Sunday, May 3, 2009

Broad Foundation influence

From the March post on this topic, Anonymous wrote:

Broad Administratos are destroying Christina School District in Wilmington Delaware!

Posted by Anonymous to PURE Reform at May 2, 2009 11:51 PM


Questioner said...

Anonymous, can you be more specific? What's going on in Christina? It's probably not a bad idea for the various Broad districts to compare notes from a parent and teacher point of view.

Craig Gordon said...

I just stumbled upon this list (having set my Google to send me all comments about Broad), but love the suggestion here for "Broad districts" to compare notes.

I teach in Oakland, CA, a "Broad District" big time. We were taken over by the state in 2003, ostensibly due to fiscal mismanagement and the need for a state line of credit to bail the district out. Since then a string of three state administrators have been sent in, all three graduates of the Broad Center for Management of School Systems. In addition to more than doubling the district's debt to well over $100 million, the Broadies have aggressively cut site budgets, attacked district unions, multiplied the number of charters, and instituted a market-based model to make each school site run like a private business.

Far from improving the quality of education here, the state administration has played the game of closing "underperforming" schools, opening new ones (often charters) with inadequate resources. Teacher turnover is at an all time high. While Oakland is likely to get local control back in a few months, most of the school board has become thoroughly indoctrinated in the Broad ideology of privatizing public schools.

Craig Gordon
High school social studies teacher
Oakland, CA

Questioner said...

Thank you for the view from Oakland, Craig, and hopefully others from around the country will join in!

Here in Pittsburgh there seems to be resistance to charter schools. For example, there is a policy of not selling unused school buildings to charters. Do the Oakland administrators not mind paying the per student fee to charter schools?

And, do you have a sense for why the school board is so enthusiastic about the Broad approach? Are achievement test scores rising?

anon said...

Before too long we will see who has the bigger influence in the philosophy of education department. Will it be the folks like Broad, or, the followers of Arne Duncan, who promote for charters?

PPSparent said...

Broad, Gates, Duncan -- all using the same game plan. At least Gates has admitted that some of their ideas don't work -- like the small schools/schools within a school. These foundations were actively involved in the Chicago Public Schools during Duncan's time there.

PPSparent said...

Oh and the enthusiasm is at least sustained by the money provided by Broad! Here for instance, some of the salaries are paid half by the district, half by Broad.

Questioner said...

Here is the Broad link on how the Foundation gets involved w/ training and placing principals. Reportedly Broad pays the salaries of the PELA principals, which would certainly be a strong incentive to go with a Broad-trained principal.

Anonymous said...

Link to discussion of Broad's role in the AIG financial crisis/failure of business model

Anonymous said...

When oh when will the parents in this district rise up and throw this administration out on its ear? These are NOT educators but rather, corporate execs who will rely on other corporate philosophies that have failed, as well.
This administration has succeeded in pushing an agenda-laden curricula to your students. It has forced teachers to adhere to daily lesson plans that in effect "brainwash" kids while squelching individual thought. It has banished both administrators and teachers who have dared to question it.
And all the while, it throws all of its doings behind The Pittsburgh Promise, an endeavor that on the surface has many families fooled in terms of the process and the idea of a "free" education.
And Questioner, make no mistake--this district does NOT want to compare notes with a teacher's point of view.
When will you all wake up?

Questioner said...

The idea was more for parents and teachers to compare notes with other Broad districts- which may or may not turn out to be a wake-up call.

Anonymous said...

Those who brought Broad administrators to PPS- particularly Patrick Dowd- should be held accountable as they seek higher office.