Beware: A Hostile Takeover of ALL Dallas Public Schools is Underway

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Home Rule is an emerging story currently flying under the radar in the national and statewide Texas media. Millionaires and billionaire(s) are quietly funding a “Home Rule” hostile takeover attempt of all public schools in Dallas, Texas. Yes, that’s right… ALL OF THEM.

For those of you who are just now encountering Home Rule, the newest neoliberal assault on democratically-controlled public education…Here is an introduction to the story…

At the end of February 2014, Support Our Public Schools (SOPS), a small group of prominent Dallas area citizens funded by wealthy individuals, revealed their support for a “Home Rule” scheme to take over Dallas ISD. Many community members, educators, policymakers and other stakeholders were surprised by the sudden promotion of the Home Rule takeover and questions about the group and the scheme have arisen rapidly.

Tonight I am in Dallas for two meetings with community stakeholders. First, I will join a meeting convened by the Dallas NAACP and then attend a second event with the Dallas School Administrators Association (DSAA). The purpose of the visit is the public release of a new Texas Center for Education Policy (TCEP) policy brief entitled Dallas Home Rule Takeover Q&A. Click on the brief below to see the final version.

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Citation: Vasquez Heilig, J. & Riley, J. C. (2014). Dallas Home Rule Takeover Austin, TX: Texas Center for Education Policy, University of Texas at Austin.

The TCEP Home Rule policy brief seeks to answer some of the most prominent questions related to the Home Rule charter district takeover. By presenting information gathered from a variety of sources including the Texas Education Code, media reports and empirical research, this brief provides information that Dallas stakeholders can use to decide whether the takeover is the most appropriate action to address the longstanding gaps and inequities facing Dallas area schools. The questions that are addressed in the new policy brief are:

  • Who is Support our Public Schools?
  • Who are the behind-the-scenes players in the Home Rule takeover proposal?
  • Who is John Arnold?
  • What are the steps to the Home Rule takeover in state code?
  • What “rules” will Dallas not be “free” from as a Home Rule Charter District?
  • What “rules” will Dallas be “free” from after a Home Rule takeover?
  • Is the Home Rule takeover really necessary?
  • Is a charter district takeover more democracy and local control or less?
  • Have a politically appointed school board and mayoral control been a successful approach?
  • Have charters outperformed traditional public schools across Texas?
  • How does the Texas and Dallas investment in education compared to peers?
  • If not Home Rule, what reforms should DISD and SOPS commit to?

Some of the questions addressed in the brief are more specific to the Dallas community. However, several have import for the state of Texas and public education nationally such as: Who is John Arnold? and… Have a politically appointed school board and mayoral control been a successful approach?

Keeping up with the billionaires and millionaires’ education privatization hobby is allot of work. Maybe we could suggest to them that they get a regular hobby like N-scale model trains or do more snow skiing?

See also Diane Ravitch address Home Rule and privatization on Bill Moyers: https://twitter.com/professorjvh/status/449674564939702272

For all of Cloaking Inequity’s post on Dallas click here.

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Categories: African Americans, Charter Schools, Latina/os

Author:Julian Vasquez Heilig

Julian Vasquez Heilig is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin.

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7 Comments on “Beware: A Hostile Takeover of ALL Dallas Public Schools is Underway”

  1. March 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    Well, guess who is coming to Florida?

    It’s the #EdRevolution!

    Brought to all of us courtesy of :

    The Walton Family Foundation, The Bradley Foundation, The Robertson Foundation, American Federation for Children, Alliance For School Choice, Charter Schools USA, Step UP for students, Black Alliance for Education Options, Council for American Private Education, Georgia Charter Schools Association, Parents for Educational Freedom of North Carolina, and School Choice Ohio…Hispanic CREO… and, who knows if our creative Gov. Rick Scott will be there too.

    This is about the “ AFC National Policy Summit, an annual conference bringing together policymakers, advocates, and leading business and media figures to celebrate school choice successes and discuss future challenges. It is the nation’s premiere event on educational choice and its central role in education reform around the country.”

    http://www.afcpolicysummit.com.

    And for the modest registration fee of:
    Individual – $400
    Nonprofit Package – $950
    Elected Official – $300

    Obviously, such an important education event that affects millions and millions of students in the nation, is not open to the public who represents those millions and millions of students in OUR nation (which BTW is looking more like a Banana Republic –no offense intended, at least they don’t hide what they are– nowadays than the democratic new nation of our forefathers). That is, it is “cerrado” shut, for education policy experts, education inequality experts, like Julián and many others, who know who these people are and who can expose what they are cooking up at this event. Nice!

    No wonder School Choice and Parent Trigger have had a huge fiesta (party) with Hispanic parents. They have been so incredibly successful manipulating Hispanic parents to believe that public schools are not good, are discriminating against Hispanics, Blacks, and poor children, and that the “only way out” is to support charter schools.

    But that is OK with Hispanic CREO, a for-profit “organization: that has been hiding its “business units” under an education organization façade of “giving every child a quality education.” And they are coming to Florida, to celebrate that.

    Oh we will all be so happy in Florida… if we find a way to boycott this event which will take place in May 1 and 2, 2014.

  2. March 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Time for Dallas parents to stand up like those in NY !

    Kyle and Jennifer Massey are Texas hero parents who are giving new momentum to the Texas Parents Opt Out movement. They are sharing their daily progress here with parents all over Texas. Dallas parents you need to feel empowered and join the movement:

    http://kyledmassey.com/response-to-policy/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Beware: A Hostile Takeover of ALL Dallas Public Schools is Underway | Educational Policy Information - March 27, 2014

    […] Julian Vasquez Heilig Home Rule is an emerging story currently flying under the radar in the national and statewide Texas […]

  2. Surprise Email Today from My Pre-K Teacher | Cloaking Inequity - April 12, 2014

    […] are funding a hostile charter takeover of the entire Dallas ISD district. See the post Beware: A Hostile Takeover of ALL Dallas Public Schools is Underway. If Dallas, wants a non-experimental approach to education, we recommended the following in our […]

  3. Dallas: “Support Our Public Schools” Does Not Mean Support Our Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog - April 14, 2014

    […] But Julian Vasquez Heilig says that what is happening is a “hostile corporate takeover.” […]

  4. Dallas: “Support Our Public Schools” Does Not Mean Support Our Public Schools | Educational Policy Information - April 14, 2014

    […] But Julian Vasquez Heilig says that what is happening is a “hostile corporate takeover.” […]

  5. Panning A Charter Takeover of ALL public Schools | Cloaking Inequity - June 13, 2014

    […] the the November ballot. I first discussed the attempted takeover of Dallas in the post Beware: A Hostile Takeover of ALL Dallas Public Schools is Underway. I also visited Dallas on the invitation of several community groups in Dallas to discuss the Home […]

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