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'Wireless Generation...' and the latest outsourcing atrocities in Chicago... CPS testing craziness hitting home at Track E schools in the coming weeks, citywide after the September strike

In case Chicago missed it, Rupert Murdoch is now profiting from the testing craziness hitting Chicago's public schools. He owns an outfit called "Wireless Generation" that is now a contractor with CPS. Anyone who doesn't already know that the administration of Chicago Public Schools, the nation's third largest school system, is in the hands of amateurs (or worse, outsiders who want to destroy public education and turn it over to the private sector at all costs), should be contacting any of the 241 principals of the so-called "Track E" schools which begin receiving their students on August 13, 2012.

Rupert Murdoch (left) hired former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein (right) to work for News Corp in 2012. A few months later, Murdoch purchased "Wireless Generation," a Brooklyn startup that is peddling itself, without verification, as a technical solution to curriculum and instruction problems for inner city schools. In 2012, Chicago Public Schools has begun forcing schools to use Wireless Generation materials and services in a controversial program involving kindergarten through second grade children.Things have gotten so crazy in the 2012 world of edits, memos, Power Points, orders, reforms, re-reforms, and re-re-re-reforms from the administration of former Rochester school supt. Jean-Claude Brizard and former "Relationship Banker" Rahm Emanuel that it would take a team of a dozen investigative reporters on the ground school-by-school (with a backup team of another dozen researchers) to separate out the greed, mendacity, incompetence, and silliness that is being foisted on Chicago behind the smokescreen of the latest iteration of "School Reform." Meanwhile, the city's communities, teachers, principals, and children will be facing centrally planned chaos as the first full year of Rahm's version of "School Reform" kicks in non Monday August 13, 2012. The 241 Chicago "Track E" schools would make this sub-system one of the 20 largest school districts in the USA were it a separate system. But it would be one of only three (the other two are Detroit and New Orleans) currently ruled by a group of outside mercenaries dedicated to destroying public education.

In general, principals are now being ordered to do things that are impossible, and ordered around by people with huge salaries and fancy titles who have never worked a semester in a Chicago classroom.

Take the following memo, on one of the small things principals are required to do, that came out on August 12, 2012. Principals were told they had to do Wireless Generation by their "Chiefs of Schools" (COS). Schools with multiple classrooms in kindergarten through second grade (where they have to do "Wireless Generation", despite the fact that in the context it amounts to educational malpractice, are being ordered to implement it without the tools that supposedly make it possible (ipads).

THE FOLLOWING IS AN ACTUAL CPS MEMO TO PRINCIPALS. ONE OF MANY THAT WE WILL BE SHARING AND THE CHAOS ESCALATES DURING THE COMING MONTHS.

August 12, 2012

Greetings Principal,

Welcome back to school and thank you for opting in for the Wireless Generation mClass assessments this year! We hope you had a wonderful summer and look forward to partnering with you during SY12-13.

Based upon the Department of Student Assessment's recent survey of the number of iPads currently in your building and the number of K-2 classrooms you are serving, CPS has determined that _____ iPad(s) will satisfy your school's need. The attached IPAD Agreement will detail procedures for picking up your new equipment from the CPS Warehouse. Please read this carefully before picking up your equipment and be sure to bring this form with you.

Other Useful Information:

• Attached, please find instructions on how to configure your iPad(s) for mClass usage, once they are in your possession.:OWA-iOS Best Practices

• Please note that, as your building's administrator, you have the ability to provision Wireless Generation accounts to your staff who do not already have access. Please call the Wireless Generation Customer Care line below for assistance if you are unable to do this.System Access:

For questions related to iPad distribution, please contact the Department of Student Assessment at .For further Wireless Generation support, please contact their Customer Care line at 1-800-823-1939, option 3. 773-553-2430

Thank you,

Kelly K. Mina

Assessment Specialist Department of Assessment | Chicago Public SchoolsP 773.553.2430

F 773.553.2421

kmcbride@cps.edu

NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE BELOW ON THE PURCHASE OF WIRELESS GENERATION BY NEWS CORP AND THE HIRING OF JOEL KLEIN BY RUPERT MURDOCH

News Corp., After Hiring Klein, Buys Technology Partner in a City Schools Project, By FERNANDA SANTOS Published: November 23, 2010

Greg Gunn and Larry Berger met as Rhodes scholars at Oxford University and, after stints teaching computer skills and mathematics to children in Harlem and Stamford, Conn., they came upon an idea: create a business that would put technology in the hands of teachers and into classrooms.

Mr. Gunn, 40, and Mr. Berger, 42, founded Wireless Generation 10 years ago, and the company has since grown from a start-up with a bare-bones budget and staff to a national leader in a new wave of education reform, where data is a crucial tool to transform failing schools.

On Monday, News Corporation announced that it had signed an agreement to buy 90 percent of Wireless Generation for $360 million in cash, its first foray into the for-profit world of education since its book publishing arm, Harper Collins, got out of the textbook business in the mid-1990s. The deal thrusts one of the world’s largest media conglomerates behind a concept championed by New York City’s schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein: a numbers-based system to evaluate and rank schools and to improve teaching.

The announcement was all the more interesting because just two weeks ago, Mr. Klein said he would leave the chancellor’s job at the end of the year to become an executive vice president with News Corporation, charged with pursuing business opportunities in the education marketplace.

Wireless Generation, whose headquarters are in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, is the city Education Department’s leading partner in School of One, a pilot program that tracks student progress and tailors individual lesson plans based on the results — an approach that Mr. Klein said allowed learning “in a way no classroom can.”

Josh Reibel, president and chief operating officer of Wireless Generation, would not disclose how the company and News Corporation came together. Teri Everett, a spokeswoman for News Corporation, said that the transaction had been in the works for several months and that Mr. Klein “had no involvement” in it.

Conflict-of-interest rules set strict limits for city employees, both during and after their tenure, which could make Mr. Klein’s transition a tricky one. City employees are never allowed to disclose confidential information about the city’s business dealings or future strategy, and they cannot communicate with the agency for which they worked for one year after they leave. The rules also bar them from ever working on matters they had substantial involvement in as city employees.

A spokeswoman for the Education Department, Natalie Ravitz, said that Mr. Klein recused himself from all business dealings between the department and Wireless Generation “as soon as we learned that News Corp had acquired” Wireless Generation. He will also “continue to follow the advice of the conflicts board on this matter” and abide by all applicable rules once he starts work at News Corporation, Ms. Ravitz said.

The mayor’s office is currently seeking state approval for Cathleen P. Black to succeed Mr. Klein.

Gene Russianoff, a spokesman for the New York Public Interest Research Group, a good-government organization, said that potential conflicts sometimes came up “because people do what they know best” once they leave their city jobs.

But he added, “Respecting the post-employment restrictions is important and it goes to the heart of the public concern that there’s a revolving door between government and the private sector.”

Wireless Generation has a contract with the city for $7.5 million, expiring in May, and, according to the city comptroller’s office, has received roughly $1.1 million in payments since Jan. 1.

Mr. Reibel would not discuss the finances of the company. The sale is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Wireless Generation employs 400 people and also has offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington.

The company received about $500,000 to prepare New Jersey’s application for a $400 million federal education grant, which the state lost during the summer because of a clerical error. Some legislators have blamed Wireless Generation for not catching the error, and have asked the company to return its fee.

Tim Arango contributed reporting.



Comments:

August 14, 2012 at 10:15 PM

By: John Kugler

Manufacturing Statistics

all these schemes are to rip off taxpayers. public education is about giving everyone an opportunity to succeed not to give private companies profits. all these privatizers manipulate statistics to get the results they want.

read the article below.

______________________________________

Manufacturing Low Crime Rates at the NYPD: Reputation Versus Safety Under Bloomberg and Kelly

Posted: 08/13/2012 10:16 am

The practice of manufacturing artificially low crime rates increased substantially after 2002 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his police commissioner Raymond Kelly. New research based on interviews with 2,000 retired police officers from the NYPD reveals pervasive, system-wide corruption of criminal records and police practices. This research suggests that concern with the department's reputation for reducing crime, much more than with public safety, drives police policy.

Mountains of scientific evidence supporting this are explored in The Crime Numbers Game. The bulk of the book's evidence came from a survey of 500 retired police officers ranked captain and above, as well as from in depth interviews with over 40 retired and active officers.

A new survey of former NYPD officers includes 10 police chiefs, 36 inspectors, 63 captains, 262 lieutenants, 382 sergeants, and 1,154 patrol officers and detectives. The survey asked officers if they had witnessed words being changed in crime reports or observed other unethical efforts to downgrade serious crimes to lesser offenses. Using the officers who retired before 1995 as a baseline, the survey found that 25 percent of those officers had personally observed unethical crime reporting. Only 28 percent of those who retired between 1995 and 2001 had observed these activities.

However, in the Kelly/Bloomberg era (2002 and after) over half the officers -- 51 percent -- had observed the intentional misclassification of serious crimes as petty offenses and other unethical practices, typically multiple times. Officers also reported that since 2002 they had experienced unusually strong pressures from supervisors to downgrade crimes and keep crime numbers low.

The consequences of downgrading or not reporting crimes can be severe. For example, in 2010 recently retired Detective Harold Hernandez revealed to Village Voice reporter Graham Rayman that a series of sexual assault-robberies in Washington Heights had been downgraded from serious felonies to misdemeanors. As a result, the NYPD missed the crime pattern and allowed a sexual predator to remain at large for at least two months and to commit six more rapes.

More evidence came from numerous NYPD whistleblowers. Since 2010 officers Adrian Schoolcraft, Craig Matthews, Frank Polestro, Adyl Polanco, and Vanessa Hicks have talked openly to reporters and TV cameras about the routine downgrading of crimes and the use of illegal arrest quotas by the NYPD. Not surprisingly, they have been punished by the department for doing so. Other officers have discussed confidentially the pressure to keep numbers low with reporters and researchers (including the authors).

It is important to understand that the official crime rate is a powerful indicator of crime in New York and a broader gauge of how the city is doing. The mayor and other officials, the real estate and tourist industries, and the top brass at the NYPD all have a strong interest in keeping the crime numbers low.

This research also indicates that the corruption of crime reports is a consequence of the misuse of Compstat (the NYPD's computerized crime reporting and mapping system introduced in 1995). Ironically, this innovative management accountability system, which was designed to reduce crime, has become twisted. Compstat now serves as a powerful mechanism to ensure that downgrading permeates the whole department.

At weekly Compstat crime strategy meetings, commanders are held accountable for crime in their precincts. When used in a community-oriented and problem-solving fashion, this makes great sense. But when the upper echelon's ability to keep tabs on the crime rate and closely monitor officers and precincts is coupled with pressure to keep crime numbers low, the Compstat system is turned on its head.

There is now a clear message emanating from the top commanders at police headquarters: make many stop and frisks, write many summonses, make many arrests for petty offenses, and downgrade serious crimes. In other words, the NYPD seeks to keep the serious crime numbers low while showing lots of officer activity. The NYPD's 50,000 marijuana arrests, 600,000 summonses, and nearly 700,000 stop and frisks do little or nothing to make the city safer. Indeed, this unnecessary activity alienates communities and hurts the NYPD's ability to fight serious and violent crimes.

This strategy does not involve intelligence gathering, surveillance, or community involvement -- nor does it make good use of Compstat. This is a policy created to maintain appearances, not to catch dangerous criminals. When the NYPD protects and serves its reputation for reducing crime, it does not protect and serve the people of New York; these are conflicting priorities.

In the next year New Yorkers have an opportunity to effect change. The mayoral race is heating up as opposition to the NYPD's racially-biased stop and frisks, marijuana arrests, and other practices intensifies. As the New York Times and others have suggested, this is an excellent time to install a federal monitor or inspector general with powers to investigate and supervise the NYPD's practices.

_____________ 

Eli B. Silverman is coauthor of The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation and professor emeritus John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

John A. Eterno is coauthor of The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation and professor and associate dean of criminal justice at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York.

Jesse P. Levine is a researcher for the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and a student at City University of New York School of Law.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eli-b-silverman/low-crime-rates-nypd-eli-b-silverman-john-a-eterno_b_1772489.html

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