2010-05-28 / Columnists

School Scope

The Hits Keep Comin’
By Norman Scott

Norman Scott Norman Scott Peruse the newspapers, listserves, blogs and other Internet sources and not an hour goes by without some new piece of education related news (mostly awful). I’ve got to get some sleep. Here are just a few headlines and my comments:

Charter Schools’ Big Success? Accounting Tricks, Shady Land Deals, and Skimming Off the Top

What else do you expect? One thing I know, State Senator Malcolm Smith’s scandalous Peninsula Prep charter, along with all his other scandals, has smoked him out and into social service work. Vying for the Nobel Peace Prize, he is personally going around pulling up the pants of gangbangers.

Charter School Scandals

A blog chronicling the daily influx of skullduggery from Oakland parent activist Sharon Higgins. Sharon is kept very busy these days. http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.c om/

Big profit in building charter schools

Gee, do you see all those expensive ads running attacking the teachers union for calling for some greater oversight over charters? They smack of the kind of desperate spending of people who fear they will be stopped from making a lot of money if they don’t get the cap lifted.

District 1: Choice, confusion & charter schools

Red Hook parents push to toss PAVE charter school ...

Yes, parents are confused but some are pushing back.

Rochester looks to N.Y.C. for mayoral control lesson

Mayor Duffy wants to be Bloomie and be a dictator over the schools, with lots of parents and teachers fighting him tooth and nail. But now he can be Cuomo’s boy Friday as Lt. Governor. And we know what happened with the last Lt. Governor. With so many governors vaporizing and Cuomo’s arrogance, practice saying, “Governor Duffy.”

Are ELL Students Underrepresented in NYC Charter Schools?

Is the earth round?

Why the Charter Cap Bill Should Not Become Law by Leonie Haimson and Mona Davids

Leonie and Magnificent Mona. The good guys ride to the rescue.

Sol Stern Calls for End of Cash Bonuses Based on Test Scores to Reduce Layoffs

Sol suggests why not try to save $35 million and apply it to reducing layoffs? Because at Tweed it’s all about market-based ideology, not education.

Just Say No to the Race to the Top

Diane Ravitch says, “It might better be called the Race to Nowhere, or as some have dubbed it, the Race to the Trough or the Dash to the Cash.”

Teacher Evaluation Deal Sparks Ire

Another sweetheart deal to get teachers judged based on student test scores made by the UFT to make life wonderful for teachers. The UFT claims a great victory. “They wanted to judge by 50%. We cut it to 40%.” Wowy.

New Teacher Evaluation Passes Assembly

One NYC teacher blogger said: A sad day for education; 40% of teacher evaluations are now tied to test scores; Welcome to all test prep all the time; The new normal for public education; Public education will look like the Gulf

Mexico when they got done with it.

AFT Claims NYT Mag Included Made Up Quote

Did you read Steve Brill’s hatchet job on teachers in the Sunday Times, a wholly owned subsidiary of BloomKlein, Ltd? AFT President Randi Weingarten, the great enabler, is crying about something Brill said she said she says she didn’t say. Who cares?

City Gets $5 Million To Hire New Teachers...even as they get ready to lay off 6,400 teachers:

Yep, makes sense in Bloomtown. Bloomberg’s rubber stamp PEP passed

last week with only 3 votes against, including our own Queens rep Dmytro Fedkowskyj. Way to go, Dmytro!

UFT at PEP Meeting: Oh The Irony

The UFT leadership cried about the lack of democracy on the PEP, which ignores what the public has to say. Come to a few UFT delegate assemblies and executive board meetings to see the model for ignoring what people have to say.

1,983 teachers received layoff notices while Teach for America returns to Detroit schools

When Arne Duncan asked Diane Ravitch, “What are we going to do about Detroit?” she responded with, “Give it to KIPP [the charter school chain.] He laughed. Hey, it’s Detroit. You can’t give it away.

More Scrutiny for Charter Schools in Debate Over Expansion

Finally, the NY Times has jumped into the fray. The NY State Ed Department is the monitor for charter schools. Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas.

Here is a piece about NYSED I put up on my blog:

Some parents have been chronicling the corrupt NY State Department of Education and its ugly parent the NY State Board of Regents too, headed by Bloomberg friend and neighbor Meryl Tisch, who also has Joel Klein over for Passover to ask the 4 questions, one of which is always: Why is this reorganization different from all the other reorganizations that came before it? UFT Pres Michael Mulgrew loves Meryl and spent a good chunk of time at the last Pres Michael Mulgrew loves Meryl and spent a good chunk of time at the last Delegate Assembly singing her praises because she “knows education,” which makes sense since she spent 10 minutes teaching pre-k at an exclusive Hebrew school about a hundred years ago.

Recruitment Poster for Charter School: Hey Kid, Wanna Make a Hundred Bucks?

A photo of a poster on a 3rd floor wall at a charter based at IS 126 in Williamsburg/Greenpoint was being passed around by parents and community groups as outrage grows. The Believe charter group is offering a $100 bounty to any student who can recruit someone for the school who will stay for one term. Can you BELIEVE this? They make the poor kid who recruits some sucker wait an entire semester before collecting his 100 bucks. They must have electronic force fields keeping them in. (I know more than a few parents who have been there, done that and left.) What happened to all those waiting lists to get into charters that they are so desperate they have to bribe kids with a hundred bucks to get recruits? For a hundred bucks I’ll enroll there myself.

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