It's teacher hunting season!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ohio charter school is essentially renamed Christian school

Blogger Madfloridian reported that Columbus, Ohio area religious area charter school, Patriot Preparatory Academy, appears to be a private, religious school, Liberty Christian Academy, refashioned to accommodate laws preventing public funding of private institutions. The PPA has largely the same teachers and students. It has the same founder as Liberty Christian Academy

From Madfloridian at
"Charter's ties to Christian school draw state scrutiny"
Out went the private Liberty Christian Academy. In came the public Patriot Preparatory Academy, a charter school in the same location with many of the same students and teachers. The state says the new school has changed enough to receive tax money.

Sounds like edupreneurs looking for secure public dollars to me.

Article in "Columbus Dispatch," MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2010

Charter's ties to Christian school draw state scrutiny:
Out went the private Liberty Christian Academy. In came the public Patriot Preparatory Academy, a charter school in the same location with many of the same students and teachers. The state says the new school has changed enough to receive tax money. A new charter school has the same founder, is staffed by many of the same teachers and attended by many of the same students as a private Christian school that previously used its East Side building.

As Madfloridian cited from Smart Money, "10 Things Charter Schools Won't Tell You", December 6, 2010:
The separation between church and state has been narrowing in the charter schools:
5. Separation of church and state? We found a loophole.
Charter schools are public schools, supported by public tax dollars. But among the thousands of charters nationwide are schools run by Christian organizations as well as Hebrew and Arabic language academies that blur the line between church and state. “What would not be tolerated in a regular public school seems to be tolerated when it’s a charter school,” says Diane Ravitch, a professor of education at New York University and the author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System.” Even if these schools aren’t explicitly teaching religion, “it’s potentially segregation by religious preference,” Bulkley says.

This is from "10 Things Charter Schools Won't Tell You."

Again, from Dallas Morning News, November 22, 2010, via Madfloridian:

"Charter schools with ties to religious groups raise fears about state funds' use"

The second problem is also from Texas. Some charter schools there are venturing into the religion business. The Dallas Morning News reports that 20 percent of the state’s charters have religious ties.

.."Finally, it looks like we’re going to need to keep a close eye on Georgia, where the new chief of staff of the state Education Department is a former staffer of TV Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice.

More about another charter school in Dallas.

Students at Duncanville's Advantage Academy follow biblical principles, talk openly about faith and receive guidance from a gregarious former pastor who still preaches when he speaks.

Advantage's state-funded campuses showcase the latest breed of charter schools, born from faith-based principles and taxpayer funds. More than 20 percent of Texas' charter schools have some kind of religious ties. That's the case for six of the seven approved this year, including ones in Frisco and Arlington.

..."Advantage markets its teaching of creationism and intelligent design. It offers a Bible class as an elective and encourages personal growth through hard work and "faith in God and country." On a recent morning, a dozen uniformed seventh-graders hunched over worksheets, turning fractions into decimals.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PISA scores rank US low in math - brace yourselves for attacks from the Duncan-Black monster

The policy pursued under the DunKleinRhee monster (Arne Duncan / Joel Klein /Michelle Rhee) has been to attack American educators; this is continuing now that the Klein head has been lopped off and replaced by Cathie Black.

With the news today of the U.S. scoring low yet again on international tests, this time in the releasing of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 test scores. Click here for the PISA report. (Class matters -social class, that is; scroll to the bottom of this blog post for the report's statement that gets at the "essential question.")

Click to this ABC news story, "China Debuts at Top of International Education Rankings" and this Canadian television news report, "Canadian education among best in the world: OECD."

Look out for more attacks on teachers, teachers' unions and teachers' pensions, as ways out of the laggard US educational performance.

Forget that many school systems are run by people without masters' degrees in the academic subjects that they supervise (from curriculum standards at the state level down to the school administrators). Forget that in the US school systems and schools aggressively impose the fuzzy math of constructivist math that thinks that every third grader can be a math theorist.

You can be sure that in Finland and in Canada, some of the top countries in student math scores in the PISA tests, that policy makers do not accredit their success to:
denigration of teachers as a profession,
denigrate the practice of educating (in contrast to constructivist progressive anarchy),
blame teachers for poor education performance while failing to acknowledge a fraying social safety net, accompanied by ballooning poverty rates and a widening of gaps between the poor and the upper middle and upper classes,
pursuit of the closing of large comprehensive high schools,
paying of legions of highly paid consultants with no background in the academic subjects that the coach and consult on,
pursuit of laying off thousands of experienced teachers and practice age discrimination by demonstrating a preference for fresh-off-the-street teachers over experienced teachers,
whipping the public into a furor over teachers' pensions,
pursuing the fetish of the quantification of everything,
pursuing the shutting down of public schools and replacing them with for-profit (or non-profit, for that matter) charter schools,
you can be sure that these policies are not pursued in the realization of positive education outcomes.

ADDENDUM: class and resources matter:
The report says,
Within countries, schools with better resources tend to do better only to the extent that they also tend to have more socio-economically advantaged students. Some countries show a strong relationship between schools’ resources and their socio-economic and demographic background, which indicates that resources are inequitably distributed according to schools’ socio-economic and demographic profiles.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Brooklyn parent challenges Black appointment in court with Article 78 proceedings

The public, thank goodness, refuses to stay quiet on the farcical Cathie Black appointment. The protests are continuing each work-day evening rush-hour at the Tweed Courthouse building-assigned to the Department of Education.

Now, a lawyer parent's lawsuit may, we hope, escalate the tension on the Black appointment. Let it be said again, there is a double-standard in mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointment of Hearst media executive Black to be New York city schools chancellor. She only has a bacehlor's degree. Meanwhile, hundreds of teachers of color were pushed out of their positions in the city Department of Education because they lacked master's degrees. The glaring double-standard is an utter outrage.

The New York Times has shifted from keeping the lid on organized protest against Bloomberg's education follies. (The shift started with the publication of New York State test scores plunge in the city schools this summer.)
Now, it has published the news on Park Slope, Brooklyn, parent Eric J. Snyder's lawsuit against the appointment: "Parent Sues to Block Schools Chief", by Sharon Otterman, December 3, 2010.
Snyder decided to pursue his suit "because he was concerned that a school system run by Ms. Black would continue to emphasize standardized testing to the exclusion of a broader, more creative curriculum" for his children.
The suit is known as an Article 78 proceeding, an action intended to seek a speedy review of governmental actions. On Friday, Justice Joseph C. Teresi of State Supreme Court in Albany ordered state education officials to appear on Dec. 23 to argue why Ms. Black’s waiver should not be annulled.

Click here for the NY1 video on the father's lawsuit against the Black appointment.