Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, a newsletter for people who think public education should be truly, absolutely, authentically public—produced by In the Public Interest.
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Push for tech-driven “mastery-based learning.” According to Chalkbeat, advocates of so-called “mastery-based learning” are arguing that the pandemic offers the perfect time for public schools to allow students to progress through school at their own pace using education technology.
Who are those advocates? The Khan Academy, which offers both free online videos and paid services to school districts. The Clayton Christensen Institute, which pushes “disruptive innovation.” And the Aurora Institute, the board of which includes an executive from Pearson, the world’s largest for-profit education company. Chalkbeat
“Hopping mad” in Oakland. Former high school teacher Thomas Ultican reports that critics of efforts by billionaires to take over Oakland’s public schools are—understandably—”hopping mad” about collaboration between the school board and the privatizers. Tultican
Cover up in Buffalo. Philip Rumore, the president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, calls out the Buffalo News for covering up charter schools’ apparent discriminatory practices and siphoning of educational funding from students. The Buffalo News
Memo to North Carolina charter school advocates. Kris Nordstrom, a senior policy analyst with the North Carolina Justice Center’s Education & Law Project, writes, “Charter advocates seeking greater investment in charter students should stop trying to take money from the less-advantaged traditional sector and instead work together to ensure state leaders deliver adequate funding for all students.” The Progressive Pulse
A reminder… On June 11, In the Public Interest will host a webinar on the limitations and possibilities of online learning in public education during and after the coronavirus pandemic. Speakers include education professor Gary Miron, information science professor Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo, Clayton County (Georgia) Superintendent Morcease Beasley, and high school teacher and parent Kiki Ochoa.
In the Public Interest is joined in sponsoring the event by the National Education Policy Center, the National Superintendents Roundtable, the Network for Public Education, Local Progress, the Shanker Institute, and the Schott Foundation. Register here