefit from the contract, the conflict of interest rules were waived. 
Chalkbeat had a link to the Daily News story featuring Leonie in Rise and Shine:

The link was buried near the bottom - with no mention that the conflict of interest was about one of their roomies.

Here is the DN link:

And some financials on the interlocking directorates of ed deform.

LightSail Inc., an ed tech company, provides a tablet-based literacy platform for grades K-12 that combines tools to drive student growth. Its LightSail includes a personalized library of books for each student drawn from various acclaimed titles; an interactive e-reader with tools to support active reading and fast feedback; Lexile and Common Core-aligned assessments embedded in every text; real-time and actionable data for teachers and administrators; and Common Core State standards scaffolding for students and teachers. LightSail Inc. has a strategic partnership with Clever. The company was founded in 2012 and is based in New York, New York.

Chief Executive Officer
Director of Operations
Chief Strategy Officer
Chief Academic Officer
Director of Professional Learning

Address: 1250 Broadway
30th Floor
New York, NY 10001

LightSail Education Signs Strategic Partnership with Clever to Seamlessly Integrate Student Information System
Feb 25 14
LightSail Education announced that it signed a strategic partnership with Clever to seamlessly integrate student information system (SIS) data with its LightSail literacy platform. The collaboration will make it easier for schools to expedite and manage access to LightSail's expansive eLibrary containing thousands of digital books from virtually every major publisher as well as hundreds of smaller ones. The LightSail platform provides students with tablet-based libraries and embeds assessments and analytics in students' texts, monitoring their Lexile measures, Common Core State Standards progress and reading habits. For teachers, it delivers real-time data along with tools designed to support best literacy instruction practices in classrooms. The Clever integration allows effortless sign-on to LightSail, no longer requiring teachers to track multiple log-ons. It also provides a secure connection to a school's SIS, pulls student enrollment rosters and demographic data, and automatically syncs that data with the LightSail literacy platform.

Gideon Stein, CEO of LightSail, has raised over $50 million for education reform-related not for profit organizations and serves on the board of a foundation with an endowment in excess of $100 million that funds education reform around the globe. He is Vice Chairman of the Education News Network, Green Dot New York Charter High School, and New Classrooms, the nation’s leading organization focused on delivering individualized instruction. He co-founded and was formerly President of Future Is Now Schools, and was founder, Chairman, and CEO of the enterprise messaging company Omnipod, Inc. (now a division of Symantec.

New Classrooms | LinkedIn

Headquarters. 1250 Broadway New York, NY 10001 United States ... Gideon Stein · Gideon Stein: Director. Robert "Swan" Swanwick [].

Chalkbeat Overview - Company Information - aiHit

Oct 14, 2014 - ... currently serving in an advisory capacity: Sue Lehmann, Gideon Stein, and Jill Barkin. ... 1250 Broadway, 30th floor New York, NY 10001 ny ...


  1. Correct me if you think I'm wrong, Norm. My take----the greedy pigs slurping from the public trough want you to notice that they dotted their "i"s and crossed their "t"s and put on some lipstick....but they are still greedy pigs slurping from the public trough. Roseanne McCosh

  2. Norm, I always read your ednotes and I always read Chalkbeat. Both organizations provide not just a valuable service but an invaluable service. To compare Chalkbeat to The Times is really not only unfair but unsubstantiated. Ever since Frank Rich stopped writing his column most of what is in The Times, lately including a poorly written one-sided piece about Eva and charter schools, is completely one-sided on its opinion pages (editorials, op-eds, columnists) except the letters. Every month The Times seems to have a new person or persons covering the city school system; only the still new national education correspondent Mokoto Rich shows some promise. Chalkbeat, as far as I can tell and I spent 16 years as a journalist, provides a great service every day publishing most everything that has been written about the NYC school system. And some, yes I wish there was more but it's expensive, of its reporting is done in the trenches and in detail.
    You cite this roommate business that may not be up-to-date but you don't give a solid, important example of how a deform bias creeps into Chalkbeat reporting. To write, "we all know that Chalkbeat is not independent journalism" is a very serious allegation that you do not support. Now that is irresponsible journalism.

  3. In a recent article, Chalkbeat recently admitted they receive funding from the Gates Foundation. That says all that I need to know about their objectivity. Your current article confirmed my feelings about them.


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