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A Message to Democrats (and Republicans too) about Education Reform

Because I am California bound, I had to cancel an engagement to speak with the Sun City Democrats about education reform. To make up for it, I taped a message to them and answered their questions. I pasted the YouTube response below. Here are the questions: We read, in the Austin Statesman, that one of the […]

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Thoughts From a Former KIPP Teacher: Testing, Common Core, and Charters Are Myths

In the bid for a better education for all students in America, recent reform efforts have focused on increasing the expectations – standards and exams – for students.  What is not explicitly discussed are the negative ways that these standards and exams target students of low socio-economic status and minorities – we are enamored as […]

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Tell-All From A TFA and KIPP Teacher: Unprepared, Isolation, Shame, and Burnout

A few years ago a UT-Austin undergraduate student sat in my office and told me that she was joining Teach For America and was going to teach in KIPP school. The essence of TFA’s pitch to her? We recruit a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement who work to expand educational opportunity, starting […]

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Naughty List?: Thoughts on Texas Legislature, KIPP, Carstarphen, and College

Kate McGee reported this morning on KUT NPR in the radio piece Austin Charter Focuses on College Prep Despite New Grad Requirements that KIPP Austin has set up a pretty sweet deal with St. Edwards University. Listen to the KUT story here. St. Edward’s University is partnering with KIPP Austin Charter school to help more of its students […]

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“Diversity is Hard”: Will Charter Schools In Your Locale Choose Equity?

I am not of the ilk that charters are all bad news (See all of Cloaking Inequity’s post on charter schools here). As I have mentioned previously, I am a charter school parent, currently serve on a charter school board, and was an instructor at an Aspire charter school. I realize that I have prominent friends and […]

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Huggy, Snuggly, Cuddly: Teach For America and Mathematica

Wanna Cuddle? A new study paid for by the U.S. Department of Education enlisted the services of Mathematica, Inc., a research organization that has studied Teach For America and its subsidiaries, consistently for over a decade.[1] The reports have one thing in common: Teach For America and  the growing network of charter schools affiliated with TFA , end up with […]

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Frank Convo with KIPP’s Mike Feinberg: Do you call BS?

I had a coffee conversation with Mike Feinberg yesterday. About two weeks ago Mike Feinberg contacted me via email about one of my posts on Cloaking Inequity. He related that he wanted to clarify the conversation about KIPP’s funding. I agreed to meet with him at the Blanton Museum Café at UT-Austin for a coffee […]

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Top Ten List: Why “choice” demonstrates that money matters

Apologize for the CI hiatus. I have six PhD students that want to graduate, which translates to about 1,000 pages dissertation reading these past few days. I recently had a conversation with a conservative Harvard-trained attorney last Saturday in Houston. We were discussing Finland (I blogged about Finland a few weeks ago) and her point […]

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Exiting: A sample of charter chains vs public district’s student attrition

Politicians and others often frame a narrative that charters are on par or better than traditional public schools. I have discussed how charters stack up traditional public schools extensively in posts here on CI on charters. Are there charters that are islands of excellence? Of course, there are some and I discussed this in my […]

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When you think of school choice— what comes to mind?

When you think of school choice, what comes to mind? Vouchers? Charters? Intra- and Inter- district choice? Magnet schools? Today I received a forwarded email request from a senator that was gathering information in response to pressure for “school choice” bills at the Texas Legislature. I have been pondering “school choice,” and why it is […]

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Punitive and Unsympathetic: Mathews is SOOOO Wrong on KIPP

Jay Mathews is an education talking head, columnist, blogger and huge cheerleader for KIPP schools. KIPP is under fire for their attrition again— this time due to discipline in D.C. Mathews’ explanation and justification for KIPP actions were punitive and unsympathetic. Jay Mathews is clearly not an expert on this issue, so I asked someone […]

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The Teat: Be a little more honest KIPP Charter Schools

Today I will profile Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) schools on The Teat. The Teat is an ongoing series on Cloaking Inequity (the protuberance through which milk is drawn from an udder or breast) that seeks to trace financial support which various entities receive that are involved in current educational policy debates. The Teat Cow Haiku […]

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Education Summit: Top Five Most Inane Comments

A few day ago I spent the afternoon in an Education Summit hosted by the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute. The entire afternoon I wished I could respond to the discourse, so here are the top five most innane things I heard and my brief thoughts (not in any particular order). 1. Reduced funding to […]

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Charter Schools: Dr. Soto, I am disappointed

In a recent San Antonio Express New article outgoing Texas SBOE member Michael Soto stated : There’s pretty solid support for efforts to raise the bar academically on the board and throughout the state because these charter applications significantly raise the academic bar. Dr. Soto, I am disappointed. In response, Diane Ravitch stated on her blog […]

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“Don’t Believe the Hype”: Charter Schools and College Readiness for Latinos

Today I conducted a quick analysis of Majority Latina/o High Schools in Texas. I was wondering, of those high schools that are Majority Latina/o, comparing charters and non-charters, what high schools in the state had a majority (more than 50%) of their Latina/o students college-ready (defined as scoring a 2200 on both Math and Reading) […]

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KIPP and New Zealand: An American export?

Thanks to Karen from Houston for sending along the info for this thread. What John Banks needs to explain about charter schools What does NZ have to learn from an overseas schooling model that discards 30% of the most disadvantaged children and 40% of African American boys? If KIPP is about ‘no excuses’, what’s your […]

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Melissa Harris-Perry Show: Demanding accountability from charters

During the second segment of the Melissa Harris-Perry Show at MSNBC’s Education Nation 2012, we discussed access to charter schools. Charters are “public” schools that are run by a variety of organizations such as intergovernmental (UT-Austin), community groups (Making Waves), large privately-operated corporate networks (KIPP). Regardless of who runs the charters, the current public consciousness is that charters are visions […]

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Another “Dirty Little Secret”?: KIPP, Charters, and Special Education

I received an email this morning from an educational professional from Houston. The issue of special needs students (English Language Learners, Special Education, etc) and charters is not going away. Hello Dr. Heilig, I viewed the panel on Education Nation that you were a part of and I wanted to thank you for trying to […]

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