Happy New Year!: 2014 Education Reform in Review (your champagne break)

Wow. 2014 is already gone. Allot happened in education policy in 2014… Are the corporate reformers finally in retreat? There is some optimism out there that the public is finally seeing through their “civil rights” rhetoric and understanding that their true focus is control, profit, and privatization. With your input and support, Cloaking Inequity, our community blog project, will continue to critique hegemonic education policy in 2015. But first, here is a quick year in review for Cloaking Inequity from 2014.

SO what were the most read posts in 2014?

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

Intro: 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?…

2. Parent Horror Stories from BASIS: Corporate Charter Hurting Children? 

Intro: Today I am blogging about two parent horror stories from BASIS. Let me just warn you, after hearing parents talk about what allegedly happened to their children at BASIS, you will likely be in a surly mood learning about this corporate (quasi-for profit) charter chain…

3. What BASIS?: Nepotism and aggrandizement in charters? 

Intro: What is notable about BASIS is that they are for-profit/non-profit. The schools are “non-profit” but the umbrella management organization is “for-profit.”…

4. Colonizing the Black Natives: Reflections from a former NOLA Charter School Dean of Students 

Intro: Are some charters’ practices new forms of colonial hegemony? When examining current discipline policies and aligned behavioral norms within charter school spaces, postcolonial theory is useful because of the striking similarities between problematic socialization practices and the educational regimes of the uncivilized masses in colonized nations…

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

Intro: 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…

Notably, two of the most read posts in 2014 were actually from 2013!

A TFA employee recently accused me privately on Facebook of “making a career” of critiquing Temp for America. I responded that as a policy analyst I study a variety of ed reforms. The sizes of the font in the Cloaking Inequity category cloud demonstrates that the blog engages most with Accountability, Charter Schools, High Stakes Testing, Teach For America and Vouchers. No TFA, you are NOT special, just equally disturbing/problematic. The hubris.

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Furthermore, it turns out the 4 of the 5 top posts on Cloaking Inequity in 2014 (listed above) were actually focused charters schools. Of note, We do have a new piece examining how charter school segregation can be disguised in aggregate data coming out soon in a law review— keep a look out for the release.

Who referred the most readers to Cloaking Inequity?

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This year Cloaking Inequity had readers from 170 countries! Thank you US, UK and Canada for being tops! Thank you world!

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The commenter of the year award again goes to Dr. Marty Thornburg with 59 comments in 2014!
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Thank you for reading Cloaking Inequity. I hope you stick around in 2015 and share this community project with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, LinkedIn friends, party guests drinking champagne around you right now etc.

I really enjoy meeting folks to engage with the blog when I am out and about at conferences and while giving keynotes and lectures across the country.

I am also interested in breaking news and your critical perspectives on education policy today. Feel free to email me anytime at jvh@alumni.stanford.edu. Also, please say hi when you see me!

In conclusion, I have enjoyed my hiatus from Cloaking Inequity over the holidays while spending time with family. But there will be more soon in the New Year— I have several posts that I am working background on. Happy New Year to you and yours.


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Twitter: @ProfessorJVH

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