Karran Harper Royal
Karran Harper Royal

Karran Harper-Royal, an advocate for all children in public schools, works tirelessly in New Orleans and beyond in ensuring an equitable education for all against many odds.

Mrs. Harper-Royal has begun a collection of video recordings of herself and others as they describe the reality of the so-called miracle of New Orleans charter schools.

The first video is one of Mrs. Harper-Royal as she speaks in front of the school board in New Orleans in 2011 when promises by Paul Vallas, then the superintendent of the New Orleans School District, were not kept.

By the way, Paul Vallas is another superintendent associated with the Broad Foundation who began his path of destruction through the privatization of public schools in Chicago as CEO of public schools, then in  Philadelphia, then on to New Orleans and now in Connecticut and all for personal gain. He is now working with Inter-American Development Bank  on a five year plan to “reform” the schools in Haiti.

To follow, “Paul Vallas Gets An Earful”.

The next video is of a parent with a student who has an IEP, an Individualized Education Program, requirement. This is the type of student that charter schools do not want in their programs because of the time and resources that are needed to fulfill the requirements and also because test scores will probably not be as high as other students’ scores.

This is one father’s story.

Another New Orleans parent talks about the myth of school choice in New Orleans.

Finally, Mrs. Harper-Royal went to DC with parents, students and educators from around the country in January on a Journey for Justice because what has happened in New Orleans is happening in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Detroit, New York and other towns, maybe even yours.

Post Script:

For folks in Seattle, remember Don Kennedy, the inept CFO of Seattle Public Schools and lapdog for former Broad supe Goodloe-Johnson, who always promised to get back to people and never would? The guy who Goodloe-Johnson brought with her from Charleston  to ensure a lack of financial transparency when she wanted to close our schools? During my research for this article, I came across him again and he is doing pretty well for himself under Vallas’ tenure in Bridgeport.

Here is an excerpt of an article that I came across at Wait! What?

Vallas is not the only Bridgeport Board of Education “employee” out consulting

Paul Vallas is a busy guy.

As Bridgeport’s Superintendent of Schools, Vallas is collecting about $234,000 a year from the taxpayers of Bridgeport and Connecticut.  Although he hasn’t released his schedule since May 2012, Vallas claimed he was able to work full-time in Connecticut and take on consulting projects around the country and the world because he works no less than ten-hour days and usually works full-time through the weekends.

In addition to collecting his salary as Bridgeport’s superintendent of schools, Vallas also owns The Vallas Group, Inc., an education management consulting company that has various contracts, including a three-year, $1 million contract with the Illinois State Board of Education.  Vallas is (or was) also involved in a $19 million dollar, three-year contract with the City of Indianapolis.

Now, thanks to materials provided by the State of Illinois in response to a Freedom of Information request, it turns out that Vallas isn’t the only Bridgeport Board of Education employee out there making money as a result of contracts with The Vallas Group, Inc.

According to a contract signed on August 22, 2012 between The Vallas Group Inc. and the Illinois State Board of Education, Don Kennedy, the Chief Operations Officer for the Bridgeport Schools has been billing $900 a day for his work on Vallas’ Illinois project.

According to the contract, Don Kennedy, who is already collecting a large six figure income in Bridgeport, is anticipated to collect an extra $20,000 in Fiscal Year 2013 and another $20,000 in Fiscal Year 2014 thanks to the Illinois work.

Kennedy’s outside consulting work is particularly relevant since Vallas has had Bridgeport paying Kennedy and almost a dozen other people working for Vallas as 1099 consultants rather than as W-2 employees.

To read this article in full, go to Wait, What?

Dora Taylor