Mamie Till Mobley

"There was an important mission for me, to shape so many...young minds as a teacher. God took away one child but...(gave) me thousands. And I have been grateful for the blessing." Mamie Till Mobley

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Attendance decline severe district needs to hire more attendance officers

Associate Superintendent Will Keresztes said, "he expects a total of 12 attendance teachers to be on staff in the fall" in a Buffalo News story today about the declining attendance rates in the Buffalo Schools. 

Yet combating six years of educational neglect after the district laid-off 15 attendance officers in 2005, is going to take more manpower now to catch up in order to address an attendance problem that has become grossly severe
Superintendent Keresztes should consider creating a position of director of attendance on his immediate staff working with  two supervisors of attendance that includes a bilingual one. 
Ideally, if there are about 61 schools, a professional cadre of at least 33 attendance officers should be distributed throughout the elementary and high schools in the district, including the schools designated persistently lower performing ones. And there should be an attendance officer present in each school building with a fully staffed office as it used to exist in the high schools. Those offices still exist manned by attendance clerical staff and should immediately house the attendance officers again. 
Also, the idea of housing the attendance teachers outside the schools isolated from the students in a separate building as a group is an approach the district started in 2004. It's not the best approach prevents attendance officers from developing relationships with students and building staff.  
Also, the presence of an attendance officers deters truancy especially in the elementary schools, compelling parents to comply with the Compulsory Education Law. Moreover, students seeing an attendance teacher in the building deters truant behavior as well.
The attendance officers on the AIM team and the police officers worked in the high school attendance offices. A social worker should be housed in the same office as the attendance officer both working together but having separate professional duties. 
When the duties of an attendance officer conflicts with helping students and their families with their psycho-social problems, a social worker will be better equipped to do it particularly if the officer has to take steps against the parent  for educational neglect or to arrest the student for truancy. 
Whereas a social worker is professionally trained to focus on the long term intervention strategies the family needs to help them with problems that may be affecting school attendance.
The district now is blaming the attendance officers laid-off, alleging the model didn't work and changing their duties. But if the data that currently shows declining attendance rates from 2007 to 2009 reflects the years in which the attendance officers were laid off from 2005 through 2011, it may show a relationship between the lack of attendance officers during this period and declining attendance rates in the district. 
However, the District consultant Hedy Chang data analysis focused exclusively on 2009-2010 school year while the Buffalo Teachers Federation data on 2007-2009, targeting K-6th grades.
What catapulted the severe attendance problem in the first place was the district wrongfully laid-off 15 attendance officers in August 2005, and did not have a plan in place to address attendance except increasing the number of police resource officers who have a role to play but they are not authorized under section 3213 to arrest students for truancy without the presence of an attendance officer. They have put the cart before the horse and it's not working and the police presence increased in the schools while teachers are laid-off.
So in order to continue to abdicate its responsibility to the wrongfully laid off attendance officers not reinstating them with back pay, their approach recently is saying they were not effective before so district officials changed their duties, recalling 
them while blaming them for the current state of declining attendance rates in the Buffalo Schools.

Attendance officers best remedy to combat truancy

The dismal attendance rates and the continuing high number  of absences in the Buffalo Public School made headline news again this morning when Buffalo News education blogger Mary Pasciak wrote, "Contagion of absence infect system."
While it's important for the district to tweak the duties of attendance officers, attempting to turn them into social workers may backfire.  Associate Superintendent William Keresztes  said, the district was "...designing these positions (attendance officers)  to be very supportive of families, to be very intervention-focused." 
Yet,  the district should consider revamping its comprehensive attendance policy according to Commissioner's Regulation 104.1  where there are  guidelines it must follow such as a written "description of incentives or disciplinary actions, notice to parents of truants, the process to develop specific intervention strategies and the identification of the persons (s) designated in each school building responsible for reviewing attendance records and initiating appropriate action.."
However, there will be many occasions when the attendance officer simply has to make an arrest of a truant (in NYC they have badges) after the intervention doesn't work. It's important for truants and families of truants to view this as the primary role of the attendance officer, following their cases through the court system both City and Family Courts besides monitoring and tracking chronically absent students and referring those with problems to the appropriate school professionals or community organizations. The powers and the duties of an attendance officers are outlined in New York State Education Law Section 3213 - Chapter 16, Title IV, Article 65, Part I.
Also, the district had used the Attendance Intervention Mobile (AIM) in the past where attendance officers were paired up with police officers in the high schools not only to combat truancy but to arrest them as well if the intervention required it. The method was effective and the best way to pair an police officer with a truant officer who many times are more knowledgeable about students and school related matters and authorized through section 3213 to arrest the truants.  Unfortunately about 2003, the district abolished the AIM team either the city no longer funded the positions or for other reasons.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Exempt employees stymied Buffalo News journalist from interviewing Williams called it borderline harassment

    In reporting "Behind the scenes in the superintendent's office an interesting confrontation was caught on camera.
    Erin Comerford  one of the exempt employees working in central office hired as an executive administrator in the office of the Superintendent of School James A. Williams assailed Buffalo News blogger Mary Pasciak yesterday while she attempted to get additional coverage of the events that unfolded after the special meeting of the Buffalo Board of Education.
    Comerford was one of several exempt employees the Superintendent Williams hired in July 2009.  News blogger Pasciak disclosed in her blog, the School Zone,  "Four exempt employees do not appear to meet the minimum qualifications for their jobs," one of them Comerford. Pasciak alleged Comerford didn't have the three years administrative experience listed on the job posting.
    So it was surprising to see and hear Comerford capture by Buffalo News videographer Joe Popiolkowski assailing both journalist when she told them, "you berated everybody in this office for no reason called us things that weren't even true..." 
    When Popiolkowski asked what she met, she responded "...really unqualified and everything else in the paper..."  while she admonished them for not waiting in the outer office and directed them to wait there saying, "we've enough of you, "telling them their attempts to interview the superintendent was "borderline harassment."

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Williams stays time now to negotiate contract with teachers, reinstate attendance officers

    It was a comedy of errors Monday afternoon at the Buffalo Board of Education special meeting to vote on whether to terminate the contract of embattled Superintendent James A. Williams. The public thought the issue had been decided about three weeks ago when Williams opted to retire next year in June 2012.  Many are wondering in the community why this  special meeting happened in the first place. If anything positive resulted from the fiasco was Superintendent Williams saying the matter could have been handled differently through negotiations with their respective attorneys. Williams said,
    "There was a better way to do this, I will say. I think in any organization, if two parties want to have a discussion about a separation, you bring their attorneys in the room, you negotiate and you move forward."
    Perhaps, Williams will  now "move forward" to negotiate a contract with the Buffalo teachers. Buffalo teachers have been without a contract since it expired on July 2004. District officials not only litigated the single health carrier insurance after it unilaterally imposed it on the teachers in 2005, realizing millions of dollars in savings during the four year dispute, but later litigated the contractual steps teachers owed after the wage freeze lifted in 2007.  District officials even litigated the reinstatement of the wrongfully laid-off teachers in 2005 that included 15 attendance officers about eight with (tenure) permanent appointments designated "contract" union employees with the Buffalo Teachers Federation. And,  the the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled the teachers did not have to be  reinstated ironically because they were not "contractually entitled to job security."The Court of Appeals sustained the decision of the Appellate Court. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Teachers Federation continues to negotiate reinstatement of the attendance officers while attendance rates decline district-wide especially at the junior high school and secondary levels.
    Yet, Superintendent Williams earlier this month called the work of the attendance officers "like a band aid on cancer" and did not support reinstating them even after the Buffalo Board of Education allocated funds to bring them back at the May 25th board meeting in an interview with the African-American newspaper, the Challenger Community News.
    A plethora of  reports issued recently corroborated the serious issue of declining attendance rates in the district. The consultant the Board  hired Hedy Chang released her report in May, her data showed nearly 45% elementary school, 52% middle school and 70%  high school special education students are chronically or severely absent in the Buffalo Public Schools and BTF report cited nearly 45% of students in K-6 were absent more than 21 days.
    If Williams continues to blame the parents for not sending their children to school as he alleged at the meeting the District Parent Coordinating Council held with stakeholders at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts May 3rd,  and resist reinstating the attendance officers while attendance plummets in the district,  the board may have to revisit whether allowing him  to retire (If he retires, he gets health insurance for life, paid at 70 percent if he retires next year) in order to enhance his benefit package is more important than the school attendance of Buffalo students.

    William to stay as superintendent....!

    "It is the will of the board at this point in time that we will not at this point in time pursue Dr. Williams' termination, said School Board President Ralph Hernandez.

    Buffalo Board of Education has quorum to terminate Williams

    Superintendent James A. Williams
    Photo: BPS

    Buffalo News reported this morning the Buffalo Public Schools, " with high student absenteeism, low graduation rates and underperforming schools, the idea of cutting ties sooner (with Superintentend James A. Williams)  has persisted. 
     "What I'm hearing from the board is, having the discussion now makes much more sense than waiting a year," said Ralph R. Hernandez, board president, who called the special meeting at noon today.  Hernandez said he had been notified that at least five board members would attend today's meeting, creating a quorum.

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    To fire superintendent Williams or not to fire him? Board calls special meeting again to reconsider termination

    WIVB-TV News 4 Buffalo reported tonight the Buffalo Board of Education is  holding a special meeting Monday again to reconsider voting on terminating the contract of Superintendent James A. Williams.
    WGRZ- TV 2, also reported tonight on the likelihood the board will buy out the rest of Williams contract.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Detroit Public Schools announces 10 percent pay cuts, massive layoffs

    Detroit Public Schools announces 10 percent pay cuts, massive layoffs

    Bi-partisan assault on public education in Detroit

    Bi-partisan assault on public education in Detroit

    Teach for America and Me: A Failed Courtship

    "Every spring without fail, a Teach for America recruiter approaches me and asks if they can come to my classes and recruit students for TFA, and every year, without fail, I give them  the same answer:  “Sorry.
    Until  Teach for America changes its objective to training lifetime educators  and raises the time commitment to five years rather than two, I will not allow  TFA to recruit in my classes. The idea of sending talented students into schools in high poverty areas and then after two years, encouraging them to  pursue careers in finance, law, and business in the hope that they will then advocate for educational equity  rubs me the wrong way.”
    Dr. Mark Naison, Forham University

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    School board continues to debate the future of superintendent James Williams

     The Buffalo Board of Education scheduled a meeting on Wednesday to address the issue of whether to terminate the contract of Superintendent James Williams once again after he agreed to a buy-out agreement deal with out-going deputy superintendent Dr. Folasade Oladele two weeks ago that had the community in an uproar.
     And Darius Pridgen,  a popular preacher elected to the Buffalo Common Council sent a message out on his Facebook website sounding the alarm about the impending discussion to fire Williams yesterday and today  polled his friends on the site asking if Williams should be  fired, allowed to stay or undecided though he wrote, "stop it BOE and let the man finish up his time and complete his agenda."
    However, it appeared to be another shilly-shallied affair with School Board President Ralph Hernandez calling for a special meeting on Tuesday that by Wednesday he cancelled as quickly as he called for it while the excuse issued in the local media was "conflicting problems of  Board Members."
    Yet after two hours in executive session yesterday,  Hernandez acknowledged the School Board discussed Williams but would not discuss the matter any further telling the media it was a "very sensitive situation they are dealing with."
    With graduation rates down from two years ago" 50 percent of black students in Buffalo graduated in four years, compared to 60 percent of white students" today it is 45% to 58% respectively.   And,  English Language Learners 23% have the lowest graduation rates  followed by Puerto Ricans 40% in the district. During the same period the graduation rate of Asian students  plummeted as well as  district-wide attendance rates. Nevertheless, talks about terminating  the contract of Superintendent Williams has daunted the School Board. Why?

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    School board president Hernandez wants DPCC to tell them first before lobbying for the parent trigger law in Albany

    The legislative session ends in four days on Monday, June 20. But that's not stopping BuffaloEd Reform and the District Parent Coordinating Committee from traveling to Albany  Wednesday to lobby the Western New York Delegation to pass the trigger law, a bill allowing parents to force school districts to implement one of the federal government turnaround models by collecting the signatures of a majority of parents.    
    They have two things on their side from Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, introducing the legislation in the Assembly in May and Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo who sponsored it in the Senate to  Buffalo ReformEd director Katie Campos tapped this week to the post of secretary of education in the Cuomo administration.
    When he ran for attorney general back in 2006, Cuomo  two years earlier invested campaigns money into hedge funds run by his biggest financial backers. And members of the hedge fund crowd were there to donate again  "Charter Schools' New Cheerleaders: Financiers." Ms. Campos worked in development for Democrats for Education Reform the political action committee Joe williams heads and who Cuomo met while campaigning for governor of New York.
    So a parent trigger law  has been in the works in Buffalo for some time now  with Buffalo ReformEd drawing the District Parent Coordinating Committee into its web, trying to garner up votes for them to push it through  the end of the legislative session in Albany next week.
     Although the law passed in California in January it has been stalled by the new governor in office Jerry Brown and the  state Board of Education many his appointees.
    But the political tide is different in New York State and the trigger law might just make it through if not this time next session, adding more chaos to a beleaguered public school system.
     The only problem is  Board President Ralph Hernandez directed the DPCC  to present the trigger bill  to the Board's student support committee that Florence Johnson chairs before lobbying for it  on Wednesday in Albany. And Park District Lou Petrruci is concerned about the DPCC mixing political advocacy with their district role as parent advocates funded through the auspices of a federal grant.

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Gov. Cuomo taps Katie Campos princess of school reform advocates to secretary of education post

    The last time I saw Katie Campos,  executive director of Buffalo ReformED, she was at a meeting of the District Parent Coordinating Council pushing a petition for a parent trigger bill she developed for New York State similar to the one passed in California. Yet,  a month after Gov. Jerry Brown sworn in as the new governor on January 2011, along with the state Board of Education mostly his appointees put the brakes on the law working instead on a "clean-up legislation."
    "Under the law, if 51% of parents in a failing school sign a petition, they can trigger a forcible transformation of the school—either by inviting a charter operator to take it over, by forcing certain administrative changes, or by shutting it down outright.Schools are eligible for triggering if they have failed to make "adequate yearly progress," according to state standards, for four consecutive years."

    So it was surprising how fast Campos tried to  get the DPCC to vote on giving Buffalo ReformED the go ahead to push the legislation through Albany.  I reviewed her petition and asked who wrote it, Campos responded, "I wrote it." The petition was written on a form that had the logo of both DPCC and Buffalo ReformED which I thought interesting, showing how Campos' group operates in the community to draw these parent organizations into the privatization web. Now,  Katie Campos  made headline news on Friday after Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed her as secretary of education in his administration. Although Campos only has a bachelor's degree in political science for such a big title to influence educational policy making in Albany, she had the right connections. She  worked for Assemblyman Sam Hoyt,  was former public affairs director to New York Charter Schools Association and development director to Democrats for Education Reform a political action committee.
    But the public wonders how Gov. Cuomo justifies these titles and salaries for staff with undergraduate degrees yet hollers for a salary cap on school administrators with much more credentials and responsibilities than his appointed underlings when his budget calls for major job cuts. And along with Campos, Gov Cuomo just appointed four other to senior positions while threatening to lay-off thousands of state workers.
    In her new $70,000-a-year post as secretary of education and advisor to Gov. Cuomo on educational matters, Ms. Campos will have the opportunity to push through her pet  school reform project, the first of course, a parent trigger bill.
    Photo credit: Sam Hoyt for a New Buffalo
    L/R:  Katie Campos, education reform advocate, Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Success Charter Network, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, and  Jim Manly, Principal of Harlem Success Academy 2 and Sam Hoyt.

    Arne Duncan wields the educational machete provide waivers to district adhering to Race to the Top mandates

    “Our first priority is to have Congress rewrite the law. If that doesn’t get done, we have the obligation to provide relief in exchange for reform,”   Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education told reporters on Friday.   And,  “the secretary may waive any statutory or regulatory requirement of this act.”
    If Congress doesn't act in time U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is set to modify the No Child Left Behind Legislation (NCLB) to provide relief through waivers to school districts around the nation falling behind in reaching the 100 percent proficiency requirement  in reading by 2014. But the catch word is REFORM the ones Race to the Top federal grant competition expects school district to adhere to for allocation of funds--charter school conversions, new teacher/principal evaluation system, last in/first out teacher lay-off essentially abolishing the tenure system, evaluating teachers on student achievement on standardized test exams, etc.--

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Education summit meeting Mayor Brown convened closed to the media

    Mayor Byron W. Brown convened an education summit meeting on Friday at the M&T Center with a motley crew of nineteen community stakeholders, coalescing to talk about the persistently lowest-achieving (PLA) Buffalo Public Schools. Noel Tichy, a professor of management and organization at the University of Michigan served as the facilitator.
    Why the summit closed to the local media was surprising since the agenda focused on the low-performing Buffalo Public Schools the turnaround plans the district recently submitted for review to the state Education Department.
    And seven of the PLA schools are under the restart model requiring an educational partnership organization.  This plan generated twelve proposals to be reviewed by an advisory group of stakeholders composed of district officials, board members, parent representatives, and two unions.
    What's at stake here is $54 million in federal Race to the Top funds for the nine turnaround schools in the district should the state Education Department approve the plans district officials submitted in May.
    Meanwhile the Buffalo Board of Education voted to hire a consultant Learning Points Associates to assist them in evaluating the proposals 12 outside groups submitted to act as the educational partnership organizations for the seven PLA schools.
    There is a likelihood these seven schools at some point may change course to become charter schools so selecting the best EPO proposals critical at this juncture in the process.
    Interestingly, the Mayor plans to convene these stakeholders again in early July after the Board of Education with the help of the advisory group it assembled sifted through and selected seven of the 12 EPO proposals  submitted to operate and manage the  PLA schools. And the EPO's will  be asked to present their proposals to the stakeholders at the 2nd summit scheduled for July. Hopefully, the media will be allowed into the summit to share what is happening before  the community  complains about  the secrecy  of an event that should be in the public domain.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Deputy superintendent Oladele resigning

    There seems to be a shake up of a sorts in the upper echelon of the Buffalo Public Schools with the recent announcement of Superintendent James A. Williams retiring last week. This followed tonight by the  resignation of deputy superintendent Dr. Folasade Oladele as reported in the School Zone blog
    And the top human resources director resigned last month amid the scandal involving the superintendent hiring of the exempt employees , a few not meeting the requirements of the job postings. Board President Ralph Hernandez at the Wednesday School Board meeting motioned to accept the resignation of  Deputy Superintendent Oladele. Three board members voted no because they had disagreed with the package she received that included one year's salary at $168,000 and benefits.
    If you recall Buffalo News blogger Mary Pasciak had written an article in April about the name of Oladele surfacing as an applicant for  Cleveland superintendent of schools  in Ohio. That news did not sit well with a few board members particularly since Dr. Oladele was responsible for overseeing the turnaround plans at the persistently lowest-achieving schools in the district (PLA). Board member at-large John Licata called it   
    "... we're seeing the beginning of an exodus [of administrators] based on a number of factors,... "One is the transparency that is being forced upon the administration."
    In March another Buffalo News story disclosed that Dr. Oladele and a few other administrators  had been earning supplemental income from the district Leadership Academy during school time without Board knowledge. Hence, over a two year period Dr. Oladele earned $19,000 in addition to her $169,000 salary. And in a May 29, Buffalo News story,  discussing a possible successor to Williams when he retires next year, Dr. Oladele's name seemed to have been ruled out because:
    "some board members privately express concern that Oladele doesn't represent a strong enough break with the Williams administration to bring about the wholesale change they believe is needed."
    Shortly after Williams appointed superintendent of the Buffalo School on July 2005, he appointed Dr. Oladele as chief academic administrator. And two years later he again appointed her to another post as deputy superintendent increasing her salary $39,000 while district employees suffered a wage freeze. The change in title indicated Oladele was being groomed to succeed Williams but that is not happening now after her resignation.  It is not known if she stepped down already or on a future date though rumored she has been out and about in other places out of town such as her home town of Kentucky.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Hernandez resolution passed 6-member group to review the EPO proposals

    The process of selecting an educational partnership organization (EPO) for the Restart models in the persistently lowest-achieving Buffalo Schools was the focus of a special Board of Education committee meeting Thursday night in the board room at City Hall.  The Buffalo News education blogger, Mary Pasciak posted it live from the Board Room in City Hall.
    The resolution Board  President Ralph Hernandez introduced  passed by a vote of  5 - 2,  establishing a 6-member stakeholders  group  composed of representatives from the Buffalo Board of Education, Common Council, District Parent Coordinating Committee, Buffalo Teachers Federation and Buffalo Council of School Administrators to review the EPO proposals outside groups submitted to district officials on May 31.
     Board Member at-large, Florence Johnson told Mr. Hernandez  she needed more "clarity" on the issue before voting when  he responded she can vote "no." Johnson shot back, "close your mouth!"
    Park District board member Louis J. Petrucci made some insightful comments about the size of the group perhaps too small whether it's inclusive of all parties both teachers and administrators including the reps from the site base management teams in the persistently low achieving schools.
    John Licata board member at-large said the State Education Department (SED) doesn't know what they're doing after he sat in on a meeting for half an hour what he called ridiculous.
    Yet the most interesting exchange at the meeting  happened between Licata and Superintendent James A. Williams when Licata asked to see the proposals Williams responded they were under lock and key in the Purchasing. Why, Licata asked?
    Hernandez added, when the board made the determination to use the EPO model the responsibility fell on the board not the superintendent.  Williams demurely responded, "you can have them tomorrow. I don't want to be involved," but added "you can answer the state's questions if you know how."
    Williams announced his retirement on Wednesday amid an unfavorable rating on his annual evaluation.
    So far twelve outside groups submitted proposals that have been kept under lock and key until the board provides district officials directives what to do with them as per Williams.
    Meanwhile, Tuesday, June 7 is the deadline date for district officials to inform  SED what process they are using to select the proposals for the Restart schools though  the board doesn't appoint the 6-member review panel until   June 8.
    Board member Petrucci wanted to make sure  the advisory panel didn't "supplant the board's responsibilities." Hernandez responded he envisioned the committee reaching "out to all stakeholders."  The SED set a deadline date of July 31 to coincide with  the federal  government guidelines for funding the proposals. And the board may have to heed the concerns of Rosalyn Taylor,  East District,  a former assistant superintendent of the Buffalo Schools until she retired last year.  With only eight weeks left to the July 31 deadline, Taylor said,
    The only thing I worry about is the timeline. When does this process have to be completed? Do we have enough time to establish a committee, have the committee go out and visit? I'm all for input from all the stakeholders.
    Williams advised the board to use a rubric to rate the EPO's and he  recommended they use  Learning Points Associates as the process  for selecting a Restart model for each of the seven persistently low achieving schools slated to be turnaround this summer.  Learning Points Associates previously worked on a curriculum audit for the district and SED advised  the group might be involved again. And a district official commented:
    "According to the state, they told us the July 31 deadline was a federal deadline and funds would not flow if they were not approved prior to that."

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Superintendent Williams opt for more life time health care benefits instead of buyout retires in 2012

    Instead of terminating him, the Buffalo Board of Education accepted  the announcement from embattled Superintendent James A. Williams that he is retiring effective June 2012.

    Buffalo News blogger Mary Pasciak commented on her live coverage that some board members would have prefer he leave sooner meaning terminating him, but that it "clearly wasn't the majority of the board." And when asked about how Williams criticizes teachers for the contractual life time health care benefits after retirement,  what he chose for himself instead of a 6-month buyout of his contact if terminated around $110,000, Pasciak blog, "
    "I certainly think it's worth noting that the taxpayers of New York will be footing most of the bill for the superintendent's health care for the rest of his life. And yes, that does seem to contradict his position on post-retirement benefits for other employees."
    Earlier this year Williams attended a conference of superintendents when interviewed for a video,  said...
    "we can not continue to pay 100 percent health care  for employees in Buffalo active or retiree..."
    Does it mean  he is ready to negotiate a new contract for teachers that expired on July 2004  next year?

    Whitney Tilson (3rd background)

    Whitney Tilson (3rd background)
    "Let’s be honest: we need a lot more well-off, well-educated white folks with a personal stake in both charter schools and education reform in general if we’re going to take reform to the next level, both politically and operationally.Whitney Tilson, hedge fund manager and major funding angel for the school privatizing Democrats for Education Reform, thinks there’s not enough rich, educated white folks.( Preaprez) click photo to his blog.

    Arne Duncan

    Arne Duncan
    U.S. Secretary of Education, click photo