Archive for the ‘Charter Schools’ Category

CALIFORNIA’S TAX REVOLT – IN FAVOR OF HIGHER RATES

Sunday, May 15th, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

  • MAY 14, 2011

Education spending and student-teacher ratio are about where they were in 2004. The real problem is that tax dollars are being diverted for teacher benefits.

Fullerton, Calif.

Thousands of California teachers turned out this week to protest potential budget cuts to education and to urge lawmakers to raise taxes. Such activism may be par for the course in Democratic strongholds like Sacramento or Los Angeles, but in conservative Orange County?

Roughly 300 protesters—teachers, parents and students all wearing red in solidarity—gathered on a grassy knoll along the bustling Harbor Boulevard on Monday. They waved signs with messages like “Stand up for schools—support tax extensions,” “Close corporate loopholes, not public education,” and one you’ll only see in Orange County: “Cut Ethnic Studies, Not Science.” Every couple of seconds a car would honk its horn in support.

Veronica Gomez, an elementary school teacher, protests in Fullerton, Calif. May 12.

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Teachers swarmed me, eager to get their message across. “We need to educate our community about the tax extensions,” said Elizabeth Hoffman, a member of the California Faculty Association’s Board of Directors. “We need a rational budget process, a stable funding source that we can count on,” Linda Manion, president of the Placentia-Linda teachers unions, added, only to be cut off by Fola Odebunmi, president of the United Faculty North Orange County Community College District. “We can’t take any more!” she said. (more…)

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TENNESSEE – BIG BUSINESS CONSPIRES WITH BIG LABOR

Saturday, May 14th, 2011
The Wall Street Journal

  • MAY 13, 2011

Tennessee’s Chamber Maids

  • Nothing is worse for freedom and opportunity than when big business conspires with big labor. Behold the spectacle in Tennessee, where the Chambers of Commerce in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville have joined with the teachers unions to kill education vouchers.
That proposal, which has already passed the state senate, would give thousands of low- and middle-income parents in failing school districts private school options. The Tennessee Equal Opportunity Scholarship Act would provide vouchers of between $4,000 and $5,000 per child to families with an income up to roughly $42,000 a year and who live in one of the four largest school districts, including Memphis and Nashville.

In an April 27 letter repeating nearly every discredited voucher myth peddled by unions, the CEOs of the local chambers advise lawmakers to oppose the bill. The letter claims that private school funding “diverts resources away from public school improvement,” that “there is no empirical data demonstrating that vouchers improve student achievement,” and that private schools lack “accountability” and won’t be subject to “high academic standards.” (more…)

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NEW YORK EDUCATION WARS

Thursday, May 12th, 2011
  • The Wall Street Journal
    • MAY 10, 2011

    Scenes From the New York Education Wars

    When I was chancellor, I was told confrontation was bad. Not so.

    Teachers are extremely effective messengers to parents, community groups, faith-based groups and elected officials—and their unions know how to deploy them well. Happy unions can give a politician massive clout, and unhappy unions—well, just ask Eva Moskowitz, a Democrat who headed the New York City Council Education Committee when I became schools chancellor in 2002.

    Smart, savvy, ambitious, often a pain in my neck and atypically fearless for a politician, Ms. Moskowitz was widely expected to be elected Manhattan borough president in 2005. Until, that is, she held hearings on the city teachers-union contract, an extraordinary document, running for hundreds of pages, governing who can teach what and when, who can be assigned to hall-monitor or lunchroom duty and who can’t, who has to be given time off to do union work during the school day, and so on.

    The contract defied parody. So when Ms. Moskowitz exposed its ridiculousness, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), then headed by Randi Weingarten, made sure that Ms. Moskowitz’s run for borough president came up short. After that, other elected officials would say to me, “I agree with you, but I ain’t gonna get Eva’d.”

    Politicians—especially Democratic politicians—generally do what the unions want. The unions, in turn, are very clear about what that is: They want happy members, so that those who run the unions get re-elected, and they want more members, so their power, money and influence grow. The effect of all this? As Albert Shanker, the late, iconic head of the UFT, once pointedly said, “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.”

    Union power is why it’s virtually impossible to fire a teacher for non-performance. In New York City, which has some 55,000 tenured teachers, we were able to fire only half a dozen or so for incompetence in a given year, even though we devoted significant resources to this effort.

    .

    (more…)

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    NORTH CAROLINA – REPUBLICAN REPORT CARD

    Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
    Paul Stam, NC House Majority Leader
    North Carolina House Legislative Update
    Republican Report Card
    Friends,

    Today is the 60th legislative day of the 2011 session.  How are we doing on our 100 day plan to change North Carolina?  Below is the document that I personally shared in over 30 cities during the fall campaign entitled, “100 Days That Will Change North Carolina.”  Under that is an update and accounting of where we are on those legislative initiatives that we took to the people.  Please send me your grade (A – F) on our progress so far. (more…)

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    SCHOOL VOUCHERS WORK

    Saturday, May 7th, 2011
  • The Wall Street Journal
    • MAY 3, 2011

    The Evidence Is In: School Vouchers Work

    A study published last year found that D.C. voucher recipients had graduation rates of 91%. That’s significantly higher than the public school average of 56%.

    ‘Private school vouchers are not an effective way to improve student achievement,” said the White House in a statement on March 29. “The Administration strongly opposes expanding the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program and opening it to new students.” But less than three weeks later, President Obama signed a budget deal with Republicans that includes a renewal and expansion of the popular D.C. program, which finances tuition vouchers for low-income kids to attend private schools.

    School reformers cheered the administration’s about-face though fully aware that it was motivated by political expediency rather than any acknowledgment that vouchers work.

    (more…)

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    NORTH CAROLINA CHARTER SCHOOL LEGISLATION

    Saturday, April 23rd, 2011


    Paul Stam, North Carolina House Majority Leader
    Senate Bill 8 – Charter Schools

    On Monday evening, Senate Bill 8, “An Act to Remove the Cap on the Number of Charter Schools,” passed the House by a vote of 68 – 51.  Despite its unanimous support from Republicans and one courageous Democrat, changes to the charter school legislation have raised questions by some as it now heads to conference.  Let’s clarify some of the concerns surrounding Senate Bill 8:

    The Cap

    For 15 years the number of charter schools has been capped at 100.  That cap will be removed.

    Both House and Senate versions of the SB 8 remove the cap on charter schools, but the House version places a per year limit on charter creation at 50.  While the original Senate version was unlimited, it was vigorously objected too.  So the House and Senate bill sponsors, in consultation with charter advocates, suggested a limit of 50 charters per year, not including renewals. (more…)

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    NORTH CAROLINA – NEW CHARTER SCHOOL LEGISLATION

    Saturday, April 16th, 2011

    Paul Stam, North Carolina House Majority Leader

    Senate Bill 8 – Charter Schools

    On Monday evening, Senate Bill 8, “An Act to Remove the Cap on the Number of Charter Schools,” passed the House by a vote of 68 – 51.  Despite its unanimous support from Republicans and one courageous Democrat, changes to the charter school legislation have raised questions by some as it now heads to conference.  Let’s clarify some of the concerns surrounding Senate Bill 8:

    The Cap

    For 15 years the number of charter schools has been capped at 100.  That cap will be removed.

    Both House and Senate versions of the SB 8 remove the cap on charter schools, but the House version places a per year limit on charter creation at 50.  While the original Senate version was unlimited, it was vigorously objected too.  So the House and Senate bill sponsors, in consultation with charter advocates, suggested a limit of 50 charters per year, not including renewals.

    Will the 50 per year limit take away the educational opportunity of students?  And will “restart charters” or “charter lite” schools count against the per year limit?

    We believe that 50 charters are more than would ever be approved in a year due to the application process.   And “restart charters” or “charter lite” schools do not count against the yearly limit.  They are not charter schools anyway.

    Governance

    Does SB 8 weaken charter school autonomy?

    The Public Charter School’s Commission, eight of whose thirteen members will be appointed by Speaker Tillis and President Pro Tem Berger, make recommendations that must be considered by the State Board of Education.  The consent of the State Board must not be unreasonably withheld.  And if the State Board ultimately rejects a recommendation of the Commission; it must not do so in an arbitrary or capricious manner. That is legalese for the applicant can go straight to court if the State Board tries to play games.   If the State Board of Education does not act on a commission recommendation within three months, then it is deemed approved. (more…)

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    JOHN LOCKE FOUNDATION – CAROLINA JOURNAL

    Friday, April 8th, 2011

    http://app.bronto.com/public/?q=ulink&fn=Link&ssid=315&id=0qlfuyakqee5tro0f4c0hudxd36m1&id2=dbrw8dp7akroowbleh0jln834kz9q&subscriber_id=bekuujwswyfydfuhrvnzsirgfbvibpm&delivery_id=beftyiyvrcmxdfgcpccjrknfaihrbck&tid=3.ATs.AqPFcw.CwNi.LFD-..NEDE.b..l.DO0.b.TZ3laQ.TZ3laQ.n_dgLA
    April 07, 2011 – carolinajournal.com
    Carolina Journal Exclusive

    VIDEO: Is DOT Double-Counting High-Speed Rail Jobs?
    By Anthony Greco
    RALEIGH — Under the job-years concept, if one person holds the same job for four years, it’s counted as four jobs. That’s how the North Carolina Department of Transportation can claim that federal funding for high-speed rail would create nearly 4,800 jobs when in fact only about 1,200 people would be employed.

    John Hood’s Daily Journal

    Reality Check on UNC Tuition
    As long as legislative appropriations cover the vast majority of the cost of educating students, the constitutional provision is satisfied.

    Headlines

    4.07.11 – Legislators see trouble in Perdue’s budget cuts

    4.07.11 – N.C. bills aim at constitutional changes

    4.07.11 – Private property safeguards OK’d by NC House panel

    4.07.11 – Second governor’s residence is getting an update

    4.07.11 – NC charter school overhaul bill back in committee

    4.07.11 – NC voter ID mandate approved by House committee

    4.07.11 – Perdue forms panel to help select judges

    4.07.11 – Ruling due on sex offenders’ access to Facebook social site

    4.07.11 – Bill to separate crime lab from SBI

    4.07.11 – Red-light camera ban zips through panel vote

    4.07.11 – Bill would shield citizens from suits like Titan’s

    4.07.11 – Charlotte region jobless rate falls

    4.07.11 – AT&T says 4G on the way, but some say, not so fast

    4.07.11 – Graham, Swain counties spar over Fontana dam funds

    4.07.11 – Red wolf litter on the way? Species needs blessed event

    (more…)

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    WEINGARTEN FOR THE UNION DEFENSE

    Sunday, March 27th, 2011
  • The Wall Street Journal
    • MARCH 26, 2011

    Teachers Union Chief Randi Weingarten on charter schools, reformers Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein, and her star turn in ‘Waiting for Superman.’

    New York

    Teachers unions are on the defensive these days. The Obama administration is pushing various measures long opposed by the unions: charter school expansion, pay-for-performance, teacher evaluations and more. States and localities are looking to change collective-bargaining rules and scale back costly, bloated education work forces that have grown even when student enrollment was flat or declining. And Hollywood, in recent documentary films like “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” “The Lottery” and “The Cartel,” has highlighted how teachers unions block or stifle education reforms to the detriment of the low-income minority kids who populate the nation’s worst schools.

    When I sit down for an interview with Randi Weingarten, who has been head of the American Federation of Teachers since 2008, my first question is whether those films are getting her recognized more in public these days.

    “Actually, no,” she responds, not particularly amused by the query. “I’m used to the use of scapegoating and demonization and finger-pointing as a mechanism to divert or distract from problem-solving.” (more…)

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    N.C. GOVERNOR PERDUE VETOES GOP BILL CHALLENGING HEALTH CARE LAW

    Monday, March 7th, 2011
    http://app.bronto.com/public/?q=ulink&fn=Link&ssid=315&id=07wv3m37rnm7bpzybii7fqfozak3z&id2=g0y165hs2tt8xjoeidm9xhsubm7os&subscriber_id=bekuujwswyfydfuhrvnzsirgfbvibpm&delivery_id=bvbsmaeeluvitqcjkzwnypxuhlnlbpe&tid=3.ATs.AqPFcw.CiFh.Kyr0..MYZi.b..l.DO0.b.TXUWCQ.TXUWCQ.GTBkxg
    March 07, 2011 – carolinajournal.com
    Carolina Journal Exclusive

    NCGA Preview: Week of March 7
    By Anthony Greco
    RALEIGH — The bill lifting the state’s cap on charter schools at 100 passed the Senate by a 33-17 vote. It faces tougher sledding in the House.

    John Hood’s Daily Journal

    Perdue Now Owns ObamaCare
    Perdue and Cooper did the wrong thing. They defended a lousy policy because it is their president’s policy. Now it’s their lousy policy, too.

    Headlines

    3.07.11 – Perdue vetoes GOP bill challenging health care law

    (more…)

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