The Weekly Update for the news and views you might have missed
This week we’ll start with EduShyster and their article
The achievement gap is the civil rights issue of our time—which is why it may be necessary for us to destroy a large part of the Black middle class in order to achieve our goal of closing said gap.
During the Chicago Teachers Union strike I encountered a stunning statistic. Since education reform arrived in Chicago, African Americans have dropped from 45% of the teaching force to just 19%. But how can that be? you must be wondering. Arne Duncan LUVS Black people. Alas reader, while the schools slated for closure, turnaround or charterization have had a significant percentage of African American teachers, the ones replacing them rarely do. But at least Chicago has made great strides in closing the achievement gap…
Chicago is not the only place where Education Reform, Inc. is quickly reshaping the teaching force into one that is fresher and more innovative younger and whiter. In urban areas across the country, middle-aged, middle class African American teachers are being pushed out to make room for the flavor of the day: vanilla.
In Boston a charter school will very likely take over Marshall Elementary, one of the city’s largest. Thirty two percent of teachers at the Marshall are African American vs just 14% of teachers at the charter, UP Academy. More striking still, not a single teacher at UP is over the age of 40. Reader: I feel old just typing those words so I can only imagine how you must feel reading them—old, old, old, and whatever the opposite of “fresh” and “innovative” is. You may be forgiven for uncorking your wine box just a bit early today.
As for Massachusetts’ other charters-on-the-move, the mini empires of excellence and innovation that are aggressively expanding through the state’s urban areas, their teaching staffs are incredibly young and overwhelmingly white, even as the students they teach are almost exclusively African American and Hispanic.
- Edward Brooke Charter, which is now seeking to open its 4th school in Boston, has just two African American teachers at its flagship school, out of a staff of 58. And 97% of its teachers are under the age of 40.
- MATCH, which operates a high school, middle school and a “No Excuses” charter teacher training program, wants to open an additional middle school in Boston. Of the 141 teachers at MATCH Charter High School, 14% are African American, while 81% of teachers are under the age of 26.
To view the entire list, go to EduShyster.
Speaking of Chicago, most of you are aware of Jonah Edelman and the video when he boasted about how he and his political buddies along with Stand for Children’s wealthy supporters did what they thought they needed to do to crush the rights of teachers in Illinois.
Two years later, the Chicago Teachers Union with Karen Lewis at the helm, took on Mayor Rahmney and won.
This article highlights that point. To follow is an excerpt from:
I just can’t let this go without comment:
Less than two months into a new school year, teacher strikes have popped up in Chicago and four suburbs — with a handful of potential walkouts on the horizon — despite a new state law that was expected to make it harder for work stoppages to occur.
Similar themes have surfaced in each district — the latest during last week’s one-day strike in Highland Park’s North Shore School District 112 — but officials on both sides agree that often, the issues go beyond disputes over raises. Before this year, there had been only one Chicago-area strike since 2009.
…District 112’s brief strike ended after 17 hours of negotiations. Chicago Public Schools and districts in Lake Forest, Evergreen Park and Crystal Lake have largely settled on new contracts after walkouts. Meanwhile, unions in Carpentersville, Geneva, Grayslake and Huntley each have authorized strikes while continuing negotiations. [emphasis mine]
But wait a minute: the plutocrats who run the New Chicago Mob hired Jonah Edelman to make sure this would never, ever happen. He told them strikes were now impossible in Illinois:
With the unions then on board, the IEA and the IFT were relieved to have a deal. They came out strongly in support of this agreement, which was this wholesale transformational change, and with that support there was no reason for any politician to oppose it. So the Senate backed it 59-0, and then the Chicago Teachers Union leader started getting pushback from her membership for a deal that really probably wasn’t from their perspective strategic. She backed off for a little while but the die had been cast – she had publicly been supportive – so we did some face-saving technical fixes in a separate bill – but the House approved it 112-1. And a liberal Democratic governor who was elected by public sector unions – that’s not even debatable – in fact signed it and took credit for it. So we talk about a process that ends up achieving transformational change – it’s going to allow the new mayor and the new CEO [of Chicago schools] to lengthen the day and year as much as they want. The unions cannot strike in Chicago. They will never be able to muster the 75% threshold necessary to strike. And the whole framework for discussing impact – you know, what compensation is necessary – is set up through the fine print that we approved to ensure that the fact-finding recommendations, which are nonbinding, will favor what we would consider to be common sense. [emphasis mine]
Talk about a complete failure. If a teacher was as bad at her job as Edelman is at his, she wouldn’t last even one school year.
I’ll say it again: why do these extremely wealthy “reformers” keep hiring people who are really, really bad at their jobs?
To read this article in full, go to the Jersey Jazzman.
You know that a Weekly Update can’t go by without me describing the trials and tribulations that neighborhoods go through when they decide charter schools are a really good idea.
Edu quote of the week, from Rocklin Charter School Shuts Its Doors Amid Controversy:
“How can you throw 400 families out?”
Dr. Ravitch breaks it down on her blog:
A charter school in Sacramento abruptly closed its doors, locked out the students, and called it quits.
The charter operator said the space could only handle 75 students, but he had enrolled 400.
The parents were not happy. They said the school had collected $2 million or so.
They were puzzled.
So am I.
Hey, that’s the free market. Stores come and go.
Go shop somewhere else, consumers.
You get to “choose” another school. Isn’t that what “school choice” is all about?
This weekend I will leave you with Noam Chomsky and the video titled
Corporate Attack on Public Education, Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky talks of the longstanding hostility of the rich to truly educating the public so they don’t realize they are victims of an economic system they need to replace with one that truly serves the public. March 16, 2012 at St. Philip’s Church of Harlem
Oh yeah, and…