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For-profit online education corporation K12 Inc. cozies up to Trump administration. Kevin P. Chavous, president of academics, policy and schools at the for-profit online education corporation K12 Inc., has taken up a position on the Heritage Foundation’s “National Coronavirus Recovery Commission.” The Heritage Foundation has close ties with the Trump administration and is pushing for slashing regulations to “boost the economy.” While Chavous was a board member of the American Federation of Children, he pushed for the post-Katrina privatization of New Orleans schools.
Open letter on student privacy. As online learning sweeps the country under the impact of school closures, public interest advocates are warning about the threat to student privacy. This concern is the subject of an open letter released last week by 33 human rights and consumer groups from all over the world, including the Badass Teachers Association. “Companies must not misuse the additional power that the current situation conveys on them, to further their commodification and use of children’s personal data, for their own purposes and to extract profit.” Common Dreams
The struggle continues. Public school teachers in Los Angeles are holding the line against charter school co-location attempts. “The ongoing pressure campaign was on display in a socially-distanced demonstration at Shirley Elementary in Reseda on Tuesday morning, April 14, as teachers in masks stood six feet apart and protested a plan to open a new privately operated public school on their campus this Fall.” Whittier Daily News
Condos with a charter school underneath? Zeta Charter Schools has announced it is leasing space in the Bronx, New York, for a new elementary school. “Utilizing the organization’s tax-exempt status, the Zeta Charter School commitment was structured as a leasehold condominium deal between the building owners of the Joyland Group, who was represented internally.” Globe St.
Jet setting charter CEO resigns. Tom Torkelson, the CEO of IDEA Public Schools, Texas’s largest charter school chain, resigned last week after months of criticism. “Some of Torkelson’s financial and operational moves led to criticism over the past several months. Torkelson’s desire to lease a charter jet as a method of reducing travel hassles between the network’s hubs drew sharp backlash in December 2019.” Houston Chronicle