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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Education News Stories That Depress

The most shocking story of the day is the firing of one of the founders of KIPP, one of the largest charter school groups in the country, for sexual misconduct with a student in the '90s.  From the NY Times:
The co-founder, Michael Feinberg, was accused last spring of sexually abusing a minor female student in Houston in the late 1990s, according to someone with close knowledge of the case who was not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. An outside investigation found her claim credible after interviewing the student and her mother, who both gave the same sequence of events.
Mr. Feinberg denies the accusation, his lawyer, Christopher L. Tritico, said.

Investigators also uncovered evidence that Mr. Feinberg had sexually harassed two KIPP employees. One case, in 2004, led to a financial settlement, the letter said; the other could not be corroborated because the woman involved would not cooperate, but the letter found it to be credible.
KIPP has been endorsed - both verbally and with money - by many big players like the Walton Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation,  and the Department of Education.
In the year ended June 2016, the KIPP Foundation reported $77.2 million in revenue, including contributions; $61.9 million in expenses, including salaries and grants; and $60 million in net assets.
In the early years, Mr. Feinberg was a teacher and administrator in Houston, but his current role had been mainly external — fund-raising, lobbying, political advocacy and college partnerships. In the year ended June 2016 — the latest period for which the organization’s tax filings were available — Mr. Feinberg received $231,885 in compensation and benefits while working for KIPP’s Houston schools, and $220,241 for work at the parent foundation in San Francisco, the filings show. 
Note to doubters who say "Non-profits don't make money" - the above is your proof.  Some of them do very, very well.

In the "incredibly self-serving, how-low-can-you-go category", here's exhibit A: one David Coleman, CEO of the College Board, which administers Advance Placement courses and tests.  He sent out a letter that alleges to be in support of students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

He references student,  Emma Gonzalez, (whose speech I will be putting up soon) and her mention of an AP class in that speech.  But he just can't stop himself from taking her town a peg or two:
I do not write today to endorse Emma's every word; her speech may have benefited from a less partisan approach and an attempt to better understand the positions of gun rights proponents. 
Emma gave the speech just a day or two after this tragedy but I'm sure she appreciated his insights.  He then talks about another student leader, David Hogg, who had mentioned his AP History class to a reporter.

He closes with this odd coupling of words:
May these students' voices, changed by education and tragedy, offer some comfort and stay against the darkness.
The great education blogger and researcher, Mercedes Schneider, said it best:
However, Coleman’s words clearly demonstrate his efforts to use this tragedy not only to promote College Board AP courses, but also to distance himself from Gonzalez’s words via his critique even as he attempted to capitalize on her (and Hogg’s) pain.
Antwan Wilson, the chancellor of Washington, D.C. schools resigned today after just a year on the job for pushing his daughter to the top of the list to get into a choice high school.  The school had a waitlist of 600 students.  This after his tenure at Oakland Unified School District:
But just a few months after Wilson left Oakland, the perennially troubled district is in such severe financial straits that the Board of Education on Nov. 8 ordered $15.1 million in immediate budget cuts — on top of millions of dollars in reductions made earlier in the year.
I'm sure he's looking for a job but hey, Mr. Wilson, don't apply to SPS.  Thanks but no thanks.

Hundreds of Florida high school students walked out of class as well as many students from Bellingham high schools.  From NPR:
In an television interview with KOMO News, one student who's not quite 18 years-old and withheld her name said, "We can't vote, so this is our voice. We're just hoping to make a change by having our voices heard."
Trump says "Give bonuses to teachers who carry guns."  That's his answer.  Apparently most of law enforcement is not for this idea.  Hmmm, wonder why. 

Followed by this photo of the President holding his talking points when victims of last week's high school massacre in Florida came to the White House.  Read the last one and ponder someone who could not remember to say this on his own.

President Trump held notes during a listening session Wednesday with high school students and teachers in the aftermath of last week’s Florida high school shooting.

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