Educate All Students: Larry Miller's Blog

December 31, 2013

Yes Magazine:10 Hopeful Things That Happened in 2013 to Get You Inspired for What’s to Come

Beyond the headlines of conflict and catastrophe, this year’s top stories offered us some powerful proof that the world can still change—for the better.

There was something almost apocalyptic about 2013. Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, the strongest storm ever recorded on land. It killed more than 6,000 people and affected millions. But it was just one of the 39 weather-related disasters costing $1 billion or more in 2013.

 

In Australia, record high temperatures forced mapmakers to create a new color on the weather map. Massive wildfires swept through California, historic flooding took out bridges and roadways in Colorado, and tornadoes swept through the Midwest, destroying towns like Moore, Okla. Millions of people are on the move, seeking to escape the effects of climate-related disasters.

 

CO2 concentrations passed 400 parts per million for the first time this year, and yet governments have done little to curb emissions. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars—much of it from secret sources—flow to climate-denier think tanks and advocacy groups.

 

Pop culture often explores a change before politicians do, and 2013 saw a rash of post-apocalyptic movies—from World War Z to Oblivion—and zombie apocalypse role-playing games.

 

Much happened that was hopeful this year—a new pope focused on inequality, successful minimum wage campaigns spread across the country, and the number of states allowing gay marriage doubled.

 

But responses to the threat of the climate crisis lead off this year’s top stories as we look at seeds sown this year that could make 2014 transformational.

 

1. We saw surprising new leadership on the climate issue

 

In northeast Nebraska, Native Americans and local ranchers formed a new alliance to resist the Keystone XL pipeline. Seven thousand activists gathered in Pittsburgh to press for action on a wide range of environmental justice issues. Students across North America persuaded nine colleges and universities to divest from fossil fuel companies. Hundreds of climate activists walked out of the COP19 climate talks in Poland to hold their own climate talks.

 

The governors of California, Oregon, Washington, and the Canadian province of British Columbia have committed to taking action on the climate crisis. But Congress remains deadlocked and in denial, and climate scientists—when they let down their careful professional demeanor—express astonishment that world governments have failed to act on what is fast becoming a global emergency.

 

A new potential ally is coming from an unexpected source. Some investors are beginning to worry that fossil fuel companies may not be a good bet. Investors worry about a “carbon bubble.”

 

The reserves of oil, gas, and coal counted as assets by the big energy corporations would be enormously destructive to life on Earth if they were allowed to burn. Many believe that new regulation or pricing will keep a large portion of those reserves safely in the ground.

 

If that happens, the companies’ reserves, and thus their stock, may be worth far less than believed. Savvy investors are placing their bets elsewhere: Warren Buffett, for example, is investing $1 billion in wind energy, which, along with solar energy, is looking better all the time.

 

2. Native peoples took the lead in the fossil fuel fight

 

In response to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s attempt to ramp up fossil fuel extraction on Native lands, Idle No More blossomed across Canada this year. First Nations people held flash mob round dances, blockaded roads, and appealed to government at all levels to protect land and water.

 

And it’s not just Canada. In Washington state, the Lummi Tribe is among those resisting massive new coal transport infrastructure, which would make exported coal cheap to burn in Asia.

 

In Nebraska, the Ponca Tribe is teaming up with local ranchers to resist construction of the Keystone tar sands pipeline. Indigenous peoples in the Amazon, the Andes, Malaysia, the Niger Delta, and elsewhere are also at the front lines of resistance to yet more dangerous fossil fuel extraction. Many are turning to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples and the new Rights of Nature movement for support.

 

Indigenous peoples developed ways of life that could sustain human life and the natural environment over thousands of years. The rest of the world is starting to recognize the critical importance of these perspectives, and there is growing willingness to listen to the perspectives of indigenous peoples.

 

3. The middle and lower classes fought for economic justice

 

Income inequality is reaching levels not seen since the Roaring Twenties. People stuck in long-term unemployment are running out of options, and those who do find work often can’t cover basic living expenses. The issue is now getting attention from mainstream media, becoming one of the defining issues of our time, as President Obama said.

 

Now a movement is building to create a new economy that can work for all. Voters this year passed minimum wage laws in SeaTac, Wash., ($15 an hour) and the state of New Jersey. An overwhelming majority favors raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. Domestic workers won the right to a minimum wage after years of organizing.

 

The message was also clear in the election of Bill de Blasio, a founder of the Working Families Party, as mayor of New York City. Inequality is a top plank of his platform and his public record. At the national level, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s defense of the rights of student borrowers and her proposal to strengthen Social Security (instead of weaken it, as leaders in both party are discussing) is winning widespread support. There is even talk of drafting Warren to run for president.

 

Like what you’re reading? YES! is nonprofit and relies on reader support.
Click here to chip in $5 or more
to help us keep the inspiration coming.

 

4. A new economy is in the making

 

At the grassroots, National People’s Action and the New Economy Institute are leading new conversations about what it takes to build an economy that works for all and can function in harmony with the environment. Thousands of people are taking part.

 

And a growing cooperatives movement is linking up with unions and social movements. Some are working with large “anchor” institutions, like hospitals and universities, that can provide a steady market for their products and services. Credit unions, too, are proving their value as they keep lending to local businesses and homeowners as Wall Street-owned banks pulled back.

 

And a new DIY sharing economy is taking off, as people do peer-to-peer car-sharing, fundraising, and skill-sharing, and bring open-source technology to new levels.

 

5. U.S. military strikes didn’t happen

 

The big news of the year may be the two wars the United States refused to instigate.

 

The United States did continue its drone strikes, and the civilian casualties are causing an international uproar, with some calling for an outright ban on drones. And military spending continues to devastate the country’s budget. (The United States spent more on the military in 2013 than China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy, and Brazil combined.) Few dared to call for the same fiscal discipline from the military and its many contractors as they expect from schools and services for the poor.

 

On the other hand, the United States stepped back from the brink of military strikes against Syria and Iran—a step in the right direction.

 

6. Pope Francis called for care and justice for the poor …

 

…and for an end to the idolatry of money and consumerism. He also criticized “ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.”

 

In his “Evangelii Gaudium” he says: “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”

 

This call is provoking outrage from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News commentators, but elsewhere, it’s leading to a new questioning of the moral foundation for a system that concentrates wealth and power while causing widespread poverty.

 

7. Gays and lesbians got some respect

 

On June 26, the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Today, married gay couples are entitled to federal benefits once reserved for straight couples. The year saw a doubling of the number of states allowing gay marriages, and a third of all Americans now live in such states.

 

Support for gay marriage has flipped from a slight majority opposing it to a majority now supporting the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry. As a wider range of gender identities has become acceptable, men and women, gay and straight, are freer to shed gender stereotypes without fear of bullying and humiliation.

 

8. There were new openings for a third party

 

Just 26 percent of Americans believe the Democratic and Republican parties are doing “an adequate job,” according to an October Gallup poll; 60 percent say a third party is needed. Eighty-five percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Even cockroaches (along with zombies, hemorrhoids, and Wall Street) have a higher approval rating according to a recent poll by Public Policy Polling.

 

But it’s not the Tea Party that Americans are looking to as the alternative. Support for the Tea Party has fallen: In an October NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, only 21 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the party.

 

New space has opened for independent political work. The Working Family Party (see #3 above) is an especially interesting model.

 

9. Alternatives to Obamacare are in the works

 

Democratic leadership believed that the big profits the Affordable Care Act guaranteed to private insurance companies would make the act popular with conservatives.

 

But the resulting system, with all its complications and expenses—and requirements—is frustrating millions. There are features that benefit ordinary people, but it compares poorly to the simpler and more cost-effective systems that exists in most of the developed world. Canadian-style single-payer health care, for example, had the support of a majority of Americans. Some jurisdictions are still looking for alternatives. Cooperative health insurance is available in some states and others are working to establish statewide single-payer healthcare.

 

10. An education uprising began

 

The momentum behind the education reform agendas of Presidents Bush (No Child Left Behind) and Obama (Race to the Top) is stalling. The combination of austerity budgets, an ethic of blame directed at teachers, high-stakes testing, and private charter schools has stressed teachers and students—but it has not resulted in improved performance.

 

Peaceful Uprising photo by David Newkirk
Get Apocalyptic: Why Radical Is the New Normal

 

Seattle’s Garfield High School teachers, students, and parents launched an open rebellion last spring, joining a handful of others in refusing to administer required standardized tests. The movement is spreading around the country, with more rebellions expected in the spring of 2014 (stay tuned for an in-depth report in the Spring issue of YES!)

 

We live in interesting times, indeed. The growing climate emergency could eclipse all the other issues, and the sooner we get on it, the more we can use the transition for innovations that have other positive spin-offs.

 

There’s not a moment to lose.

Racial Microaggressions Experienced by College Students

Filed under: Racism — millerlf @ 9:33 am

21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis

A photographer at Fordham asked her peers to write down the microaggressions they’ve encountered. Here is what they had to say.

Posted on December 9, 2013 

Photographer Kiyun asked her friends at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus to “write down an instance of racial microaggression they have faced.”

The term “microaggression” was used by Columbia professor Derald Sue to refer to “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.” Sue borrowed the term from psychiatrist Dr. Chester Pierce who coined the term in the ’70s.

While the term “microaggressions” has been a part of academic discourse for some time (“micro-inequities” was coined by an MIT Ph.D. in 1973), it became better known through the popular Tumblr Microaggressions.

The Tumblr is a project that aims to highlight the daily microaggressions people encounter through user submitted stories.

“This blog seeks to provide a visual representation of the everyday of “microaggressions.” Each event, observation and experience posted is not necessarily particularly striking in and of themselves. Often, they are never meant to hurt – acts done with little conscious awareness of their meanings and effects. Instead, their slow accumulation during a childhood and over a lifetime is in part what defines a marginalized experience, making explanation and communication with someone who does not share this identity particularly difficult. Social others are microaggressed hourly, daily, weekly, monthly.

This project is NOT about showing how ignorant people can be in order to simply dismiss their ignorance. Instead, it is about showing how these comments create and enforce uncomfortable, violent and unsafe realities onto peoples’ workplace, home, school, childhood/adolescence/adulthood, and public transportation/space environments.”

Here are a few of the microaggressions Fordham students identified as a part of their lives:

December 18, 2013

MPS Shows Progress on National “Gold Standard” Tests

Filed under: MPS — millerlf @ 1:46 pm

MPS achievement scores trend up, outpacing U.S. growth rate in math and reading on rigorous national exam

Published: December 18, 2013 MPS

Higher scores seen in both subjects, both grades tested from 2011 to 2013 and 2009 to 2013

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools students scored better this year than two years ago in both grades and both subjects tested on a rigorous national exam, yielding average score growth that outpaced the nation’s public school students and most other participating large urban school districts.

Scores from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress Trial Urban District Assessment (NAEP TUDA), which students took from January to March 2013, show:

– In 4th-grade reading: MPS’ growth was the 4th highest among 21 participating districts

– In 8th-grade math: MPS’ growth was 5th highest among 21 participating districts

– In 8th-grade reading: MPS’ growth was 7th highest among 21 participating districts

– In 4th-grade math: MPS’ growth was 7th highest among 21 participating districts

MPS’ growth outpaced the rate of growth among U.S. public school students in all four grade-subject combinations and outpaced the rate of growth among large urban districts in 4th-grade reading, 8th-grade reading and 8th-grade mathematics.

The growth in scores comes as MPS has strengthened curriculum and put students on the path to college and career readiness through implementation of its Comprehensive Literacy Plan, beginning in 2010-11, and its Comprehensive Math/Science Plan, beginning in 2011-12.

MPS’ strongest area of growth from 2011 to 2013 was among Hispanic/Latino students, one of the district’s fastest-growing demographics. The growth among Hispanic/Latino students was large enough to represent a major statistical shift in 4th-grade math, 8th-grade math and 8th-grade reading. Scores for students who are learning English (ELL) also posted significant gains in 4th-grade math and 8th-grade reading. Other gains from 2011 to 2013 were not large enough to represent a major statistical shift.

MPS also saw growth over a larger period: scores were up modestly from 2009 to 2013 in both reading and math and in both 4th and 8th grades. The strongest growth from 2009 to 2013 came in 8th-grade mathematics, which was large enough to register as a major statistical shift.

“It’s exciting to see scores trending upward across the board,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. “We expect the significant reforms we have put in place to yield even stronger achievement growth in the future. While overall achievement levels are not where they need to be, the only way to change that is by growing and our reforms are beginning to do just that.”

Among the reforms that MPS has implemented or is now implementing:

– MPS’ Comprehensive Literacy and Math/Science plans, referenced above, which strengthen curriculum and put students on the path to college and career success through the rigorous Common Core State Standards

– The creation of 10 MPS GE Foundation Demonstration Schools, which are now modeling Common Core implementation for other schools in the district

– MPS’ increased focus on college and career readiness, including the strengthening of graduation requirements, winning a GEAR UP readiness grant worth $30 million and the opening of two TEAM UP College Access Centers with funding from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation

– Growing Advanced Placement offerings including launching the College Board’s rigorous pre-AP SpringBoard program into seven MPS schools

– Expanding MPS’ already largest-in-the-nation Project Lead the Way participation, bringing the rigorous hands-on science/technology/engineering/math (STEM) program to more schools

– Expanding college preparatory International Baccalaureate programming into more schools

– Strategically using facilities to expand successful schools parents and students seek

The district grew its inclusion rate from 2009 to 2011 and 2009 to 2013, with more English-Language Learners (ELL) and students with disabilities taking the test.

MPS’ NAEP TUDA results, which measure only a sample of students, largely match MPS’ results on state tests, which all students take.

To view graphs on MPS data go to: NAEP 2011-2013 growth data

December 17, 2013

Important Funding Proposal for Wisconsin Public Schools

Filed under: School Finance — millerlf @ 8:48 am

From:   Rep. Pope, Rep. Wright, Rep. Clark, Rep. Hesselbein and Sen. Lehman, Sen. Vinehout, Sen. Cullen

Re:  Co-sponsorship of LRB 2673/2 – Public School Funding Reform  December 9, 2013

The past two budget cycles have placed additional strain on the funding formula by which we provide aid to our public schools. In an effort to advance the dialogue regarding the funding problems public school districts currently experience, we are introducing legislation that would overhaul the public school funding formula. LRB 2673/2 is based largely on the recommendations of Superintendent Tony Evers’ ‘Fair Funding for Our Future’ plan, and makes the following changes to the distribution of general school aid:

  • Factors in student poverty: the funding formula currently does not make any adjustments for household poverty despite the fact that poverty has been shown to greatly affect the educational outcome of students
  • Sets a guarantee of $3,000 per pupil in state aid: there are now 20 school districts that receive no equalization aid, placing them outside of the funding formula.  Taxpayers in every district deserve equalization aid for this most vital state function.
  • Shifts the School Levy Credit and First Dollar Credit into equalized aid: both of these credits are currently counted toward school aid, but in reality are used as accounting gimmicks that mask the true costs of public education
  • Puts Wisconsin on the path to restoring 2/3rds funding: the 2/3rdsfunding guarantee is a bedrock of the funding formula, ensuring local property taxpayers aren’t over-burdened with the costs of their local schools, and returning to this guarantee was the foundation of legislation introduced in 2009 by Representative Robin Vos (2009 AB 919)
  • Eliminates Per Pupil Categorical aid and provides a $275 per pupil levy increase in 14-15: by using per pupil funding instead of levy growth with additional aid, the legislature over the past two budgets hasfurther distorted the funding formula’s ability to equalize based on a district’s ability to pay
  • Restores reasonable school levy growth: links levy limit growth to the Consumer Price Index giving local districts the ability to keep up with economic changes

If you are interested in co-sponsoring LRB 2673/2, please respond to this email or contact Representative Pope’s office at266-3520 or Senator Lehman’s office at266-1832. For further information on this proposal, please see the attached LRB analysis.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

This bill makes a number of changes in the laws relating to public school financing, including the following:

1. Currently, the amount appropriated each fiscal year for general school aid is a sum set by law. This bill directs the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the Department of Administration, and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau annually to jointly certify to the Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) an estimate of the amount necessary to appropriate in the following school year to ensure that state school aids equal the following percentage of partial school revenues (in general, the sum of state school aids and school property taxes):

a. For the 2014−15 school year, 63 percent.
b. For the 2015−16 school year, 64.2 percent.
c. For the 2016−17 school year, 65.4 percent.
d. For the 2017−18 school year and each school year thereafter, two−thirds.

Under the bill, JFC determines the amount appropriated as general school aids in each odd−numbered fiscal year (e.g., the 2014−15 fiscal year) and the amount is set by law in each even−numbered fiscal year.

2. For purposes of determining a school district’s general school aid amount, in general this bill requires that each pupil who is eligible for a free or reduced−price lunch under the federal school lunch program be counted as an additional 0.3 pupil.

3. Currently, if a school district would receive less in general state aid in any school year than 85 percent of the amount it received in the previous school year, its state aid for the current school year is increased to 85 percent of the aid received in the previous school year. This bill increases the percentage to 90 percent.

4. This bill provides that a school district’s state aid in any school year may not be less than an amount equal to the school district’s enrollment multiplied by $3,000.

5. Currently, for calculating a school district’s revenue limit, the per pupil adjustment is $75 per pupil in each of the 2013−14 and 2014−15 school years. In the 2015−16 school year and thereafter, there is no per pupil adjustment. This bill sets the per pupil adjustment at $275 per pupil for the 2014−15 school year, and thereafter adjusts the previous school year’s adjustment by the consumer price index increase.

6. Currently, if at least 50 percent of a school district’s enrollment is eligible for a free or reduced−price lunch under the federal school lunch program, the school district is eligible for a prorated share of the amount appropriated as high−poverty aid. This bill eliminates this aid beginning in the 2014−15 school year. The bill provides additional state aid for the 2014−15 school year to hold school districts harmless from the loss of high−poverty aid.

7. Currently, the state annually pays each school district an amount equal to its average enrollment in the current and two preceding school years multiplied by $75 in the 2013−14 school year and $150 in each school year thereafter. This bill eliminates this per pupil aid after the 2013−14 school year.

8. Currently, $75,000,000 in school aid payments is delayed until the following school year. Beginning in the 2015−16 school year, this bill delays $972,400,000 in school aid payments until the following school year.

9. In the school district equalization aid formula, the guaranteed evaluations represent the amount of property tax base support that the state guarantees behind each pupil. There are three guaranteed valuations used; each applies to a different level of expenditures. The first level is for expenditures up to the primary cost ceiling of $1,000 per pupil. The second level is for costs per pupil that exceed $1,000 but are less than the secondary cost ceiling, which is set at 90 percent of the prior school year statewide shared cost per pupil. This bill changes the secondary cost ceiling to 100 percent of the prior school year statewide shared cost per pupil.

10. The bill eliminates the school levy property tax credit and the first dollar property tax credit.

Kansas Attempt to Create “Recovery School District”

Filed under: Recovery District — millerlf @ 8:30 am

Emails detail a hidden plan for Kansas City Public Schools

By JOE ROBERTSON
The Kansas City Star
Posted Sat, Dec. 07, 2013

Backed by two of the most influential foundations in Kansas City, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and a state-hired consultant are planning the future of Kansas City Public Schools as a slate wiped clean.

Revelations in emails obtained by The Star and dating to April show a state education department eager to create a new school system, even as the long-beleaguered but stabilized district was preparing to celebrate its best academic improvement in years.

The electronic trail exposes a rushed bidding process, now criticized, that ultimately landed Indianapolis-based CEE-Trust a $385,000 contract to develop a long-range overhaul for the district’s failing schools.

Summer discussions in emails reveal Nicastro’s wish for a statewide district to gather poor-performing schools under new leadership, with an office for innovation and charter school expansion.

In mid-August, days before the state’s district report cards were to be released to the public showing a surprisingly high score for Kansas City, a CEE-Trust partner shared his talking points with Nicastro and staff debunking the performance of a district where 70 percent of the students still perform below proficiency.

“It suggests a conspiracy against our success,” said Kansas City Superintendent Steve Green.

Even as Green and his cabinet gathered in Jefferson City on Sept. 4 with Nicastro and staff to plead Kansas City’s case for provisional accreditation and a reprieve from state intervention, emails show Nicastro had other plans.

Three weeks earlier at the Kauffman Foundation, unknown to Green, Nicastro had introduced her planning team to the person she selected to lead a potential statewide district — Norman Ridder, who is retiring as superintendent of Springfield’s public schools.

Such a district typically would operate many of the state’s low-performing schools, many of them likely in Kansas City.

“We’re after new ideas,” Nicastro told The Star on Friday. “It’s hard when people look backwards. We have to rethink how we teach children. What if we could start with a blank sheet of paper?”

The emails, obtained through a Sunshine Law request by the interfaith social justice organization MORE2 and shared with The Star, illustrate the fault line of public education’s divisive political landscape.

Kansas City, as with much of the nation, is torn between camps that see the splintering of urban public school systems into charter schools as the spark for innovation versus those that fear a descent into privatization and corporate exploitation.

The revelations follow on the heels of recent disclosures that showed Nicastro collaborated with an activist organization financed by multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield in crafting ballot language for a petition against teacher tenure.

Nicastro said that she and the department are neutral on the issue of tenure and that she was offering routine advice as she would with any organization or policy group — an explanation that was supported by state board president Peter Herschend.

On the CEE-Trust issue, MORE2 was concerned by the state’s partnership with the consultant and the outside funding from the Kauffman and Hall Family foundations, MORE2 executive director Lora McDonald said.

The organization pursued its request for the email records just to take a closer look, then was alarmed by what it found, she said.

“Who promises a job (to Ridder) before the job has been created?” she said.

The commissioner and the process, McDonald said, are “absolutely not trustworthy.”

The emails showed how the department, CEE-Trust and the foundations wanted CEE-Trust to be assigned the task by a memorandum of understanding, only to have the state board reject that approach.

But when the state instead went to a bidding process, the records show, it transferred the language of the memorandum of understanding into the bid specifications. State staff members who had collaborated with CEE-Trust on the original memorandum became part of the state’s evaluation team.

They ultimately awarded CEE-Trust the contract, even though an experienced Massachusetts-based agency had offered its services for a third of CEE-Trust’s bid.

“I think this whole process needs to halt,” McDonald said.

That would be a shame, said Ethan Gray, the executive director of CEE-Trust. His team since the summer has been digging into Kansas City data, considering it alongside research into successful urban schools around the country and trying to understand what conditions enabled that success, he said.

The knowledge gained from that process, he said, will be combined with new ideas coming from interviews this fall with local stakeholders to develop a Kansas City plan. It’s due in January, and a public debate would follow. Ultimately, any plan would have to be approved by the state school board.

“It’s an opportunity to step back and think of the conditions that make schools great,” Gray said. “It would be a detriment to the community if it does not have the opportunity to have that conversation.”

Winning the bid

Kansas City Public Schools has been unaccredited since January 2012. It was unaccredited once before, between 1999 and 2001, and has been provisionally accredited — never fully accredited — in the intervening years.

By the spring of 2013, Nicastro knew that new state law, which would take affect Aug. 28, would give the state the discretion immediately to begin a process that could restructure or take over unaccredited districts.

In an effort to avoid hasty fixes, Nicastro said, she wanted to explore systemic solutions that could be adapted for struggling school systems statewide.

The Kauffman Foundation, since its inception, has made education research and programming a pillar of its mission. Its practice has bent toward charter schools and the opening of its own charter school as the centerpiece of its education work.

In April, Aaron North, now Kauffman’s vice president of education, shared with Nicastro the foundation’s interest in backing a long-range, researched plan for Kansas City.

Nicastro, through events at the Kauffman Foundation, had also become aware of CEE-Trust and the agency’s 2010 work, “Opportunity Schools,” that proposed reforms for Indianapolis public schools.

The Hall Family Foundation also was brought in as a potential backer.

By May, the state staff was working with Gray on drafting a memorandum of understanding for a contract to begin work. By June, the team had added Parris Communications, led by Roshann Parris, to help plan how news of a CEE-Trust-led study would be launched.

But the state school board rejected the memorandum of understanding, putting the plan in a bind.

“My board raised a number of concerns, not the least of which is the fact that we were proposing to move forward with a group that was not identified through the typical process,” Nicastro wrote in an email to Gray.

She said she and her team would need time to reassess the situation, adding: “In the meantime the need for discretion and patience is critical.”

In early July, the state put the project out for bid, and the main text describing the expectations and scope of work mostly mirrored the language of the memorandum of understanding.

“I see this as an opportunity to do something more systemic, more comprehensive and more forward thinking,” Nicastro wrote July 15 in an email to St. Louis civic leaders.

She mentioned interest in states that have created special school districts, then said, “I also spoke with the Governor’s office about the same and I’m trying to convince him that creating an achievement district or something along those lines with an office dedicated to talent and an office dedicated to innovation/charter expansion could be his legacy.”

On Aug. 8, an email from the state to Gray informed him that CEE-Trust’s bid had been selected.

State administrators Margie Vandeven and Robin Coffman, who emails showed had helped craft the original memorandum of understanding with CEE-Trust, were two of four evaluators who scored the bids.

CEE-Trust edged the closest competitor — Community Training and Assistance Center, known as CTAC — by a single point, 70 to 69.

CTAC, because its bid of $124,700 was less than one-third of CEE-Trust’s $385,000 bid, earned the maximum 45 points under the major category of cost.

CEE-Trust earned the maximum 45 points under the other major heading, “Experience, reliability and expertise of personnel.”

CTAC received only 20 points for its personnel despite a proposal that described a 34-year history of assisting school systems in 40 states.

Team members included a former deputy commissioner in the New York State Education Department, a regional manager for EdisonLearning, an associate superintendent in California, and a former superintendent and special education director in California.

“That’s a section (personnel qualifications) that we usually knock out of the water,” said CTAC executive director William Slotnik, who had not been aware of the details of the scoring until he was reached by The Star.

CTAC didn’t appeal as much to the evaluators, Nicastro said, because its long experience had mostly been working within schools and school systems.

The department was looking for ways to reinvent the systems themselves, she said.

North, of the Kauffman Foundation, and Tracy Foster, vice president of the Hall Family Foundation, said Friday that both foundations are continuing their support and would have done so with whomever the state had selected in the bid process.

The state board approved CEE-Trust at its Aug. 20 meeting, and emails show the department and the partners had prepared responses regarding their choice and the process to come.

In an internal email Aug. 21 regarding media interview requests for Gray, Nicastro wanted him to tread carefully around the question of charter schools.

“He needs to know to take a ‘middle of the road’ and/or neutral position on charters,” she wrote. “Charters are fine as part of the solution; they are here and not going away. They must be high quality. They will try to paint them as the outsiders, funded with private money, determined to privatize all public education, yada yada.”

‘We had done everything right’

But the department and its partners also were bracing for another wrench in their Kansas City plans.

On Aug. 23, new state report cards were being made public, and the department knew that Kansas City Public Schools had managed to leap dramatically to a score at a provisional level.

The score is just an indicator. The state board makes accreditation decisions, usually according to the commissioner’s recommendations.

Nicastro made it clear that the department would need to see Kansas City sustain its growth for at least another year, possibly two, before she would recommend an accreditation change.

Many of the district’s points were earned for improvement that was tenuous. Too many students still scored less than proficient or advanced.

Superintendents of neighboring districts rallied in support of the district, as did many lawmakers, urging Nicastro and the state board to reward Kansas City for its improvement and its stability in leadership, finances and operations and give it provisional status.

The school leaders were spurred on by the threat of a pending Missouri Supreme Court ruling that could prompt students to transfer to the neighboring districts if Kansas City remains unaccredited.

Pressure mounted, but Nicastro and the state board denied Kansas City’s provisional request.

On seeing the narrative in the emails, Green said he is more certain that the district had little chance.

District leaders had been working closely with the state’s regional school improvement team, feeling the growing excitement as they saw the data developing that showed the district was going to reach a provisional score.

“We felt like we had done everything right,” Green said. “We thought it would be cause for celebration. … But from Jefferson City the response was lukewarm — like they wanted to dismiss what in other cities would be characterized as a dramatic turnaround.”

To reach Joe Robertson, call 816-234-4789 or send email to jrobertson@kcstar.com.

© 2013 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.kansascity.com

December 6, 2013

Rally Against the MMAC on Monday!

Filed under: Privatization — millerlf @ 6:45 pm

PLEASE SPREAD FAR & WIDE!

Stop the Education Grinches!

Monday, December 9th, 2013

4:00 pm – Action at the MMAC – 756 N Milwaukee Street
4:45 pm Dinner and Strategy Session 260 E. Highland, Suite 300

Dear Friend,

Join parents, students and teachers as we descend upon the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (MMAC) to sing holiday education carols and deliver a giant holiday card signed by hundreds of community members to MMAC President Tim Sheehy to remind him that it’s not too late to get off the naughty list!

RSVP to take action. Don’t let the MMAC privatize, dismantle, and profit off of our children

Our schools face budget cuts, under-resourcing, oversized classes, and further charter expansion, so we will present our holiday “wish list” which includes fully funded schools that put students first, an end to the privatization of public education, and democracy & economic security for our communities.

President Sheehy and his privatization profiteers have a plan to steal our schools and sell them off to the highest bidder. But we can stop them!

RSVP Today
http://micahempowers.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=794db320b186672e39f505858&id=09f73d3264&e=933fbca013


Immediately following the action we will gather for dinner and a strategy session on how we can work together to reclaim the promise of public education for every Milwaukee student.

See you there!

Jennifer Epps-Addison
Executive Director
Wisconsin Jobs Now

This event is sponsored by the Coalition to Stop the MPS Takeover – a coalition of community, labor, parent and student groups. On December 9th, similar actions will take place in 30 cities across the country as part of the national effort to reclaim the promise of public education.

December 4, 2013

Cashing in on Kids: 139 ALEC Bills in 2013 Promote a Private, For-Profit Education Model

Filed under: ALEC,Vouchers — millerlf @ 10:08 am

by Brendan Fischer [1] — July 16, 2013 – 7:55am

 

Despite widespread public opposition to the education privatization agenda, at least 139 bills or state budget provisions reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) education bills have been introduced in 43 states and the District of Columbia in just the first six months of 2013, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org [7]. Thirty-one have become law.

 

ALEC Vouchers Transfer Taxpayer Money to Private and Religious Schools

 

News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch has called public education a “a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed.”

 

But this “transformation” of public education — from an institution that serves the public into one that serves private for-profit interests — has been in progress for decades, thanks in large part to ALEC.

 

ALEC boasts on the “history” section of its website [8] that it first started promoting “such ‘radical’ ideas as a [educational] voucher system” in 1983 — the same year as the Reagan administration’s “Nation At Risk” report — taking up ideas first articulated decades earlier by ALEC supporter Milton Friedman.

 

ALEC Cash For KidsIn 1990, Milwaukee was the first city in the nation to implement a school voucher program, under then-governor (and ALEC alum) Tommy Thompson. ALEC quickly embraced [9] the legislation, and that same year offered model bills based on the Wisconsin plan. For-profit schools in Wisconsin now receive up to $6,442 per voucher student, and by the end of the next school year taxpayers in the state will have transferred an estimated $1.8 billion to for-profit, religious, and online schools. The “pricetag” for students in other states is even higher.

 

In the years since, programs to divert taxpayer money from public to private schools have spread across the country. In the 2012-2013 school year, it is estimated [10] that nearly 246,000 students will participate in various iterations of so-called “choice” programs in 16 states and the District of Columbia — draining the public school system of critically-needed funds, and in some cases covering private school tuition for students whose parents are able and willing to pay.

 

But promised improvements in educational outcomes have not followed. “If vouchers are designed to create better educational outcomes, research has not borne out that result,” says Julie Mead, chair of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin. “If vouchers are such a great idea,” after twenty years in effect, “they would have borne fruit by now.”

 

The ALEC education agenda also fits into the organization’s broader attack on unions: by lowering teacher certification standards and funnelling public money to non-unionized private schools, ALEC undermines teachers unions, which guarantee fair wages and working conditions and are a major political force that have traditionally backed the Democratic Party.

 

ALEC Education Bills Undermine Free, Universal Public Education

 

ALEC-influenced bills introduced in 2013 include legislation to:

 

  • Create or expand taxpayer-funded voucher programs, using bills such as the “Parental Choice Scholarship Act” (introduced in three states). Under many state constitutions, the use of public dollars to fund religious institutions has been rejected on separation-of-powers grounds, but the ALEC Great Schools Tax Credit Act, introduced in ten states in 2013, bypasses state constitutional provisions and offers a form of private school tuition tax credits that funnel taxpayer dollars to private schools with even less public accountability than with regular vouchers.

 

  • Carve-out vouchers for students with special needs, regardless of family income, through the “Special Needs Scholarship Program Act” (introduced in twelve states), which sends vulnerable children to for-profit schools not bound by federal and state legal requirements to meet a student’s special needs, as public schools must. A proposal in Wisconsin would have allocated up to $14,658 to a for-profit school for each special needs student.

 

  • Send taxpayer dollars to unaccountable online school providers through the “Virtual Schools Act,” introduced in three states, where a single teacher remotely teaches a “class” of hundreds of isolated students working from home. The low overhead for virtual schools certainly raises company profits, but it is a model few educators think is a appropriate for young children.

 

  • Offer teaching credentials to individuals with subject-matter experience but no education background with the Alternative Certification Act, introduced in seven states. The bill is part of ALEC’s ongoing effort to undermine unionized workers and promote a race to the bottom in wages and benefits for American workers.

 

  • Require that educators “teach the controversy” when it comes to topics like climate change — where the only disagreement is political, not scientific — through the Environmental Literacy Improvement Act, introduced in five states.

 

  • Create opportunities to privatize public schools or fire teachers and principals via referendum with the controversial Parent Trigger Act (glorified in the flop film [11] “Won’t Back Down”), introduced in twelve states. First passed in California, a modified Parent Trigger bill was brought to ALEC in 2010 by the Illinois-based Heartland Institute, which is perhaps best known for controversial billboards comparing people who believe in climate change to mass murderers like the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

 

  • Create an appointed, state-level charter school authorizing board through the Next Generation Charter Schools Act, introduced in seven states, which effectively shields charters from democratic accountability. The legislation “would wrest control from school boards, and likewise from the community that elects those school boards,” Mead says, since it takes away their power to authorize charters in the community.

 

ALEC Corporations Reap the Rewards

 

Some of the for-profit corporations profiting from the ALEC Education privatization agenda include:

 

“Amplify,” the newly-created education division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, parent company of Fox News. News Corp is on the ALEC Education Task Force. In 2010, News Corp hired former New York City chancellor Joel Klein to run its education division, which includes the for-profit education company formerly known as Wireless Generation. The firm has big plans for a specialized “Amplify Tablet” that would provide lesson plans, textbooks and testing to cash-in on new “Common Core” required state standards.

 

K12 Inc., the nation’s largest provider of online charter schools, where low-paid teachers manage as many as 250 students at a time and communicate with their pupils only through email and phone. The corporation, whose CEO Ron Packard received $5 million in total compensation [12] in 2011, is on the ALEC Education Task Force and its lobbyist Lisa Gillis has Chaired ALEC’s Special Needs Subcommittee. According to a report in the New York Times [13], students in K12, Inc. schools often perform very poorly, and some K12 teachers claim that they have been encouraged to pass failing students so that the company can receive more reimbursement from states. K12 receives an average of between $5,500 and $6,000 for every student on its rosters — the same amount that would be spent for students attending a brick-and-mortar school, despite K12 not having to pay for cafeteria, gyms, busing, or heat and air conditioning — and much of K12’s profits are spent on advertising targeted at increasing enrollment, rather than on investments in education. At K12’s Agora Cyber Charter School, which produces more than 10% of the company’s revenue, nearly 60% of students are behind grade level in math, nearly 50% are behind in reading, and a third do not graduate on time.

 

Corinthian Colleges is a for-profit college chain that operates campuses under names like Everest, Heald, and WyoTech, in addition to offering degrees online. It has become notorious for aggressive recruiting practices and leaving students unprepared for the job market and saddled with massive student loan debts. In Milwaukee, for example, where a Corinthian Everest campus was financed with $11 million [14] in city bonds, just 25% of students found jobs [15] and over half dropped out; the campus closed two years after it opened. Nationally, over 40 percent of Corinthian’s students default on their loans, and only 60% of students complete their coursework. In June, Corinthian disclosed [16] that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has been subpoenaed by California’s Attorney General for its recruiting practices and financial responsibility.

 

Ideological Interests Lift the ALEC Agenda

 

An array of right-wing nonprofits also promote the school privatization agenda in ALEC.

 

The 501(c)(4) American Federation for Children and its 501(c)(3) wing the Alliance for Children, for example, have brought an array of privatization bills to ALEC and promoted the legislation across the country. The groups were organized and are funded [17] by the billionaire DeVos family (heirs to the Amway fortune); Richard DeVos has received the ALEC “Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award.” AFC’s top lobbyist is disgraced former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who was convicted [18] of three felonies for misuse of his office for political purposes and banned from the state Capitol for five years (though the charges were later reversed and dropped as part of a plea agreement [19]). Jensen represents the organization [20] on the ALEC Education Task Force and has brought AFC bills to ALEC [21] for adoption as “model” legislation. AFC spent at least $7 million [22] electing privatization-friendly state legislators across the country in 2012, but reported far less [23] to state election authorities.

 

In addition to the DeVos family foundations, the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation is one of the top school privatization funders in the country, spending over $31 million over the past eleven years promoting “school choice” nationwide, according to [24] One Wisconsin Now; for decades, Bradley has also been a major ALEC funder. The foundation has over $600 million in assets and is headed by Michael Grebe, Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair.

 

Before Milwaukee became the first city in the nation to implement a school voucher program, Bradley bankrolled [25] the groups that laid the groundwork. When the plan was challenged in Wisconsin courts, Bradley funded [25] its legal defense, which included hiring Kenneth Starr — later known for pursuing Bill Clinton over Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky — to represent the state.

 

Average Americans Pay the Price

 

Originally promoted as a program for Milwaukee’s low-income students of color to have access to private education, the initial voucher program gained support from some African-American leaders and was pushed by State Representative Polly Williams, a Milwaukee Democrat. But last session, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker broadened vouchers to families with higher incomes, and in the 2013-2015 budget further expanded the program. “They have hijacked the program,” Williams says [26]. “As soon as the doors open for the low income children, they’re trampled by the high income,” she said. “Now the upper crust have taken over.”

 

The laws have been sold to poor and minority communities as a way to close achievement gaps, but there is little evidence of success: in Wisconsin, data shows that students receiving vouchers perform no better, and in some cases worse [27] than those attending public schools. Cash-for-kids programs have shown similar results in school districts across the country.

 

Reports have also emerged in Milwaukee and elsewhere of for-profit schools registering students, keeping them in class until just after the date where enrollment is counted for funding purposes, and then sending them back to public schools. In many cases those students have special needs the voucher schools claimed they could not satisfy.

 

http://www.prwatch.org/files/images/looking-at-certificate-1024x682.jpgTrinity Fitzer. (WI Center for Investigative Journalism)Six-year-old Trinity Fitzer, who has anxiety and gastrointentinal problems, was attending Milwaukee’s Northwestern Catholic School in the 2011-2012 term on a voucher. After a few months, Northwestern Catholic informed Trinity’s mother that she was being “withdrawn” from the school for “continuing behavioral issues.” The school claimed [28] that “withdrawal is the decision of the parent,” but Trinity’s mother said it was not her decision and “she didn’t have an option.”

 

Jane Audette, a social worker at Hawthorne Elementary, a public school in Milwaukee, said the school receives several “cast-off” students every year from private schools like Northwestern Catholic. “What has happened over and over with Milwaukee’s Northwest Catholic is they will tell a parent, ‘Your child needs more than we can give your child, so we suggest you go down the street to Hawthorne.’”

 

And vouchers, testing, and school privatization have in many cases been offered as a substitute for grappling with the persistent structural issues that perpetuate achievement gaps.

 

“What has been forced on our communities is not reform at all: they are mediocre interventions,” said Jitu Brown, an education organizer for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization who spoke at Netroots Nation in June [29]. “The only reason that mediocrity is accepted is because of the race of the children being served.“

 

Privatizing Schools and Other Government Services

 

Brown puts the education reforms in the context of broader community disinvestment and austerity measures: cutting social programs and closing schools, police stations, hospitals, and other institutions that serve as commmunity anchors, while cherry picking and selling off the better institutions to private players.

 

And ALEC has played a key role in promoting this agenda. ALEC has sought to shrink the size of goverment by starving states of revenue, voucherizing critical programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and privatizing all aspects of government, from education to foster care to pensions to prisons.

 

When the ALEC’s cash-for-kids model is put before the voters, it is resoundingly rejected. In 27 statewide referenda on the topic, voters rejected vouchers on average 2-1. But as long as ALEC “models” continue to garner bipartisan support facilitated by corporate campaign contributions or are slipped into state budgets in the dead of night — ALEC will have continued success with the “transformation” of the American educational system into a profit-driven enterprise.

 

The ALEC Education agenda not only “converts a public good into something private,” says Mead, but private schools “don’t have the same responsibility [as public schools] to serve everybody, which diminishes public access, oversight and accountability.”

 

“There is that saying, ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.’ The public school system is the same way,” Mead says. “It has problems, and can be better, but has served us pretty well for 150 years.”

 

View the full list of 2013 ALEC education bills here [30].

 

ALEC Education Bills, 2013 [30]

 

State

ALEC Bill

State Bill

AL

Founding Principles Act [31]

SB 443 [32]

AL

The Innovation Schools and School Districts Act [33]

HB 84 [34]

AK

Founding Principles Act [31]

HB 31 [35]

AZ

District and School Freedom Act [36]

HB 2496 [37]

AZ

Environmental Literacy Improvement Act [38]

SB 1213 [39]

AZ

Parent Trigger Act [40]

SB 1409 [41]

AZ

Founding Principles Act [31]

SB 1212 [42]

AZ

Resolution Supporting Private Scholarship Tax Credits [43]

HB 2617 [44]

AZ

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

HB 2617 [44]

AZ

The Next Generation Charter Schools Act [46]

HB 2494 [47]

AZ

The Virtual Public Schools Act [48]

HB 2493 [49]

AR

Founding Principles Act [31]

SB 1017 [50]

AR

Resolution Supporting Private Scholarship Tax Credits [43]

SB 740 [51]

AR

The Foster Child Scholarship Program Act [52]

HB 1788 [53]

AR

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

SB 740 [51]

AR

The Innovation Schools and School Districts Act [33]

SB 66 [54]

AR

The Next Generation Charter Schools Act [46]

HB 1040 [55]

AR

The Open Enrollment Act [56]

HB 1507 [57]

AR

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

HB 1897 [59], HB 2260 [60]

CA

The Open Enrollment Act [56]

AB 1279 [61]

CO

Environmental Literacy Improvement Act [38]

HB 13-1089 [62]

CT

The Lifelong Learning Accounts Act [63]

SB 769 [64]

DE

The Charter Schools Act [65]

HB 165 [66]

DC

The Innovation Schools and School Districts Act [67]

B 20-0310 [68]

FL

Alternative Certification Act [69]

SB 1664 [70], SB 1238 [71]

FL

Education Savings Account [21]

HB 1251 [72]

FL

The Innovation Schools and School Districts Act [33]

SB 1390 [73]

FL

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

SB 172 [74]

FL

Parent Trigger Act [40]

HB 867 [75], SB 862 [76]

ID

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

HB 227 [77], HB 286 [78]

IL

Alternative Certification Act [69]

HB 513 [79], HB 1868 [80]

IN

Parental Choice Scholarship Program Act [81]

HB 1003 [82], HB 1001 [83]

IN

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

SB 332 [85]

IN

The Smart Start Scholarship Program [86]

HB 1003 [87]

IN

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

HB 1003 [87]

IA

Parent Trigger Act [88]

SF 2 [89]

IA

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

HB 225 [90]

KS

Environmental Literacy Improvement Act [38]

HB 2306 [91]

KS

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

HR 6010 [92]

KS

Public Employee Freedom Act [93]

HB 2123 [94]

KS

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

HB 2400 [95]

KS

The Next Generation Charter Schools Act [96]

SB 196 [97]

KS

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

HB 2263 [98]

KY

Environmental Literacy Improvement Act [99]

HB 269 [100]

KY

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

HB 66 [101]

KY

The Next Generation Charter Schools Act [96]

HB 76 [102]

KY

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

HB 155 [103]

LA

Parental Choice Scholarship Program Act [81]

HB 597 [104]

ME

Alternative Certification Act [105]

SP 461 [106]

ME

The Next Generation Charter Schools Act [46]

HP 967 [107]

ME

The Virtual Public Schools Act [48]

HP 331 [108], SP 391 [109]

MD

Parent Trigger Act [88]

HB 875 [110]

MA

Alternative Certification Act [105]

H 418 [111]

MA

Founding Principles Act [112]

H 513 [113]

MA

Parent Trigger Act [40]

H 429 [114]

MI

Founding Principles Act [31]

SB 121 [115]

MI

The Virtual Public Schools Act [48]

HB 4228 [116], SB 182 [117]

MN

The Charter Schools Act [65]

SF 978 [118]

MS

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

HC 90 [119], HC 96 [120], HB 496 [121]

MS

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

SB 2132 [122], HB 1095 [123]

MS

The Innovation Schools and School Districts Act [33]

SB 2716 [124], HB 118 [125], HB 787 [126]

MS

The Next Generation Charter Schools Act [96]

SB 2189 [127]

MS

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

HB 1004 [128]

MO

Parent Trigger Act [88]

SB 311 [129]

MO

Teacher Choice Compensation Act [130]

SB 408 [131]

MO

The Next Generation Charter Schools Act [46]

HB 315 [132]

MT

Resolution Calling for Greater Productivity in American Higher Education [133]

SJ 13 [134]

MT

Education Savings Account Act [135]

HB 357 [136]

MT

The Charter Schools Act [65]

SB 374 [137], HB 315 [138]

MT

The Great Schools Tax Credit (Scholarship Tax Credit) Act [45]

HB 213 [139]

MT

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

HB 390 [140]

NE

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

LR 42 [141]

NV

Founding Principles Act [112]

SB 163 [142]

NV

Great Teachers and Leaders Act [143]

SB 407 [144]

NV

Parent Trigger Act [40]

AB 254 [145]

NV

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

SB 314 [146]

NV

The Charter Schools Act [65]

AB 205 [147]

NJ

The Charter Schools Act [65]

A 4177 [148]

NJ

The Family Education Savings Account Act [135]

A 3959 [149]

NM

Local Government Transparency Act [150]

SB 63 [151]

NY

Common Sense in Medication Students Act [152]

A 2972 [153]

NY

Founding Principles Act [31]

S 2134 [154]

NY

Parent Trigger Act [40]

A 3826 [155]

NY

Quality Education and Teacher and Principal Protection Act [156]

A 3110 [157]

NY

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

S 788 [158]

NC

Parental Choice Scholarship Program Act [81]

HB 944 [159]

NC

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

H 711 [160]

NC

The 140 Credit Hour Act [161]

HB 255 [162]

NC

The Innovation Schools and School Districts Act [67]

H 960 [163]

OH

Founding Principles Act [31]

SB 96 [164]

OK

Alternative Certification Act [105]

SB 877 [165]

OK

Environmental Literacy Improvement Act [38]

HB 1674 [166]

OK

Founding Principles Act [31]

SB 154 [167]

OK

Parent Trigger Act [40]

HB 1385 [168]

OK

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

HB 1384 [169]

OR

Parent Trigger Act [40]

HB 2881 [170]

PA

The Great Schools Tax Credit Program Act (Scholarship Tax Credits) [45]

SB 51 [171]

RI

The Special Needs Scholarship Program Act [58]

H6131 [172]

SC

Parent Trigger Act [88]

S 556 [173]

SC

Parental Rights Amendment [84]

S 628 [174]

SC

The Charter Schools Act [65]

S 3853 [175]

SC

The Open Enrollment Act [56]

S 313 [176]

SD

Founding Principles Act [31]

SCR 2 [177]

TN

Founding Principles Act [31]

HB 1129 [178]

TN

Local Government Transparency Act [179]

SB 2832 [180]

TN

Parent Trigger Act [40]

HB 77 [181]

TN

Blog at WordPress.com.