Daily Archives: 02/23/2011

Protests in China

(Community Matters) Reprinted with permission from Stratfor

While the so-called Jasmine protests of Feb. 20 did not manifest significant force or a high degree of cohesion, they could have been an attempt to start a broad-based movement in China. If so, it will be important to monitor if and how such a movement might evolve nationwide. The social and economic change that China has experienced in the recent past and will no doubt see in the coming years could unify the masses, regardless of respective grievances, and could lead to larger, more disruptive events.

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Johnson HS/ Eastside Memorial HS

(Community Matters) AAS on proposal from SW Keys to take over Eastside Memorial High School

An in-district charter would have been my first expectation but we should be open to all viable proposals. If SW Key can demonstrate a viable and sustainably funded business model for this school and  a history of success running charters, trustees should consider the proposal. AISD has tried everything. Friends and I even launched a Johnson H.S. Foundation many years ago in the middle of principal musical chairs. Any deal should have clear performance metrics – failure to achieve these objectives should allow AISD trustees a quick exit to try other options. A 99-year lease seems rather overly ambitious.

this posting updated after an AAS comment: “EACP was well below the state average in Reading/ELA (74% vs. 90%), mathematics (67% vs. 84%) and all tests taken (58% vs 77%) for the only grade the taught last year — grade 6. Not very impressive numbers considering they only taught 22 sixth graders within their whole system.You can research the numbers using this site: http://tiny.cc/336zf

Why does anyone think Southwest Key would do a better job than AISD? The scant evidence that exists does not inspire. The dirty little secret that no one seems to want to acknowledge is that overall, charter school performance is poor — much worse than public school performance. Southwest Key shows no signs of being one of the charter school exceptions that get all the media attention (e.g., KIPP).”

I’ve previously expressed reservations about SWKeys. Of course, my endorsement is conditioned on transparency and assumes their board and management has corrected any conflicts of interest. This should be a point of discovery, negotiations and approval of any deal