Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Blueprint to privitization

Last night the Salem School Committee on a 5-2 vote turned one of their elementary schools over to Blueprint.
Blueprint was created in 2010, essentially as a public school privatizer, first in Texas, then in Colorado. It's not a coincidence that it has seen a big growth spurt since 2011...just when we saw the massive (on a national scale) Race to the Top funds come in. There's money to be made!
Despite the state's requirement of (for example) charter providers that they have a track record, Blueprint simply doesn't. You can't, if you've been running schools since 2011; it takes longer than that to demonstrate a sustainable track record, particularly when you're dealing with something as delicate as children's education.
Likewise, the elementary school that was turned over last night was declared Level 4 in 2011; it's only midway through its turnaround plan. Despite the push to have everything declared an emergency, what is most harmful to children's education is disruption, something the children at that school have had already, with a Level 4 plan, and two rounds of curriculum changes already having happened to them.
And while the mayor may claim otherwise, it is impossible to read this as anything other than a vote of no confidence in the school's staff and the district administration.
On a personal note, I'll say that I have a very hard time understanding how you could possibly vote in favor of saying, "yes, please go run this school for us" to an outside company with so little track record (and that, of schools that don't take everyone). That's washing your hands of your job.

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