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Jeff Bernstein

Who's Killing Philly Public Schools? | Philadelphia City Paper | 05/03/2012 - 0 views

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    Thomas Knudsen, the man who was temporarily put in charge of Philadelphia schools in January, was running late to last Monday's press conference.

    He had been delivering the same presentation all day, and doomsday rumors had already leaked: The plan he was about to lay out would dismantle the central office and parcel out school management, at least in part, to private companies.

    Knudsen, paid $150,000 to hold the newly created post of Chief Recovery Officer through June, made a point of shaking the hand of every single reporter in the room before beginning his presentation. "Philadelphia public schools is not the school district," he announced, laying out the five-year plan before the School Reform Commission (SRC). "There's a redefinition, and we'll get to that later."

    He got to it, using terms like "portfolios," "modernization," "right-sizing," "entrepreneurialism" and "competition." In short, it was a plan to shutter 40 schools next year, and an additional six every year thereafter until 2017. The remaining schools would be herded into "achievement networks" of 20 to 30 schools; public and private groups would compete to manage the networks. And the central office would be reduced to a skeleton crew of about 200. (About 1,000-plus positions existed in 2010, and district HQ has already eliminated more than a third of those.) Charter schools, the plan projects, would teach an estimated 40 percent of students by 2017.
Jeff Bernstein

Daily Kos: The Bully Politics of Education Reform - 0 views

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    While the bullying can be witnessed in the discourse coming from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former-chancellor Michelle Rhee, and billionaire-reformer Bill Gates, one of the most corrosive and powerful dynamics embracing bully politics is the rise of self-appointed think-tank entities claiming to evaluate and rank teacher education programs. A key player in bully politics is the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).

    NCTQ represents, first, the rise of think tanks and the ability of those think tanks to mask their ideologies while receiving disproportionate and unchallenged support from the media.

    Think tanks have adopted the format and pose of scholarship, producing well crafted documents filled with citations and language that frame ideology as "fair and balanced" conclusions drawn from the evidence.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Jeff Bernstein

Funding a Movement: U.S. Department of Education Pours Millions into Groups Advocating ... - 0 views

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    Over the past three years, more than $75 million in federal education funding has been diverted to just a handful of private, pro-voucher advocacy groups. This torrent of public funding appears to benefit and strengthen the advocacy infrastructure created by a network of right-wing foundations dedicated to the privatization of public education.  
Jeff Bernstein

Deep-Pocket Reformers: The Shadow Secretaries of Education | USC News21 - 0 views

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    In advancing some interests, foundations have inevitably not advanced others. Hence, their actions must have political consequences, even when political purposes are not avowed or even intended. To avoid politics in dealing with foundation history is to miss a crucial part of the story. -Ellen Lagemann, Private Power for the Public Good

    When Microsoft magnate Bill Gates decided a decade ago that the "solution" to what he saw as America's failing school systems was an expansion of smaller schools, he started writing checks, a whole lot of checks, totaling more than $2 billion.  
    Gates is not the only billionaire who has decided to make education reform one of his pet projects. Los Angeles-based developer Eli Broad, the mega-rich Walton family (founders of Walmart) and other philanthropists currently give some $4 billion a year in contributions to education.
    But these handouts are hardly purely philanthropic. They come tied with policy strings and a well-defined agenda.
    While not the only donors, Gates, Broad and the Waltons have emerged as the highest-profile deep-pocket benefactors of what has become a nationwide education reform movement.
Jeff Bernstein

Joanne Barkan: Hired Guns on Astroturf: How to Buy and Sell School Reform - 0 views

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    If you want to change government policy, change the politicians who make it. The implications of this truism have now taken hold in the market-modeled "education reform movement." As a result, the private funders and nonprofit groups that run the movement have overhauled their strategy. They've gone political as never before-like the National Rifle Association or Big Pharma or (ed reformers emphasize) the teachers' unions.
Jeff Bernstein

The Louisiana Boardmember - 0 views

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    Summer 2011

    Be sure to read the article on Following the Charter Dollars
Jeff Bernstein

Private funds sway public school reform - 0 views

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    A newly-created state school district, the Educational Achievement System (EAS), will begin in Fall 2012 as part of Gov. Rick Snyder's education reform.

    At that point, it begins receiving state and federal per-pupil funding. Until then, the new system will operate as the only public district in the nation supported entirely by private donations.

    A newly-formed business entity, the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation, is collecting private monies for the operation of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), the board that will oversee and implement the EAS, a statewide district for "low-performing" public schools.
Jeff Bernstein

The Rise and Fall of Stand For Children - 0 views

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    A Chicago News Cooperative story in today's NY Times, "Education Group Tries to Rebound After Diatribe," documents the crash-and-burn of the corporate reform group, Stand For Children and its national director, Jonah Edelman. The Portland-based group with pockets filled with cash supplied by the Gates Foundation and local one-percenters like the Crown and Pritzker families, along with the Citadel Group's founder, Kenneth Griffin, made their move on Illinois laste year.
Jeff Bernstein

Schooling in the Ownership Society: Bradley Foundation: Sugar daddy for racism and righ... - 0 views

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    Yesterday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel carries a feature on the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.The Bradleys were the main source of support for Gov. Walker's assault on Wisconsin's teachers and public employee unions. Indiana's T-Party Gov. Mitch Daniels sat on Bradley's board of directors. His teacher-bashing, anti-union school "reform" initiative was recently embraced by Ed Sec. Arne Duncan. 

    They also provided support for the Milwaukee school voucher program and its main proponent in the African-American community, Howard Fuller and his Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) . They funded Charles Murray, author of racist book, "The Bell Curve," which argues that intelligence is predicated on race, and Dinesh D'Souza, author of "The End of Racism," which attempts to absolve Whites from discrimination against Blacks during slavery, claiming that Blacks were too uncivilized to be a part of society anyway.
Jeff Bernstein

Billionaires for Education Reform - Bridging Differences - Education Week - 0 views

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    Today, the question of democracy looms large as we see increasing efforts to privatize the control of public schools. There is an even more worrisome and allied trend, and that is the growing influence of money in education politics at the state and local levels.
Jeff Bernstein

Stand for Children, School Board Races, Washington State PTA and charter schools | Seat... - 0 views

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    As I previously posted in Stand for Children Stands for the Rich and Powerful, Stand for Children (SFC) has proudly declared by way of its' co-founder  and Chief Executive Officer, Jonah Edelman, that he was successful in busting the teachers' union in Chicago and he plans to do that again in the state of Washington. He has led the fight in other states by his own admonition in a video taped session during a seminar at the Aspen Institute, for "pension reform", meaning cutting back on pensions or eliminating them altogether, and a teacher's evaluation based on a student's test scores.
Jeff Bernstein

Publicopoly Exposed -- In These Times - 1 views

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    How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government.

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