December 5, 2013

To the Inquirer Editorial Board,

Regarding your Editorial “Would Green mimic Vallas?” 

Recently I saw the documentary film “The Armstrong Lie”. It documents how for more than ten years, during which he won a record seven races in the Tour de France, and made a much heralded comeback from cancer; it recently has been shown that the Lance Armstrong legend was based on a lie because he had been doping the whole time to give himself an advantage in all of his races while collecting $125 million in endorsements. In the film, you see him emphatically insist, when questioned by a few skeptics, that he was not doping. You see adoring fans and complicit press going along with the lie because they wanted to believe the legend.

I had read your editorial a few hours before so I could not help but see the parallels with the fraud being perpetrated by corporate education reform on our youth. Just to take one example, your characterization of the New Orleans charter schools is so out of touch with reality it can only be characterized as delusional. I am not going to waste my time going into a long exposition because I do not think this will see the light of day in your paper so here are some links for your edification that show how wrong you are. Hopefully someone on your editorial board will take this seriously.

For District Leaders Considering Adopting the New Orleans “Miracle” Model
http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/for-district-leaders-considering-adopting-the-new-orleans-miracle-model/ (Be sure to listen to the radio interview with Mercedes Schneider at the end of the article. 1 hour three minutes long)

Louisiana Charter School Audit Reveals Faux-Accountability

Louisiana grapples with assessing alternative charter schools

Opposing view: Rethink the charter experiment

The Recovery School District (RSD) Optical Illusion

2013 Louisiana School Letter Grades: Recovery School District Gains Nothing

Guest columnist disputes John White’s glowing report on Recovery School District despite its next-to-last ranking

The problem with the Paul Vallas brand of school reform

These are just a sample of those who have seen through the fraud. The crisis in our educational system is not a bike race. The consequences of this fraud being perpetrated on America’s public school system will impact our society for generations to come. Will this generations’ youth be viewed as a lost generation the way China’s youth of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s are viewed today in China? Future generations will not look kindly on those that perpetrated this fraud on our society and their enablers! 

Ken Derstine

Also see:

School Finance 101 - Articles about New Orleans

Still Waiting In Lines, Nine Years Later
Education Talk New Orleans - July 9th, 2014 

RSD One App Chaos Continues Update 7/11/14
Education Talk New Orleans - July 11th, 2014

"No Excuses" in New Orleans
Jacobin - July 24, 2014 

John White Refuses to Release La.'s Class of 2014 ACT Scores
Mercedes Schneider's EduBlog - January 3, 2015 

The Willful Ignorance of the NJ Star Ledger
School Finance 101 - May 9, 2015