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Archive for June, 2010

New York Teacher

New York TeacherHighlights from the June 3 issue of New York Teacher:

UFTers have been out in force all month, with mass leafletting and high-profile rallies across the five boroughs, to raise public awareness about the state Senate’s preliminary budget that would cut city public schools by $500 million.

The state Legislature on May 28 passed legislation that addresses most of the UFT’s key concerns about charter schools, including limiting the number in New York City and the role of profiteers in charter operations, even as the legislation raised the statewide cap.

Who paid for the recent mass mailing of the glossy flier attacking the UFT? In two words: hedge funds. In the corner of the back page of the flier is the note “Paid for by Education Reform Now” and a Manhattan return address. More »

In Defense Of Teachers

Raina Kelley’s powerful Newsweek essay, In Defense Of Teachers, is a must read.

Charter Management Flip-Flop On Cap Legislation:
A Disaster Is Transformed Into A Great Victory

Last Friday, shortly after the State Senate and Assembly passed charter cap legislation which included key reforms, Peter Murphy of the charter management New York Charter School Association was condemning the law in the most unequivocal terms. “This bill is a big step backward,” Murphy told the New York Times, “and worse than doing no bill.” Right behind him, Nelson Smith of the National Alliance for  Public Charter Schools, was declaring that

The bill they’ve just approved slowly increases the number of charter schools but puts serious brakes on New York City growth; invites intrusive and redundant audits by the state comptroller; forbids for-profit operators (no matter their track record) from managing any new schools; and adds a patchwork of new provisions, grounded in specious, union-provided non-data,  requiring charter schools to resemble the demographics of surrounding districts. It’s unclear what it will do to the actual chartering authority of New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, or his counterparts at SUNY’s Charter Schools Institute.

In twenty-four hours, both men were singing a very different tune — Murphy here and Smith here.

Why this remarkable about face? Could it be that if the blunt honesty of the original reactions was widely recognized, the Wall Street hedge fund operators which financed the multi-million dollar campaign to win a charter cap increase without any real reform might feel that their money was not well-spent? Have to keep that Wal-Mart spigot flowing, after all.