Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, a newsletter for people fighting to stop the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest.
Not a subscriber? Sign up. And make sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Uber, but for public schools. An Arizona-based tech company is trying to disrupt public education by using public funding to pay “guides” to teach small groups of students at home. Prenda—which claims to be “rapidly spreading all over the world”—has seen a surge in interest during the coronavirus pandemic.
As Erin Clark reports, “Prenda is not a private school, a charter school or a public school. But at different times it operates as all three—drawing taxpayer funding or support for each type of school. It teaches public and private school students together in the same classroom, which may not be legal under Arizona state law.”
“Like the ride-sharing company [Uber], Prenda is exploiting gaps in regulation and oversight in the hopes of growing so fast and large that it alters the industry it seeks to disrupt.” Report Door
“Online charter schools no solution in a pandemic.” Writer Florina Rodov: “Though virtual charter schools perform dismally academically and are plagued by scandal, the goal is for them to replace traditional brick-and-mortar public schools in an effort to privatize education. While this would harm students, it would most egregiously damage Black and Latino children.” LA Progressive
The story behind Miami’s ed tech nightmare. How an online learning platform built by virtual charter school company K12 Inc., backed by one-time junk bond king Michael Milken and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, failed Miami-Dade County’s public schools. Wired
Florida charter school abruptly shut down. “District staff who visited the school reported overflowing trash bins, kids walking around unsupervised, and only two teachers running the whole operation.” Fox 4 Now
“A national crisis.” Remote and hybrid learning is the new normal, yet a “nearly one-third of [Black, Latino, and Native American] students lack high-speed Internet at home,” reports Moriah Balingit. The Washington Post
It’s Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week. Want a vision of public education without the profit motive? Just look at what community school coordinators do on a daily basis. “I don’t have much food at home so every Friday Mrs. Amy gives me some,” an anonymous student told Communities in Schools Tennessee. “She even gives me extra so my sister eats too! Mrs. Amy encourages me to come to school. She texts me to see if I’m okay. I know I can talk to her if I’m having a bad day.” Coalition for Community Schools