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Bill Daley is Running for Chicago’s Next Mayor. School-Closure Supporter Peter Cunningham is Managing the Campaign.

Another Daley is running for political office in Chicago:

Bill Daley for Mayor.

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Bill Daley

Both Daley’s father and brother took turns as Chicago’s mayor, and not without taint to the legacy, as the September 16, 2018, Chicago Tribune reports:

Whoever runs, Daley will have the most recognizable name. His father, Richard J. Daley, served as mayor for 21 years before dying in office in 1976 and is considered Chicago’s most powerful political boss. Richard M. Daley presided over City Hall for 22 years, declining to seek re-election in 2011.

Richard M. Daley’s era was punctuated by financial woes and included corruption scandals that took down top aides and allies. But his tenure also is remembered as a stabilizing time when racial chasms in the city’s politics were narrowed. The downtown boomed with development at a time when other Rust Belt cities struggled, and Chicago was beautified in many ways, most notably with the construction of Millennium Park.

Richard M. Daley was the first mayor to exercise mayoral control over Chicago Public Schools (CPS), appointing Chicago native Paul Vallas (also in the 2019 mayoral race) as CPS CEO in 1996, the same year that the state legislature passed the Illinois Charter School Law. Vallas also “balanced the budget” by underfunding Chicago teacher pensions.

In was under Daley-Vallas that charter schools appeared on the CPS scene, the growth of which continued with the 2001 exit of Vallas and appointment of Arne Duncan as CPS CEO and culminated in a school-closure, charter-favoring mess under mayor Rahm Emanuel, with Duncan moving onward and upward as former President Obama’s US ed sec in 2009.

But let us return to Bill Daley and his February 2019 run for Chicago mayor.

Daley’s campaign manager is none other than Chicago son, Peter Cunningham, a former assistant to US ed sec Duncan and founder of the billionaire-funded ed reform blog, Education Post.

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Peter Cunningham

Indeed, Cunningham has a growing list of behind-the scenes and modestly-visible influence Chicago education, as he notes in this January 2018 end-of-article disclosure:

Disclosure: Peter Cunningham was an assistant secretary for education in the Obama administration; an aide to Mayor Richard Daley when he assumed control of Chicago Public Schools in 1995; a consultant to Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico in the late 1990s; and a senior adviser to then–CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan from 2002–08.

Cunningham is an ed reformer set to manage the mayoral campaign for yet another Chicago mayor who will exercise control over Chicago’s public schools.

Meanwhile, the ed reform movement is a bust in Chicago, the “under-appreciated reason” that Emanuel might have chosen not to run for reelection, as Washington Post writer Sally Naumah observes, based upon her own research:

Two-term Mayor Rahm Emanuel shocked Chicagoans by announcing he would not run for reelection. The surprising announcement has been followed by widespread speculation about the reasons behind Emanuel’s decision, particularly given that there was no clear competitive contender to replace him.

Several articles cited Chicago’s increasing gun violence as an issue shaping Emanuel’s decision. Far less discussed, and understood, was the role of his controversial 2013 decision to close nearly 50 public schools — the most schools closed in one city in a single year in modern U.S. history.

Emanuel and then-Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett argued that closing schools would help solve the problem of underutilization, where there are more seats than students in each classroom.

But nearly 88 percent of the students affected by the closures were African American. And after the closures in 2015, Byrd-Bennett pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme. As a result, thousands of community members, students and parents came together to protest the closure decision. …

To be sure, the mass closure of schools occurred nearly five years ago; many other issues are boiling in Chicago politics. But the issue remains fresh. … In 2018, the city closed still more schools in black and brown communities. And in the spring, the University of Chicago released a report showing the closures had been poorly handled and that students from the closed schools fell behind in reading and math, with effects lasting for years.

A major issue concerning Chicago school closures is the fact that as neighborhood schools were closed, charter schools continued to open, both in areas with enrollment drops as well within two miles of shutered neighborhood schools.

As for Cunningham’s opinion of Chicago school closures, consider his January 2018, thoughts on the matter:

…With Emanuel’s five-year moratorium on school closings expiring this spring, Chicago still has between 100 and 200 underenrolled schools. Like it or not, more school closings seem inevitable, and that’s not all bad. …

Chicago’s mayors brought choice, accountability, quality, and rigor into the system, and they took a lot of heat for it. Absent their leadership, Chicago would not be where it is today.

So, given the mess that previous Daleys and others have created of Chicago’s neighborhood schools, and given Cunningham’s ed reform bent, the major question is how Cunningham-managed Daley will try to shape the Bill Daley campaign narrative related to Chicago public education.

Given that the Chicago mayoral election is not until February 2019 and is therefore currently overshadowed nationally by the November 2018 midterms, does Team Cunningham-behind-Daley hope to avoid the topic for as long as possible?

Will Cunningham manage Daley into publicly declaring school closure “not all bad” and patting the legacy of mayoral control of Chicago’s schools on its proverbial back?

Or will Cunningham be forced to perform some creative rendition of the school closure-school choice back pedal, all in the name of Getting My Guy Elected?

We’ll see, America. Too much mayorally-controlled, ed-reform destruction has happened to their schools for Chicagoans to not force the issue.

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

A 50-State-Plus-DC Exploration of Alice Walton’s Political Contributions

Several days ago, I began an exploration of the political contributions of billionaire Wal-Mart heir, Alice Walton. I was both curious about her political spending and desiring to offer readers quick links to the campaign finance web sites in all 50 states and DC.

Below are my findings. I have bolded all entries indication Alice Walton’s spending.

As anyone familiar with Walton’s school choice preferences might expect, she donates her money toward the advancement of charter schools and vouchers. She also likes the Teach for America (TFA) spinoff, Leadership for Ed Equity.

When it comes to school choice and anti-union politicians, Walton is fine with contributing to the coffers of NY Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, and to the pseudo-Democratic org, Democrats for Ed Reform (DFER). Of course, there is still money for Betsy DeVos’ American Federation for Children, which is connected to DFER via Kevin Chavous.

  • AL: $50,000; AL Fed for Children PAC; 03/21/2016.
  • AK: No contributor search.
  • AZ: $5,000; Friends of Reginald Bolding; 11/08/2017.
  • AR: No contributions from Alice Walton. (Other Walton relatives listed.)
  • CA: $6.2M, including multiple donations to (former Green Dot charter president) Marshall Tuck campaign and Charter Schools PAC; 2012-2018.
  • CO: $5,150, including Leadership for Ed Equity PAC; 2014 – 2017.
  • CT: No contributor search.
  • DC: $437,730; Democrats for Ed Reform DC; 2016 – 2018.
  • DE: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • FL: $2.4M; All Children Matter (2008); Florida Fed. for Children (2014, 2016).
  • GA: $1.2M, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. PAC for Responsible Govt. and Families for Better Public Schools; 2008 – 2012.
  • HI: No contributor search.
  • ID: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • IL: $1M; mostly INCS Action PAC (Charter Schools) (2015 – 2018).
  • IN: $412,863; American Fed. for Children Action Fund; 2010.
  • IA: No contributions from Alice Walton (to PACs, at least). Not user-friendly for contributor searches.
  • KS: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • KY: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • LA: $683,000; including Louisiana Federation for Children PAC and Empower Louisiana PAC (supports school choice candidates); 2009 – 2016.
  • ME: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • MD: $8500; Leadership for Education Equity PAC ($6000) and Citizens for Bill Ferguson (Senate) ($2500); 2017.
  • MA: $1.5M; Committee for Charter Public Schools ($30K) in 2009; Yes on Two ($710K) and Families for excellent Schools Advocacy ($750K) in 2016.
  • MI: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • MN: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • MS: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • MO: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • MT: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • NE: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • NV: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • NH: No contributions from Alice Walton. (Search stops at 2014.)
  • NJ: $500,000; General Majority PAC, 2017.
  • NM: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • NY: $2.96M, including New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany; Democrats for Education Reform NY; Coalitions for Public Charter Schools PAC; Andrew Cuomo 2018; New Yorkers for Independent Action; New Yorkers for Putting Students First; Leadership for Educational Equity NY; Parents Vote, New Yorkers for Independent Action, and Moving New York Families Forward.
  • NC: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • ND: No contributor search.
  • OH: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • OK: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • OR: No contributor search.
  • PA: No contributor search.
  • RI: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • SC: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • SD: No contributor search.
  • TN: $244,100; Tennesseans Putting Students First; Tennessee Federation for Children PAC (2018); Education Reform Now Advocacy (2016); Wal-Mart Stores PAC for Responsible Government (2009, 2010).
  • TX: No contributor search.
  • UT: No contributor search.
  • VT: No contributions from Alice Walton.
  • VA: No contributor search.
  • WA: No contributor search.
  • WV: Difficult to search contributions. No general search.
  • WI: No contributions from Alice Walton from 2016 – 2018; tedious search.
  • WY: No contributions from Alice Walton.
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Alice Walton

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

Delaware Charter School News: As School Closes Abruptly for Low Enrollment, State Receives Fed Grant to Expand

In examining the two most recent charter school stories on Delaware Public Media (“Delaware’s Source for NPR News”), I was taken with the irony of charter school reality.

The most recent story as of this writing is dated October 12, 2018, and is entitled, “First State Hopes to Expand Charter Seats with Federal Grant.” An excerpt:

The Delaware Department of Education has received a $10.4 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to improve the state’s charter school system.

Officials say the funding will support sharing best practices between charter schools and other public schools and strengthening the charter school authorization process.  It will also provide sub-grants to new charter schools for planning and existing charters for expansion.

Thus, even though there are only so many students in the state (which means that increased charter presence not only puts charters into increased competition with “other” public schools), expanding the charter presence could well put existing charter schools in competition with each other for student enrollment (and, by extension, funding).

Even so, the unlikely line about “sharing best practices” is included, even though competition dictates every school for itself in order to survive (and to possibly figure out how to lure your students to my school).

The article continues by noting that the Delaware Department of Education Charter Office hopes to use the federal money to increase the number of charter seats by 3,000, from 16,000 to 19,000, presumably over the four-year period that the grant is to be disbursed.

Notably, not three weeks earlier, on September 26, 2018, Delaware Public Media published a piece about the abrupt closure of a charter school, the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security (DAPSS), for insufficient enrollment:

The Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security charter high school closed down yesterday with little notice to students, parents and faculty.

The school’s board of directors voted to shut down DAPSS immediately.

The New Castle area school has struggled in the past to meet the minimum enrollment requirements for Delaware charters and was placed on formal review by the state Department of Education at the start of the calendar year. …

In a letter to parents, school board members say they believed DAPSS to be on the right track to start the school year. But 30 students enrolled this semester did not show up, and financial information revealed last week shows the school’s budget deficit to be greater than previously believed.

The 192 DAPSS students needed to “choose” another school, effective immediately.

It seems that those federal millions for charters would be better spent on assuring that current Delaware charter schools can keep their commitments to those parents and students (and faculty and staff, no doubt) who chose these schools in good faith and should be able to rest in the fact that the school will remain open for the entire school year.

There’s a “best practice” on which to focus.

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

New Orleans Teacher Held Against Her Will by Admin, Calls 9-1-1

A (now-former) teacher at Mary D. Coghill Charter School in New Orleans decided to quit her job six weeks into the new school year. Around noon on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, this teacher tried to retrieve her belongings from her classroom and had planned upon her exit to formally tender her letter of resignation.

However, the school principal and several other school admin apparently prevented the teacher from leaving the school by somehow preventing her from exiting her classroom. The teacher offered to undergo a search so that admin could be assured that she was only taking her personal belongings. Still, the principal and at least one other person would not allow the teacher to exit.

So, she called 9-1-1 for assistance.

On October 10, 2018, Marta Jewson of New Orleans-based news source, The Lens, published the story. From her reporting:

A former teacher at a Gentilly Woods charter school told a 911 call-taker last month that her boss would not allow her to leave the school when she tried to resign, according to records obtained by The Lens.

On Sept. 26, the teacher at Mary D. Coghill Charter School called 911 after trying to resign because she was being held in her classroom by the principal, she told the emergency call-taker. The teacher requested that her name not be used in this story out of concern for her future job prospects.

“I came to get my stuff to resign and they’re refusing to let me out of the building with my things,” the teacher told the operator.

“I have the principal and a board member — or whoever he is — trying to stop me,” she said.

In a five-minute 911 recording The Lens obtained through a public records request, the teacher told the call-taker that she was trying to take her own supplies and materials from the Gentilly Woods elementary school and leave the building. The teacher’s name has been redacted in public records of the incident.

“Are you an ex-employee?” the call-taker asked.

“I’m leaving now. I resigned and I’m trying to get my things and leave,” she said. “And they’re blocking my door and telling me I cannot leave the school with my stuff.” …

At one point on the 911 call the teacher said, apparently to someone else in the room, “I’m not arguing with you. I just want to get my stuff and leave.”

During the 911 call, the employee said she was willing to let a security guard search her things, but that she wanted to leave with her own supplies.

“I told them she can search my stuff if she wants to,” she said. “I just want my stuff so I can leave their school. I was a teacher here. I’m unhappy. And I don’t want to work here anymore.”

On September 29, 2018, the former teacher emailed the school principal and several other school admin as follows:

Finally,

After the traumatic experience endured at Mary Dora Coghill School on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, I am finally able to feel sale and relaxed enough to give you my official letter– the letter I intended to give to you by hand on my way out of Coghill after collecting my belongings on 9/25.

First, the situation at Coghill where you (7 or more people) held me in your building against my Will, refused to let me leave, and forced me to have to call 9.1-1 (Twice) to simply retrieve my own personal items, was unnecessary and uncalled for.

ANY worker at ANY job has the right to resign and peacefully collect their belongings without retaliation and confrontation from their supervisors and/or others.

Find enclosed my letter of resignation, which I would have presented to you then, if I had been given the safe opportunity to do so.

For more details, including a 5-minute audio file of the 9-1-1 call and related documents, click here.

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______________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

New Jersey: Charter School Situation Under Review, Pro-Charter Folks Wary

New Jersey education commissioner, Lamont Repollet, is in the process of reviewing the state of New Jersey’s education system. In the meantime, noticeably fewer charter schools are being approved or expanded.

Repollet is trying to assure stakeholders that he is neutral concerning charter schools and that he simply wants “quality schools.” And even though Repollet says that charters in New Jersey are under no “deliberate moratorium,” still, it seems that the NJ charter slowdown has charter advocates on edge.

John Mooney of the NJ Spotlight offers the following summary of the NJ-school-review situation, excerpts of which I offer here:

State Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet is embarking on a review of the state’s burgeoning charter school movement, with an eye on addressing both performance and budget issues in the schools and their host districts. …

In the latest cycle of applications, the administration this month rejected the last of the bids for new charter schools opening next year, after also rejecting five expansions last spring. One new school is opening under a previous cycle of applications, but it is a clear slowdown from former Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure and the state’s explosive growth of charters.

Repollet, at last week’s State Board of Education meeting, sought to assuage questions about the administration’s stance on the controversial schools, specifically saying there was no deliberate moratorium on approvals and the review was only part of a system-wide assessment.

“Before we do anything, we are going to assess the landscape and get feedback from everybody,” the commissioner said. “We are not going to get it from just one side, pro-charter or anti-charter.”

“We need to modernize and change,” Repollet continued. “This has been 20 years now, and we need to look at that.”

The commissioner and his staff have reached out to stakeholders on all sides of the debate concerning charters….

Repollet said forums will be held around the state, and the department will come back with recommendations to the state board. He cited as the biggest issue the financial pressures on both charter schools and their host districts that pay for students to attend the charter schools.

Mooney continues by noting that both the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) and Save Our Schools NJ support Repollet’s review and that, as expected, charter advocates are wary. I think they should be, based on a previous, noteworthy statement in Moody’s piece:

[Repollet] cited as the biggest issue the financial pressures on both charter schools and their host districts that pay for students to attend the charter schools.

It comes down to money, and competing schools pose an inefficient use of public funding.

We’ll see what happens.

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___________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

American Academy of Pediatrics Suggests “Prescriptions for Play” for Children Ages Two Years and Younger

In August 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a paper that includes a “prescription for play” for children ages 2 years and younger.

For those who are unsure what “play” might be, AAP offers the following general definition:

The definition of play is elusive. However, there is a growing consensus that it is an activity that is intrinsically motivated, entails active engagement, and results in joyful discovery. Play is voluntary and often has no extrinsic goals; it is fun and often spontaneous. Children are often seen actively engaged in and passionately engrossed in play; this builds executive functioning skills and contributes to school readiness (bored children will not learn well). Play often creates an imaginative private reality, contains elements of make believe, and is nonliteral.

The paper, entitled, “The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children,” actually includes the suggestion for pediatricians to defend play by formally prescribing it as part of the child’s wellness visit:

Just as pediatricians support Reach Out and Read, encourage playful learning for parents and infants by writing a “prescription for play” at every well-child visit in the first 2 years of life.

Below is a summary of the takeaways from the paper, which is not restricted to children two years and younger, including confronting “more digital distractions,” and “facilitating the child’s intrinsic motivation through play rather than extrinsic motivations, such as test scores”:

Conclusions

  • Cultural shifts, including less parent engagement because of parents working full-time, fewer safe places to play, and more digital distractions, have limited the opportunities for children to play. These factors may negatively affect school readiness, children’s healthy adjustment, and the development of important executive functioning skills;

  • Play is intrinsically motivated and leads to active engagement and joyful discovery. Although free play and recess need to remain integral aspects of a child’s day, the essential components of play can also be learned and adopted by parents, teachers, and other caregivers to promote healthy child development and enhance learning;

  • The optimal educational model for learning is for the teacher to engage the student in activities that promote skills within that child’s zone of proximal development, which is best accomplished through dialogue and guidance, not via drills and passive rote learning. There is a current debate, particularly about preschool curricula, between an emphasis on content and attempts to build skills by introducing seat work earlier versus seeking to encourage active engagement in learning through play. With our understanding of early brain development, we suggest that learning is better fueled by facilitating the child’s intrinsic motivation through play rather than extrinsic motivations, such as test scores;

  • An alternative model for learning is for teachers to develop a safe, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child to decrease stress, increase motivation, and ensure receptivity to activities that promote skills within each child’s zone of proximal development. The emphasis in this preventive and developmental model is to promote resilience in the presence of adversity by enhancing executive functioning skills with free play and guided play;

  • Play provides ample opportunities for adults to scaffold the foundational motor, social–emotional, language, executive functioning, math, and self-regulation skills needed to be successful in an increasingly complex and collaborative world. Play helps to build the skills required for our changing world; and

  • Play provides a singular opportunity to build the executive functioning that underlies adaptive behaviors at home; improve language and math skills in school; build the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships that buffer against toxic stress; and build social–emotional resilience.

In its suggestion that pediatricians write formal prescriptions for play for children under two years, the AAP clearly believes that the role of play in the development of the youngest children needs defending.

I am surprised that the AAP limits its suggestion for the prescription to two-year-olds; the threats to healthy development, including unhealthy exposure of children to digital devices and the test-centric school culture forcing small children into age-inappropriate inactivity in the name of academic achievement demonstrate the need to defend play in the lives of older children, as well.

I wonder how elementary schools would handle parents showing up with formal, medical prescriptions for children to have one or two hours of unstructured play time each day.

Regularly-scheduled, unstructured play for young children used to be a given; it was called “recess.” But that was before the survival of districts, schools, and teachers came to depend upon ever-rising test scores.

For school leaders defending recess for elementary students, I commend you.

For students in less fortunate school environments: Perhaps a prescription for play might prove useful.

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

Betsy DeVos Visits 2 New Orleans Charters Preferred by NOLA’s White Population

When it comes to almost-all-charter New Orleans, if a school has a notable white population, it also tends to have a higher school grade.

I wrote about this reality in this July 22, 2018, post, in which I include the following chart I created to show where New Orleans’ white students overwhelmingly choose to attend:

School

Total students

Black

White

% at-risk

2017 grade

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

228

60

123

17.98%

A

Bricolage Academy

443

191

207

41.33%

B

New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy

763

341

224

64.35%

A

Morris Jeff Community School

826

449

235

58.35%

C

Audubon Charter School

797

362

312

41.41%

A

International School of Louisiana

1,389

571

345

57.31%

A

Edward Hynes Charter School

691

225

363

48.64%

A

Benjamin Franklin High School

970

293

368

24.54%

A

Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans

765

129

449

35.69%

B

Lusher Charter School

1,761

460

997

16.98%

A

The one exception is Warren Easton High School, which in 2017 had a school grade of A and enrolled 958 black students, 24 Hispanic students, and 2 white students. Furthermore, only one D-graded school could be added to this list: Homer Plessy Community School, which enrolled 73 white students out of 251 (29 percent).

The remaining 33 out of 85 D-F-graded schools all have majority black populations and negligible white populations, mostly in the single digits, if at all. (See my NPE report for more details.)

On October 05, 2018, US ed sec Betsy DeVos visited two New Orleans schools, both A-graded, and both preferred by white students: New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (NOMMA) and Edward Hynes Charter School.

Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos

DeVos liked what she saw, and that was by design; as DeVos told Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes in March 2018, she “intentionally” avoids visiting “schools that are underperforming.”

She did not visit any one of the majority of New Orleans charter schools, which tend to be graded D and F and are populated by overwhelming majority of New Orleans’ black students.

And she could have visited the single A-graded school with a majority black population, Warren Easton High, but for some reason, she did not.

She did say that almost-all-charter New Orleans “should be replicated far and wide.”

And even though she chose to *intentionally* shun New Orleans’ majority of D and F charter schools (where mostly black students get stuck attending), she “encouraged others to look to success and find ways to emulate or replicate what is being done well” (where most white students prefer to attend and get to).

With Betsy DeVos, school choice always wins, even if it illustrates incredible racial inequity.

Note to the rest of the country: When you hear DeVos, remember that she is an ideologue who doesn’t let reality interfere with her opinions.

Exercise critical thought:

Don’t emulate New Orleans school choice.

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US ed sec Betsy DeVos’ visits New Orleans’ majority-white Edward Hynes Charter School

______________________________________________________________________________________

Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.