Tag Archives: educational policy and politics

Philadelphia: Charter School Accepts Student, Then Withdraws Acceptance After Seeing Her IEP

[There’s nothing I can add to this other than to say it comes as no surprise.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Franklin Towne Charter High School in Philadelphia has been accused of discrimination against a student with disabilities, reports Greg Windle in The Notebook.

Pamela James was thrilled when her granddaughter was accepted at Franklin Towne Charter High School. Her granddaughter raced off to tell friends the good news, and James gave the school a copy of her granddaughter’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), which included the need for emotional support — a common but relatively expensive requirement among students in Philly schools.

Hours later they were both shaken when James got a call from the Northeast Philadelphia school, informing her that her granddaughter could not attend as a result of her emotional disturbance diagnosis, that the class she needed was “full” and that the school would not accommodate her.

“After I took her IEP to the school, that’s when they shot me down,” James said. “That was really ugly discrimination.”

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Jan Resseger: Why Did DeVos Overrule Her Staff to Reinstate a Shoddy Accreditor?

[Lately, I have been concerned–obsessed might be a better word, frankly–with the abysmally low standards of professionalism in the New York City school in which I serve; now comes this. Yeesh.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jan Resseger writes here about Betsy DeVos’s decision to overrule a strong recommendation from Department career staff and resinstate an accrediting agency with a terrible record.

Before the Obama Department of Education put the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) out of business in 2016, ACICS had been instrumental in accrediting a number of unscrupulous, for-profit colleges whose fiscal survival depended on attracting students bringing dollars from federal loans. After ACICS was put out of business by the Obama Department of Education, ACICS filed a lawsuit claiming its record had not been fully examined. In March of this year, a federal judge ruled in favor of the accreditation agency—saying that the Department of Education still needs to consider 36,000 pages of information ACICS submitted that was never considered. On April 3, 2018, after the judge’s ruling, Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos conditionally reapproved ACICS pending further study.

Last Friday…

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DeVos School Safety Commission Will Not Consider Role of Guns as Cause of Mass Shootings

[I’ve been waiting for Diane Ravitch to post something on this egregious policy move, and here it is. I don’t know what to say about this, other than Secretary DeVos appears impervious to facts and reasoning–and that’s never a good trait in a cabinet secretary in the federal government.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Betsy DeVos and her school safety commission (three other Cabinet members) will consider all the possible causes of gun violence in schools, except guns.

Alia Wong writes at The Atlantic:

“What should be on the list of tasks for President Trump’s newly minted school-safety commission, charged with studying what can be done to prevent campus violence?

“Perhaps the commission, chaired by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, should look at mental-health resources and student-discipline practices. And perhaps it should consider the design of campus facilities. One thing that would seemingly be an obvious candidate for the commission’s scrutiny is guns, as guns have been the weapon of choice in every major school-violence incident this year.

“And yet it became clear on Tuesday, as DeVos testified in front of a Senate subcommittee to answer questions about the Education Department’s fiscal year 2019 budget request, that will likely not be the case. Amid…

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An Interview with a White-Collar Criminologist on DeVos’ Program to Protect Predatory For-Profit Colleges

[More squalor from the callow heiress who bought herself the Secretary of Education cabinet post, Betsy DeVos.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bill Black, a specialist in white-collar crime, discusses Betsy DeVos’ plan to dismantle the U.S. Department of Education team investigating fraud at those predatory for-profit colleges and to staff the Department with veterans of the institutions under investigation. Like many people, I have described her actions as “putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.” Black says it is far worse than that. The right metaphor, he says, is putting the vampire in charge of the blood bank. What is happening now is not just a policy dispute; it is a deliberate program to protect institutional behavior that should be treated as criminal fraud. The victims are college students who are poor and middle-class, who have every right to expect that the government will protect them against fraud, not enable the fraud.

This is only a part of the interview. Open the link and read the rest.

GREGORY WILPERT: It’s…

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How New York City Department of Education Protects Principals Accused of Sexual Misconduct

[In my 15 years of service to the New York City Department of Education, I have wondered, as teachers are regularly pilloried in the local and national press for being incompetent, but protected by their union from discharge, why incompetent and corrupt school administrators–and God knows I’ve seen my share here–enjoy an apparent immunity from accountability. I hope this blog post from Diane Ravitch, and the report it chronicles, can do something to change that. As a New York City taxpayer and educator, I would like to see principals and assistant principals held responsible for their failures, something I really have not seen in my tenure here.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Susan Edelman, reporter at the New York Post, often gets scoops, and this one is a doozy.

Several principals have been accused of sexual harassment. Some have caused the city to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars for their misconduct, but they are seldom punished. Instead they are reassigned to headquarters with their pay and pension intact.

When Shaunte Penniston complained that her principal was making sexual demands, the city Department of Education not only failed to investigate, she alleged, but immediately notified the principal — who promptly had her fired.

The teacher then filed a lawsuit, which has dragged on in court for five years, the city fighting it at every step. But even if Penniston wins her case, it’s too late for the DOE to punish her alleged tormentor, Antonio K’tori. Under state law, educators with tenure cannot be brought up on disciplinary charges more than three…

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Betsy DeVos: Just Another Mother Teresa

[If there is a better exposition than this one by Mercedes Schneider of Betsy DeVos’s stupidity and hypocrisy out there, please advise, and I’ll post it here.]

deutsch29

Prepared Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to Ave Maria University’s 2018 Spring Commencement

As I prepared to be with you today, I reflected on my own graduation from a small Christian college in my favorite corner of the Midwest. Sitting there that day, I never imagined I’d be a commencement speaker someday and I surely did not plan to become a cabinet secretary.

But my perspective then was limited. If there’s anything I’ve learned since, it’s that our horizons should be ever-broadening. We must engage our imaginations, be open to possibilities and be prepared to respond to the unplanned opportunity.

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Education Department Unwinds Unit Investigating Fraud at For-Profits

WASHINGTON — Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by for-profit colleges have been marginalized, reassigned or instructed to focus on other matters, according to current and former employees.

The…

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Yes, Betsy: Spending Does Matter

[I work in an inner-city school, and my own experience doesn’t provide evidence for this latest–and patently idiotic–dictum from Secretary DeVos. I encourage her to read a book, any book, in the interest of learning something resembling linear thinking.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Imagine billionaire Betsy DeVos telling the nation that spending doesn’t make a difference in terms of education outcomes. But she did and she is wrong, as Chalkbeat explained.

For starters, correlation is not the same as causation.

But let’s talk common sense, inasmuch as Betsy already said she is not a “numbers person.”

When parents have the means to do so, they move to high-spending suburban districts. It’s not just for the grass and the trees, Betsy. In high-spending districts, their children have beautiful, well-maintained buildings. They have small classes. They have experienced teachers who are paid well. They have up-to-date science laboratories. They have the best technology. They have classes in history, civics, and government. They have programs in the arts. Their schools have a band, a chorus, dance, film, an orchestra, a string quartet, and more. They have a robotics team, a chess club, a debate team. They…

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