Is Baltimore Rolling Out the Red Carpet for an ALEC Front Group?

 Here lies public education

The Center for Education Reform sent a piece of tripe to Baltimore area charter school administrators recently. I’ve said it numerous time now, here   1) and here,


and here,


and here,


and here,


those were all just a forecast.

NOW privatization of public education is making landfall in Baltimore. That the Center for Education Reform (CER) is sending letters to school personnel should be a loud warning siren to Baltimore teachers and public schools.Center for education reform letter to bcpss charter teacherscopy (1)

CER is powerful. They have money. And they know how to spin a message. Make sure that every teacher, parent and administrator you know has the facts. And ignore CER“spin” as demonstrated in their letter.  IT IS NOT GROUNDED IN FACT. IT IS NOT GROUNDED IN RESEARCH. Hell, IT’S NOT EVEN GROUNDED IN REALITY.

But if we won’t make noise and push back, we will herald the destruction of our local unions, our teachers, and our public schools.

What you Need to Know about Center for Education Reform

What’s their motive? They are active members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) whose goal is to completely eliminate public education and teachers unions.


From mothercrusader:

Jeanne Allen, who founded CER, claimed credit for writing the ALEC proposal for the parent trigger. CER works closely with any other organization that opposes public education and supports privatization. Allen refers to the traditional public school system as “The Blob.”  Jeanne Allen, has an agenda, and that agenda is choice not achievement.  And like Macke Raymond from CREDO, Allen sees the reform agenda as a war.

According to PR Watch: Charter Schools USA and Apex Learning, are corporations that are part of trade groups that are members/funders of ALEC, such as iNACOL, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (a former ALEC member), and the Center for Education Reform (a current ALEC member and the employer of ALEC’s former press secretary Raegen Weber), which have participated in ALEC’s Education Task Force where legislators and private sector members vote on bills to benefit these industries.

The Vermont Political Observer summarizes CER this way:

They work on four fronts: School choice, charter schools, online learning, and teacher quality.

The only form of parental “input” recognized by CER is whether parents can choose their kids’ schools … If your idea of “parental input” is limited to one single act of choice, not unlike going to Walmart to buy a new microwave, then I feel sorry for your children. 

“Teacher quality” isn’t a measurement of, oh, the actual quality of a state’s teachers. It amounts to this: Are there state-mandated annual teacher evaluations? Are tenure and retention tied to those evaluations? In other words, have the teachers’ unions been whipped into subservience?

As for “online learning,” CER advocates the availability of “a full-time online caseload.” Which is great, if you want your kid’s education supplied by the University of Phoenix or some other for-profit scam artist.

In short, this CER report is pure ALEC-style horse hockey. 

Source Watch documents CER’s role in crafting ALEC model charter school legislation:

2002 ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit Substantive Agenda

According to a February 2005 archive of ALEC’s website:

“The Task Force had a very successful meeting as the guest speakers addressed a standing-room-only crowd. Jeanne Allen from the Center for Education Reform spoke on the need for charter school options and how state legislators must pass laws to give these schools the autonomy they need to be successful. Ron Packard, CEO and Founder of K12, shared the overwhelming positive results of his virtual charter school program. 

Some Things to Consider and Share:

Forced privatization is not choice. Many, many schools are forced to close or co-locate with a charter, against the desires and struggles of the communities they serve.

Children as young as six in charter-lands like New Orleans are forced to often take 2 hour bus rides each way across town to attend the charter school that would take them.

The choice rests with the charter schools who can expel or “counsel out” students they don’t want to educate or cherry pick the students they will serve. KIPP for example has enormous attrition rates. But all they show the public are their test scores. Poor test takers are “removed” and left to fall between the cracks.

Charter schools have increased segregation in cities all over the country.

A  study in 2009 from CREDO at Stanford University found that 17 percent of charter schools outperformed their counterparts, 37 percent underperformed and 46 percent were not significantly different.

There are too many charter school scandals to note. But with less accountability, and profit motive to private companies receiving our tax dollars, it is clear that quality education to our children is not their main goal.

This new legislation will destroy teachers unions. It’s all clear in the ALEC model legislation.

Published by educationalchemy

Morna McDermott has been an educator for over twenty years in both k-12 and post secondary classrooms. She received her doctorate in education, with a dissertation focus on arts-based educational research, from The University of Virginia in 2001. Morna's teaching, scholarship, and activism center around the ways in which creativity, art, social justice, and democracy can transform education and empower communities. She is currently a Professor of Education at Towson University.

2 thoughts on “Is Baltimore Rolling Out the Red Carpet for an ALEC Front Group?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Data Disruptors

Fight The Ed Reform 2.0 Agenda

Peg with Pen

Authored by Morna McDermott-A blog dedicated to democracy, public education, and the power of the imagination

Dissident Voice

Authored by Morna McDermott-A blog dedicated to democracy, public education, and the power of the imagination

The in·ter·reg·num

A site for radical edu-science fiction


Commenting on the State of the World From Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Cloaking Inequity

A blog focused on education and social justice research

dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

educator, public scholar, poet&writer - academic freedom isn't free

Chris Mercogliano

Authored by Morna McDermott-A blog dedicated to democracy, public education, and the power of the imagination

Reclaim Reform

by Ken Previti

Re:education in Baltimore

A city mom thinks outside the sandbox.

Fred Klonsky

The thoughts of a retired public school teacher.

%d bloggers like this: