Former U.S. Secretary of Education, John King, disparages private for-profit charter school operators

April 10: Former US Secretary of Education John King is critical of for-profit education management organizations (EMOs), suggesting that these charter school operators are more interested in profit than in serving students.  He made this disparaging comment during a panel discussion on school accountability at the American Enterprise Institute (see minute 1:22:45 in the embedded video of the discussion).  He actually stated he’s frightened about the possibility that EMOs might exploit families and kids on behalf of profit.

The recent Every Student Succeeds Act gives states the ability to revamp their K–12 accountability systems. With the rise of charter schools, urban districts no longer serve as a city’s sole public school operator, which was not the case when accountability systems first arose. This new context enables state leaders to explore how they might apply charter-style accountability to district-run schools. Could this change unify accountability systems and allow more autonomy for public schools?
AEI’s Andy Smarick presents his recent paper on the subject, and a panel, including former US Secretary of Education John King, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Senior Policy Adviser Christy Wolfe, Chris Barbic of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and DC Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson, debates the work’s key points.

Source: Updating accountability systems for urban schools: What chartering can teach us – AEI

Education reform in New York? Fuhgeddaboudit.

By Robert Pondiscio

The New York State Board of Regents this week refused to approve early renewals recommended by their authorizer for ten Success Academy charter schools. Among the ten were two National Blue Ribbon schools that placed among the top five in the entire state on last year’s annual math test. The lowest performing of the ten brought 75 percent of its students to proficiency or above on last year’s state reading test.

No matter. The Regents, “striking a firm tone when it comes to charter school oversight,” according to Chalkbeat reporter Monica Disare, kicked the early renewals back to SUNY as “premature.” This, mind you, was the considered judgment of the very same body that last month voted to make teaching a “literacy optional” profession in New York.

Source: Education reform in New York? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Reclaiming the conversation: new rules for the ed reform debate, by Citizen Ed

The narrative of people who oppose ‘school choice’ is well documented. The same talking points are brought up again and again and usually dominate the conversation.  It’s time to re-frame the narrative, get real about the misinformation being spread and lead these conversations with a children-first line of thought. Here are Citizen Stewart‘s 26 new rules for the education reform debate:

1. If you’ve never agonized about selecting a school for your kid, don’t oppose choice.

2. If you aren’t currently responsible for closing the achievement gap, shut up about those who are – you are not an expert. Just listen.

Rule # 9 stands out considering how much white liberals dominate both the education establishment and the ed reform space, yet dictate the policies that affect so many students of color.

9. If you’ve never raised a black child, don’t argue with black parents about what’s best for black children.

Source: Reclaiming the conversation: new rules for the ed reform debate – Citizen Ed