Management consulting firm Bain & Company to help Los Angeles school district with online learning

Bain swoops in for free. Last week, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced a pro bono partnership with Bain & Company to evaluate and strategize about online learning in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Yes, the same Bain that funds a Chicago charter school with the CEO of Exelon, the energy company currently mired in a corruption scandal. Yes, the same Bain that helped anti-teacher crusader Michelle Rhee start her organization StudentsFirst. And yes, the same Bain that gave former presidential hopeful and current senator Mitt Romney his start in the private equity industry.

Bain has never been shy about its goal of “education reform,” i.e., privatization. A 2013 report written in tandem with Teach for America (TFA) identified teacher performance improvement—not underfunding or inequity—as the biggest hurdle in the way of improving schools. Los Angeles Education Examiner

Is blended learning on the horizon? Some in San Diego County think the pandemic will force school districts to switch to “blended learning,” an area dominated by charter schools. But others are raising caution. “Right now, it’s a time when everyone is going scrambling to try to find alternatives,” Roxana Marachi, education chair of the California NAACP, tells the San Diego Union-Tribune. “And so, unfortunately, it’s also a high time for the potential of exploitation of our communities.” The San Diego Union-Tribune

Home school charter enrichment regulation bill passes education committee. Last week, AB 2990 was passed by the state Assembly Education Committee. The bill is designed to stop home-school charter parents from spending school tax dollars on certain enrichment activities such as Disneyland passes, horseback riding lessons, and private education for their children. The San Diego Union-Tribune

Inspire to raise money for new building. After 10 years at Chico High School, Inspire School of the Arts and Sciences has announced that it will pursue a fundraising campaign to move to a new school site. Last year, seven county superintendents requested a state fiscal agency to audit the statewide homeschool charter network for potential fraud. School leaders have said they are struggling to ensure students meet statewide learning standards. Enterprise-Record

Online charter school says classes are full. Sage Oak Charter Schools, a non-classroom-based charter school that serves students throughout Southern California, is offering free, open to the public online classes every week for the rest of the school year. It says classes are full and waitlists are growing. Redland Daily Facts

And from beyond state lines… New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has announced that he will work with Microsoft founder Bill Gates to “reimagine education,” with technology at the forefront. He also questioned why school buildings should even exist. The Washington Post