Tag Archives: charter schools

Charter Charlatans?

27 Mar

If you live in the NYC area then you know that newly elected mayor, Bill DiBlasio, is working to fulfill a campaign pledge to charge rent to charter schools. The mayor said he wants to charge rent based on how much a school can afford to pay, and he also wants to slow or perhaps even stop the continued growth of the NYC charter school movement so that more focus can be brought back to the public schools. Naturally the charter schools are up in arms over this proposal because charter schools receive rent-free space in city buildings even though they are privately run.

During Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure, Money for charter schools increased from $32 million to $659 million and what was once a modest collection of 17 charter schools has now expanded to 159 charter schools within the city…and overall the NYC education budget has almost doubled to 25 billion dollars from the 13 billion dollars that was being spent when mayor Bloomberg took office.

But the city charter schools, along with receiving free rent from the city also raise quite a lot of money from the private sector including large donations from “philanthropists” like the Waltons of Wal-Mart fame, and the hedge fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, along with other prominent Wall Street tycoons, (You probably remember them from the great financial crash of 2008)… Anyway, That’s how Success Academy Charter Schools’ chief executive officer, Eva Moskowitz. can make nearly $500,000 a year to run only 22 “non-profit” schools.

That’s also how Mayor DiBlasio can be opposed by a “nonprofit” charter advocacy group called Families for Excellent Schools. They have organized rallies in Albany, created an internet website and spent 3.6 million dollars on commercials that can be seen constantly throughout the day on television here in the tri-state area. Charter school political action committees have even donated more than 100 thousand dollars to NY Governor Cuomo and other NY state politicians.

So is it a surprise that The Governor says that he is now “Excited” about charter school growth and that Mayor Di Blasio is now beginning to step away from his hardline campaign stance against charter schools?

Isn’t it amazing what money can do? Teachers and educators have always known that money makes a difference when it comes to your child’s education. Can your public schools use its public money to advertise in favor of the public school budget? Do your public schools have 3.6 million dollars that they don’t need for educating your children, to use for creating commercials to “convince” local politicians and influence you to support their efforts in passing the public school budget, let alone raising the school budget?

Money matters! And one has to ask why billionaires are so interested in paying large sums of money in order to gain control of and advertise for the privatization of the public schools in our country… What’s in it for them? And most importantly, what do you think is really in it for you and your children? In the short term privatization always looks good, especially when there is a multimillion dollar ad campaign to help you to try and make up your mind.

But in the long run? Just ask yourself this: When have Wal-Mart, Wall Street tycoons and billionaires ever been interested in spending money on the poorer classes of this country…except when it leads to greater class exploitation and increased profits for themselves?

 

 

 

 

How Charter Schools Can Teach Us to Make Baseball More Profitable, Baseball Players More Productive, and Baseball Fans Better Entertained At Cheaper Prices

31 Mar

 

It’s opening day of the Major League Baseball Season and the game is simply getting out of hand.  Poor and deteriorating cities are spending taxpayer money that they don’t have, to maintain giant stadiums where these baseball teams play. And in most cases the teams do not even sport winning records.

In fact most of these so called “professional” teams sport winning percentages commonly at 50% or lower and if one team ever wins even 60% of the games it plays it is declared a champion of its division and then sent on to compete for an even grander championship with other so called “high performing” teams.

And although the players on these teams have been trained and educated in their craft for years and often practice on a daily basis most of these players can’t even perform their hitting skills at 30%  proficiency. That’s a 70% or worse failure rate and yet these players are often considered “stars” by their teams and owners and entrenched union supporters and are paid exorbitant salaries that are often passed on to the customers or fans by way of overpriced ticketing, beverage and merchandising costs.

The pitchers on these teams often fail at an even greater rate than the hitters do and yet they are often applauded for their efforts after failing to complete even 60% of their allotted time on the mound while often appearing exhausted and drained after doing so.

This is outrageous! And here is what should be done about it!

For too long the uninspired owners and bloated baseball unions have demanded that 9 players be employed for 9 baseball positions on the field during each game. By eliminating even one of these positions we will be able to save money on baseball salaries thereby decreasing costs in wages while increasing productivity by forcing each remaining player to work harder to cover the 9 positions on the field.

However,  since the baseball field is organized into two distinct areas of play we can eliminate 1 infielder and 1 outfielder per team and reduce the number of players to 7.  Productivity will then double since  the 2 remaining outfielders and 3 remaining infielders will have more area to cover. This will force the players to work and practice harder guaranteeing them a greater percentage of success.

The fans of the game will become happier because the increased activity of the players on the field will be more entertaining to watch and as the players work harder their skills will become more pronounced and greatly improved which will also bring more joy to the fans as they watch their local heroes succeed. The reduced costs in wages to the players can also be passed along to the fans in reduced ticket prices and stadium costs, creating a greater feeling of pride among all of the people of the represented city.

It should also be noted that because of the baseball player’s overbearing, influential and wealthy union many “non-playing” baseball players are forced upon the owners who must then pay for these “non-players” and potential substitutes to sit around all day in air-conditioned dugouts and bullpens just waiting for a chance to get in the game when they aren’t even needed in the first place!

And Amazingly, these substitutes, who do not even possess the skills necessary to “begin” a baseball game and who  are not even expected by the owners, fans, players and union officials to perform at a level anywhere near commensurate with their peers, are paid a full salary also!… to sit and do nothing until called upon!…and often even laughing and cavorting about while their teammates perform miserably on these fields of their fans’ all too often broken dreams!

Imagine having a “team of professionals” where most of the members of the team are not rated as above excellent, excellent or even above average?! These unions must be eliminated so that all of these subpar, ill trained and poor performing workers can be terminated by the new and innovating owners thereby saving untold millions in wasted wages.

The immense savings that will be realized by reducing labor costs, increasing worker productivity and gained in profits for these new non-unionized public “charter teams” can then be passed on to the fans, citizens and city coffers thus creating a national pastime that we all can not only finally afford but also be proud of!

*It should be noted that when these “Charter teams” were given a chance to operate and perform on a limited basis on a real baseball diamond  in a test city the hitters’ skills immediately improved and averages increased among all 7 players per team. Substitutes were never used and every pitcher’s productivity also increased to 100% and in fact each pitcher eventually completed every game that he started.

It should also be noted however, that “burnout” among players was high but this condition did coincide with greater job opportunities for more players and although initial savings to the teams and cities and fans were quite palpable increased compensation to the new owners in the form of bonuses and stipends for management, oversight, intense player development and “other” compensation has eroded initial profit projections and unfortunately we expect to operate at a loss until new expansion opportunities through government partnerships take place.

Now Play Ball!

 

GRACEFIFTEENTEN

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