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USDOE Advertises Charter School “Competition” Reviewer Positions for Only One Day

May 22, 2015

The US Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), an office that Fordham Institute’s pro-privatization president Michael Petrilli supposedly helped to create, has decided that offering the public an opportunity to apply to review state recipients of federal charter school grant money was so important that it should be advertised for one day only– and right before Memorial Day weekend, at that.

obama shh

According to the USDOE blog on May 22, 2015, the information below was posted “one day ago” (May 21, 2015). It is supposedly an advertisement for peer reviewers for yer another USDOE grant “competition,” this one for state-level charter school planning, establishing, and advertising “success.” However, given the OII’s very brief publicizing of the ad, I’m thinking it already has all of the supposedly-solicited “entrepreneurs,” “funders,” and “venture philanthropy” experts in place and that this public ad is mere formality.

Charter Schools Program Seeking Reviewers for State-Level Grant Competition

The Office of Innovation and Improvement is seeking peer reviewers for the FY 2015 Charter Schools Program (CSP) State Educational Agency (SEA) grant competition. This is a competitive grant program that enables SEAs to provide financial assistance, through subgrants to eligible applicants, for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools and for the dissemination of information about successful charter schools.

Peer reviewers from various backgrounds and professional are needed, including:

  • State or district education officials
  • Charter school funders
  • Charter school and charter school management organization leaders
  • K-12, special education and English language learner researchers and evaluators
  • Experts in program evaluation
  • Practitioners from the social innovation and venture philanthropy fields
  • Social and education entrepreneurs
  • Strategy practitioners with experience in the charter sector
  • Education and public policy professionals
  • Grant makers or managers with experience in the charter sector
  • Professionals with knowledge of, and experience with, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, education reform, and education policy

Peer reviewers may have expertise in various geographies, including urban, suburban, rural and tribal communities.

Interested individuals can review full information on this reviewer opportunityhere. To be considered as a peer reviewer, please click here to complete the Peer Reviewer Application Form. After completing the form, you will be prompted to send your resume and contact information via email, with the subject heading “FY2015 CSP SEA PEER REVIEWER,” to the email address provided in the Peer Reviewer Application Form.

The deadline for peer reviewer applications is 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, May 22, 2015 to be considered as an FY 2015 CSP SEA peer reviewer. Please note that resumes cannot exceed a five-page limit.

Bummer. With my knowledge of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), I could have applied.

If only I had seen the ad sooner.

If only I had sold out public education first.

pigs fly 2

But wait… another USDOE page updated May 22, 2015, notes that the deadline for reviewer applications is now May 31, 2015, and includes the following expanded qualifications:

Requirements: Peer reviewers should clearly indicate having one or more of the following backgrounds:

  • Charter management organizations planning and operation
  • Social and education entrepreneurs with experience in the charter sector
  • Education professionals with significant experience in:
    • Charter school leadership and professional development
    • Charter School evaluation and monitoring experience
    • Charter school policy and research
    • Charter school planning, program design, and implementation
    • Charter school technical assistance and resources
    • Charter school authorizing
  • Charter support organizations
  • Education strategy practitioners with experience in the charter sector
  • Special education and English learner researchers and evaluators
  • Experts in charter sector program evaluation
  • Charter school funders
  • Practitioners from the social innovation and venture philanthropy fields
  • Education and public policy professionals
  • Other non-profit entities with experience in the charter sector …

NON-DISCRIMINATION: The Department solicits reviewers without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability. The Department will provide reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability so that individual might participate in the peer reviewer application process. If you require a reasonable accommodation to apply to participate in this review, please contact Brian Martin by phone, (202)205-9085 or email at brian.martin@ed.gov no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 31, 2015 to ensure we can facilitate the application process.

An archived version of the above link (dated March 17, 2015) is an outdated call for charter grant applications (not reviewers) for the outdated deadline of July 21, 2014.

It seems that the extended deadline is to cover the USDOE as not being biased against individuals with disabilities. The extended deadline might only apply to such individuals; however, since USDOE has two active web pages on the matter, this entire effort appears last-minute.

Looks like an unprepared USDOE threw this grant together rather quickly.

Before it tries advertising any more “competitions,” perhaps OII should first “innovate” and “improve” on itself.

INFORMATIVE COMMENT BY LAURA CHAPMAN, MAY 23, 2015:

These seem to be annual competitions, promulgated through a USDE rule. The Federal Register shows that the FY 2015 grant competition “rules” were announced late in 2014.

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/19/2014-27264/proposed-priorities-requirements-definitions-and-selection-criteria-charter-schools-program-grantsn 2014

The call for reviewers appears to have been issued May 22, 2015…which suggests there is already a pool of reviewers, perhaps a clubby relationship –you scratch my back, I will scratch yours–enabling the very short turnaround in soliciting reviewers. The USDE website sports pix and text about KIPP, the winner of the latest Broad prize.

________________________________________________

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has her second book available on pre-order, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, due for publication June 12, 2015.

CC book cover

4 Comments
  1. Note that ordinary members of the public, or parents, or teachers, are explicitly excluded. Only people who are gung-ho in favor of charters may apply.

  2. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    These seem to be annual competitions, promulgated through a USDE rule. The Federal Register shows that the FY 2015 grant competition “rules” were announced late in 2014.

    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/19/2014-27264/proposed-priorities-requirements-definitions-and-selection-criteria-charter-schools-program-grantsn 2014

    The call for reviewers appears to have been issued May 22, 2015…which suggests there is already a pool of reviewers, perhaps a clubby relationship –you scratch my back, I will scratch yours–enabling the very short turnaround in soliciting reviewers. The USDE website sports pix and text about KIPP, the winner of the latest Broad prize.

  3. dolphin permalink

    Reblogged this on Dolphin.

  4. I would have loved my cousin to be one of the reviewers. He is a forensic CPA. He would truly liked to go over their books. By the way, he proudly boasts that he has helped send close to one hundred business executives to jail!

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