Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘charter schools’ Category

The for-profit education fraud: bipartisan, disastrous for our kids

Posted by Charles II on April 19, 2012

Danny Weil, Truthout:

On Friday, April 13, 2012, Courthouse News reported a class-action lawsuit by students filed in federal court against the Art Institute of California and its owner, Educational Management Corporation (EDMC). As reported in Truthout, Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) husband, former governor of Maine John McKernan, is chairman of the board of EDMC and a former CEO of the company. The company also faces an $11 billion false claims lawsuit by the federal government and 11 states.

Like subprime mortgages, for-profit colleges are a scam driven by payment of commissions to sales staff known as recruiters.

There is a vast network of former and current government officials who actively participate in the for-profit college swindle. Some of the conspirators are well known, and include: Mitt Romney, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), John Kline (R-Minnesota), Alcee Hastings(D-Florida), Trent Lott (R-Mississippi), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Steve Gunderson (R-Wisconsin), Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran, Snowe, Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi (D-California), and John Boehner (R-Ohio). The group also includes Obama administration officials and supporters such as Lanny Davis, Anita Dunn, Hilary Rosen, Anthony Miller and Charles Rose.

As I have previously written, you won’t read about any of this in The Washington Post because the Post owns a predatory for-profit college outfit known as Kaplan University…

I have to say that I think that there’s plenty of blame to go around. Kids are not being careful enough about getting into debt. But our leaders should set an example, and setting up tricksy schemes to plunge kids into debt before their lives have really even begun is not a positive example.

Watch the right turn this into a Democratic scandal.

Posted in abuse of power, charter schools, The Plunderbund | 3 Comments »

Michelle Rhee’s Strategy For Bad News: Kill The Messenger!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 14, 2011

Whenever for-profit education deformer (um, I meant “reformer” — no I didn’t) and adviser to Republican governors Michelle Rhee finds herself in trouble — a situation that is increasingly common as the owners of the national media outlets finally get over their bonding with Ms. Rhee over their shared hatred of unions and start noticing the fudging of facts and data, even in her own life history — her reaction of choice is to try to distract with a volley of twenty-seven-tits-for-a-tat attacks. She or her surrogates don’t bother to address the issue — likely since they know that they can’t win on an honest and strictly factual accounting thereof — so instead they play “Kill the Messenger“.

Case in point: The rapid-fire shillery of her chief mouthpiece, former DNC and Obama campaign functionary Hari Sevugan, who in essence spent most of Friday going berzerk on Twitter screaming EVILUNIONSEVILUNIONSEVILUNIONSREDRUMREDRUMREDRUM over and over until his fingers turned blue. Here’s a small sample:

@HariSevugan: is the outrage directed at @m_rhee selective at people aft is paying to attack or will it be directed here too

@HariSevugan: Smart piece on the lack of disclosure by a political operative paid by the AFT to attack @m_rhee.

@HariSevugan: .@asherhuey I assume U, and New Partners, also believe that POTUS who invited Pstr Hybel to intro him is also “legitimizing” anti-gay stnces

@HariSevugan: .@asherhuey or WJC or Bono for speaking at the conference – bigots too? or is that just reserved for folks the AFT doesn’t like?

@HariSevugan: .asherhuey – attacks on rhee, but silent on obama & wjc for same ties is conspicuous. anything to do w/ u/new partners being paid by aft?

@HariSevugan: Still wtng for @asherhuey to call 4 POTUS to aplgze for “lgtmzng” anti-gay beliefs by asoctng w/Rev Hybels, or is criticism only for @m_rhee

@HariSevugan: relatedly, still waiting for @asherhuey to disclose his and his employer, new partners, $$$ ties to the AFT

Here is the news that Hari Sevugan and Michelle Rhee are trying to smother in this Gatling-Gun approach to perception management:

Eyebrows were raised this week when Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz suddenly and quietly backed out of leadership summit at a suburban Chicago megachurch. Some wondered if Schultz’s move was linked to public outcry over the church’s position on curing homosexuality and their former affiliations with the “ex gay” group Exodus International.

Schultz has not confirmed his reasons for skipping the event, but Gina Woods, Director of Executive Communications for Starbucks told the Huffington Post he is holding off on any public events until September following an elective neck surgery. The cancellation comes amid allegations that the firing of an openly gay Starbucks employee at a Long Island location was discriminatory.

Now, those angry about Schultz’s planned appearance are criticizing education advocate Michelle Rhee for her participation.

Rhee, former chancellor of D.C. public schools and founder of the PAC StudentsFirst, remains on the docket and is scheduled to address the conference late Friday morning.

It was later confirmed by the Rev. Bill Hybels of Willow Creek that Schultz did indeed skip the event because of the church’s stances on homosexuality and “curing” gayness, which Hybels says aren’t anti-gay.

Go look at Sevugan’s Twitter feed for the past four days. Notice that the words “Starbucks” and “Howard Schultz” are nowhere to be seen. Would that be because omitting those words makes it easier to pretend that the furor over the Willow Creek event was something ginned up out of thin air by the folks on Michelle Rhee’s enemies list?

Posted in charter schools, education | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

US Education: Still Way Ahead, Despite GOP Sabotage

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 19, 2011

Via Rob Levine at The Cucking Stool, we have this report from Business Week which shows yet again that, contrary to the shrill, highly-subsidized cries of those who want to dismantle it, US public education is actually among the best in the world — yes, even in fields like math and science:

The independence and social skills American children develop give them a huge advantage when they join the workforce. They learn to experiment, challenge norms, and take risks. They can think for themselves, and they can innovate. This is why America remains the world leader in innovation; why Chinese and Indians invest their life savings to send their children to expensive U.S. schools when they can. India and China are changing, and as the next generations of students become like American ones, they too are beginning to innovate. So far, their education systems have held them back.

My research team at Duke looked in depth at the engineering education of China and India. We documented that these countries now graduate four to seven times as many engineers as does the U.S.The quality of these engineers, however, is so poor that most are not fit to work as engineers; their system of rote learning handicaps those who do get jobs, so it takes two to three years for them to achieve the same productivity as fresh American graduates.As a result, significant proportions of China’s engineering graduates end up working on factory floors and Indian industry has to spend large sums of money retraining its employees. After four or five years in the workforce, Indians do become innovative and produce, overall, at the same quality as Americans, but they lose a valuable two to three years in their retraining.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been seriously paying attention over the last few decades. There are those of us out there who still remember how the first Bush suppressed the Sandia Labs study he himself had requested, because it stated, contrary to Republican dogma as pushed by the agenda-driven bogosity fiesta called “A Nation At Risk”, that public schools were actually pretty darned good considering they were under constant attack from right-wing politicians and had to take the kids the cherry-picking private schools rejected.

Speaking of private schools, the charter school movement is essentially a Trojan Horse to turn public schools into sectarian private ones funded with our tax dollars — as one Michigan mother found to her sorrow.

Posted in charter schools, education | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Invisible Hand Gives San Diego’s Schoolkids The Finger

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 1, 2007

Ho hum. Another day, another for-profit privately-run charter school implodes due to dodgy finances:

As the largest charter school serving Southwest Riverside and North San Diego counties continues its split into two autonomous entities, the board overseeing half its operations fired the school’s longtime executive director after a five-hour meeting Tuesday night.

Citing several contentions, including misappropriation of money and conflicts of interest, the board overseeing the Vista-based coastal operation of Eagles Peak Charter School terminated the employment of Kathleen Hermsmeyer, who has been on administrative leave from the coastal division since November.

Hermsmeyer remains director of Eagles Peak Charter School Inland Empire. She did not return phone calls Wednesday.

The decision to fire her came as coastal board members said they are grappling with a projected deficit of $2.4 million for this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The board members said they largely blamed Hermsmeyer for much of the debt, contending the school has been mismanaged.

Just as there are jobs which should never be given to the people who most want them, there are portions of our societial machinery which should never be entrusted to those whose primary motive is personal profit. Education is one portion; public utilities are another, as shown by countless episodes throughout history, the Enron debacle just being the most notorious of the recent ones.

Posted in charter schools, education, privatization, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: