Secretary DeVos and Title I Portability: A Renewed Push for Federally-Funded School Choice?

  New Education Secretary: What Policy?                                                                                                In all likelihood, Betsy DeVos will soon become Secretary of Education. As an earlier Green & Write post has pointed out, DeVos is best known as a very rich, very well-connected champion of school choice and publically-funded vouchers. Remarkably influential in Michigan politics, she has provoked criticism, and garnered support, …

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The charter debate is over

  The charter school “debate” is no longer about charter schools vs. public schools (charters are not public schools—that myth has been exploded), or even about “for profit” vs. “not for profit” charters (the evidence here suggests this is really a difference without a distinction). No, the real issue here is about the true purpose …

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Charter Schools: The New Private Prisons?

    A new report from the Justice Department recommends the suspension of contracts for private prisons, effective immediately. In explaining the justification for this decision, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates concluded that “the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.” Teachers and those who have …

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What we can learn about education from Finland

For all of the money spent by the corporate education reformers we’d expect to see massive improvements in student learning, school facilities, and education policy. Instead, charter schools have been a mostly unsuccessful “experiment” that has diverted billions of dollars from public schools struggling to maintain safe facilities and adequate programs for students. Standardized testing …

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Eva, Rick, and Mercury LLC: Damage Control Strategies for Abusive Teaching and Water Poisoning

    Today’s Lessons… 1. Abusive teaching behavior has been documented multiple times at Eva Moskowitz’s “Success Academy” charter school network. Ms. Moskowitz never denies these abuses happened—she simply attacks the newspaper or journalist who reported the abuses. 2. The PR firm handling Ms. Moskowitz’s damage control here is none other than Mercury LLP—the same …

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Michigan’s Accountability Blind Spot

A new report from the advocacy organization The Education Trust-Midwest (ETM) has raised alarm over the lack of governmental oversight of Michigan’s charter school authorizers. The report, entitled Accountability for All: The Broken Promise of Michigan’s Charter Sector, scrutinized the performance of the state’s largest charter authorizers and determined that many of them are failing …

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Revisiting Michigan Charter School Authorizers: An In-Depth Look at Central Michigan University

Earlier this year, Michigan’s application for the Charter Schools Program State Educational Agencies (SEA) Grant was rejected. In a previous piece, the Governance & Finance Blog explored the low ratings Michigan received on their application, particularly in the area of Authorizer Accountability. To gain a better understanding of the work that Michigan charter school authorizers …

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You broke it, you own it…

Well, well, well. So now Kevin Huffman (aka the ex-Mr. Michelle Rhee), former Commissioner of Education in Tennessee, has finally decided that for-profit charter schools are a bad idea. Welcome to reality, Mr. Huffman. You may have reached this conclusion years ago if you had a degree in education (BA in English from Swarthmore; law …

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Urban Charter Schools Are More Likely to Succeed Than their Suburban Counterparts

Charter School Concentration: Demand in Urban Areas The University of Michigan’s Susan Dynarski recently added her voice to the ongoing conversation around charter schools in America’s urban areas. Rather than comment on the more salient charter controversies around oversight concerns, authorizer policies, or competition with neighborhood schools, Dynarski addressed a less-examined topic: the contrast in …

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The Plan is Coming Together…

  Careful readers have noticed a flurry of reformster activity over the past week or so, highlighted by two big announcements. First was the rollout of #TeachStrong, an education improvement scheme allegedly dedicated “to modernizing and elevating the teaching profession,” and involving a murderer’s row of reformer groups, like Teach for America, the Relay Graduate School of …

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Hey, Great Lakes Education Project: Got Integrity?

  The Great Lakes Education Project is a Michigan advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the charter school agenda in the state. GLEP’s official mission statement says the following: “Because a zip code shouldn’t determine the education outcomes for children, GLEP believes we must expand choice, improve quality and increase accountability.  We support Governor Snyder’s “any …

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Strange Bedfellows in Michigan Charters: Unionization and Teach for America-Associated Teachers

Over the past month, numerous charter schools in Detroit have experienced ample turmoil associated with charter management organizations (CMOs). CMO New Urban Learning (NUL) ended its relationship with Detroit’s University YES Academy as a result of recent charter schools teacher unionization efforts. Closely behind University YES Academy are two U Prep Schools who are working …

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State Superintendent Flanagan Wants to Stop You from Building New Charter Schools, or Does He?

Call for a Moratorium on New Charters In an address to the Michigan Legislature on Thursday, March 5th, Michigan State Superintendent Mike Flanagan called for a moratorium on new charters schools in Michigan, saying, “There’s enough (charters) now to give appropriate choice to parents.” Amidst an ongoing debate about the role of charters in the …

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Back to school . . .

It’s back-to-school time for approximately 55 million children and 20 million college students around the country.  For those of us who are educators, it’s an exhilarating – and at times exhausting – time of the year.  Teachers have been busy getting their classrooms ready for the new school year, and college faculty have been working …

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