Education Reformers and Gates Foundation Want Free-Flow Of Private Student Data

Last Friday, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking held a hearing for the handling of data in America’s future.  Make no mistake: this would allow student data to flow out of schools more than it already is.  FERPA would become more of a joke than it already is.  The written statements are now available.  And we see more of some of the names behind these foundations.  Folks like KIPP and the Gates Foundation are knee-deep in this.  We know Bill Gates doesn’t care about student data privacy.  And what company actually talks about how brick and mortar schools should no longer be used for a certain population?  The answers are in here.  This is a must-read.  I’m glad to see some of the data privacy groups were able to get public comment submitted for this.  But what in the heck is “Moneyball For Government”?  There are a lot of names involved with that one!

The Gates Foundation came out with a long report last month on student data.  They want the U.S. Government to lift the ban on a Federal database for student data.  How ironic that President Obama issued an Executive Order creating this commission that would allow for Bill Gates’ dream to come true.  Corporations run this country.  This is all just the set-up that will lead to Smart Cities and Blockchain takeovers of society.  When children lose their individual uniqueness and become a part of the hive.  I am all for transparency of government activity, but not things that should never see the light of day.  Personal information should be private.  If someone wants to make their business public, that is one thing.  But when that choice is taken away from you by what amounts to corporate profits, every single American needs to be concerned about this.  Students are no longer people.  They are the human capital for a return on investment.

The Man Who Wants To Expand Charter School of Wilmington Models Across New Castle County

Kevin Dombrowski wants the Charter School of Wilmington model to expand around New Castle County according to an article by the Delaware Business Times yesterday.  Dombrowski works in Wilmington as the Senior Vice President of Global Business Development for Morningstar Inc.  The article was about his selection as an honoree of the DBT40, which are 40 emerging Delaware businesss leaders and innovators.  Dombrowski has also been heavily involved with the KIPP charter school chain.  He currently serves on the Leadership Council for KIPP Philadelphia Schools and was a board member at KIPP Chicago for three years from 2009-2011 according to his LinkedIn account.

I would work to remove the barriers in place to practical educational reform in Delaware. Specifically, I would remove restrictions on new charter school developments and build out a plan to launch several new versions of the Charter School of Wilmington throughout New Castle County to meet the excess student demand and to provide more exceptional public school options for families in the area.

Now I’m not sure how much Mr. Dombrowski follows education in Delaware.  I’m not sure if he is aware CSW has long been mentioned as a very controversial school based on their selective enrollment preferences.  I don’t know if he knows even the Delaware Dept. of Education will not consider CSW as a reward school based on those preferences (something that seems to have escaped their notice with Newark Charter School, but I digress).  I don’t think New Castle County could survive replication of Charter School of Wilmington as a chain of sorts.  Unless, of course, they did away with those selective enrollment preferences that result in very low numbers of minorities (except Asians), students with disabilities, and low-income students.   Then, and only then, would we be able to measure the true success of CSW.  Mr. Dombrowski, were you aware that CSW was one of the named schools in the American Civil Liberties Union complaint filed with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights?

Who Funds Teach For America, KIPP, & Rocketship Education?

We know a lot of school districts, charter schools, and state departments of education give a ton of money to Teach For America, but who got the group going?  And who still funds them?  Let’s just say it is a lot of organizations!  Some of these foundations I had never heard of.  Keep in mind, this is the corporate Teach For America.  There might be foundations funding each state chapter.  For example, the Rodel Foundation loves giving money to the Delaware TFA!

Richard Barth is the CEO of TFA, but Wendy Kopp, Barth’s wife, runs the show.  But Barth runs the KIPP charter school chain.

tfafunders

Going from here, it is amazing how many connections between Teach For America, Kipp, the Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the NewSchools Venture Fund, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Charter School Growth Fund, and Tom Vander Ark exist.  It is important to know Vander Ark’s role in this because he is one of the biggest pushers for the death of traditional public schools through his competency-based education personalized learning career pathways earn to learn agendas.

chartermap

I’ll be doing more of these.  If any traditional school district unionized teacher isn’t very worried about their future, I would probably start doing something about it now.  Unless you want to be working as a facilitator in an online charter school in 2026.  This IS corporate education reform, but only a part of it.  It goes much deeper than that.  I’ve been telling people this for over two years now.  But sometimes pictures say a lot more than words ever can.

So who is replacing Lamont Browne as Executive Director for EastSide and Family Foundations?

In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days…

Yes, in the KIPP tradition, Dr. Lamont Browne has chosen his successor from his charter school roots, the Philadelphia KIPP charter school network. Welcome to Delaware Aaron Bass! You have some medium sized shoes to fill.

Teach For America’s “Lead Delaware” Approved By State Board But Who Is Teach For All?

Yesterday at the Delaware State Board of Education unanimously approved the Teach For America led “Lead Delaware” program.  At the September Delaware Professional Standards Board (PSB) meeting, the original application didn’t even get a vote by the voting board.  TFA redesigned the application which was approved by the PSB and several schools wrote letters of support for the program.  The highlights of the program can be seen below:

In listening to the State Board audio recording, Jeremy Grant-Skinner with TFA mentioned a partner called Teach For All.  This is essentially an international Teach For America, led by Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach For America.  Grant-Skinner talked about how they will bring some of their cohorts (Principal trainers) to different regions to learn best practices.

Kopp’s husband is Richard Barth, the founder of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) charter schools.  While there are no KIPP schools in Delaware, my fear is the more embedded TFA becomes in Delaware, it is only a matter of time before they invade.

I have been very vocal about my feelings on Teach For America embedding themselves in Delaware education, and this new Lead Delaware program is not the best thing for Delaware in my opinion.  First off, they will charge a $7,000 “service fee” to each program participant.  While TFA is saying there will be no costs from the local education agencies (school districts), I have to wonder where these funds will come from.  Perhaps Rodel or the Longwood Foundation?  Both have donated heavily to TFA Delaware in the past.  Here is the budget for each “cohort”:

Category Unit Cost ($)

Tuition/fees/related costs for partner courses (Harvard, WilmU, NAATE) 10,326

Costs for other partner organizations (Teach For All, TNTP, Jounce) 2,576

Principal Consultants 2,500

Excellent School Visits 1,750

Principal Mentors 1,000

Materials 750

Operating costs 17,024

Recruitment 595

Participant Fee (7,000)

Total 29,521

I also cringe at TFA even developing a principal certification program.  From their application:

Lead For Delaware’s candidate assessment process incorporates three types of assessment

data: (1) school leader competency ratings, (2) program completion and participation evidence,

and (3) standardized assessment scores. Cohort members must meet all criteria across these

three areas in order to be recommended for School Principal and Assistant Principal

certification (under Section 1591).

This program still has to be approved by Acting Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky.  It is my fervent hope he sees past the obvious benefit for TFA and puts a halt to this leap-frog program for leaders in Delaware education.

Federal Judge Renders Verdict On Reach Academy For Girls: Shut Down

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled the Delaware charter school Reach Academy For Girls must be shut down by the end of this school year.  The judge found no change in the school from last year when the school sued the Delaware Department of Education for it’s attempted closure at that point.  Because the charter law will allow for one same-sex school for each gender, the judge ruled in the state’s favor based on that.

That’s two of them closing this year, and the fate of Family Foundations Academy will be decided on Thursday at the State Board of Education meeting.  What could possibly fill in these holes?  Read the article right before this one to see the master plan revealed…

The Governor Markell FOIA Release: Rodel, Herdman, RTTT, Common Core, and guess who’s coming to town…

For those who may not be aware, I requested a Freedom of Information Act request from Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s office on December 3rd, 2014.  I received it today, January 12th, 2015.  My request was for all emails between Markell and the following individuals: US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein (of Amplify) and Paul Herdman of The Rodel Foundation of Delaware.

Some things are obvious from this FOIA release.  Governor Jack Markell does not communicate big education matters via email.  At least not his official state email.  For a Governor that pushes education so much, you would think there would be more communication with his partner on the Education Blueprint.  Some questions that are answered in this: Continue reading

Who Is The “Delaware Dean” & Why This Is Trouble

Last week, in my Rodel/Markell story, I referenced a contract Relay Graduate School has with the Delaware Department of Education.  In the actual contract bid document, it references a “Delaware Dean”.  Who is this individual?  Thanks to Mr. Mike Matthews for finding out the answer from the DOE.  The Delaware Dean is Christine Rowland.  She is in charge of the whole project.  I wonder how much she will learn about Delaware before she says something in public as brilliant as the DOE’s Accountability guru did at their September board meeting.

From Ms. Rowland’s LinkedIn profile:

Christine Rowland

Dean Fellow at Relay Graduate School of Education

Location
Newark, New Jersey
Industry
Dairy
Edit experience Previous
  1. KIPP Philadelphia Schools,
  2. Teach For America,
  3. Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

Experience

Dean Fellow

Relay Graduate School of Education

July 2014 – Present (5 months)Newark, NJ

Managing Director of Academics

KIPP Philadelphia Schools

July 2011 – June 2014 (3 years)Greater Philadelphia Area

Program Director

Teach For America

June 2007 – June 2008 (1 year 1 month)

Math and Science Teacher

As per the contract, Relay Graduate School is getting $505,000 over three years to have their teachers invade our schools.  Ms. Rowland sounds like she has been working for all the right companies…if you are a big fan of the education reform movement.  When I see Kipp, I see the death of public schools in Philadelphia.  When I see Teach For America, I see lots of Race To The Top money going to the Rodel seeded organization that puts sub par teachers in our schools.  When I see Relay Graduate School, I see the Delaware DOE scraping the bottom of education to further their agenda.  If my kid got a Relay teacher, I would demand a change.  Beware parents, beware!