The Georgia House Should “Pink Slip” the Opportunity School District

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The Georgia House Should Pink Slip the Opportunity School District

Last week the Georgia Senate voted and passed two bills, Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287.  Senate Bill 133 will set up the Opportunity School District (OSD), which will enable the state to take over public elementary and secondary schools that have a grade of F for three consecutive years.  Senate Resolution 287 proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Georgia, which allows the General Assembly to set up the OSD.

These bills will enable the Governor’s office to take over 20 of Georgia’s “chronically failing” public schools in the 2017-2018 school year, and then increase the number to 100 schools throughout the state.  These “chronically failing” schools will make up a statewide school district called the Opportunity School District.

This is a bad deal for public education in Georgia.  For Senate Bill 133, I’ll show that the devil is in the details, and in the end the takeover plan that the Governor and the Senate advocate will be a disaster for Georgia public schools.  Singling out each school is an untenable solution to school improvement. The state, however, will eventually single out 100 schools (and my guess is that this number will increase over time), not realizing or ignoring some truths about how systems work.

Ed Johnson, a colleague and researcher in Atlanta, puts it this way:

“It would be the top administration’s mistake, and abdication of their leadership responsibility, to single out any school or Region to hold any people there “accountable” as a special matter. Leadership from the top, from both the school board and the superintendency, is required. Only they can be held “accountable” in any rational way. And no way of “accountability” pushed down from the top can substitute for the requisite leadership needed to foster collaboration with and among affected stakeholders, as a system.”

Breaking apart districts will be a mistake.

Let’s turn our attention to the concept of “chronically failing schools” being rescued by a state level administration with a cadre of charter schools.  This what Senate Bill 133 is about.

Chronically Failing Schools

The plan is based on the New Orleans’ Recovery School District (RSD), created by the Louisiana legislature in 2003.  After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the state legislature passed Act 35, which transferred 100 “low performing schools” in New Orleans over to the RSD. (I wondered why The Georgia plan calls for taking over 100 schools–copy that). The RSD became the ideal setting for the influx of charter school management firms, which presumably would create the basis for an “epic reform” of schooling in the Parishes of New Orleans and other locations.

That has not happened.

RSD schools are failing schools based on a system that was based on a “star” rating system developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  In 2011, Louisiana instituted letter grades based on another ALEC bill.  The variable used to rate schools was student performance on standardized tests in math and reading–and that’s all.

The Georgia legislature followed suit, instituting the “star” and “letter grade” system.  Recently, however, the state of Georgia initiated the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), a composite number or score of achievement points, progress points, achievement gap points and challenge points.  No matter how you look at this, its how students score on standardized tests–just the same as is done in New Orleans.

For the state as a whole, CCRPI average scores are 72.7 for elementary schools, 73.8 for middle schools, and 68.4 for high schools.  Instead of stars, the state uses six performance flags (2 for each color): green (subgroup meets standards), yellow (subgroup meets some of the standards), red (failed to meet standards). Another way to show this, is:

  • Green Flags–passed
  • Yellow Flags–caution or so-so
  • Red Flags–failed

Data from the Georgia Department of Education indicates that schools scoring lower than 60 on the CCRPI measures for three consecutive years would be considered a potential turnaround or failing school (they are publicly red flagged and therefore identified as a failing school).

There are 141 “chronically failing” schools in the state.  The schools are concentrated in these locations:

  • Atlanta (27)
  • DeKalb County (26)
  • Richmond County (21)
  • Bibb County (14)
  • Muscogee County (10).  

The remaining schools are scattered around the state.  You can see the list here.

In Georgia and Louisiana, school ratings are based on quantitative data.   This has set up a system that ensures failure for many schools, especially those identified above by the Georgia Department of Education.  Furthermore, if we use only quantitative data to make high stakes decision natural consequences include systematic cheating.

But failure is defined by a system that does not take into consideration many aspects of school that are qualitative, and aspects that deeply impact teaching and learning.  The state is only interested in standardized test scores in English Language Arts, mathematics, science & social studies.  It appears not to be interested in courses in the arts, music, including theory, band, chorus, physical education, drama, and many other courses that student’s experience as part of school.

And what is the effect of poverty of on the quantitative data the state collects to decide whether a school is failing or not?  As Diane Ravitch says, poverty matters.  It affects children’s health and well-being.  It affects their emotional lives, and academic performance.  These out-of-school factors actually a greater effect on student learning, including scores on standardized tests, than do in-school factors.  To read an analysis of the CCRPI and its connection to poverty concentration, link here.

Georgia’s Opportunity School District

The Opportunity School District, which was proposed by Governor Nathan Deal, is indeed an opportunity.  But it is not in the best interests of students and their families in the communities identified as having “chronically failing schools.”  The first detail to pull out of Senate Bill 133 is that this bill is nothing short of opening the flood gates for charter schools, which have been documented time and again as not nearly being as effective as “regular” public schools.  These schools will replace public schools that have been red-flagged for three consecutive years.  The main goal of school will be to get students to score higher on standardized tests.  Success will hinge primarily on the test scores in mathematics and reading.  Teaching to the test will be the main goal of schooling in the OSD.

In this Senate bill, paragraph after paragraph is devoted to describing how the state will set up a state-wide charter school district for “chronically failing schools.”  But here is a real problem for Georgia legislators to consider.  The evidence from the New Orleans Recovery School District is that for the most part, schools that were considered failing before they entered the confines of the RSD continued to earn failing grades, stars, or flags–pick your own symbol.

Research on the New Orleans Recovery School District

Documentation for the failure of the New Orleans Recovery School District can be found in many sources.  For example, Michelle Constantinides, an Atlanta parent and education activist, published an article on Maureen Downey’s AJC “Get Schooled” blog entitled “Rhyme and reason: Georgia should not adopt New Orleans state takeover model.”  Constantinides documents school-by-school failure while being part of the RSD, and shows that if anything, these charter schools did very little in the way of improving the academic achievement of students.

Dr. Kristen Buras, Researcher and Associate Professor in the Educational Policy Studies Department, Georgia State University has done ground-breaking research on how charter schools in New Orleans, promoted as an “equitable and innovative solution to the problems plaguing urban schools,” have capitalized on racially oppressed communities to enable entrepreneurs to come in on the backs of children and their parents to set up for-profit schools.

Representing a very robust educational research community in the Georgia, Dr. Buras has published reports and two recent books on the New Orleans Recovery School District.  Her most recent book, “Charter Schools, Race and Urban Space” (Rutledge, 2015) is an in-depth study of the New Orleans Recovery School District since 2005.  The major theme of her book–that the RSD is a strategy to use market-based reforms to give control of public schools, attended by Black children in Black communities and often taught by Black teachers, over to well-funded white entrepreneurs.  This thesis needs to be part of the conversation about Senate Bill 133, which will set up a school district of charter schools that will have control over “chronically failing” public schools.

In Buras’ research she found that charter schools taken over by the state derived little to no advice from the school community, charter managers were given immense decision-making power, charters often engaged in selective admission standards, veteran teachers were fired, charters were privately managed, charter schools had access to funding to upgrade schools at public expense, and public schools were closed to accommodate new charter start-ups. Often students had to travel more than an hour to and from school because their neighborhood school was closed.

Buras’ research is very relevant to the Georgia takeover plan.  She has exposed some troubling issues that are pertinent to Senate Bill 133.  For example, veteran New Orleans teachers were fired en mass in 2008.  After they were fired, many tried to seek positions in the RDS, but were not hired, perhaps because their salaries were higher than first and second year recruits whom charter managers favored.  You can read an account of this in The Times-Picayune paper here.  Black teachers were replaced in the newly opened charter schools by mostly white inexperienced teachers from Teach for America.  Charter schools, to discourage the fired teachers, offered private retirement plans and not the state pension fund.

If you don’t think this will happen in Georgia, then you might read the details in Georgia’s Race to the Top (RT3) grant.

According to the Georgia RT3, failing schools will either be closed or “reformed” using one of various reform school models.  In the reform school models, the principal is fired, and at least half the teachers are replaced.  But here is the thing.  When I examined the RT3 budget section for turning around low achieving schools, the lion’s share of the money went to Teach for America and The New Teacher Fund, which recruits and establishes a pipeline of inexperienced and non-licensed teachers, who are hired by school districts and then placed in the lowest performing schools.

In research done earlier and reported on this post, the state of Georgia (and many others around the country) have established questionable relationships within the context of turnaround schools with charter management companies, Teach for America and the New Teacher Project.  Follow this link to read my report.

The reformists behind such experiments as charter schools believe a charter school is good because it is a charter. The implication here is that charter schools are more effective than their counterpart public schools.  Julian Vasquez Heilig, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Sacramento, and Professor Michael Marder, Professor of Physics, University of Texas, have studied charter schools extensively, and independently.

Heilig’s research has focused schools as community learning centers.  His research has shown that if a neighborhood school becomes a learning center, and not being closed or becoming a state controlled reform school, parents, students, teachers and neighborhood businesses form an intense partnership leading to local school improvement.

Marder’s research has involved the analysis of large data sets and he has shown that there is a strong relationship between poverty concentration and achievement, and that nearly all charter schools produce dismal results.  He found that higher poverty concentrations were inversely related to achievement scores (ACT).

A state takeover of chronically failing schools with a slew of charter schools would be a big mistake, and would not be a choice for students and their parents.

Georgia’s Opportunity School District

In Georgia here is what is going to happen if the House joins the Senate and votes in favor of the Opportunity School District, and the citizens of the state agree to change the state constitution.

The OSD will exist within the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.  The Governor will “appoint” a superintendent, to be confirmed by the Senate.  This person will serve at the pleasure of the Governor.  In Louisiana, one of the first Superintendents of the RSD was a person who had two years of teaching experience, and a few years working for the Department of Education in New York City.  He later, with the help of out-of-state financing, became the Superintendent of the Louisiana Department of Education.

In Georgia, the Superintendent of the OSD will have the power to set up the guidance and rules for operating the state-wide district. The OSD will select up to 20 qualifying schools.  Qualifying schools?  Yes.  Schools that qualify would be those that had been red-flagged for three years in a row based on the College and Career Ready Performance Index.

Although the bill states that public hearings might be held, the list of schools shall be decided by OSD Superintendent.

The OSD is authorized to waive some education rules, only if they contribute to increasing student performance (on standardized tests).

Now, here is an interesting detail in the Bill.  The OSD will collaborate with the State Charter Schools Commission to build capacity to set up charter schools.

In 2011 the Supreme Court of Georgia’s decision, Gwinnett County School District v. Cox, found that the state constitution does not authorize any governmental entity to create or run schools that is not under the control of a local board of education. The court ordered that no other government entity can compete with or duplicate the efforts of local boards of education in establishing and maintaining general K-12 schools. And it further states that local boards of education have the exclusive authority to fulfill one of the primary obligations of the Georgia, namely “the provision of an adequate public education for all citizens”

But during the next General Assembly, the legislature retaliated and passed a bill that changed the Constitution of Georgia to reinstate the Charter School Commission.  In the 2012 elections, Georgia citizens ratified the bill.

These actions, and Senate Bill 133 have set in motion the dismantling of a segment of Georgia’s school population that has not done well on state mandated standardized tests.

The Opportunity School District is a dangerous plan.  The OSD is not intended to improve education in communities that have struggling schools. It is designed to reform schools by people who know very little to nothing about education, but know a lot about taking advantage, and in the end, the opportunity to privatize public education.

Why aren’t University System of Georgia Researchers and 100,000 K-12 Public School Educators involved in the Takeover Plan?

As Emeritus Professor of Science Education at Georgia State University, I have to ask the Governor and the Georgia Assembly why the higher education research community has not been publicly engaged in the OSD.  The University System of Georgia has a robust academic and research community.  It receives more than $1 billion in outside funding each year for research, and an economic impact of more than $14 billion.  There are researchers in Georgia who specialize in education policy, educational reform and learning.

Governor Deal, why haven’t you embraced this powerful resource?

As a professor for more than 30 years at GSU I worked with students seeking degrees in math and science education at the masters, specialist and doctoral levels.  I also worked alongside full-time teachers and principals around the state.  There are more than 100,00 teachers in Georgia, with 54% having ten or more years of experience.

Again, I ask the Governor and the General Assembly of Georgia:

Why haven’t you pursued the wisdom of these teachers and principals?

To create a separate and potentially for-profit school district is ill willed.  It is rhetorical, and is deprived of a research base.  How can the Governor and the General Assembly ignore the 100,000 people in this state who can help improve schooling and get us out of this quagmire?

And one more question for our legislators.  Why do want to extend the reach of government? Don’t you believe that education is best served by the people at the local level?

Pink Slip

The Georgia House of Representatives needs to scrutinize, and then pink slip the Opportunity School District plan.

Letter to the Georgia House Democratic Caucus Leadership Opposing the Opportunity School District

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Today I wrote to the Georgia House Democratic Caucus Leadership urging them to vote against Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287 which will enable the state to takeover 100 of Georgia’s “chronically failing” schools.

I wrote this:

To: Georgia House Democratic Caucus Leadership

From: Dr. Jack Hassard, Emeritus Professor, Science Education, Georgia State University

Re: Opposition to Opportunity School District

Yesterday, I wrote a public letter to Governor Deal and the Georgia House of Representatives explaining why it is wrong to set up a state-run Opportunity School District. In that letter I described an alternative plan that I think is in line with your thinking on school improvement.

For more than 10 years I’ve authored a policy education blog at the artofteachingscience.org, after being Professor of Science Education for 32 years at Georgia State University. During the past week I’ve written five articles explaining the research and my reasoning why a state take over of struggling schools and their communities lacks evidence, and is not in the best interests of local schools, students and their parents.

I propose a more powerful plan, which does have research evidence to support it.

Local neighborhoods, communities and school districts need to be supported, not just with funding, but with a range of human resources. It is governmental arrogance to think that local schools can be run better by a central government. We need to support the more than 100,000 Georgia teachers, principals and superintendents and seek their wisdom to improve schools. Reform will be more humane and effective from the bottom-up, not the top-down.

I appreciate your taking the time to read this letter. If I can be of any further help, please call on me.

Kind regards,

Jack Hassard
Emeritus Professor, Georgia State University

I also included a copy of the letter that I wrote yesterday to Governor Nathan Deal and the entire House of Representatives, which you can read here.

Dear Governor Deal: Here is an Alternative to Your Opportunity School District

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Dear Governor Deal,

I am writing this public letter to offer you and members of the Georgia House of Representatives an alternative plan to the Opportunity School District plan.

According to Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287 the state will be authorized  to takeover “chronically failing schools.”  I know you believe it is a moral duty to do this, but as you have pointed out, if anyone has another idea, please bring it forward.

Well, this post describes an alternative.

At this point in the legislative session, I hope that you and your House colleagues will  listen to an alternative plan. Instead of the state taking over 100 of the 141 schools that are eligible to be part of the Opportunity School District, the plan I will suggest is based on research, and been achieved in various city school districts around the country.

Firstly, we should agree that the plan you and your Senate colleagues have approved  is a copy the New Orleans Recovery School District, and Tennessee (which was based on the New Orleans’ plan) take over plans.  The New Orleans Recovery District’s first superintendent was a former Teach for America recruit with two years of experience teaching, and Tennessee hired a charter school organizer as its first superintendent.

Secondly, if the OSD is approved I hope you will leave the decision-making to choose a superintendent to Georgia School Superintendent Woods and his team, as well as the Georgia Superintendents Association.  They could give you a short list from which you can select.

But, of course, I hope that the House votes down Senate Bill 133 and Resolution 287.

Schools as Community Learning Centers: An Alternative to the Opportunity School Districts

I think you will agree that the plan being proposed in the Georgia Assembly is a top down, authoritarian approach to school change.  It is based on managing schools using numbers and data, rather than people and relationships.

Here is a plan that embraces people and relationships, and sees schooling in a different light.  Instead of labeling a school as a chronically failing entity, each school is envisioned as a community learning center.

I hope you will read about this alternative plan.

To find an example of an alternative plan you might consider looking at what is happening in Cincinnati, as suggested by Gloria Johnson.    Since the House hasn’t voted on these bills, what’s happening in Cincinnati and other districts around the country is very relevant to Georgia.

Instead of turning schools over to the state, reform in Cincinnati is centered on engaging the community by developing all schools as community learning centers, “each with financially self-sustaining, co-located community partnerships that are responsive to the vision and needs of each school and its neighborhood.

This is a grassroots approach to education reform, and does not rely of top-down mandates.

Instead of plucking a school or two from this or that school district, and putting them under the control of some distant superintendent this plan recognizes that school is a crucial part of any neighborhood or community.  Parents put their trust in their local school, and last thing they want to see happen is for their school to close, or be turned over a for-profit group, with few ties to the community.

Instead of a state or centralized government take over and control of public schools,  Cincinnati has chosen a decentralized, community based plan.

The Cincinnati Public Schools has created campuses around the city that build relationships between the schools and communities.  Here is what you will find about this plan if you visit the CPS website:

These schools, known as Community Learning Centers (CLC), serve as hubs for community services, providing a system of integrated partnerships that promote academic excellence and offer recreational, educational, social, health, civic and cultural opportunities for students, families and the community. Over the past ten years, this model has drawn national attention for successfully engaging community partnerships in school buildings.

CLCs offer health services, counseling, after-school programs, nutrition classes, parent and family engagement programs, early childhood education, career and college access services, youth development activities, mentoring, and arts programming.

And, of course, like it or not, testing is a part of the Cincinnati alternative, and their results have been very good: achievement scores are up, dropouts down and graduates up.

For Georgia schools, it would be unabashed mistake to adopt the New Orleans/Tennessee Recovery School Plan.

Finally, I want to call your attention to the work of Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State, Sacramento.  In a recent issue of Urban Education, Dr. Heilig and his colleague Dr. Sonya Douglass Horsford were guest editors to an entire issue of the journal, entitled Community-Based Education Reform in Urban Contexts (Urban Education, 49(8), December 2014).

The researchers in this issue of Urban Education explain that “bottom-up” reform is a way of providing local communities more control over their children’s education, and the allows for the design and implementation of curriculum more relevant to the community.  A recent law (Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control and Accountability) in California that gives more local control of funding is what we need to be fostering here in Georgia.  Here is what Heilig and Horsford say about this:

The law, which created a process whereby parents, students, school staff, community members, and the superintendent work together to identify short- and long-term educational goals based on local priorities, grants greater flexibility for local communities to determine both their educational goals and mechanisms for holding schools accountable to achieving those goals. Nevertheless, the degree to which local communities have the capacity to engage meaningfully in the design and implementation of such accountability plans, rather than superficially, is of pronounced concern.

Governor Deal, and members of the Georgia House, I ask you to consider looking into this plan, and reconsider the idea of taking over certain schools in the state based on test scores and poverty concentration.

If you are House members, I hope you will vote no on the Opportunity School District bills, and get to work figuring how to work with the school districts in the state.

We don’t need another one.

Kind regards,

Jack Hassard

Emeritus Professor

Georgia State University

Is Your School on the List to be Taken Over by the State of Georgia’s Opportunity School District?

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Is Your School on the List to be Taken Over by the State of Georgia’s Opportunity School District?

Last week the Georgia Senate voted and passed two bills, Senate Bill 133 and Senate Resolution 287.  Senate Bill 133 will set up the Opportunity School District (OSD), which will enable the state to take over public elementary and secondary schools that have a grade of F for three consecutive years.  Senate Resolution 287 proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Georgia, which allows the General Assembly to set up the OSD.

These bills will enable the Governor’s office to take over 20 of Georgia’s “chronically failing” public schools in the 2017-2018 school year, and then increase the number to 100 schools throughout the state.  These “chronically failing” schools will make up a statewide school district called the Opportunity School District.

To get on this list, your school must earn less that 60 on the CCRPI for the previous three years.  You might ask, does such a list exist, and can you see it.  The answer is yes.  You can see it here.

For a several years, once state legislators got ahold of bills from the ALEC Bill Mill, schools in Georgia were rated using either stars, letter grades, and now a number: the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI), which is a composite number or score of achievement points, progress points, achievement gap points and challenge points.  No matter how you look at this, its how students score on standardized tests. For the state as a whole, CCRPI scores are 72.7 for elementary schools, 73.8 for middle schools, and 68.4 for high schools.  Instead of stars, the state uses six performance flags (2 for each color): green (subgroup meets standards), yellow (subgroup meets some of the standards), red (failed to meet standards).

The List of Chronically Failing Schools

Data from the Georgia Department of Education indicates that schools scoring lower than 60 on the CCRPI measures for three consecutive years would be considered a potential turnaround or failing school. There are 141 “chronically failing” schools in the state.  The schools are concentrated in these locations: Atlanta (27), DeKalb County (26), Richmond County (21), Bibb County (14), and Muscogee County (10).  The remaining schools are scattered around the state.

It’s a Bogus List

The list is based on a committee deciding that a school scoring lower than 60 on CCRPI for three years is a failing school.  How did they get that number (60)?  Is it a scientifically based number?  Could this number change from one year to the next?  What would be implication for the 141 schools if the “passing” grade was 55?  Or 52.5?  Or 50?  It would mean a lot.  For one thing, a lot of schools would not be stigmatized by being labeled “failing.”  How would you like to know that the school in your neighborhood was rated by a method that has no valid reason to choose a number, such as 60, and go on to pretend that the state knows what it is talking about.

It’s hogwash.

A lot more to come about these Opportunity School District bills.

 

Beware of Senate Resolution 287: The Opportunity to Take Over Public Schools

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Today, the Georgia Senate voted and passed (38 – 15) Governor Deal’s “chronically failing” school bill which would turn these schools into charters under the appointment of a “state” superintendent.  Senate Resolution 287 proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Georgia that will allow the General Assembly to authorize the establishment of an Opportunity School District which will intervene into failing schools.  Here is a quote from Resolution 287:

The General Assembly may provide by general law for the creation of an Opportunity School District and authorize the state to assume the supervision, management, and operation of public elementary and secondary schools which have been determined to be failing through any governance model allowed by law. Such authorization shall include the power to receive, control, and expend state, federal, and local funds appropriated, all in the manner provided by and in accordance with general law (Miller, et.al. (2015, January 1). Senate Resolution 287. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/20152016/148454.pdf). Emphasis mine.

This is an unfortunate state of affairs.

It will lead to an operation in which private charters will essentially be given the right to spend state and federal money that was earmarked  for public schools, and create a system that will be “thin on data and thick on claims,” as Kristen L. Buras stated in her critical report of the Louisiana Recovery District (Buras, K. (2012, March 1). REVIEW OF THE LOUISIANA RECOVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT: LESSONS FOR THE BUCKEYE STATE. Retrieved March 5, 2015, from http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/TTR-NOLAOhio-Fordham_0.pdf).  We all know that the Georgia plan being pushed by the Governor will be a replica of the Louisiana plan.  According to Dr. Buras’ review of the Recovery School District’s program (RSD) by the Fordham Institute, the success of the reforms in the RSD:

is simply asserted rather than established. This is a troubling omission since adequate data and studies are available that address these points in general and for the RSD in particular. (Buras, 2012)

There are a number of troubling parts of Dr. Buras’ report that will have direct implication for Georgia’s struggling schools.  For example, in 2006, she reports that when veteran teachers in the RSD were fired en mass they were replaced largely by uncertified and inexperienced recruits from Teach for America and The New Teacher Project.  Here are some figures from Buras’ report that are shocking.  Prior to 2006, only 10% of the teachers in the RSD were in their first or second year of teaching.  In 2007 – 2008, 60% of the teachers in the RSD had one year or less of experience.  Only 1% had 25 or more years of experience.

But the most atrocious aspect of the Buras’ report is her discussion of how cut off scores on the state standardized tests seemed to drift up or down depending upon the kind of results that would benefit the RSD.  She puts it this way:

In sum, state standards of “success” and “failure” were manipulated to justify converting public schools into charter schools, and then to justify keeping them as charter schools, Buras, 2012).

Her report also shows that the financial “performance” of the RSD charter schools closes in on being corrupt, clearly not as effective as public schools.  I quote her at length here to show what she found:

In terms of financial performance, there is little evidence that the charter-intensive RSD is more efficient in its use of resources. In fact, the performance assessment issued by the Louisiana legislative auditor, which is cited in the Fordham report, found the following: “Overall, the Office of Parental Options (OPO) and RSD did not effectively monitor [its charter schools] in fiscal year 2010 and need to improve the process to annually collect, review, and/or evaluate [their] performance,” including “student, financial, and legal/contractual performance.”30 The Fordham report does not mention these problems, even as it criticizes New Orleans public schools for mismanagement, corruption, and a lack of transparency (Buras, 2012).

Beware of this Resolution.  It is not intended to improve education in communities that have struggling schools.  It is designed to reform schools based on people who know very little to nothing about education, but know a lot about taking advantage, and seeking the opportunity to privatize public education.

Watch out.