Spotted in the wild – articles that DON’T bash teachers!

The level of public education / teacher bashing that goes on in the general media makes one wonder if there is a new category of Pulitzer Prize dedicated to the most hysterical, outlandish, and misleading attack on educators. Against this landscape it is nice to see the occasional article that bucks the trend. What makes the three links below notable is not that they are pro-teacher per se, but rather that they stick to actual facts in their reporting. You know, like actual journalism.

This piece from tears apart the notion that we can fire our way to greatness in education.

This article, from U.S. News, throws some cold water on reports of education “miracles.”

And from The Atlantic, an article that pointing out that Education isn’t the problem, inequality is.


More Charter School Shenanigans

As part of his promise to break the monopoly of public education, Governor Cuomo is looking into raising the existing cap on Charter schools in New York.  As you might expect, there is opposition to this idea.

With this in mind, here are a few stories / links on just what’s wrong with the unfettered growth of charter schools.

  • One supposed argument in favor of charter schools is greater fiscal responsibility without the bureaucracy of the public school system, but an audit of charter schools, finds rampant fraud, totaling as much as $28 million in questionable expenditures since 2002. Audits uncovered mismanagement in 95% of schools audited.
  • A few weeks ago, the New York Board of Regents and the State Education Department approved a charter school to be opened in Rochester next September. The lead applicant was 22-year old Ted J. Morris, Jr.  Now, If you’re thinking that is seems unbelievable that a 22-year old could have the credentials and experience to run a charter school, then you’re already one step of the Board of Regents and NYSED, who failed to do what a couple of bloggers did: uncover the fact that Morris was a fraud who had fabricated most of his resume and flat out lied about his experience. This lack of oversight is bad enough, but the response from the Board of Regents is even worse. After initially saying that the charter would proceed without Morris (who had found backers for this school “through posts on Craigslist, Linkedin, and websites for nonprofits.”), the Board of Regents eventually gave in to pressure and withdrew the charter but, as this post details, still accept no responsibility for nearly handing over responsibility for the education of close to a hundred students to a con man. But hey, their paperwork was in order.
  • What about claims that charters outperform public schools?  Read CHARTER SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT: HYPE VS. EVIDENCE
  • Ultimately, as Zephyr Teachout writes in The Times Union, the current charter school movement is not about improving education for our kids, it’s about billionaires wanting tax breaks and a slice of the money that can made from the business of education.