Monday, March 30, 2015

REFLECTIONS+GRUMBLING ON ®EFORM …from the belly of the beast!

smf 2cents The article from Politico below  quotes Seth Andrew, who is the founder of Democracy Prep charter school network in New York City and elsewhere on the Right Coast. Democracy Prep is self described as : 

 “Democracy Prep Charter School first opened its doors in August 2006. By 2009, DPCS became the highest performing school in Central Harlem and was ranked the number one public middle school in New York City.

“Democracy Prep Public Schools currently operates fourteen high-performing schools in New York, New Jersey, and The District of Columbia serving 4,416 citizen-scholars. The incredible success of the scholars is possible through the tireless and dedicated work of the educators who make up our DREAM Team.

“By proving that students - regardless of what zip code they are born into - can perform at high academic levels, we seek to transform not only the lives of the students at Democracy Prep but also the expectation of what public schools can achieve.”

….and has the usual suspects from Teach for America and Students Now! on their board.


REFLECTIONS ON REFORM: “There is deep and profound hypocrisy in our work….”

from Politico Morning Ed, By Stephanie Simon With help from Caitlin Emma and Allie Grasgreen  |

30 March 2015  ::  Today, some stinging words from Seth Andrew, the founder of the Democracy Prep charter school network and Democracy Builder advocacy group.

aboutthefounderlargepic_622_241_c1_center_center_0_0_1[1] < Seth Andrew

He says it's not appropriate to call the reform sector a "movement" because it remains such a top-down initiative, led by elites who have little personal experience with failing schools. Andrew complains that reformers have been using the same playbook for two decades: Stage huge rallies, hire pricey lobbyists, bring in big grants from philanthropists. The goals are admirable, he said, but the elites running the show "suck up all the oxygen" and rarely let real families be heard.

Those parents and students who do get a voice are often those who've already landed seats in charter schools, not those who feel trapped and oppressed by the current system.

"We are making a strategic and historic mistake," Andrew said. "There is deep and profound hypocrisy in our work, and until we call it out from within, and fix it, we won't ever be able to truly transform systems."

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