Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, an email newsletter for people fighting to stop the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest.
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What’s the alternative to the privatization of public schools? The New York State Network for Youth Success and the New York State Community Schools Network have released an evidence-based strategy for reopening New York schools using the “community schools” model, which has provided critical support to students and their families need as the pandemic has unfolded. New York State Network for Youth Success
In Seattle, a recent rally coordinated by high school teacher Jesse Hagopian and local activist and parent Emijah Smith, in collaboration with King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle, partnered with local youth to demand funding for community schools with an anti-racist approach to education. South Seattle Emerald
New report finds high closure rates for charter schools. The Network for Public Education compiled U.S. Education Department data and found that more than one-quarter of charters schools opened between 1999 and 2017 closed after operating for five years, and about half closed after 15 years, displacing a total of more than 867,000 students. The Washington Post
The hijacking of police reform. Minneapolis-based writer and researcher Sarah Lahm connects the dots between the privatization of public schools and the hijacking of police reform happening before our eyes.
“Much in the same way that privatizers and opportunists applied accountability measures to teachers and schools as a way to ‘improve outcomes,’ while sidestepping broader conversations about wealth inequality and structural racism, supporters of data-driven reform are targeting police departments and police officers for a similar makeover.” Naked Capitalism
States are working to expand “school choice.” As Congress aims to use federal dollars on a tax-credit scholarship program, a number of states are working to expand and fund school voucher programs, reports the right-wing National Review. National Review
Sarcasm alert. McSweeney’s, the humor site, has posted a job opening for a “middle school language arts teacher/cheerleading coach/custodian/nurse/COVID-19 and anti-racism specialist.” McSweeney’s
In a less humorous tone, a teacher recently tweeted, “Today I used the straps I keep to jam my classroom doors in case of an active shooter as a measuring tape to space out student seats to prevent the spread of a deadly viral pandemic. This is what it is to be an American teacher.” Retweet | Share on Facebook
Concerning school buildings. In the Public Interest’s Jeremy Mohler writes: “With an increasing number of public school districts nationwide planning to continue distance learning in the fall, few people are thinking about the physical state of school buildings. Yet, Prince George’s County [Maryland] is raising eyebrows with a secretive, ill-conceived plan to build new schools using private, rather than public, financing.”
Will districts elsewhere soon look into so-called “public-private partnerships”—which are expensive and often secretive—for building schools? Maryland Matters
Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action