Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Watch Oprah Talk About “Waiting for Superman”

September 28, 2010

Oprah Winfrey has highlighted the problem with failing schools and has told everyone to see the movie, “Waiting for Superman”.  Her show is on the five YouTube videos below.

Visit Fandango to find the theaters and times where you can see “Waiting for Superman” in your zip code.

Broke—and Building the Most Expensive School in U.S. History

September 7, 2010

What a juicy story!  Free (taxpayer) Money! Highlights:

At $578 million—or about $140,000 per student—the 24-acre Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools complex in mid-Wilshire [CA] is the most expensive school ever constructed in U.S. history. To put the price in context, this city’s Staples sports and entertainment center cost $375 million. To put it in a more important context, the school district is currently running a $640 million deficit and has had to lay off 3,000 teachers in the last two years. It also has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country and some of the worst test scores.

The K-12 complex is a jarring reminder that money doesn’t guarantee success—though it certainly beautifies failure.

[T]he school boasts an auditorium whose starry ceiling and garish entrance are modeled after the old Cocoanut Grove nightclub…  Talking benches—$54,000—play a three-hour audio of the site’s history.

[Thomas] Rubin, [a consultant for the district’s bond oversight committee, was asked] whether some of the school’s grandiose features … were worth the cost. “Did we have to do that? Hell no. But there’s no accounting for taste,” he responded.

The district’s building spree has sparked outrage from charter schools, not least because they are getting only a tiny piece of the bond pie. California Charter School Association President Jed Wallace says a charter school can be built at a seventh of the cost of the Kennedy complex…. For example, the nonprofit Green Dot built seven charters in the area—to serve about 4,300 mainly low-income students—for less than $85 million in total. These schools also have a collective graduation rate that’s nearly twice as high as that of the Los Angeles Unified School District, which Education Week magazine pegs at 40%.

Mr. Rubin says it’s unfair to compare charters with traditional public schools because charters aren’t saddled with onerous government regulations regarding labor and environmental standards. What he doesn’t say is that charter schools don’t have taxpayers as a backstop. Traditional public schools “have no accountability or restraints,” Mr. Wallace bristles. “They don’t have to make the tough choices when costs run over.”

Learn How Teachers’ Unions Bully Teachers and Parents

September 4, 2010

You must visit “Teachers’ Union Exposed”.  This is a website that has valuable statistics about the destructive power of teacher’s unions like the National Education Association(NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers(AFT).

Whether you are a classroom teacher tired of union interference or a parent looking for a better school for your child, this is the site for you.

Look at teachers’ union finances for Texas and every other state.

Know Your Opponent!

Dallas ISD Has Some Serious Competition in Detroit Public Schools.

August 13, 2009

I found some priceless tidbits in the WSJ article, Detroit School Woes Deepen.

…[T]he state sent an emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb, to straighten out the city’s ailing school system.  A probe launched by Mr. Bobb uncovered paychecks going to 257 “ghost” employees…

…Keith R. Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers… said there has been a “tendency to over-dramatize the level of corruption and the financial impact.”

Mr. Bobb… faced scrutiny himself this week when it came to light that he has awarded a no-bid contract worth nearly $1 million to a firm he used to work for… based in Philadelphia.  A spokesman for Mr. Bobb didn’t return several calls…

Plagued by poor test scores and occasionally violence – including multiple shootings near the locations of the district’s… summer-school program this year…

…[T]he district only graduates around one in four students who enroll in ninth grade…

Okay, Dallas ISD, I challenge you to beat this level of corruption.

More Depressing “Good” News about DISD

August 7, 2009

Dallas ISD continues to lead the pack into the quicksand.

Two More Infuriating Teachers Union Stories

August 2, 2009

This Wall Street Journal article keeps us updated on two more stories from the “Anti-students” Unions.

WSJ says Detroit schools do need school choice.

July 25, 2009

This Wall Street Journal editorial addresses the financial crisis in Detroit’s public school system described earlier in the week.

Here is my succinct answer.

Problem:
1. A government protected monopoly school system controlled by the teachers unions.

2. The teachers unions feed off the monopoly school system and know that they will lose power if the monopoly is broken.

3. Teachers unions are the most powerful political interest group in the nation.  They have money, from union dues, and a built-in grassroots network, all public school employees.

Answer:  Parental choice in education through
1. charter schools,
2. voucher programs, and
3. tuition tax credit programs.

Result:
1. All principles will ask their parents, “How can I help you and your child be successful and keep you at our school?”

2. All parents say, “I am invested in this school because I chose it for my child.  I’m going to do (with my child and the school) what I can to make my investment successful.”