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Privatizer Larry Ellison worth $51.6 Billion & Oracle Moving Ahead With Charter School
Privatizer Larry Ellison & his company Oracle are moving ahead with building a public funded charter on his corporate campus while public schools in Redwood City with working class students suffer. This racist union busting billionaire is using the charter law to further rip-off the public and children in California.
Privatizer Larry Ellison worth $51.6 Billion & Oracle Moving Ahead With Publicly Funded Charter School On Oracle Corporate Campus While Redwood City Schools Suffer From Lack Of Resources
D.tech to break ground at Oracle: Event paves way for construction of unique school on tech titan campus August 12, 2016, 05:00 AM By Austin Walsh Daily Journal
After a long and occasionally difficult search for a permanent home, construction of the new Design Tech High School building is set to soon begin on the campus of Oracle Corporation.
Education officials and representatives from the technology giant are among those slated to host a groundbreaking ceremony for the San Mateo Union High School District’s only charter school during a private event Friday, Aug. 12.
The celebration will formally mark the beginning of the end of a yearslong process for d.tech, as the school focusing on science, math, engineering and design curriculum has moved to a few different homes and periodically been the source of contention along the way.
Ken Montgomery, director of the school, said the event setting the stage for construction is a testament to the commitment of advocates who continuously fought for the vision of the school.
“It’s nice to have moments like this to reaffirm having the energy to push you forward when things get tough,” he said. “I’m excited for the day. It’s just a nice day for the d.tech community.”
Montgomery founded d.tech in 2014, and a rift in the high school district community formed around its colocation on the Mills High School campus in Millbrae shortly after opening.
The school eventually moved to property rented from the San Mateo County Office of Education on Rollins Road in Burlingame, in advance of the Oracle Corporation unveiling plans to erect a new building for the school last year.
Montgomery said the construction of the new school would not have been possible without the collaborative effort of the school district and Oracle.
“The building represents so many entities working together to help kids,” he said.
The 64,000-square-foot learning space will be built to accommodate 550 students and 30 teachers in a building adjacent to the Belmont Slough, according to Colleen Cassity, Oracle’s director of education, who expressed enthusiasm for the project to finally get off the ground.
“We are just tremendously excited to be making this really definitive step forward in a project that has been two years in the making,” she said.
Oracle Corporation is footing the entire bill for constructing the school open to students from both the San Mateo Union and Sequoia Union high school districts, as the company’s headquarters in Redwood Shores fall south of the of the San Mateo Union High School District’s boundaries.
D.tech students and teachers worked with architects to design the building in an effort to create a space best addressing the specific needs of the unique curriculum offered at the school, said Cassity.
The two-story facility will include both a maker space for students to develop the vision of their projects and a connected fabrication lab where designs can be made into reality, she said.
Employees from the company will also be available to tutor students and offer their expertise on projects, said Cassity, further establishing the partnership between the corporate giant and the public school.
Montgomery said the mentorship offered by Oracle employees is one of his favorite components of the school’s new home in Redwood Shores.
“Our students having access to that kind of expertise is something I’m particularly excited about,” he said.
Cassity said she believed d.tech’s future presence on the campus of a globally recognized company is proof of the collaborative spirit common in the local technology marketplace.
“This kind of partnership is an example of the best of Silicon Valley,” she said.
Looking toward the groundbreaking and eventually the building construction, set to begin Sept. 1, Montgomery said he is thrilled for the opportunity to see his dreams for the project, and the school, become a reality.
“It really is such a unique, historic thing,” he said. “It’s such an amazing thing to be a part of.”
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Oracle Ellison Protested At World Headquarters-Stop Public Money To Billionaires For Charters
Public school advocates and teachers joined together at the world headquarters of Oracle in Redwood City, California on March 28, 2016 to protest the use of public funds for a privately run Oracle/Ellison charters school with public tax money. Under California charter law billionaires and even religious cults are getting public funds for their privately run charter schools.
Larry Ellison who is worth $50 billion wants to construct a charter school on his corporate campus with a tax deduction and use public funds to staff the corporate run school. Public school teachers in Redwood City and San Mateo are angry that while their schools suffer from funding cuts and lack of supplies and special courses, Ellison and other billionaires are siphoning off money to their private projects and furthering segregation and discrimination against special education learners and other students who require additional help.
They also supported the California Charter Repeal initiative which would stop all public money to privately run charter schools in California.
For more information:
Voices Against Privatizing Public Education- Repeal Charter School Laws Committee
Labor Video Project
Marin school board hurts minorities with focus on charter school-Charter Corruption, Racism and Discrimination "This excessive contribution to the charter school comes at the expense of the district's own school, which has many unmet needs."
Marin school board hurts minorities with focus on charter school
By Mark Prado, The Marin Independent Journal
POSTED: 08/12/2016 11:26:00 AM PDT | UPDATED: A DAY AGO
In a highly critical report, a state education task force concluded the Sausalito Marin City School District board favors the district's charter school in Sausalito to the detriment of minority children who attend a traditional campus in Marin City.
The report also suggests that the way board members are elected could be challenged legally, because it denies minorities equal access to representation, and that the district could be liable for civil rights violations.
The 106-page report was issued Wednesday by the state Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, which sent a four-person investigative team to review records and procedures at the district in April.
The probe came as critics say money and resources have been diverted to the 406-student charter school, which has its own board of directors. The K-8 Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito began in 2001 as a response to academic problems in district schools. Meanwhile, as the charter grows, the district's sole traditional school, the 144-student K-8 Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City, is struggling to attract students and maintain cohesive educational programs.
The scathing report focused largely on the relationship between the board and the charter.
"The majority of the district's governing board members are closely allied with the board of WCA (Willow Creek Academy)," the report said. "Documents reviewed and individuals interviewed, including one governing board member, indicate that those involved in the leadership and promotion of WCA ensured the election of, and exercise control over, the majority of members of the district's governing board. Thus the majority of governing board members are beholden to those whose primary interest is the well-being of WCA. This is a clear detriment to the students at Bayside MLK. Interviews and a review of governing board meeting minutes confirm that the district's governing board is more supportive of WCA than of the district's own school."
Three of the five school board members -- Caroline Van Alst, Thomas Newmeyer and Joshua Barrow -- have children at Willow Creek, and a fourth, William Ziegler, is a founder of the charter school.
—There are major errors in the report," said board member Ziegler. "It is not only highly biased; it is seriously off base with its numbers."
The report also questioned the at-large elections process, saying it "could be challenged" under California voting rights law that requires districts to consider whether equal access to representation is being denied to minorities.
"By their own admission, leaders associated with WCA exercise significant control over the majority of the district's governing board members, resulting in an excessively close relationship between the governance of the two entities and, more importantly a clearly biased financial arrangement that benefits WCA while harming the students of the district's Bayside MLK school," the report reads. "Although the district's governing board made a decision to meet the Sausalito community's needs through extraordinary support for WCA, it has yet to make a similar decision to invest in the students of Marin City."
Sue Krenek, Willow Creek's board president, first saw the report Thursday and said she and others will analyze it in the coming days.
"It's always good to get an outside perspective on how to do a better job," Krenek said, but she wondered if the state panel went too far afield in getting into policy issues when its stated goal is looking at financial and management responsibilities. "Some of the discussion on policy and legal issues appears to be a stretch," Krenek said, adding that some aspects of the report "look incorrect."
The report continues that although the district is required to provide oversight for its approved charter school, the state panel -- created as an independent agency in 1992 by legislation -- found there is no formal process to do so.
"This has resulted in potentially segregated schools and a possible federal civil rights violation, for which the district has no indemnity because its failure to provide oversight leaves it without the protections otherwise provided in law for charter authorizers," the report states.
"It is a very sad state of affairs, one that is damaging to our entire community and county," said Marilyn Mackel, a former Los Angeles County court commissioner who has volunteered at Bayside MLK. She has filed a civil rights complaint against the district with the state Department of Education. She had not fully reviewed the report as of Thursday.
The report also says the district's 2016-17 budget "will divert to WCA, or not collect from it, between approximately $1 million and $1.9 million in excess of the district's legal requirement. ... This excessive contribution to the charter school comes at the expense of the district's own school, which has many unmet needs."
The report asserts that what the district provides to the charter school "far exceeds anything contemplated under current law and regulations, as well as what is reasonable and fair based on common practice."
It also alleges a memorandum of understanding signed late last year between the district and charter "may go so far as to constitute a gift of public funds."
Board members in interviews with the team voiced support for students in Sausalito and Marin City, "however, their actions are utterly inconsistent with their rhetoric and their own board policy," according to the report.
Board policy 210 states: "Equity does not mean treating everyone in the same way. It means doing whatever it takes to get everyone to the same place."
The report states: "The district's governing board does not follow this policy."
The report's executive summary concludes: "The district has not honestly examined how its actions and policies harm students at Bayside MLK. As long as the significant achievement gap remains between WCA and Bayside MLK students, financial support should not be diverted from the students at Bayside MLK and provided to WCA. Funds currently being transferred from Bayside MLK to WCA should be redirected to academic, social-emotional, athletic and activity programs to close the achievement gap for students at Bayside MLK."
The state review also served as a follow-up to a 2012 visit by the same panel. The new report says about 80 percent of the 100 recommendations made in 2012 have not been fully implemented, including significant recommendations regarding internal controls, board policies, budget development, financial reporting, payroll and position control, accounts payable and purchases and personnel practices.
"The report raises issues that will need to be addressed in a timely way," said Mary Jane Burke, county superintendent of schools, who asked for this year's state review. Burke serves as chairwoman for the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team board, but said she had no hand in writing the report. "It's incumbent on all of us to focus on the needs of the kids in Marin City." ------ (c)2016 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) Visit The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) at http://www.marinij.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. AMX-2016-08-12T08:16:00-04:00
NAACP members call for ban on privately managed charter schools
By Valerie Strauss August 7 at 12:25 PM
Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) listens to Hillary Clinton at the NAACP annual convention in Cincinnati on July 18. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
The NAACP has long expressed concern about charter schools, but now its members are taking a tougher stance. At their recent annual national convention late last month, members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People approved a resolution that included language calling for a moratorium on the expansion of privately managed charters.
For years, resolutions at annual national conventions of the historic organization have raised issues about charters, but the 2016 resolution uses stark language. The new resolution (see text below) notes that “charter schools with privately appointed boards do not represent the public but make decisions about how public funds are spent,” and it cites a number of problems with some charters, including punitive disciplinary policies, fiscal mismanagement and conflicts of interest.
The resolution won’t be official NAACP policy until the organization’s national board meets soon and decides whether to approve it — but the message from the majority of its members are clear. It says in part:
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* “Charter schools have contributed to the increased segregation rather than diverse integration of our public school system.”
* “Weak oversight of charter schools puts students and communities at risk of harm, public funds at risk of being wasted, and further erodes local control of public education.”
* ” [R]esearchers have warned that charter school expansions in low-income communities mirror predatory lending practices that led to the sub-prime mortgage disaster, putting schools and communities impacted by these practices at great risk of loss and harm…”
Charter advocates criticized the NAACP vote, with charter school founder and operator Steve Perry telling NewsOne Now that the NAACP convention is out of touch with its members in the states. Education Secretary John King told participants at the annual National Association of Black Journalists–National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in Washington that there shouldn’t be “artificial barriers” to the growth of quality charters, which he called “drivers of opportunity for kids,” according to TakePart.com.
Here’s a post about the resolution and why it matters in the school reform debate. It was written by Carol Burris, a former New York high school principal who is now executive director of the nonprofit Network for Public Education, explains why putting the word “public” in front of “charter school” — which are funded with tax dollars — is “an affront” to people for whom public education is a mission. Burris was named the 2010 Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and the same organization named her the New York State High School Principal of the Year in 2013. She has been chronicling botched school reform efforts in her state for years.
By Carol Burris
The democratic governance of our public schools is an American tradition worth saving. Although results are not always perfect, school board elections represent democracy in its most responsive and purest form. Sadly, it has become no more than a memory in many communities — especially in urban neighborhoods of color where citizens are already disenfranchised in so many ways.
In those communities, privately managed charters have accelerated a decline that began with mayoral control of public schools. The good news is that there is a growing awareness and resistance to privately managed schools. This is evidenced by the remarkable stand taken by the NAACP at its recent annual convention in Cincinnati, during which members passed a resolution that called for a moratorium on these charter schools.
Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig is the education chair of the California and Hawaii NAACP. He said he supported the resolution put forth by the San Jose delegation because he believes that when it comes to charters, it is “time to pump the brakes and reevaluate.” At a recent debate on the resolution at the National Urban League convention, Vasquez Heilig had the following to say in defense:
“What the education reformers have put on the table is top-down, private control and privatization of schools. Choice does not have to be that way; choice can be about community-based solutions.”
Worries about charters were reflected in past resolutions of the NAACP as well. The new 2016 resolutions go further, calling for a moratorium on the growth of charter schools, along with review of their disciplinary practices. The NAACP also called for transparency, enforcement of laws to prevent fraud, waste and corruption, and an end to charter school practices that exploit communities and neighborhoods.
Here is some of the specific language in the 2016 resolution calling for a moratorium:
Be it further resolved, that the NAACP hereby supports a moratorium on the proliferation of privately managed charter schools.
Why would the delegates to the NAACP, an organization that has supported parts of the corporate school reform agenda, reject the growth of charter schools?
Jitu Brown is the national director of the Journey for Justice Alliance (J4J), an alliance of community, student and parent organizations in 21 cities, which fight for community-driven alternatives to the privatization of and dismantling of public schools. Brown explained his member groups’ skepticism of charters this way:
“We applaud the one out of five charter schools that are truly centers of innovation, fulfilling their original intent. The charter school movement however, tries to spin mediocre interventions as school improvement while snatching away a family’s choice of a high quality neighborhood school within walking distance of their homes. These are ‘hustlers’ who use civil rights language to repeatedly violate the civil rights of Black and Brown communities.”
The message is clear: privately managed charter schools may call themselves public, but they often exclude the public in poor communities when it comes to having a say in school governance.
Let’s take a look, for example, at the Board of Success Charter Schools in New York City to see what “private management” looks like. New York City’s Success Academy has 17 non-staff directors. They are overwhelmingly white and wealthy. Only one of the 17 board members is black — Shavar Jeffries, the president of Democrats for Education Reform and a former candidate for mayor of Newark.
The rest of the board reads more like a “who’s who” of the New York Timessociety page than the representatives of the economically disadvantaged families of New York City. Board President Daniel Loeb, founder of Four Point Capital, is a multi-billionaire. Six other board members are founders or directors of hedge funds or private investment firms. Campbell Brown, whose education reform website consistently comes to the defense of Success, also sits on the board.
The board of Success is not an anomaly. You can find the board of KIPP here. It includes Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings; Carrie Walton Penner, an heir to the Walmart fortune; and Philippe Dauman, president and chief executive officer of Viacom.
So why does it matter who sits on a board?
Elected boards that represent a community give parents voice. I served on a board of education for 10 years. In order to be reelected by residents, I had to be sensitive to the needs of parents and taxpayers, always balancing those needs with sound governance of the schools. Later, as a high school principal in a neighboring district, I was always cognizant that I worked for an elected board. If I suspended a student, for example, I needed to make sure that I did my due diligence and followed policy, knowing that the suspension could be appealed and the overturned by the board.
Public school principals know that the decisions they make are transparent to the public and that missteps or mistakes are likely to reach the ear of a member of the board. It is highly unlikely that a Success parent could pick up a phone and get the board chairman or even his assistant, if a problem at Success occurred.
It is not by chance that so many charter chain boards are filled with the elite. The disdain for democratic governance by charter advocates is common. In the words of KIPP Board member, Hastings: “The school board model works reasonably well in suburban districts.” In cities, where it takes thousands of dollars to run, school board seats attract the politically ambitious. “They use the school board as a stepping-stone to run for higher office.”
The prejudice inherent in that statement is astounding. To paraphrase, suburban communities can self-govern; but urban residents should not because they would have self-serving motives, unlike altruistic billionaires, who should be on charter boards.
That is the reason that the NAACP passed the resolution calling for a moratorium. The 2,200 members who passed that resolution understand that policies around suspension, excessive discipline, cherry-picking students and continual test-prep, along with the lack of regulations that result in theft and corruption, will not change until the community participates in governance and transparency prevails.
In 2014, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform painted a grim picture of just how undemocratic charter school governance is in the state of Massachusetts. But they also made serious recommendations on how charter school governance could be reformed. Their findings can be generalized to states across the nation, and so are their solutions, which follow:
• Require that at least 50 percent of the members of each charter school governing board be representatives from among parents at the school (elected by parents) and, in the case of high schools, students (elected by students);
• Require that non-parent/student members of the governing board reside in the school district in which the school(s) operates;
• Instruct each charter school to list board members with affiliations on the school’s website;
• Require governing boards of charter schools to hold all meetings in the district in which the school or schools operate, and at times that are convenient to parents;
• Require all meeting to be open to the public and publicized in advance according to the rules for the traditional public school governing body, and require minutes from board meetings to be available online.
The above recommendations sound awfully reasonable to me.
The passage of the NAACP resolution was greeted with horror by Democrats for Education Reform; Steve Perry, who has partnered with Rapper Puff Daddy to open a charter, and U.S. Secretary of Education John King, who was a managing director of the Uncommon Charter Chain.
I suggest they all take a deep breath and read the resolutions again. The NAACP does not want charter schools shut down. It wants a pause on new, privately managed charters. They want students treated with dignity. They want transparency and waste and fraud to stop. And they want any school that calls itself “public” to act as if the public matters.
They should then take a look at the five recommendations from Annenberg. Why would anyone who cares about the dignity of communities — be they rich or poor — object?
 The ACLU recently released a report in California alleging that 1 in 5 charters in the state violate state and federal by engaging in illegal admissions practices.
ote. ACLU released a report rather than put information in a lawsuit.)
Using the racist anti-labor charter laws Larry Ellison is building a charter school that will be use public funds to further segregation and a two tier education system.
Larry Ellison who avoids taxes has great wealth and wants more by pushing the privatization of education for more profits. He was given millions of dollars by his flunky SF Mayor Ed Lee for his private sports event and he runs California politicians.