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View Diary: (updated) Ohio charter school fail, and fail, and fail, and future fails (32 comments)

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  •  That's an interesting loop of interconnectedness (2+ / 0-)
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    Mentatmark, justintime

    you demonstrate there.  Thank you MfM.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 05:45:26 AM PST

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    •  One of the directors (4+ / 0-)
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      Ohiodem1, Mentatmark, justintime, a2nite

      of a local charter school is actually a long time columnist for the Indiana Policy Review Foundation.  This is why we need more research and less hype about ALEC.

      http://www.economicpopulist.org

      by ManfromMiddletown on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 05:48:29 AM PST

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      •  What kind of research? (1+ / 0-)
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        Ohiodem1

        I read this diary and the linked articles last night. I wanted to comment, but there's a certain powerlessness that sets in, a feeling of wondering what can be done.

        Your comment I guess is the starting point -- research.  But of what?  

         

        Don't tread on me.

        by VetGrl on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:22:46 AM PST

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        •  There's a tremendous amount of research that (1+ / 0-)
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          VetGrl

          has already been done into ALEC and organizations whose intent is to defund, disrupt and destroy not just education in America, but environmental protection, privatize for Wall Street gain our retirement systems and Social Security, destroy what is left of health care in America, privatize everything in America including our national parks, our prisons, legislate throw away the key sentencing laws to keep those private prison beds, and their constant stream of revenue and profits coming in, you name it, these right wing political forces are at play.

          Right now in the Ohio legislature, a Bill Seitz sponsored bill, which looks suspiciously like the Orwellian named Energy Freedom Act, which is intended to overturn the renewable energy targets for legislation enacted during the Strickland administration.  Similar legislation has been introduced and failed to be passed because of public pushback in Colorado and some other Western states.  What is the common element, who disseminates these nefarious laws throughout our states, why a lot of it can be attributed to the right wing bill clearinghouse, ALEC, in my opinion.

          How do we fight back as a people?  We identify and throw the bums out.  We already know who most of them are due to various lists that have been compiled by some dedicated researchers, using original source information.

          We need to demand that ALEC bills be identified as such when they are introduced, who the Task Force member companies are, who the individuals on the Task Forces are, both public and private, what economic interest is advanced by the ALEC "Model Bills", and who will be hurt by the ALEC "Model Bills".

          Then we need to vote in large numbers.  We can't let the Republicans do a better job of getting out the vote in low turnout elections.  They can't win high turnout elections, and we need to make EVERY election a high turnout election.

          Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

          by Ohiodem1 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:39:33 AM PST

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        •  Specifically (2+ / 0-)
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          Ohiodem1, VetGrl

          to this effort.  I would say getting the incorporation documents from state offices for charter schools and the groups that they contract with.

          That's what this Columbus Dispatch reporter did.  If you have people on the non-profit board of the charter pop up on the for-profit groups that they contract with you have a story.  At the very least it seriously questions what the purpose of these state laws is. At the best, it provides fodder to challenge the non-profit status of these charter schools because they create a material benefit for their board directors.  

          There's a lot of boring work here, but that's where the dirt is.

          http://www.economicpopulist.org

          by ManfromMiddletown on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:44:45 AM PST

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          •  But it gets exciting when you make the connections (0+ / 0-)

            and find the real answers.  Of course you are a professional researcher with enormous skills and knowledge of the process.  I have always appreciated your hard work and knowledge.

            Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

            by Ohiodem1 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:54:21 AM PST

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            •  I'm not a professional researcher (2+ / 0-)
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              VetGrl, Ohiodem1

              I don't know if there is such a thing.  

              I do think that we need to a better capacity to build researching skills on the left.  We're reaching the point in the movement against ALEC where this is critical.  They know how to hide, we have to know how to seek.

              http://www.economicpopulist.org

              by ManfromMiddletown on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:05:28 AM PST

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              •  What about statutory language comparison? (2+ / 0-)
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                Ohiodem1, ManfromMiddletown

                I perused the Ohio Revised Code on education and noticed a lot of recent activity in terms of effective dates.

                Is it useful to compare the ORC language to what's in that Indiana Model you linked to above?

                I also discovered that in 2001 Ohio expressly eliminated any disinterestedness requirement for receivers of failed nonprofits. That means that an insider of a charter school that's liquidating can be in charge of winding down the school.  Useful?

                Another bit I picked up is that if a public school is selling real property, it's required to offer the property to the governing authorities of start-up charter schools within the school district. The school district can't offer the property for more than the appraised fair market value and it must sell to the first bidder. Useful?

                I got the last two items from here.

                Don't tread on me.

                by VetGrl on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:24:13 AM PST

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                •  It doesn't say anything about whether the offer (1+ / 0-)
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                  VetGrl

                  must be at least as much as the appraised value or the asking price.  It never allows the school board to get competing offers for the property, or to get a better price, which could be put into educational programs.  Kind of looks like a sweetheart deal to me.  It just says that the school board must accept the first offer, and does not address, in any way, the fact that other factors going into the value of a piece of real estate may be in play to allow the board to offer the property at a premium to the appraised value.

                  From CMD, here is a list of ALEC education policy "model legislation".  Remember, they cut and paste bits and pieces of ALEC legislation into things like budget bills that do not get much scrutiny, and then you have it, more ALEC anti-public education laws, a sneak attack on our children and grandchildren.

                  http://www.alecexposed.org/...

                  So there has been a tremendous amount of research, most meticulously gathered and made public, but we have a blind news media who are beholden to the advertising bucks from ALEC companies who support their profitable media empires.

                  Nice catch on the Ohio education legislation summary.

                  Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                  by Ohiodem1 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 12:07:49 PM PST

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                  •  What to do? (1+ / 0-)
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                    Ohiodem1

                    This really has the feel of a David and Goliath battle, and it doesn't help that the GOP started beating the privatization drum in earnest a couple of decades ago with little counter from the Democrats.

                    I'm in full agreement with ManfromMiddletown's diary, Rules for ALEC Activists. Hyperbole doesn't help anything. Because the ALEC problem is so big and so pervasive, it seems we need to chip away at its edges.

                    Maybe a smart approach is to focus on three or four specific issues, like conflict of interest, corporate welfare (like the real estate sales), and legislative transparency. We could develop specific policy proposals around those issues justified by the shortcomings of what's on the books now.

                    One example would be a push for a user-friendly website for the General Assembly, including a daily update of 1) bills introduced and 2) floor action. The template is available at the thomas website for Congress.

                    We could (should?) also do the tedious work that ManfromMiddletown suggests -- pulling public documents and connecting the dots among the various players and profit-takers in the current education regime.

                    I'm willing to roll up my sleeves on such a project.

                    Don't tread on me.

                    by VetGrl on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 01:23:45 PM PST

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                    •  Vetgrl, all of the Anti-ALEC group are frustrated (1+ / 0-)
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                      VetGrl

                      because of the slow pace of change, and a lot of that is because MSM won't do their job and expose the abuses and corrupt nature of the organization and its corporate sponsors/enablers, and the 2000 or so legislators that they have compromised.

                      Finding an area of concentration or group makes sense, particularly if an individual has expertise in those areas.  It makes sense for groups of individuals to band together and cover all aspects of ALEC corruption and continually report on ALL of them simultaneously.

                      You mention Real Estate.  I recall seeing a diary on a sneaky bill that caused people with reverse mortgages to become spendthrifts because if they had any money left at the end of the month, by the proposed re-structuring at the state level, any remaining funds could be used to deny eligibility for Medicaid health care (without going back to read the diary and legislation, I cannot, with 100 per cent certainty, attribute that particular piece of legislation to ALEC, it may have been some other right wing organization).  CMD has a whole section regarding banking and real estate laws.  Or Telecommunications laws.  Anywhere that there is money to be made, they have a "model bill" for it.

                      Look here for a comprehensive list.  Show the list to a newspaper writer or editor, show similarities or exact plagiarized wording in a particular law, then ask the reporter why his or her newspaper isn't reporting this.

                      http://www.alecexposed.org/...

                      If people come in with factual reports, constantly, from all sides at once, eventually ALEC won't be able to defend itself from this onslaught.  They will be confused, demoralized, they will make mistakes, they will make big mistakes, and we will win.  This comes from the John Boyd school of warfare, and he gave it the term, maneuver warfare, and it works.  They have been doing it to the American people for 40 years, we have been fighting back for 3.  We are gaining on them, and we will win.

                      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                      by Ohiodem1 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 07:04:08 PM PST

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                    •  I will not be available to blog for the next two (1+ / 0-)
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                      VetGrl

                      or three days, so this is my last response for a while.

                      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                      by Ohiodem1 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 07:05:56 PM PST

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                •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
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                  VetGrl, Ohiodem1

                  The revised code is very, very useful.

                  They definitions section tend to be where there is the most overlap between the bills.  When model bills are converted to state legislation, the model bill has to be modified so it had the right references to state code.  So you won't get a one on one match, unless it's a resolution which usually makes no reference to state code.

                  The truth about research is that for the most part what you need isn't going to be online.  And often will require a FOIA request if we're talking about state contracts.

                  http://www.economicpopulist.org

                  by ManfromMiddletown on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 03:02:51 AM PST

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                  •  Ohio's contract are online (1+ / 0-)
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                    Ohiodem1

                    They're here.

                    The statute requiring online availability of the contracts is here.  Note that it's been amended almost every year since its 2003 effective date.  The statute's life spans the governorships of Taft, Strickland, and Kasich.

                    Don't tread on me.

                    by VetGrl on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:24:33 PM PST

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