Why the DeKalb County School Board Should Turn Down the Charter Cluster

Guest Post by Dr. Cindy Lutenbacher, Professor at Morehouse College

This post was published last year, and I’m republishing it in light of the Driud Hills Charter Cluster’s second attempt at absconding nearly a half dozen DeKalb schools. Dr. Lutenbacher provides academic and personal experiences and reaches a convincing conclusion.

If the Druid Hills Charter Cluster decides to apply to the State Charter School Commission for charter status, Dr. Lutenbacher’s will serve as evidence why the State should turn them down.… Read more

Druid Hills Charter Cluster Should Be Rejected Again

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The Druid Hills Charter Cluster has raised its nasty head again and is trying to convince the DeKalb County School Board to give a non-elected private group 5000 students, seven school campuses, and hundreds of teachers.

I support Superintendent Michael Thurmond’s decision to oppose the Charter Cluster proposal.

Here is what I wrote a year ago about this idea. Nothing has changed, even though Matt Lewis, the cluster self appointed chai, tells us differently.… Read more

Are the Deep Pockets of Gates, Walton, and Broad Contrary to the Ideals of Education in a Democracy?

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Creative Commons Deep Pockets by paul-henri is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Creative Commons Deep Pockets by paul-henri is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

According to the Foundation Center, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation are ranked 1, 13, and 38 respectively on the top 100 U.S. foundations by total giving.  The total assets of these three foundations as of April 2014 was $37 billion for the Gates Foundation, $1.9 billion for the Walton Foundation, and $1.6 billion for the Broad Foundation.… Read more

Do Some Charter and Title I Schools Use a Pedagogy of Indoctrination


"Creative Commons Allensworth Classroom by Joseph Vasquez  CC By 2.0
“Creative Commons Allensworth Classroom” by Joseph Vasquez is Licensed under  CC By 2.0

I might be off my rocker on this post, but I want to get it out there, and ask you if there might be some truth in my claim.  My claim is that the No Child Left Behind Act set in motion a culture of schooling which seeks conformity and an authority to which participants must subscribe, meaning teachers, students and their parents. … Read more

Charter School Formula for Financial Success but Educational Failure

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Creative Commons Bathroom, Cosmos Cafe by Allan Ferguson is Licensed under CC By 2.0.
Creative Commons Bathroom, Cosmos Cafe by Allan Ferguson is Licensed under CC By 2.0.

There are some charter schools that are successful. They tend to exist on their own in districts scattered around the country.

There are however, hundreds of charter schools that are not successful. They tend to exist in clusters in some of the nation’s largest cities.

Rocketship Education is a charter organization that has schools in California, and, Wisconsin, and in 2014 in Washington D.C., and Nashville.… Read more

Re-Blog of Twitter Charter Debate with Michelle Rhee & Julian Vasquez Heilig

This “twitter debate” from Julian Vasquez Heilig’s blog appeared in my inbox today. I am working on a post on charters and public schools based on an EPI study of the Rocketship Education charters in Milwaukee.

This twitter debate is a perfect introduction to that forthcoming article.

Julian Vasquez Heilig is now an Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning and African and African Diaspora Studies (by courtesy) at the University of Texas at Austin. He blogs at cloakinginequity.… Read more

What Every Georgian Ought to Know about Charter Schools



Georgians should be aware that our state legislators are at it again under the Gold Dome changing key aspects of education in our state through the passage of House Bill 897.  The partisan bill affects education in the state in many ways.  The elected officials have decided they don’t like the Common Core Standards language, and have struck any reference to the words quality core curriculum, and replaced them with the term “content standards.”

Although I am not a big supporter of the Common Core, this a political decision not a decision based on research, or facts.  … Read more

Druid Hills Charter Cluster Turned Down, 5 – 4, by the DeKalb School Board

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Maureen Downey announced from her Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog, Get Schooled, that the 5-4 vote by the DeKalb County Board of Education rejected the Druid Hills Charter Cluster (DHCC). The DHCC petitioned to create a cluster of seven schools with Druid Hills High School being fed by six middle and elementary schools.

According to Maureen Downey’s first hand report, “the debate turned rancorous at several points. Much of the consternation was directed at Marshall Orson, who admitted from the start that he supported the cluster and argued long and hard on its behalf.… Read more

“Say It Isn’t So,” Georgia State Charter Commission Results: 1 Charter Approved, 7 Charters Denied

“Say it isn’t so.”  The State Charter School Commission ruled on the 16 applications it received from charter school organizations, and only approved one.  Sorry, but it is so.

During the last Georgia legislative session, the Republican House and Senate amended the Georgia Constitution that resurrected the State Charter Schools Commission, which had been ruled unconstitutional by the Georgia Supreme Court.

The Georgia bill, which was passed by the Georgia Legislature and signed by the Governor is based on a “model” bill written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right leaning partisan group.… Read more