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This is the third time that school district had rejected Phoenix-based Great Hearts Academies.   It appears to be much like the situation in Florida now where the state board can overrule local districts about charter schools.   Since the state school board is filled with charter school advocates, it is not a healthy thing for local districts.

Tennessee's Education Commissioner is Kevin Huffman, who is/was Vice President of Teach for America, also former hubby of Michelle Rhee.  

From Huffington Post:

Metro Nashville Public Schools Losing $3.4 Million After School Board Fails To Comply With Tennessee Charter School Law

The Tennessee Department of Education is withholding $3.4 million of non-classroom, administrative funding from Metro Nashville Public Schools due to the school board’s failure to comply with the state’s charter school law, the Jackson Sun reports.

Last week, the Metro Nashville school board disobeyed an order by the state Board of Education to approve an application from the Phoenix-based Great Hearts Academies, which it had already twice rejected.

The Associated Press reports that members of the school board raised concerns that the proposed charter school planned to draw from affluent white families, as opposed to cultivating a more diverse student body. They voted 5-4 to deny Great Hearts’ application, ignoring a unanimous order from the state school board to approve it.

The charter school has since dropped its effort to open a school in Tennessee, the Tennessean reports.

At the same time Parent Trigger law advocates are making their move in Nashville.  It's like a double whammy of corporate education reform going on there.

From the Tennessean:

Parents explore trigger law to force takeover of Nashville schools

Tennessee’s trigger law passed with little fanfare in 2002 as part of a larger bill that ushered charter schools into the state.

When the state’s charter law was updated in 2011 to allow all students regardless of their academic standing or socioeconomic status to enroll, the trigger-law portion was updated as well. As a result, the trigger law can be used to target schools not categorized by the state as failing, such as J.T. Moore and Hillwood High.

The statute states that “an eligible public school may convert to a public charter school pursuant to this chapter if the parents of 60 percent of the children enrolled in the school or 60 percent of the teachers assigned to the school agree and demonstrate support by signing a petition seeking conversion, and the (local school board) agrees to the conversion.”

Evans said the law as written leaves many unanswered questions, such as how would the school district handle a possible conversion if parents were able to garner the necessary signatures? She said parents would be reluctant to pursue a conversion if they ultimately must cede control of the process over to the school district. The law does not define how a conversion would work, if the effort received school board approval.

The Parent Trigger movement is being presented as a grassroots revolution by parents.  It is actually being pushed along by charter school companies and other education reformers.  

In reality it is funded by big money groups to provide a quicker way to get charter schools growing.

Parents are led to believe they can lead a coup over public schools, but they may be surprised at how quickly the charter chains step in.

Originally posted to floridagal on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks and Nashville KosKats.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good for the district board. (9+ / 0-)

    GA has a bill allowing the same state approval over charters coming up in November. It is also being presented as a way to gain more accountability when in fact parents would lose even control than they have already lost with some BOE's and on top of that, it's been estimated that GA would be paying 1.5 times as much in stretched to the limit state education funds to the charters.

    In my opinion, it's just a ploy for private business to suck money from public ed, effectively killing it so they can privatize it.

    It's frustrating as hell, and people are falling for it, left and right.

  •  Great for the School Board! (6+ / 0-)

    The charter school movement is a big business. It is funded by the wealthy as a way to get at public money. Research shows that student success at charter schools is limited. There is a 1/5 chance students will do better at a charter than at a public school from the same area. But there is a 2/5 chance they will do worse and a 2/5 chance they will do the same. There are almost no collective bargaining contracts with teachers. Some charters remove students who are not performing up to a standard they set. The percentage of handicapped students is lower than the associated public schools and the services are not as complete.

    The public has been duped by the marketing of the various "reform" movements. Although American schools can be improved the results on international tests hide the problem. We score in the middle of the pack of industrial nations on these tests. But the % of students in poverty who take the tests from American schools is greater than 50%. When you look at student performance from schools that have less than 25% poverty we score first. When you look at schools that have less than 10% we are far ahead of the pack. Read this column from Eugene Robinson, "Standing Up For Teachers." Research also shows performance on the SAT's is related to income level.

    The elephant in the room is poverty. Remember that Finland, who scores at the top on these tests regularly, has students in their schools with about 5% poverty. The most successful charter schools address this and have programs that provide health care and food for their students. They spend much more money per student than public schools. A typical example is the Harlem Children Zone. It provides these services. The celebrated Principal in "Waiting For Superman," Geoffrey Canada, has a salary that is more than $400,000.00 per year. Yes you read that correctly, it is not a typo!  

    If we want our society to not devolve into modern feudalism we must start by preserving our fine public education system. We need to support collective bargaining. We need to reaffirm that it is our society's responsibility to care for all of our citizens!

    •  I couldn't agree more with the points you make! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      floridagal, Anne933, Stwriley, George3

      The charter school movement is just another path to privatizing (corporatizing!) public education.

      And yet, many misguided and uninformed people support charter schools wholeheartedly.

      Even here on Kos, there are many charter school supporters.

      It's time for progressives to reunite behind our public schools!

      Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

      by RuralLiberal on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 02:51:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MSNBC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was covering the premiere of the movie where parents take over the school and interviewed Michelle Rhee today.  How long is she going to be considered as an expert with any credibility or respect?   How can news media people not know she cheated to get her test scores?

    I fear that parent trigger takeovers will become the new hobby for the ignorant teabaggers.  

  •  Charter school proponents are people who want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    private schools paid for by the taxpayers.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 06:17:08 PM PDT

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