DFER’s Campaign to Dominate Local School Boards and Launch Charters

‘Today Cosby has become disillusioned with the cause promoted by her original campaign investors: “Cosby has since taken up the role as the board’s main dissenter.”‘
I was interviewed by the American Prospect magazine recently on the campaign contributions that I received in 2012. That article is not yet released in its entirety (still only in print format). However, our blogger friend from Ohio has covered the article, and I suspect that there will be future collaborations between us! Please read and follow Jan Resseger’s coverage of issues affecting public education.


In “Hedging Education,” Justin Miller, for The American Prospect, describes “how hedge funders have over the past decade underwritten a movement to mushroom the number of local school board members who support the rapid expansion of charter schools. “A network of education advocacy groups, heavily backed by hedge fund investors, has turned its political attention to the local level, with aspirations to stock school boards—from Indianapolis and Minneapolis to Denver and Los Angeles—with allies.”

The American Prospect posts its articles a few at a time after their publication in the printed magazine.  When “Hedging Education” is posted online, I’ll insert the hotlink into this post.

It all began in New York City, where, “Whitney Tilson, straight out of Harvard… deferred a consulting job in Boston to become one of Teach for America’s first employees in 1989.  Ten years later, he started his own hedge fund in New York.  Soon…

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How Charters Destabilize Public School Districts: Let Us Count the Ways

Indy, be warned: a system of unified-enrollment school choice will be here soon – – ‘The school-choice policy idea in Chicago creates a stratified, classist society,’ argues Rita Raichoudhuri, the principal of Wells High School, a neighborhood school that has struggled with declining enrollment despite improvements in the school’s dropout, graduation, and attendance rates in recent years. ‘ The cream of the crop is together at selective enrollment schools. The second tier, with involved families, is at charters and magnets. Then the ‘rejects’ end up in neighborhood high schools.’”


Three recent press reports—from Nevada, Chicago, Illinois, and Massachusetts—document how expansion of charter schools is  undermining the public schools that serve the majority of students including those with the greatest needs.  The same theory of charter school expansion operates all three locations—competition, innovation, and growing opportunity for students who have been left behind.  Instead all three recent articles describe diversion of desperately needed public tax dollars, destabilization of public schools, lack of regulation, and all sorts of ways that students with the greatest needs get left farther behind.

Here is the conclusion of a new report by Hugh Jackson for Nevada Public Radio on Nevada’s fiscal outlay for unregulated charter schools: (T)oday’s charter industry… reflects a chronic civic defeatism. Echoing the perverse social Darwinism of more than a century ago, faith in free-market education is a surrender to pessimism… Some people are doomed to fail, that’s just the way…

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Study finds Indy charter schools increased segregation

School Matters

Critics of charter schools have long worried that they engage in “creaming,” attracting the best students and most engaged parents and leaving neighborhood public schools the rest. But a more serious question is whether charter schools have contributed to the re-segregation of schools by race.

A study of Indianapolis charter schools suggests that, in some cases, they have.

The study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University education professor Marc Stein and published last summer in the American Journal of Education, found that charter-school choice in Indy led to “higher degrees of racial isolation and less diversity” than in the public schools the students were leaving.

African-American students were more likely to enroll in charter schools with a higher concentration of black students than the neighborhood schools they left; and white students more likely to enroll in schools with a higher percentage of white enrollment.

The average white student in the analytic…

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