Some weeks are just better than others when it comes to education news. This week was a great one in terms of outrages and atrocities. But first we’ll start on a positive note.

Diane Ravitch on CNN. A must see.

Next up, big money rules the schools in Newark. Favorite line, “letting the people have their say is not how professional philanthropy works.”

See: Newark Parents Pushed Out of Decision Making on Zuckerberg in the Nonprofit Quarterly.

As Ruth McCambridge states regarding this article in the The Nonprofit Quarterly Weekly Notes from Editor in Chief, regarding Newark:

Are these instances of billionaire philanthropy really tantamount to the very rich buying an inappropriate voice in the direction of public systems–which are intended to be accountable to the citizens they serve? Are the concerns about the impacts of billionaire philanthropy like Zuckerberg’s comparable to concerns about the influence of investments made by institutional philanthropy in public systems?
This is a nation starved for cash, but it is hardly an equal opportunity starvation across the nation’s landscape. Some areas like Newark for instance or Detroit are actually suffering greater levels of poverty and have higher needs for system improvements. What does it mean when residents of the area are edged out of core decision making and accountability mechanisms through agreements – tacit or explicit -with people with deep pockets? Are we placing critical components of communities in the category of pet projects of the very rich? Just asking.
And in Florida:
A charter school business fraud. Nothing new there but this one could definitely be the outrage of the week. See: Loopholes in Florida Mean Little Oversight of Charter Business Deals

And a clip about this story on a local TV station in Florida:

Dork of the month.

And a slap in the face to all of the parents in Los Angeles, Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education, walks out on 1,000 + parents who traveled to his LA County Town Hall.

Grant also invited about 200 parents — and says over 1,000 showed up in total, some traveling all the way up from San Diego. But that didn’t stop Duncan from walking out after 20 minutes.

“Everybody was just shocked,” says Grant, because the town hall had been “pushed as if parents were going to be able to really tell their stories and get help.”

You’ve got to read this entire story on how he spent more time with the millionaires in Hancock Park and basically insulted the other 99% of LA County.

And Joel Klein was asked a “tough” question that he really didn’t want to answer.

Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to corner the education market is not going to go smoothly, it appears. On Thursday, Joel Klein, vice president of Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns Fox News, appeared on a panel discussion about school board governance at Jeb Bush’s Excellence in Education summit in San Francisco. Klein was at the conference in his role as the former long-serving chancellor of the New York City school system.

See Reporter Ejected From Jeb Bush’s Ed Summit for Asking About Rupert Murdoch. This is what happens when the press doesn’t get with the program.

Want to be in a charter school in Los Angeles? That’ll cost you 2,500 bucks.

See Charter Schools: Getting Your Child on the List.

And then there are charter schools flunking in New York City per the DOE requirements.

About two weeks ago, DOE officials released a list of twenty elementary and middle schools that they are considering closing…
Interestingly, there is not a charter school on the list, even though according to another New York Times article , a higher percentage of charter schools got failing grades than district public schools.

See Which Charter Are Flunking According to DOE’s Own Metrics?

To end on an upbeat note see Jim Horn’s post Jerry Brown Rebukes Attempts at Another Generation of More Testing. Here’s the opening salvo.

Jerry Brown’s rebuke of the testing industrial complex on October 8 has sent shockwaves through the boardrooms of Pearson and the other predatory corporations whose CEOs are poised to cash in on a whole new generation of education testing mania introduced by RTTT.

Have a great weekend.