Mark Gleason Turns 'Dump the Losers' Into a Pseudoscience

By Ken Derstine

December 16, 2014

Mark Gleason, the Executive Director of the Philadelphia School Partnership, made national headlines in the spring of 2014 when, while participating on an education panel, he described the portfolio method of school reform of his organization as being based on a “dump the losers” philosophy. (See A Glimpse Behind the Curtain | Defend Public Education ) He wasn’t talking about a factory making consumer products; he was talking about public schools that are charged with educating the next generation. 

In a new document released by the Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners, the new lobbying arm of the PSP set up by Mark Gleason and PSP, they double-down on “dump the losers”. Their first document One City, Two Systems of Schools gives the appearance of a scientifically researched document which justifies this “dump the losers” philosophy as the solution to the problems that plague Philadelphia’s public schools. 

This ten-page document is released just as the School Reform Commission, the entity set up after the state takeover of the School District in 2001, is holding hearings on forty applications for new charters in Philadelphia. Today, Philadelphia has 89 charters with 67,000 students. PSP is campaigning to have many of the District’s 214 public schools turned into charters.

A picture of the perspective of the document can be seen in its subheadings:

• Public education in Philadelphia is in crisis.

• Low-income students are unequally served by two very different systems in Philadelphia.

• While serving similar student populations, the high-impact system dramatically outperforms the underperforming system.

• The cost of continuing to operate a system of underperforming schools has huge implications for students, the city and the School District.

• What matters is not the type of school but its effectiveness.

• Philadelphia must expand effective schools as quickly and aggressively as possible.

• It’s time to end the caustic and unproductive debate between school sectors in Philadelphia. 

Of note is its attempt to flip the narrative that what is being created in Philadelphia and nationally is a two-tier school system based on family income. (See Bill Green’s Education Agenda: Hidden in Plain Sight | Defend Public Education ) As is true of PSP’s entire perspective, economics must be obscured to bolster their argument. It attempts to establish that low family income and the underfunding of urban public schools have no impact on students’ performance in school.

As a result, instead of economics sorting out who goes to underfunded public schools vs. well resourced charter schools, the PSAP says there are two school systems: “those that work and those that don’t.” In other words, it is all a matter of the lack of will, skill and motivation of the staffs of the struggling schools and the solution is to close those  struggling schools.


The PSAP Position Paper

The report starts with a chart claiming to show that “despite demographically similar student populations, the data show that there is a wide disparity in student performance between underperforming and high-performing schools”, thereby attempting to prove that economics is not a factor in school performance. As this post will show these figure are based on blatant manipulation of the data to achieve a desired picture.

The criteria for determining “those that work and those that don’t” in the PSAP position paper is the 2012-2013 School Performance Profile. The School Performance Profile is the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s method of rating schools. Fifty percent is based on state standardized tests (the validity of these tests is a whole other issue), 40% is based on indicators of improvement on state standardized tests from previous years and 10% is based on graduation, promotion, and attendance rates. Beginning this year, 15% of both teacher and a principal evaluations will be based on their school’s SPP. A detailed breakdown of how the SPP is determined is here.

The PSAP position paper looks at the SPP of schools above 70% on the 2013-2014 SPP; and schools that are rated under 40% on their SPP. The third group and largest group are schools between 40% and 70% which are not mentioned at all in the position paper.

On page 3 the position paper defines its focus. While appearing to base this focus on economic factors, it manipulates the data to claim that schools are underperforming, not because of social and economic factors or lack of funding, but due to the shortcomings of teachers and staff.

In an analysis of schools that enroll at least 80 percent economically disadvantaged students, there is one system of schools that is effective and one that is – by any measure – wholly ineffective. The first system, referred to hereinafter as the “high - impact system,” is composed of public schools in Philadelphia that scored above 70 on the 2013 - 2014 School Performance Profile (SPP) – the state’s cutoff for schools “on the right track” – while serving student bodies that are at least 80 percent economically disadvantaged. 

The second system, referred to hereinafter as the “underperforming system,” is composed of public schools in Philadelphia that scored under on the 2013 - 14 SPP. This score represents approximately the bottom 1 percent of schools statewide.

Despite demographically similar student populations, the data show that there is a wide disparity in student performance between these sets of schools.

Page 6 of the PSAP position paper is the main thrust of its position:

One of the most heated education debates in Philadelphia concerns the two public school sectors – traditional district schools and public charter schools. The sectors are frequently pitted against one another, with advocates on both sides claiming that one sector or the other is more effective.

The data show that this debate presents a false choice for Philadelphia students and families. To the contrary, the evidence makes it clear that the underperforming system and the high - impact system are comprised of both charter schools and traditional district schools. What matters, then, is not the type of school but its effectiveness.

In formulating a strategy for moving forward, it is worth noting, though, that charter schools are over-represented in the group of high-impact schools effectively serving low - income and minority students, making their growth an important part of any effort to better serve low - income students.

The best schools serving disadvantaged students are disproportionately charters. As shown in graph at right, out of the 17 schools in the high – impact system, 12 – or 70 percent – are public charter schools.

Furthermore, charter schools are skewed toward good performance and away from poor performance. As shown in the graph to the left, 30 percent of all charters serving this population scored above 70, while only 3 percent of district schools did; 55 percent of district schools scored below 55, while only 30 percent of charters did.

PSAP’s reading of the bar graph on page 6 makes no sense: “30 percent of all charters serving this population scored above 70, while only 3 percent of district schools did”. It is a simple graph that a fifth grader could read but there is no statistical verification or source. The methodology for the graph is vague. They say in the title they are comparing schools with 80% low income students. Are they comparing 89 charters to 214 public schools? Is such a comparison fair or valid given the diversity of schools in Philadelphia? If so, why single out 17 charters and 3 public schools? The figures below will show this statement has no validity whatsoever.

The PSAP paper directs the reader to the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile page for school profiles. This only gives the SPP for individual schools. Looking at individual schools obscures the big picture that PSAP is trying to shape to their own ends, however. To see all Philadelphia schools ranked by their SPP you can go here. (Use the scroll bar on the chart.) PSAP’s claim that economics is not a factor in school ratings does not hold up when you compare all schools, not just some.

The list shows:

60 schools with an SPP over 70%: 32 public and 27 charter.

In the 40% through 70% category: 152 are public and 54 are charter.

In the 40% and below category there are 19 public schools and 4 charters.

(Note: These numbers are ever-changing and websites are not always updated, so these figures are rough approximations.) 

In focusing on the schools with “80 percent economically disadvantaged students”, the claim is that charters are better at meeting the needs of economically disadvantaged students.

The two page Appendix makes PSAP's goal very clear. Appendix 1 (page 9), “High-Impact System” lists the 17 charter schools that have an over 70% SPP, despite having a high percentage of low-income students. It is noteworthy that of the 27 charters scoring over 70%, the 17 selected in Appendix 1 are part of a charter management company. They include four Mastery, and two which are part of national charter chains: one KIPP and one Young Scholars.

The second page of the Appendix (page 10) lists 22 public and charter schools scoring below 40% which the PSP says should be turned over to charter companies in the hope they will attain a higher SPP when they will no longer be under the starvation regime which public schools are on.

This is clear in the position paper recommendations (page 7) (boldface in the original):

1. Aggressively expand those schools that are most effectively educating low - income students. The SRC should take steps to expand effective district schools along the same timeline. Furthermore through the charter application process, the SRC has the opportunity to approve a number of new schools that would be operated by organizations already running some of the most effective schools in the city. The SRC should approve every charter applicant with the potential to serve high - poverty students effectively while staggering the openings of these schools in order to allow time to manage the resulting financial impact (i.e., shed fixed costs ). Furthermore,

2. Set clear and transparent goals for the number of students served by high - impact schools in each of the next five years. The SRC should end the practice of distributing resources with no orienting goal around the number of students in the most effective schools. Whether using the state’s SPP or the District’s SPR as the guiding data set , the District and the SRC should set public benchmarks for how many additional students each year will have access to effective schools.

3. Intervene in schools with an SPP under 40. In expanding effective schools, the SRC and the District should prioritize options for families living in the catchment areas of schools with an SPP under 40 (or comparable threshold utilizing the SPR) . The SRC also should seek to intervene in all schools with scores under 40 – both charter and District – by closing or putting them under new management. It should carefully weigh mitigating circumstances such as a recent turnaround effort that is still in an early stage or demonstrable measures of academic progress aside from SPP.

4. Remove barriers to access to high - impact schools for low - income and minority families. Philadelphia’s complicated and confusing school transfer and application process has the effect of denying some of the city’s neediest families access to effective schools. The District should work with charter operators to simplify this process and push back the deadline to apply to District schools so that more families can fairly and easily take advantage of the effective schools that are – or should be – available to them.

It is clear from recommendation #3 that the PSP is recommending the closing of more public schools in low-income neighborhoods.

On December 15th, one week after the release of the Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners position paper, the School Reform Commission announced that there will be no school closings in the 2014-2015 school year. Is this true? Is this statement in response to the PSAP position paper? Is there a conflict between PSP and the SRC? The SRC is holding hearings on 40 charter applications. Where will new charters be located if no schools are closed? Are other methods than school closings, such as “turnarounds”, going to be employed to prepare schools for private interests? Are they going to consolidate public schools as parents move their children to the supported and resourced charters? Is this another game being played to divert the communities attention from the real agenda? Time will tell.

PSP’s Goal

All of PSP’s statements about Philadelphia public schools are premised on the assumption that it is uncaring and incompetent faculty that are responsible for the low SPP's of struggling schools. Pennsylvania’s funding crisis is alluded to at the beginning of the paper, but then is used as a opportunity for more privatization (p.2):

Part of the solution rests in the hands of state lawmakers. There is an urgent need for a fair, student - based state funding formula. That's why a broad - based coalition of educators, business leaders, and policy advocates from all over the political spectrum have come together to support a new education - funding policy.

But focusing attention on Harrisburg alone ignores a singular opportunity to improve public education in the city for thousands of families right now, through the aggressive expansion of schools that are achieving results for low - income and minority students.

PSAP’s skewed data about “high-impact” schools is used to support its agenda for dealing with the crisis in Philadelphia schools.  Ignored is the fact that, even with additional supports and advantages, the majority of charters show SPPs similar to traditional public schools.

Since it's creation in 2010, PSP has worked to advance an ALEC-inspired agenda of underfunding of public schools. It has been in the lead in promoting a "starve the public schools, feed the charters" agenda. In fact, PSP has unfailingly supported cuts in education by now-outgoing Governor Corbett, who increased spending for prisons by $700,000 in his first year in office and cut $1 billion for education.

PSP routinely gives grants to charter and parochial schools and only token grants to public schools. See these pages on the Philadelphia Public School Notebook. In a drive around Philadelphia, you will see charters in brand new buildings with landscaped lawns. Audenreid High School, the last public school to receive district money for new construction, was rebuilt ten years ago. Soon after completion, it was turned over to Universal Charters. A deal was made with the company in which maintenance costs were paid for by the district for 2 years. Other charters are in closed corporate facilities paid for by the School District. Increasing numbers of charters are occupying the 24 public schools closed in 2013 and sold at a loss. All of this is overseen by PSP in their role as overseers of the Great Schools Compact Committee.

Charters make use of their financial advantage, including anonymous private donations added on to their taxpayer dollars, to produce newspaper ads which make sure that parents know that their schools have full-time nurses, full-time counselors, and libraries.  On the other hand, news stories inform people that district schools are losing staff every year

There are eight librarians in the entire public school system, almost all schools have part time counselors and nurses, and all schools have a bare bones security and custodial staff. On their websites, many charters boast of their lower class size.  The “no excuses” philosophy of charter management companies such as KIPP, who will send disruptive students back to public schools, deliberately appeals to parents anxious about the safety of their child in the public schools due to staffing cuts. This takes the  “dump the losers” method to the individual student.

Public schools have been left to make do with shrinking budgets, no new textbooks or technology, and basic supplies paid for out of pocket by their staff. The public schools are part of a Social Darwinian survival of the fittest social experiment with a “dump the losers” goal for those who cannot get high enough scores on standardized tests under these conditions. Under this strategy, there will always be losers at the bottom who can be taken out of the public school system and turned over to private interests. For economic and historical reasons, this method falls hardest on schools with high minority populations.


Corporate Education Reform and Civil Rights

Philadelphia School Partnership and all corporate reformers present the privatization of public schools as "the next great civil rights movement". Some have even gone so far as to say that  opposition to corporate education reform is racist. To achieve this illusion, and advance their privatization agenda, they have cultivated leaders some of whom actually fought for  the civil rights in the '60's and '70's. Anyone who is familiar with the tragic legacy of the anti-colonial struggles of the last half of the 20th century will recognize this phenomenon. After World War II, the anti-colonial struggles successfully removed the European powers that had been colonizing their underdeveloped countries for a century. The corporate and financial colonial interests remained, however, placing some of the elite from the indigenous population in power. These leaders were allowed to accumulate vast wealth even as their societies sank into poverty and misery. Any leader who fought for self-determination of their country, or who challenged the access of international corporations to the natural resources and cheap labor of the former colony, such as Patrice Lumumba in the Democratic Republic of Congo in1961 or Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, were eliminated. As a result, the former colonies today are ruled by corrupt, repressive police states. (See the Netflix documentary Virunga to see how this tragedy continues in the Congo. Also see Ebola in Liberia: An Epidemic of Rumors to see how this legacy is impacting the world.)

In the same way, many of the American civil rights leaders of the ‘60’s have made their peace with the 1% and promote a corporate education reform which undermines the civil rights gains of the ‘60’s. National leadership of groups like the National Urban League and NAACP have sold out for a price to the 1% and joined the promotion of the privatization of public schools. The Broad Foundation has trained urban superintendents, many from minority communities, to turn urban school districts over to private interests. (See “Who is Eli Broad and why is he trying to destroy public education?”)

This is what the Urban League has received from Gates over the last few years:

Gates Foundation Awarded Grants

Put other organizations, like BAEO, NAACP, AFT, etc., in the search window to see what they have received from the Gates Foundation.


The PSP in the Historical Context of the State Takeover

In Philadelphia, a largely unknown role has been played by Black Alliance for Educational Options. It’s founder, former civil rights activist Howard Fuller, has been a promoter of vouchers and charters in low-income communities since  August 24, 2000. Among its funders are the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Institute for the Transformation of Learning, and the Walton Family Foundation. Fuller recently wrote a column in Education Week criticizing student protests against Teach for America.

The state takeover of the Philadelphia School District in 2001 grew out of a civil rights lawsuit in1998 in which the city of Philadelphia charged that Pennsylvania funding practices discriminated against non-white students. In retaliation, the legislature passed Act 46 that set up a School Reform Commission that eventually took over the School District in 2001. The city withdrew the lawsuit when it was given two of the five seats on the SRC. The architect of the Act 46 was Philadelphia Representative Dwight Evans who was chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

Both PA Representative Dwight Evans and PA Senator Anthony Williams are on the board of the Black Alliance for Education Options. On the BAEO website it says:

In Pennsylvania, the support and leadership of BAEO board members Representative Dwight Evans and Senator Anthony Williams were crucial to the creation, protection, and expansion of the tax credit and charter programs. They were also instrumental in passing the law that led to the state takeover of the School District of Philadelphia, which has led to an increase in quality educational options for poor families.

It is in the historical context of the thirteen-year management of the Philadelphia School District by the state that the program of the Philadelphia School Partnership must be seen. (See The 2013-14 “Doomsday Budget” of the School District of Philadelphia: How Did It Come to This? ) One of the first actions by the state after the takeover was its attempt to turn over 45 struggling public schools to Edison, Inc. This failed due to stiff community resistance and the financial problems of Edison, but the corporate privatizers never gave up this goal. Even though school funding increased during the years of Governor Rendell, the School District was managed by Superintendent Arlene Ackerman who used much of the increased funding to start charters and Promise Academies. Ackerman was on the national board of the Broad Foundation—a major supporter of closing public schools and replacing them with charters. (See More About Broad in Philadelphia) She also introduced her Imagine 2014 plan whose fruits we are now reaping. The Philadelphia School Partnership was brought to Philadelphia by corporate philanthropies to implement this plan with no democratic transparency or responsibility to the Philadelphia public.

Senator Anthony Williams has continued promoting the BAEO program. In 2010 he ran for Governor of Pennsylvania. His campaign, which centered on promoting vouchers and charter schools, was funded with $5 million from wealthy suburban philanthropists, hedge fund managers and other promoters of corporate education reform.

(See the beginning of Talking Back to Mark Gleason to see how the Corbett administration circumvented the opposition of Pennsylvania voters to vouchers.)

Recently a pro-charter, anti-public school political organization has descended on Philadelphia. Philly School Choice has appeared to counter-protest rallies of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and to organize parents with children in charter schools to speak at SRC meetings in support of charter expansion. It does not reveal its funding sources, but it’s leader, Bob Bowden, is will known in right-wing libertarian, corporate privatization circles.

On August 30th, Bob Bowden interviewed Senator Anthony Williams, who is running for mayor of Philadelphia  in May, 2015 Democratic primary, about his education privatization program:

State Senator Anthony Williams Discusses School Choice with Bob Bowden | Change the Game (video)

For insight into Bob Bowden’s political agenda, see:

Bob Bowden: What’s Next for School Choice – and New Media | Reason.com (video)

Also see: Hey Philly Parents! Another Fake “Parents Care” Site Arrives in Time to Pump Up Charter Schools | Philadelinquency 


Far from being the next civil rights movement, corporate education reform organizations like the Philadelphia School Partnership have been instrumental in bringing back a segregated school system. Already a number of charter schools in Philadelphia are ethnically isolated. Far from being progressive, PSP’s targeting of schools whose SPP is below 40%, in largely low-income neighborhoods, can only further decimate communities—as were those of the twenty-four schools which were closed last year.

It is important to remember that the seventeen “high-impact” schools cited by PSP have been artificially propped up with additional resources and supports, while the 214 public schools continue on a starvation program reminiscent of “The Hunger Games”. Those who cannot survive can then be handed over to charter companies. Mastery Charter has received almost $2 million from the Gates Foundation in the last few years.(Look on pages 1 and 3 of their Philadelphia grants.) Also see Philadelphia schools get $2.5 million from Gates Foundation.

At the education conference in the Spring of 2014 where Mark Gleason made his “dump the losers comment”, he was interviewed by several reporters and community members after the panel. (See Talking Back to Mark Gleason) When the issue of increasing school funding came up, Gleason was like a dog with a bone trying to pull such an idea out of the discussion.

When asked, “Why aren’t these schools fixed? Why don’t they get funds? Why don’t they get resources? Gleason replied, “Because it is not about funds. It’s not about resources. Do you know what happened at Bartram High School? Do you think that is a funding issue?”

When told that funding is an issue at Bartram because they took staff away that would intervene in those situations, Gleason replied,

When the staff was one hundred and fifty that school was more dangerous statistically than it is today. 

This is not the first time that PSP or its representative has fabricated data to fit its argument. 

Mark Gleason does not want funding for public schools because successful public schools would defeat the agenda to privatize education. He is no different then right-wing legislators who say putting money into urban schools is a"black hole of waste of tax dollars."

The apparent success of the seventeen “high-impact” charters gives the lie to the claim that funding doesn’t matter for solving the problems of urban education. In fact, it proves that schools  can achieve—even those in low-income neighborhoods—given adequate funding which can pay for adequate resources, lower class sizes and full staffing. But, for corporate education reform this is a business model, not an education model. It cannot be applied equally to all schools because it is not profitable.

Imagine how the lives of this generation of children would be different if all the money, time, and resources being put into corporate education reform were instead put into fixing the public schools.


Also see:

Community Voice or Captive of the Right? The Black Alliance for Educational Options
People for the American Way - July 2003
Be sure to read pages 5 and 6 to see the ideiology of funders of BAEO.  

Senator Williams ran for Mayor of Philadelphia in the May, 2015 primary. He spoke to the website Change the Game on August 30, 2014 about his anti-public school, anti-union, “choice” agenda.
State Senator Anthony Williams Discusses School Choice with Bob Bowden

The interviewer, Bob Bowden, is a right-wing libertarian as can be seen from this interview on Reason TV on August 17, 2011.
Bob Bowdon: What's Next for School Choice - and New Media 

Bob Bowden's ideiology has it's roots in the privatization theories of Milton Friedman.

In the City of Corporate Love and Beyond: The Boston Consulting Group, Gates, and the Filthy Rich
The Common Errant - May 18, 2012
This article gives the history of the origins of the Philadelphia School Partnership. 

Parents United prevails in getting BCG school-closings list
Philadelphia Public School Notebook - January 28, 2015
How the BCG, PSP and the Broad Foundations engineeered the closing of 24 Philadelphia schools.  

Education groups at odds over study of Philly schools' performance
Philadelphia Public School Notebook - December 16, 2014
This post includes an audio interview with Mark Gleason about the PSAP position paper. 

Fifty Years Later. In Detroit the End of Brown: Separate and Unequal
educarenow - December 17, 2014
State takeovers of urban school districts and closing of public schools are increasing segregation of America's schools.  

An Urban Myth? New Evidence on Equity, Adequacy, and the Efficiency of Educational Resources in Pennsylvania
CPRE Policy Brief - November 2014

Congressional probe of Wisconsin school voucher program sought
The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - December 19, 2015
BAEO has been at the forefront of promoting vouchers in Wisconsin. 

The First Year
National Geographic - January 2015
More proof that the practice of closing schools based on standardized test scores is an attack on low-income communities to advance a privatization agenda.

Cutting-edge college readiness tool comes to Philadelphia Public Schools
Philadelphia Newsworks - December 26, 2014
More corporate ed reform from Philadelphia School Partnership.  
See Carol Heinsdorf's SRC testimony from December 18th about privacy concerns.

No More Surprises
educarenow | December 26, 2014
Proof that there is nothing original about the agenda of PSP and the SRC.

What the NY Post left out: how Sharpton was persuaded to ally himself wiht Joel Klein & stay mum on term limits 
NYC Public School Parents | January 4, 2015 

GOP bill would make failing public schools charters
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - January 7, 2015
ALEC and BAEO at work. 

Blackstone Group's Stephen Schwarman says more money won't improve public education
International Business Times - January 23, 2015
There is nothing original about Mark Gleason's contention that lack of funding for public schools doesn't matter. 

Williams' backers invest $250K in independent effort
Philadelphia Newsworks - February 2, 2015  

PACs with charter school ties enter mayoral race fray
Philadelphia Inquirer - February 4, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer - February 4, 2015
Who should new charters serve? Critics and hopefuls make their cases
Philadelphia Public School Notebook - February 4, 2015
The proposed new charters will increase class segregation of education in Philadelphia.
School district questions math of pro-charter group
Philadelphia Inquirer - February 5, 2015
More and more people on catching on to the Philadelphia School Partnership's pseudoscientific methods. 
School district defends director's prominent political role
Philadelphia Daily News - February 8, 2015
The Philadelphia School District sees no conflict of interest in one of its officials being paid to be government affairs director and lobby for corporate ed interests at the same time. 
Dave Davies off mic: PSP-related political committee gives to Williams' campaign.
Philadelphia Public School Notebook - Februrary 9, 2014 


Is the 'new' education philanthropy good for schools? Esamining foundation-funded school reform
American Enterprise Institute
- February 5, 2015

This is video of a four hour panel at AEI. Howard Fuller of Black Alliance for Educational Opportunit  is on the second panel (Starts at 1:52:19). Notable quote (1:55:45): “We (BAEO) wouldn’t exist without John Walton and this is one of the reasons I love that man." His remarks are very revealing about how disconnected these people are from what is the reality in public schools and from the impact of what they are doing. Fuller seems totally unaware that he is working for the same political forces that have been underfunding schools for decades and the money BAEO receives from them comes from the low wage exploitation of Walmart workers.

For an article about the panel see: Talking to the Choir: AEI panels discuss their attack on public educaiton
Defend Public Education!
- April 2, 2015

SRC feels heat for adding five charters
Philadelphia Inquirer - February 20, 2015 
Turned down charter providers can make case before state appeals board
February 20, 2015
Williams proposes plan for Phila. schools 
Philadelphia Inquirer - March 5, 2015
Williams wants the Philadelphia School Partnership to help fund the schools.
Tony Williams finds it 'curious' that he's considered 'the charter-school guy'
Philadelphia Neworks - March 5, 2015
The corporate reform people depend on people not paying attention. They blatantly lie because they think people don’t know the truth. Interesting how he also does his “What about them" routine. He sounds like a kid who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Pa's school-spending gap widest in nation
Philadelphia Inquirer -  March 13, 2015
After years of trying to starve the public schools to advance a privatization agenda, Arne Duncan and city and school officials want to seperate themselves from the catastrophe they have created. 

In cash-strapped School District, a hidden treasure trove of books
Philadelphia Inquirer - March 17, 2015 
Ties between Williams' campaigns and charter school propoents run deep 
Philly Voice - March 20, 2015
Tony Williams Is Finally Starting to Own School Choice
Philadelphia Magazine - March 25, 2015 
Independent group backing Williams for Philly mayor starts $500,000 ad campaign
Philadelphia Newsworks - March 27, 2015
AEI's Self-Analysis of Why CorpEd Is a Loser
Schools Matter - April 1, 2015
On the second AEI panel, BAEO founder Howard Fuller says, "“We (BAEO) wouldn’t exist without John Walton and this is one of the reasons I love that man." (1:55:45 in AEI video in this link)

Mayor hopeful Williams' hallmark law most widely used by his supporters
Philadelphia Inquirer - April 3, 2015

Dwight Evans, coalition of African American leaders, endorse Kenney

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 6, 2015

Dwight Evans - Political Phoenix
Philadelphia Daily News - April 13, 2015
Dwight Evans is also on the Board of BAEO and has sponsored the state takeover of the Philadelphia School District, promoted charters, and tax credits for private and sectarian schools. For his role in the dispute with Broad Superintendent Arlene Ackerman see More About Broad in Philadelphia.

Lawmakers consider bill to expand funding for private education tuition
abc27 News - April 16, 2015 
Demonizing Teachers, Privatizing Schools: The Big Lies and Big Plans Behind the Atlanta School Cheating Scandal
The Black Agenda Report - April 22, 2015
Williams super PAC boosts spending
Philadelphia Newsworks - April 28, 2015
"In the wake of a couple of polls showing former City Councilman Jim Kenney leading in Philadelphia's Democratic mayoral primary, the super PAC backing state Sen. Tony Williams has boosted its spending on television ads to nearly $800,000 a week."

Hedgepapers No. 11 - High Frequency Hucksters
Hedge Clippers - April 29, 2015
A detailed study of the corporate reform interests backing Anthony Williams.  
How Jim Kenney Defied Racial Math and Posted the Biggest Mayoral Primary Win in Modern Philly History
Philadelphia Magazine - Mary 24, 2015 

How Kevin Johnson Destroyed a Black Mayors Group to Promote His Brand
Deadspin | May 28, 2015

An Analysis of How Philadelphia School Partnership Has Implemented Its Mission
Alliance  for Philadelphia Public Schools - August 25, 2015 

Mayor-elect Kenney has made Rep. Dwight Evans Transition Team Co-Chair
Phiadelphia Inquirer - November 3, 2015

For Dwight Evans history see  Corporate Education Reform and Civil Rights on this website. 
Dwight Evans is not currently on the board of BAEO.  

Who Is Behind the Philadelphia School Partnership?
Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools - November 9, 2015 


Secret Emails Show Kevin Johnson Spying On, Attempting to Bankrupt Enemies
Deadspin - July 26, 2016
Newly disclosed emails show Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson (and Michelle Rehee's husband and Eli Broad friend) took the National Conference of Black Mayors into bankruptcy because they supported public schools.

Breaking News: @NAACP calls for national moratorium on charters
Making Inequity - July 29, 2016

Black School Choice Group Pushes Back on NAACP Charter School Moratorium
Education Week - August 9, 2016
BAEO is not happy about the NAACP's call for a moratorium on charters. 

Why the Black Lives Matter movement has to take on charter schools
The Hechinger Report - August 10, 2016
Includes a debate between public school supporter Julian Velasques Heilig and charter school supporter Howard Fuller. 

Pa. senator says HBO's John Oliver 'went too far' with charter school rant
Philadelphia Inquirer - August 25, 2016 


10 Reasons Why the NAACP Is Absolutely Right About a National Moratorium on Charter Schools
Alternet - August 29, 2016 


Sole bidder [Dwight Evans] for Philly's pre-K contract has political ties to Kenney
City and State PA - September 2, 2016 

Trump Selects Two People for his education transition team
deutsch29 - September 19, 2016
Gerard Robinson, who was head of BAEO for several years, has jointed the Trump campaign.   

Civil Rights Groups Challenge Charter Schools Despite Charter Efforts to Recruit Minority Politicians and Celebrities to their Cause
Huffington Post - October 6, 2016 
Statement Regarding the NAACP's Resolution on a Moratorium on Charter Schools
NAACP - October 15, 2016  
School choice tops Trump's education agenda
AL.com - November 10, 2016
Trump picked Gerard Robinson, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, to be on his presidential transition team for education, according to multiple sources....Robinson served as Florida's education commissioner from 2011 to 2012, and has also served as Virginia's education secretary and as the president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options." 

DeVos family – super-wealthy right-wingers working with the religious right to destroy public educationAlternet - November 24, 2016
A look at Betsy DeVos as a leader in corporate education reform - including her relationship with the Black Alliance for Educational Options 

Super PACs and school reform
The Notebook - December 19, 2016
Some history about Betsy DeVos's involvement with promoting corporate ed reform in Pennsylvania (with Anthony Williams being an egar accomplice. 

At Philly panel discussion, fiery calls to rally black support for charter growth
June 12, 2017