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The story behind the killing off of public education in New Orleans, with public schools replaced wholesale by charter schools:

This video is the first in a series, from the New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable and the Schott Foundation.

(Via Diane Ravitch)

Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's education and labor news.


  • Corrupt Ohio charter school is closing:
    The superintendent of the VLT Academy, a charter school of 600 some students, was making $140,000 per year; her daughter was making $92,000 per year for data entry; and her husband was making $62,000 in addition to running his company that performs the charter’s janitorial services, under a highest bid contract, for $323,000 per year. The family was receiving nearly $1,000 per student for central office duties and cleaning.
  • "School deserts" hit Chicago's black neighborhoods.
  • Sabrina Joy Stevens explains why teacher tenure is important:
    It is still the case that tenureless teachers risk being fired for speaking out against cheating, marrying the person they love, and getting pregnant, among other things. A profession that already sheds up to half of its ranks every five years can hardly afford these losses, and neither can the children and communities they serve.

A fair day's wage

  • The Massachusetts Nurses Association says it has enough signatures to get two measures on the Massachusetts ballot. One would set nurse-to-patient ratios, and the other would require financial transparency for hospitals receiving tax money, as well as capping hospital profits and CEO salaries.
  • This would be good riddance to bad trash: American Apparel's board is ousting sleazebag company founder and CEO Dov Charney, a famous sexual harasser among other things.
  • Republicans, led by Rep. Eric Cantor, have tried to limit overtime pay. Senate Democrats are trying to expand overtime:
    Echoing a similar move by President Barack Obama, a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and eight other Democrats on Wednesday would make far more Americans eligible for time-and-a-half pay on hours worked beyond 40 in a week. The legislation would accomplish that by limiting the exclusions that have helped carve a growing share of workers out of overtime protections.
  • According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Walmart truck driver who injured a limo van full of comedians, including Tracy Morgan, had been driving for 13 hours straight.
  • Here's a look at how phased retirement for federal workers has stalled out since passed in 2012:
    The broad outlines are these: Employees can partially retire and draw on half of their pensions while continuing to work part time. OPM issued draft regulations more than a year ago that said participants would need 20 years of experience and have to be eligible to retire immediately. And they would need to spend at least 20 percent of their time mentoring their successors or other employees.

    But would-be retirees are anxiously awaiting other details: Will agencies limit the number of employees in an office who can participate? Will the government cap the number of years someone can work part-time?

    Rules to implement the law were on a fast track under former OPM Director John Berry. But a December 2013 deadline came and went.

  • Support for a $15 minimum wage in Chicago is building among aldermen.
  • The minimum wage in Washington, DC, takes one of its scheduled steps on July 1, going from $8.25 to $9.50 on its way to $11.50. But DC Working Families is trying to get an initiative on the November ballot that would raise the minimum wage to $12.50 by 2016.
  • How a plan to reduce the Social Security Administration workforce dramatically would affect Social Security recipients:
    Self-service checkout may work at grocery stores, but it's not the right model for an agency tasked with determining complex retirement and disability benefits for tens of millions of Americans each year. Do they really expect grandpa to hop on his iPad Mini to apply for benefits and get all his questions answered?

    Most of the individuals contacting SSA for help are elderly, disabled or indigent. Many others are active seniors who simply are overwhelmed by the complicated maze of laws, regulations and policies pertaining to retirement benefits. They deserve and expect face-to-face interaction with skilled employees who can ensure they receive all the benefits they are owed.

  • New Jersey state Senate passes Made in America legislative package.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  s'not going to work. Headlines in today's (15+ / 0-)

    Indianapolis Star scream about the $19 MILLION taken from Indianapolis Public Schools and given to Charter Schools, with NO improved test scores. This entire Political Game of "Trash the Public Schools," is hurting the most vulnerable children the most. Looking for schools to solve the problem of poverty and it's ramifications is looking in the wrong barn for the solution.

    •  All too true... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and there's no end in sight to the depredations of the corporate education "reformers". We just found out here in Philadelphia that the city's charter schools took in almost $100 million more in special education funding than they spent on special education last year. But you won't ever see anyone really held to account for this, much less see any return of funds that should have gone to actual public schools where it would have been spent for its intended purpose.

      The simple fact is that these people aren't just looking in the wrong barn for the right horse, they're really just trying to steal the horse and don't give a damn which barn it comes from. It's just that it's easier to steal from poor people who don't have the political power to resist.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 05:54:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bank deserts. Grocery store deserts. School (6+ / 0-)


    I'm angry, but I don't know what to do about it.  These are my fellow citizens.  

    I'm so disgusted.

    This is my Government on Capitalism.  Gotta break that fucking addiction.

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:12:32 AM PDT

  •  Charter schools are theft. (19+ / 0-)

    There's really not much else to say. I know that there are supporters of charter schools on this site, and I expect to hear from them.
    While individual charters might be defended, I don't see how anyone can defend the system as a whole.
    Every step in the "school choice" process is another step toward destroying public education in our country.

  •  (Un)accountability of Charter Schools (6+ / 0-)

    "(Un)accountability, by Mark Kleiman: What does a Republican charter-school enthusiast who believes in school-level accountability for educational results do when a charter school run by a big Republican donor gets a lousy evaluation score? Why, he cheats, of course.

    Tony Bennett, former head education honcho in Indiana and current head education honcho in Florida, to his chief of staff:

    Anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work.

    Bennett to the official in charge of the grading system for schools:

    I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past six months.

    Somehow, magically, the score for Christel House went from 2.9 (C+) to 3.75 (a solid A).

    Look: I believe in outcomes measurement. I believe in accountability. ... What I don’t believe is that the current set of testing/accountability/choice racketeers is going to make things better rather than worse. The cheating is so pervasive that I now see no basis for believing any claimed good result. ..."

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:34:26 AM PDT

  •  I think another purpose of charter schools is (8+ / 0-)

    to reinstate segregation.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:40:14 AM PDT

  •  Charter School CEO Doesn't Have a Phd (4+ / 0-)

    as claimed. Criminal convictions, Yes, (Hartford Courant, 6/18/2014

    "Criminal Convictions Of Charter Schools Group's CEO Raise Questions."
    Criminal convictions and past imprisonment of Michael M. Sharpe, the CEO of a charter school organization that receives millions in taxpayer funds, are worrying Hartford and state officials – who said Wednesday they hadn't known of his record and now want answers.

    "I take this very seriously and I'm very troubled by it," city school board Chairman Richard Wareing said Wednesday afternoon.  
    We are concerned by this news. There clearly are important questions for Dr. Sharpe to address," echoed Kelly Donnelly, spokeswoman for Commissioner Stefan Pryor of the state Department of Education. Sharpe served 2½ years of a 5-year federal prison sentence, then went back to prison in the early 1990s for a shorter time after a finding that he violated his probation, he confirmed when reached by phone on Wednesday.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:48:21 AM PDT

  •  New teachers get trained by the charters but if... (8+ / 0-)

    New teachers get trained by the charters but if they need any additional help or support in the classroom,the teachers have to pay for it themselves. I was appalled when my daughter told me this. They wanted to charge her 4000/ semester for any additional help she would need as a new teacher. It's all about profit and nothing else. Privatization is a nightmare. They are accountable to no one and it's all about money.

  •  Follow the Money. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Forward is D not R

    Follow the Money.

  •  Let's get our facts straight. That trucker was ... (0+ / 0-)

    Let's get our facts straight. That trucker was NOT driving for 13 straight hours, he was WORKING. Working also includes break times, fuel, meal stops, etc. NOWHERE in that article does it say he drive 13 straight hours. Truckers are allowed by law to work 14 hours a day. I should know, I am a trucker. Shame for putting a false spin on things.

    •  Truckers ought to be guaranteed a living wage (0+ / 0-)

      by working 8 hours per day.

      The present rules trade off the public safety for private greed (and I'm talking about the greed of corporations, not the truckers' wanting to provide for themselves and their families).

      For what is the crime of the robbing of a bank compared to the crime of the founding of a bank? - Brecht

      by Joe Hill PDX on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 02:27:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  About 20 years ago, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Forward is D not R, Livvy5, Mostel26

    The geniuses of public education in La. decided that they could solve all of the problem of p.e. by making school uniforms mandatory for all students.  We can see how well that worked.

    "Soylent Green is people too, my friend!" Guess Who

    by oldmaestro on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:30:29 PM PDT

  •  Public charter schools ARE public schools. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana
    •  It varies by state (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sister Havana

      But charter schools tend to be run for profit by private corporations. They tend to get more funding, and often pay teachers less and expect more. They usually do not allow teachers unions, with resulting abuses. There are states where they are run differently, but overall they are designed to get public education money into private corporate hands as quickly as possible.  Certainly that is the case in Illinois.

      Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

      by Leftleaner on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:05:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Slight correction: charter schools receive publ... (0+ / 0-)

      Slight correction: charter schools receive public money without having to educate everyone who walks through their doors, unlike a real public school.

  •  I'm a graduate of the New Orleans public schools. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sister Havana, chigh, Mostel26

    My formerly public high school, which was one of the best in the state, is now a charter school.  Its "CEO-Principal" (note the nomenclature) was just out here in the Bay Area with the school's CFO attempting to raise money for the school.  (Um, since when does a school need a CFO?)

    I refused to go to the event.  I'm not giving any money to my alma mater now that it's become a charter school.  I received an excellent education from a New Orleans public high school.  

    Was it ideal?  Hell no.  Given the poverty of the school district and the city as a whole, I went to a school that had no gym, no air conditioning (in New Orleans!), and no audio-visual equipment to speak of.  The building was already 150 years old back in the 70s, and every year the school had to get a waiver from the fire marshal to continue to operate because the place wasn't up to code.  

    But despite all that, I got a great education.  I had a lot of superlative teachers, all of whom were (gasp!) members of the teachers' union.  They didn't teach there because of the money, and they certainly didn't teach there because the physical enviroment was pleasant.  They taught there because they loved teaching a bunch of students who wanted to learn.

    I'm watching this whole takeover of the Orleans Parish Public Schools with a sense of disgust.  Let's make no mistake, though.  This is what these school "reform" advocates are all about.  Privatization of crucial public services is the objective.  This is just the first of what they hope will be many examples.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:12:45 PM PDT

  •  The failue of charter schools in Ohio (0+ / 0-)

    Here is something to consider.  In Ohio's 3rd grade reading tests, traditional public schools reported a passing rate of 88.5% while charter schools reported a passing rate of 71.4%.  Here is the data for the districts and charter schools in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland and close-in suburbs) showing the district or charter school name, the total number of students tested, the total number that passed, and the percentage that passed, with the charter schools in bold;

    Citizens Academy    70    70    100.0%
    Independence Local    65    65    100.0%
    Menlo Park Academy    45    45    100.0%
    Global Village Academy    21    21    100.0%

    Chagrin Falls Exempted Village    141    140    99.3%
    Rocky River City    210    208    99.0%
    Beachwood City    85    84    98.8%
    Constellation Schools: Parma Community    83    82    98.8%
    Bay Village City    188    185    98.4%
    North Olmsted City    284    277    97.5%
    Solon City    349    340    97.4%
    Cuyahoga Heights Local    66    64    97.0%
    Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Elementary    61    59    96.7%
    Fairview Park City    116    112    96.6%
    Brecksville-Broadview Heights City    257    248    96.5%
    Strongsville City    369    355    96.2%
    Washington Park Community    25    24    96.0%
    North Royalton City    294    282    95.9%
    Noble Academy-Cleveland    46    44    95.7%
    Mayfield City    270    256    94.8%
    Berea City    471    446    94.7%
    Olmsted Falls City    261    247    94.6%
    Westlake City    252    238    94.4%
    Constellation Schools: Westside Community School of the Arts    44    41    93.2%
    Constellation Schools: Old Brooklyn Community Elementary    56    52    92.9%
    Constellation Schools: Puritas Community Elementary    35    32    91.4%
    Horizon Science Academy Cleveland Elementary School    23    21    91.3%

    South Euclid-Lyndhurst City    267    241    90.3%
    Shaker Heights City    372    335    90.1%
    Intergenerational School, The    30    27    90.0%
    Near West Intergenerational School    10    9    90.0%

    Orange City    147    132    89.8%
    Parma City    714    637    89.2%
    Lakewood City    402    358    89.1%
    Citizens Academy East    46    40    87.0%
    Hope Academy Northwest Campus    34    29    85.3%
    Bella Academy of Excellence    59    50    84.8%

    Bedford City    262    221    84.4%
    Ohio Connections Academy, Inc    188    156    83.0%
    Richmond Heights Local    52    43    82.7%
    Cleveland Heights-University Heights City    424    347    81.8%
    Cleveland College Preparatory School    33    27    81.8%
    Village Preparatory School    89    72    80.9%
    Pinnacle Academy    77    62    80.5%
    Constellation Schools: Stockyard Community Elementary    40    32    80.0%
    New Day Academy Boarding & Day School    10    8    80.0%

    Brooklyn City    108    86    79.6%
    Lincoln Preparatory School    24    19    79.2%
    Maple Heights City    277    216    78.0%
    Constellation Schools: Madison Community Elementary    35    27    77.1%
    Garfield Heights City Schools    244    188    77.0%
    Arts and Science Preparatory Academy    16    12    75.0%
    University of Cleveland Preparatory School    33    24    72.7%
    Lake Erie College Preparatory School    29    21    72.4%
    Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy    43    31    72.1%

    Euclid City    365    261    71.5%
    Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School    38    27    71.1%
    HBCU Preparatory School 1    27    19    70.4%
    Village Preparatory School:: Woodland Hills Campus    50    35    70.0%
    East Academy    36    25    69.4%
    Summit Academy Community School-Parma    13    9    69.2%

    East Cleveland City School District    168    115    68.5%
    West Preparatory Academy    21    14    66.7%
    Horizon Science Academy Denison Elementary School    38    25    65.8%
    Harvard Avenue Community School    66    42    63.6%

    Cleveland Municipal    2701    1702    63.0%
    Chapelside Cleveland Academy    51    32    62.8%
    Pearl Academy    39    24    61.5%

    Warrensville Heights City    113    69    61.1%
    Ohio College Preparatory School    36    21    58.3%
    Green Inspiration Academy    16    9    56.3%
    STEAM Academy of Warrensville Heights    11    6    54.6%
    Horizon Science Academy-Denison Middle School    26    14    53.9%
    Apex Academy    66    34    51.5%
    Hope Academy Northcoast    39    20    51.3%
    Woodland Academy    34    17    50.0%
    Virtual Schoolhouse, Inc.    22    11    50.0%
    Constellation Schools: Eastside Arts Academy    14    7    50.0%
    West Park Academy    49    23    46.9%
    Lincoln Park Academy    20    9    45.0%
    Cleveland Community School    40    17    42.5%
    Imagine Cleveland Academy    16    6    37.5%
    Broadway Academy    36    13    36.1%
    Constellation Schools: Collinwood Village Academy    14    5    35.7%
    Source:  Ohio Department of Education

    As you can see in the data, while some charter schools performed well, 15 charter schools serving a total of 818 students scored worse than the worst performing district in the county, which also happened to be the worst performing district in Ohio.  In fact, throughout Ohio, 62 charter schools serving a total of 2,158 students scored worse than the worst public district in Ohio!

    While I believe charter schools serve a place in the public school environment, such as specialized curriculum or innovation, simply saying that charter schools perform better than public schools is clearly a falsehood that I wish the MSM, especially the Beltway media, would catch on to.

  •  "a limo van full of comedians" (0+ / 0-)

    Ya hadda be there.

    When they own the information, they can bend it all they want. -- John Mayer

    by S M Tenneshaw on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:23:02 PM PDT

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