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.

Thanks, 
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

http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2014/10/joel-rose-and-school-of-one-get-new-nyc.html.
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: http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2014/10/20/rise-shine-state-expected-to-approve-career-focused-regents-exam-swap/#.VEkqfsm2Wk0

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: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-ex-ed-dept-official-420k-contract-violates-ethics-rules-critics-article-1.1979272

And some financials on the interlocking directorates of ed deform.

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=251769438

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

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

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 ...


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ravitch Savages Randi Pal Steve Barr Over New Orleans Charter Fiasco

In January, 2014, the news got out that McDonough was closing. Steve Barr said it was closing for renovations, and he didn’t want to disrupt “the culture.” Louisiana blogger Crazy Crawfish pointed out that enrollments were falling, test scores were abysmal, and costs were astronomical for the school. Some “culture.”  ... Diane Ravitch nails shyster Steve Barr: The Miracle That Wasn’t: Steve Barr’s Failure in New Orleans
The blogging world consistently makes the mainstream press look like incompetent fools - or rather intentionally incompetent on stories they don't want you to hear about.

I've been doing stuff on the relationship between Barr and Randi and the UFT/AFT -- no he is not related to UFT/Unity's Leroy. Here's my post from March 24, 2011:
Separated at Birth: Leo Casey, UFT - Steve Barr, Greendot Charter School Slug...Ed Notes Online, Mar 24, 2011
Note: online learning will replace teachers. Another example of the UFT being a partner in crime.

Leonie Haimson wrote:
On Inside City Hall last night, Steve Barr was selling the expansion of his "Green dot" charters in NYC, where he said he will focus on online learning, bring his "model" inside DOE, and he bragged about how he's working closely w/ the UFT,  including Leo Casey and Michael Mulgrew. 

He says "parents are owners" but so far neither the DOE, Barr, nor apparently the UFT have told anyone what schools  in the Bronx he intends to "turn around."

"If you can find that mutual co-option {between union and charter school operators], we can get beyond 3% [of students at ] charters, the great works happening at of charters should be scaled up as quickly as possible, we don't have time to play these adult games."'

NY1.com: http://bit.ly/eAgKym
I did a few more Barr stories:

Oct 18, 2014
Answering the Where Is He Now? question, on July 30, 2014, California Democrats for Education Reform announced that with their chair Steve Barr they're going to create a political consensus to reform education. No New ...

Aug 01, 2014
Hmm.. Steve Barr of Green Dot charters and then the pretentiously named “Future is Now” charters was always a favorite of Michael Mulgrew and the UFT. Several of his charters were started in NYC w/ their enthusiastic ...

Mar 24, 2011
On Inside City Hall last night, Steve Barr was selling the expansion of his "Green dot" charters in NYC, where he said he will focus on online learning, bring his "model" inside DOE, and he bragged about how he's working ...

Jul 26, 2007
Well, that is exactly what is happening in Los Angeles where Steve Barr of Green Dot charters, Randi Weingarten's ally in crime in setting up a charte r school in the Bronx, has formed a company union to compete with the LA ...
And here are the ugly details from Diane's post

SUNY Blames 'Administrative Error' for Success Academy Confusion

SUNY Charter School officials scrambled to explain this week's confusion about the apparent thumbs-up, saying it was a clerical error. At the same time, in a video recording, SUNY administrators said the school could move anywhere it wanted within Manhattan after being approved for Distr​ict 2....
Yes - SUNY and Eva are lying thieves.
Hello from DNAinfo — we have a follow-up to our story on Success Academy moving a planned school from District 2 to District 1 or 6.

SUNY Blames 'Administrative Error' for Success Academy Confusion

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20141016/lower-east-side/suny-blames-admininstrative-error-for-success-academy-confusion
 

Mulgrew BFF Farina Changes Superintendents - Pity District 12 With New Supt Rafaela Espinal (Pacheco)

Two important points came up after Mulgrew's president's report, which I would characterize as the UFT bureaucracy's enchantment with Chancellor Carmen Fariña.  "Remember all those years with that moron up the street?” said Mulgrew (referring to Joel Klein and the Bloomberg years). Now with a “friend” in Tweed (“call me Carmen”), and the new contract, he said, "teachers have a voice" and the chancellor is telling the principals, "teachers aren't the enemy, they're soldiers in your army.”  Well, the brass and the troops have a very different standpoint, especially when we’re facing a war on teachers and public education.... Marjorie Stamberg, reporting on the Oct. 22 UFT Delegate Assembly
At yesterday's Delegate Assembly, Mulgrew was just dripping with love for Carmen Farina and pointed to the shakeup of Superintendents as a major step in removing the BloomKlein influence from Tweed.

I had to laugh out loud given the name of the new supt of District 12 in the Bronx - one Rafaela Espinal (Pacheco) - the Leadership Academy witch and rubber room queen who was the principal of my old school for about 5 years. Rumors were that her husband (now ex) worked for Bloomberg. And she originally came from District 15 we heard, so there is probably a long-time connection to Farina.

Espinal was known for standing at the door of a class and observing with a scowl and then slapping a post-it note on the door, always with negatives. In her years at the school there was no report of anything she said positively to a teacher.

So it was funny to hear Mulgrew declare yesterday that Farina told the Supt that teachers were not the enemy. Espinal would have to go re-education camp.

When Espinal left PS 147 to go to New Jersey and was replaced by another Lead Acad grad, who surprisingly turned out to be great, the members of the staff looked 10 years younger as they lost years of angst. This was not just the teachers. One secretary told me she was ready to retire but was rejuvenated by the new principal and remained for years.

Espinal had run a reign of terror at the school. One of my friends, a black teacher, who lost the election for chapter leader by 1 vote was targeted the next year. When a special ed child tried to run out of her room for the 3rd time that period my friend caught her and sat her in her seat, in the process a button came off her shirt and her fingernail may have grazed the girls neck - though photos taken by Espinal shortly after showed no mark.

How amazing that the principal immediately grabbed a camera to document supposed abuse - I remember all of us at the 3020 hearing looking at the photo for any sign of a scratch or even redness on the child's neck and shaking our heads.

WARNING ALERT: The teacher did not use a NYSUT lawyer but her own who was an utter incompetent. Rumors are spread about how awful NYSUT lawyers are but teachers should at the very least check out the one they are assigned before leaping to the cost of their own. NYSUT lawyers do not work for the UFT.

Espinal incited the parent to call the police and file charges and my friend was removed in handcuffs by 5 police officers, spent years in the rubber room and while not fired received a substantial fine  - for sitting a child in her seat -- (a runner who could have gotten hurt or worse if she ran out of the school). All incited by the vicious Rafaela Espinal. The teacher was black and another black teacher at the school claimed Espinal was a racist. But the climate of fear created by Espinal shut everyone up -- except my friend who was the only one in the school to challenge Espinal.

I spent some time attending the 3020 hearing and heard the mother testify for hours. That whole scene could be an off-Broadway play. But from her testimony it was clear the role Espinal played.

I even called up the lead detective who made the arrest and soon realized it was bogus - "bullshit" - was the word he used. I tried to get the UFT to do something - like get him in record, etc. but their position was that the teacher is no her own. I did take her to a UFT Exec Bd meeting to speak - again, useless.

Espinal put another teacher in the rubber room for 15 months over a comment she made to one of Espinal's lackeys in a private conversation with no children present that "some children will never get it." Shortly after a kid charged that the teacher told the class that black kids can never learn. The teacher was exonerated and sent back to the school, luckily after Espinal had left.  It should be pointed out that this occurred in January of the school year and the removal of an experienced top level teacher in a crucial 4th grade class led to chaos in the class for the rest of the school year and a drop in scores - which may have been a reason she left.

Espinal returned as principal of PS 125 in Harlem and we immediately began to hear of rubber room postings within her first month. She was ultimately removed as principal (for unknown reasons) but kicked up to a position of principal mentor - specializing in the use of water boarding. Then I heard that under Farina she was put in charge of some teacher evaluation unit - yes, Espinal, who evaluated teachers based on loyalty and trumped up charges.

Ed Notes on Espinal:
Mar 22, 2009
 Rafaela Espinal left the system to a great sigh of relief. She was replaced by another Leadership Acad Principal but this one gets high marks. Another teacher with an impeccable rep railroaded to the RR was ...
Apr 10, 2007
It is no small matter that the principal, Rafaela Espinal, is a Leadership Acad Grad and has had a great number of veteran teachers leave the school in the short time she has been there, with others looking to join them.
Apr 16, 2007
See Rafaela Espinal, principal of PS 147, say a few words of wisdom when she is not inciting parents to call the police on teachers. One of the things not included in the interview with Kathy Blythe in The Chief was the fact that ...
To me Rafaela Espinal is a criminal. So here is someone who could not last as a principal in at least 3 schools has been appointed as the new District 12 Superintendent.


Here is the list of Supes as published by Tweed:

There are 32 community superintendents and 10 high school superintendents, and we applied these changes to all 42. There are 15 new superintendents, of them eight were hired this school year:
District 2 - Bonnie Laboy
District 8 – Karen Ames
District 11 – Maria Lopez
District 12 – Rafaela Espinal
District 17 – Clarence Ellis
District 22 – Julia Bove
District 26 – Danielle Giunta
District 28 – Mabel Muniz-Saduy
Additionally, seven of the new superintendents were hired in the spring to fill vacancies. These new superintendents all still reapplied and underwent the new, thorough process over the summer. These are: 
District 6 – Manuel Ramirez
District 9 – Leticia Rodriquez Rosario
District 27 – Mary Barton
District 31 – Anthony Lodico
High School– Michael Prayor
High School – Fred Walsh
Transfer High School – LaShawn Robinson

These individuals were selected after a rigorous interview process and comprehensive background checks, and have all demonstrated extensive experience and a clear commitment to serving our students. There are two incumbent superintendents who did not meet the new experience qualifications (at least ten years of pedagogic experience, including at least three as a successful principal) but were grandfathered in per the regulation change – Gale Reeves (D5) and Anita Skop (D15). Today, October 21 marks the new superintendents’ first day. 

Here is a quote you can use from Chancellor Carmen Fariña: “To be a successful superintendent, you need extensive experience as an instructional leader and a proven record of success. I am thrilled to welcome this group of highly qualified leaders—they have the necessary experience, knowledge and understanding of what it takes to support principals, teachers and ultimately students. These decisions were about common sense. I want leaders at the helm who understand what it takes to ensure a supportive school community, and this is an exciting step forward to make sure our school system creates environments where all students and school staff will thrive. The new and existing superintendents will receive ongoing support, professional development, collaborate with each other and serve our greatest goal of directly improving classroom learning for students across the City.”
Right- I can see Espinal slapping giant post-it notes full of negative comments on schools.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Send a message to today's UFT DA: ATRs Deserve Union Representation

Support ATRs who are deprived of representation in any UFT Chapter, by calling for a new functional chapter of ATRs.

Here is the proposed resolution from MORE for today's Delegate Assembly:


Read and download on our DA flyer.

The UFT Delegate Assembly will take place on
Wednesday, October 22nd, at 4:15pm
UFT headquarters at 52 Broadway 
(2/3/4/5 to Wall St., A/C/J/Z to Fulton, 1/N/R to Rector)

Afterwards, please join us for a post-DA gathering at 6:15pm, just a few blocks away at the Whitehorse Tavern, 25 Bridge St, NYC.

See you this afternoon, 

Movement of Rank and File Educators

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ATRs of the World - UNITE! End Taxation (Dues) Without Representation - Force the UFT/Unity Caucus to Form a Functional Chapter

A new energy has infused the almost decade old ATR situation (beginning with the 2005 contract) with the entry of James Eterno and Francesco Portelos into their world. It is not easy to slime people who have been recognized as great teachers.

(For new readers an ATR is somone whose school was closed or who was excessed from their school and is now forced to rotate each week from school to school while under the gun of almost instant dismissal when 2 principals go after them.)

Many ATRs became so gun-shy and abused they had trouble organizing and acting.

Not much at all since the big Nov. 2008 ATR rally at Tweed, which the UFT/Unity, in alliance with the DOE, tried to undermine - see my video of the wine and cheese fiasco - the video Randi did not want you to see - and by the way for those promoting the sudden New Action interest in ATRS - they were perfectly happy to partake in the wine and cheese and ignore the rally taking place at Tweed - yes I have the unpublished video.
See ed notes wine and cheese reports
Oct 21, 2012
2008 ATR rally at Tweed that caused so much panic at both Tweed and 52 Broadway that the Gang of 2 were forced to come up with an "agreement" the day before followed by the infamous UFT wine and cheese diversion to ...
Jan 28, 2009
That day I went to the rally and it was sickening what happened with the boycott from RW. We waited for her in the bitter cold while she and her people were stuffing themselves with the wine and cheese. By the time she came, ...
(Actually, the event above led Angel Gonzalez, John Lawhead and I to create an ICE committee that turned into GEM.)

James had not been shy about blogging - ICEUFT Blog
ADIOS AVIATION HS; ATR ROTATION BEGINS . The ICE and Ed Notes blogs have been the most persistent voices standing up for ATRS since 2005, along with Chaz's School Daze.

And of course we know Portelos is never shy.

I found out how hard it was to organize ATRs in 2010 or 2011 when Angel and I started holding meetings. At the first one we had over 40 people when we expected 10. I tried to keep listserves, etc until I realized ATRs had to organize themselves. What they were missing was the kind of organizers and leadership that Eterno and Portelos bring to the table - especially with Portelos' tech skills.

What a pleasure to see this happening.
We are organizing the ATRs. We will hold elections for a new ATR coalition and then approach the UFT to be a functional chapter like all these others http://www.uft.org/new-teachers/functional-chapters
Please share widely and tell every ATR you know. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

The great charter school rip-off: Finally, the truth catches up to education “reform” phonies - Jeff Bryant in Salon

Charter school advocates say it's all about choice - except when it isn't - as when 90% of the people in a school district say NO to charters but are force fed then anyway.
Fraud, financial mismanagement, lousy results: Reports highlight awful charter schools and people are catching on---
After Katrina, as NPR recently reported, “an ad hoc coalition of elected leaders and nationally known charter advocates formed,” and in “a series of quick decisions,” all school employees were fired and the vast majority of the city’s schools were handed over to a state entity called the “Recovery School District” which is governed by unelected officials. Only a “few elite schools were … allowed to maintain their selective admissions.” In other words, any bargaining that was done was behind closed doors and at tables where most of the people who were being affected had no seat..... Jeff Bryant, Salon
This article by Jeff (who I had the pleasure of meeting in the press section at the AFT convention this past summer) was posted at Salon on Oct 2, 2014 and I may have even posted it before but it's lurking on one of my tabs so here are a few excerpts.
Last week when former President Bill Clinton meandered onto the topic of charter schools, he mentioned something about an “original bargain” that charters were, according to the reporter for The Huffington Post, “supposed to do a better job of educating students.”

A writer at Salon called the remark “stunning” because it brought to light the fact that the overwhelming majority of charter schools do no better than traditional public schools. Yet, as the Huffington reporter reminded us, charter schools are rarely shuttered for low academic performance.

But what’s most remarkable about what Clinton said is how little his statement resembles the truth about how charters have become a reality in so many American communities.

In a real “bargaining process,” those who bear the consequences of the deal have some say-so on the terms, the deal-makers have to represent themselves honestly (or the deal is off and the negotiating ends), and there are measures in place to ensure everyone involved is held accountable after the deal has been struck.
But that’s not what’s happening in the great charter industry rollout transpiring across the country. Rather than a negotiation over terms, charters are being imposed on communities – either by legislative fiat or well-engineered public policy campaigns. Many charter school operators keep their practices hidden or have been found to be blatantly corrupt. And no one seems to be doing anything to ensure real accountability for these rapidly expanding school operations.

Instead of the “bargain” political leaders may have thought they struck with seemingly well-intentioned charter entrepreneurs, what has transpired instead looks more like a raw deal for millions of students, their families, and their communities. And what political leaders ought to be doing – rather than spouting unfounded platitudes, as Clinton did, about “what works” – is putting the brakes on a deal gone bad, ensuring those most affected by charter school rollouts are brought to the bargaining table, and completely renegotiating the terms for governing these schools.

Charter Schools As Takeover Operations
The “100 percent charter schools” education system in New Orleans that Clinton praised was never presented to the citizens of New Orleans in a negotiation. It was surreptitiously engineered.
----
Further, any evidence of the improvement of the educational attainment of students in the New Orleans all-charter system is obtainable only by “jukin the stats” or, as the NPR reporter put it, through “a distortion of the curriculum and teaching practice.” As Andrea Gabor wrote for Newsweek a year ago, “the current reality of the city’s schools should be enough to give pause to even the most passionate charter supporters.”
Jeff goes into detail on the York City charter takeover and there's lots more meat in his report, so read it all.

He closes with the charter escape from accountability question:
Unsurprisingly, the report got an immediate response from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, arguing against any regulation on charters. That organization’s response cites “remarkable results” as an excuse for why charters should continue to be allowed to skirt public accountability despite the fact they get public money. However, whenever there is close scrutiny of the remarkable results the charter industry loves to crow about, the facts are those results really aren’t there.
Charter Accountability Now
Of course, now that the truth about charter schools is starting to leak out of the corners of the “black box” the industry uses to protect itself, the charter school PR machine is doing everything it can to cover up reality.
Beginning with the new school year, the charter school industry has been on a publicity terror with a national campaign claiming to tell “The Truth About Charters” and high dollar promotional appeals in Philadelphia and New York City.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday With Susan: Randi and UFT Pal Steve Barr in Yet Another Charter Scandal - ho hum

There is a lot of meat in today's report from Susan. Here are some details on another Randi Weingarten good buddy Steve Barr mess.
New Orleans student Social Security numbers found on auctioned-off laptops
Ohanian Comment:

It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your child's Social Security number is?

Could a school name be more appropriate: Future is Now. They've put kids' data is at risk NOW.

New Orleans, the nation's first all-charter school district, named the Recovery School District (RSD), reported about 1 1/2 years ago that an audit revealed $2.7 million in RSD property was missing--"things like computers and equipment." Superintendent Patrick Dobard said that the audit's finding was misleading, that "70 percent of the items listed as missing have incorrect location codes -- but are still present in schools."

Complete with student data.

When the Future is Now (formerly known as Green Dot America), operated by Steve Barr, took over an historic New Orleans school in 2012 (See Ed Week's version: Steve Barr's Quest to Save a New Orleans High School) it received $800,000 in start-up funding, which Barr promised to use for iPads. When the school shut down just two years later, all the teachers lost their jobs and all the students had to find new schools. Barr attributed this to "supply and demand"--just not enough students to make it profitable. Nobody is saying where the iPads are.

Or the student Social Security numbers.

Answering the Where Is He Now? question, on July 30, 2014, California Democrats for Education Reform announced that with their chair Steve Barr they're going to create a political consensus to reform education. No New Orleans teachers need apply.

Footnote: New Orleans Superintendent Patrick Dobard is a Broad Institute alumnus and the district is featured in a Broad Spotlight, December 2012, calling "the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana are one of the most vibrant communities for education reform."

But where is that student data?

by Danielle Dreilinger

State officials announced Friday that the Social Security numbers, names and birthdates of 210 students were left on at least two laptops sold at auction Oct. 11. Those laptops were surplus equipment from the Future Is Now charter group sold after the organization ended its program at John McDonogh High in New Orleans..... more
on this
And here's the rest of Susan's report.

I so enjoyed the New York Times 'correction' today that I posted it on Twitter: Bermuda is 670 miles EAST of NC, not WEST.
Thank you for sharing this geography slip-up, NYT. When will you correct worse education errors?

Reminder: The opt out billboard campaign in Colorado needs your donation. This venerable annual campaign urging parents to opt out of the standardized test is truly grassroots, and it is moving--steady increase in opt outs. Be part of the revolution. Send $5 to:
Coalition for Better Education
2424 22nd Ave.
Greeley, CO 80631-8154

This campaign is spearheaded by Don Perl, the first teacher in the country to refuse to give Colorado's test--in 2001. Here's how the Denver Post reported it back then:
http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=4916
This New Yorker cartoon cuts to the bone:
http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_cartoons.php?id=1052
We are destroying a generation's possibility for encountering school happenings that inspire a love of learning.

Here's a reprise of a golden oldie:
http://susanohanian.org/show_nclb_cartoons.php?id=1051
And this page has three more.

http://susanohanian.org/cartoons.php
Monday is cooking day at the Senior Center. Last minute cancellation from my dessert maker. No problem. I just turned 15 pounds of apples into applesauce and I've got 70 slices of bread getting stale. They should be ready by Monday for applesauce bread pudding. Tomorrow I'll soak the black beans for pumpkin black bean curry soup.
After looking into what Steve Barr is up to these days, I need the applesauce and pumpkin to keep me sane. You may think that you're far removed from what happens in New Orleans and Los Angeles.

You're wrong. Read on to find out why.

Susan

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New Orleans student Social Security numbers found on auctioned-off laptops
 Danielle Dreilinger with Ohanian comment
New Orleans Times-Picayune
2014-10-17
http://susanohanian.org/data.php?id=570
It's 10 o'clock. Do  you know where your child's school has put his Social Security number?

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Big Doubts About Big Data
Emma Uprichard
Chronicle of Higher Education
2014-10-13
http://susanohanian.org/data.php?id=569
Big Data is a bandwagon term that everyone needs to talk about to show that they can play the game

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Jump that Bar; Lift that Bale
Susan Ohanian
blog
2014-10-13
http://susanohanian.org/core.php?id=757
The Duncan communications chief has a new job but he's sticking to the old metaphors.

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To the editor
Susan Ohanian
New York Times
2014-10-17
http://susanohanian.org/show_letter.php?id=1721
This is published online in the hopes that some editor will see that school data collection is a topic worth looking at.

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Tech jobs: Minorities have degrees, but don't get hired
Elizabeth Weise and Jessica Guynn
USA Today
2014-10-13
http://susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=1892
Top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

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Deasy's Gone: Two Newspapers Tell the Tale
Editorial  and Ohanian Comment
Los Angeles Times & New York Times
2014-10-16
http://susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=1891
Superintendents with phony degrees and Gates imprint may come and go, but teachers are the folks who are always there.

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Tulane's Cowen Institute retracts New Orleans schools report, apologizes
Jessica Williams
New Orleans Times-Picayune
2014-10-10
http://susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=1889
Here are the people involved in the withdrawn report termed a 'high profile embarrassment.'
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Friday, October 17, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY - NYSUT LAUREN COHEN, MORE

Lauren Cohen throwing  down at the NYSUT election convention in front  of 3,000 NYSUT delegates (and shocking 800 unity members)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

VOTE HOWIE HAWKINS/BRIAN JONES AND GREEN PARTY FOR GOVERNOR

Beth Domino, President of Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association says it as well as can be said. 
Beth Domino
I write to you today about the critical election for New York State Governor next month. I believe that the outcome of this election will have a major impact on all aspects of our lives as teachers and school employees.
We have seen firsthand the damage that Cuomo has done to our school district by imposing an undemocratic property tax cap that has made it impossible for critical programs to continue, an over-emphasis on testing, the narrowing of curriculum and finally the intrusion of the common core, which has done more to frustrate creative and talented teachers than improve instruction.
Cuomo has been a governor who incites communities to doubt school professionals and prefers to blame teachers instead of providing badly needed resources and support. Many believe that Cuomo has done the most substantial damage to our public system than any governor before him.
Challenging the Governor is Westchester County Executive Republican candidate Rob Astorino. While some have taken notice of Mr. Astorino’s anti-common core platform, a simple scratch beneath the surface reveals a candidate who puts all his faith in charter schools and would further decimate schools through a reduction of state aid. Equally alarming is Astorino’s opposition to teacher tenure, as well as, his vow to eliminate the Triborough Amendment.
Fortunately, there is an alternative this year to both Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Astorino. Green Party Candidate Howie Hawkins and his running mate for Lieutenant Governor, Brian Jones have produced an education platform that is completely in sync with what we believe and know to be sound education policy.
Hawkins and Jones believe that:
New York needs to opt out of Race to the Top and the Common Core Standards.
Schools need to return to meaningful teaching and learning and move away from the over-emphasis on testing.
Schools should be allowed to develop authentic assessments that are organic to the learning process.
Zero-tolerance discipline policies are the wrong way to produce responsible and productive citizens.
The state-mandated anti-democratic tax cap must be eliminated.
The State should provide equitable funding for all schools so there can be a reduction of class size and the restoration of music, art, health, and all other vital programs that have been taken away from this generation of students.
In light of these pro-public education initiatives, the Port Jefferson Station Teachers’ Association Executive Council voted unanimously to endorse the Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones Education Platform. Many members have voiced their concerns regarding the anti-union and anti-public education positions of both Cuomo and Astorino. This frustration may lead many to NOT cast a vote for governor in this upcoming election. A vote for Hawkins/Jones represents a vote for education and faith in the job that each of us perform each day in the classroom. A vote for Hawkin/Jones also sends a message to Cuomo that we refuse to let him win by default or inaction.
I encourage you to visit their website at http://www.howiehawkins.org/platform to learn more about Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones. If you agree that we must have leaders in Albany who truly understand the needs and challenges of public schools today, I ask that you investigate for yourself and compare and contrast the candidates’ views on education and spread the word regarding your findings to friends, colleagues and family members.

In Solidarity

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eva Exposed: Phony Demands for Success Charter Exposed; Stringer to Audit Charters

On average, schools in the Success Academy network were under-enrolled by 7.6 percent.... “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said public school parent Brooke Parker. “SUNY has knowingly withheld enrollment data for charter schools from the taxpaying public, even though taxpayer dollars bankroll charters.
For years we've challenged charters, in particular Eva's charters, to produce those waiting lists. How much do I love Brooke Parker, parent activist supreme from Williamsburg/Greenpoint District 14. She never gives up.

Leonie just posted this article to her listserve:  EXCLUSIVE: Comptroller will audit City's charter schools

In case you have forgotten, Scott Stringer defeated Eva for Manhattan Borough President I think in 2005, thus helping jump-start her career as a charter operator.

Here are a few focused facts from the article. Use them at future public hearings to challenge the pro-Success people who say there is such demand for more of their schools.
Local public school parents searched through the School Construction Authority’s “Blue Book” and found evidence that more than two-thirds of Success Academy charter schools were under-enrolled in the 2013-2014 school year.

Besides standing in clear opposition to claims of wait lists and need for more schools, drastic under-enrollment is supposed to elicit action from SUNY. If a school falls below 80 percent of its targeted enrollment, the overseer is charged with closing that school.

Last school year, four Success Academy charter schools did not reach that 80 percent benchmark. The four schools — in Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Hell’s Kitchen and Union Square — were under-enrolled by 22 percent.

On average, schools in the Success Academy network were under-enrolled by 7.6 percent.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said public school parent Brooke Parker. “SUNY has knowingly withheld enrollment data for charter schools from the taxpaying public, even though taxpayer dollars bankroll charters.


More...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Eva Goes to Washington (Lobbyists)

Gloria Brandman as Evil Moskowitz
These public disputes have made Moskowitz herself increasingly controversial. At a recent meeting regarding Success expansion, one detractor wore a mask depicting Moskowitz' face with a witch hat.... Joy Resmovits, HuffPost
That's our Gloria, making the national news. (Ed Notes, Sept 29, 2014 - MORE Takes a Stand Against Eva Moskowitz at Hearings - Last Monday and Today in Manhattan)

Joy did a nice report on how Eva has hired lobbyists in Washington DC. Read it all here.

The NY Times had a report on the SUNY charter crooks giving Eva more schools. NY Times' Kate Taylor, the reporter who came to the hearing in Brooklyn a few weeks ago did report:
About two dozen people went to a hearing in Brooklyn at the end of September, held at Public School 133 in Boerum Hill. All of the speakers, including teachers in local district schools and a representative for City Councilman Brad Lander, voiced their opposition to opening new Success Academy schools in their areas.
Some cited limited space or competition for funding, and said that charters drew the most involved families, leaving more difficult students in the district schools. Others said Ms. Moskowitz and her donors intended to privatize the public schools. One teacher wore a witch’s hat and a mask of Ms. Moskowitz’s face.
“For the record, everyone here spoke against — no one spoke for — and I’m going to be really shocked to find out that they approved this application,” said David Goldsmith, president of the community education council for District 13 in Brooklyn. “Thanks for caring, Albany,” he added.
Also see Leonie's piece:
Damaging impacts of charters on Harlem's public schools - Empty room at Success charter school taken from PS 175 On October 8. I gave a presentation to the Community Education Council in District 5 on the impact of...
And some of my videos:

Video: Parent/Community Voices Oppose Success as SUNY Approves Eva Moskowitz Charter Scam 

Parents and community voices oppose SUNY authorization of Success Academy charters in Manhattan's Districts 2 and 3 - Part 1

Why doesn't SUNY give them space? There's FIT, School of Optometry - even Downstate... parent testimony
Video from the September 29, 2014 hearing.

For teacher voices see:
MOREistas in the House, UFT Not @ Success Academy ...
and teachers and community/parents at the Sept. 22 hearing in Brooklyn: MORE Takes a Stand Against Eva Moskowitz at Hearin...