Review of Journeys: Are @KIPP charter schools pathological?

Will the real KIPP charter schools please stand up and reveal the autocratic horrors and abuse happening to OUR children.

Cloaking Inequity

Are @KIPP charter schools pathological? Jim Horn et al. will soon publish a new book entitled Work Hard, Be Hard: Journeys Through “No Excuses” Teaching. The following is a review based on the advance copy that I received.

jkh_mfa_3-12-11__3Jim Horn et al. have collected important perspectives from current and former Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) teachers in a new book entitled Work Hard, Be Hard: Journeys Through “No Excuses” Teaching. The KIPP corporate charter school chain of schools has received hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate, local, foundation, state and federal dollars since its inception in 1994. The KIPP charter chain was started by Mike Feinberg (SeeFrank Convo with KIPP’s Mike Feinberg: Do you callBS?)and Dave Levin, Teach For America alums. They have found ready allies in the corporate education reform movement— whose policies are focused on private control of public schools.

Since the KIPP…

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6 responses to “Review of Journeys: Are @KIPP charter schools pathological?”

  1. Hi Lloyd,
    Are you aware that I am a teacher? My union and I are very against charter schools. I am in LAUSD. There was picketing about it just last week. We get less money due to charters so class size is increased. Thanks my opinion about charters. Thanks for writing about it. Thanks again, as well, for your visit to my site today.

    1. I think I was aware that you were a teacher. During my thirty years in the classroom south of Los Angeles in Rowland Unified in the San Gabriel Valley, I don’t remember many years where teachers weren’t struggling against top-down idiocy or some other challenge like this Charter School and/or Common Core Crap, so they could actually do their jobs and teach.

      If the U.S. has a national list of standards, I think they should be used the same way Finland uses them. The list is there but there is no mandatory teach-this-the-way-we-want-you-to-do-it-or-else dictatorship from the top down. In Finland, the teachers are allowed to decide which national standards to focus on when they want to do it and how to do it. Corporations like Pearson are not allowed to meddle and buy democratic representatives and votes through lobbyists. There are no high stakes tests that rank and fire teachers in addition to closing public schools. Finland has a strong teachers union and more than 99% of the schools are public schools. In addition, the few private schools in Finland are held accountable to the same rules that the public schools are.

      The Corporate public education demolition derby is deliberately creating a double standard where the public schools must abide by the rules but the private sector doesn’t have to. The so-called National Common Core Standards were nothing but a poorly designed tool to achieve this goal.

      I wish you the best in the public school teachers’ war to save the public schools in Los Angeles from being taken over by an autocratic dictator and fraud called Eli Broad.

      1. Hi Lloyd,
        1. I have my Masters Degree in Education. As part of the program, I had to research education in other countries. Therefore, I am well aware about how well countries like Finland are doing in contrast to us. We are 47th or 48th in pupil spending out of 50 states. Last week, when I said we were picketing, we were picketing against Broad. Thanks for your good wishes in our battle.

      2. During my 30 years in the classroom (1975-2005) I walked the picked line a number of times. We’d teach all day and then go out and walk the sidewalk in front of the district office or in front of our schools to protest whatever top down insanity and interference was causing more damage once again.

        Often, some of our students and a few parents joined us and as cars rushed by in the street next to the sidewalk where we were walking with our signs held high—after we had taught all day—drivers honked showing their support. After an hour or so we’d load our signs in a van, station wagon or SUV and go home to correct papers, make parent phone calls, and/or plan lessons. The next school day after the last bell, we’d return to the sidewalks with our signs and walk again and the teachers would keep this up until the school board was willing to negotiate with the local teachers’ union and work out a compromise that ALWAYS benefited our students. In fact, we often gave up some of the offered pay raise—if one was on the table—to keep class sizes down and programs open the district idiots wanted to close to save money.

      3. They actually sound like fond memories you are reliving as you fought to help your students and colleagues. I have also walked a picket line several times.

      4. It’s a never ending battle. I even wrote about in a memoir called “Crazy is Normal: a classroom expose”. Back in 1994-95, I decided to keep a detailed daily journal. Every day when I got home, I’d take notes on 3×5 cards out of my pocket that I’d made during the day and use them to help me write an accurate entry for that day. After I finished the entry, I’d start correcting papers, making phone calls and/or planning lessons. I did this for the entire school year, and then I printed it all out and stored the journal in a fire-roof safe. Eighteen years later, I took that daily journal out of the safe and read it to see if there was a story there. I used that materiel to write a memoir that picked up a first place in Biography/Autobiography at the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival in addition to a few other lit awards.

        The schools where I taught in Rowland Unified had a child poverty rate that was often above 80% and sometimes reached close to 100%, and then there were the violent street gangs.

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