Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Magic Johnson wants to help high school dropouts

We have heard recently where District 150 apparently had an opportunity to team up with Magic "Ervin" Johnson to open a charter school. This little tidbit has left many wondering, what exactly is the deal with District 150 and Magic Johnson? 

Well... word is that Lathan has met at least twice with Clyde Gulley, the Regional Office of Education and a rep from the Magic Johnson Charter School. Apparently Magic would like to open Carver as a school for drop-out, offering vocational education. However, just like the Peoria Charter School Initiative (Quest), they need a district to partner with to issue diplomas. Lathan has said that she is not interested.  
Magic Johnson Enterprises, Johnson's company devoted to improving urban communities, will work with EdisonLearning, an educational services provider, on a dual-front approach to help support urban students, working under the name Magic Johnson-EdisonLearning Assist.
"Improving the quality of life for people residing in urban areas is my life's passion, and through Magic Johnson Enterprises, we have been part of positive change in these communities," Johnson said in a press release. "When just over 40 percent of students in Los Angeles, Houston, and Baltimore are graduating from high school; and less than 30 percent of black males in New York, Detroit, and Miami—steps need to be taken to recapture these students into the education system to better their opportunities in life."
The partnership will establish Magic Johnson Bridgescape Learning Centers to help urban high-school-age students who have either dropped out or are at risk of dropping out earn a high school diploma. EdisonLearning already operates eight Bridgescape Centers in Ohio and will open three new centers in Cincinnati this month (September 2011).
Bridgescape Centers combines face-to-face learning with online instruction to help tailor instruction to individual student's needs. Each center works with 100 to 150 students at one time.
For urban students still in school, Magic Johnson-EdisonLearning Assist will work with districts to incorporate Alliance School Turnaround Initiatives, which are aimed at boosting student performance in underperforming schools.
Each district will work with an EdisonLearning Achievement Team to design and implement a tailor-made turnaround model for their schools, complete with leadership development, curriculum improvements, and proven assessment systems, according to the initiative. Currently, EdisonLearning is providing school improvement/turnaround services to roughly 80 schools across Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, Delaware, and Nevada. 
"Every student in the United States, regardless of ethnic or economic status, should have access to education that enables them to succeed," said Jeff Wahl, president and CEO of EdisonLearning. "Magic Johnson-EdisonLearning Assist provides an important safety net for students who have left or are at risk of leaving the traditional school setting. The positive impact of their success is important not only for the students themselves and their communities, but also the nation as a whole."
Why was the Magic Johonson Bridgescape charter school EdisonLearning) effort nixed by Lathan et al? Whatever happened to "parents needing choice" and Lathan's mission to give it? Weren't we lead to believe that this Board was all about charter schools? Why is this Magic Johnson charter school venture less worthy than say, ummm... Concept Management (Quest)? 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the only people allowed to make money are friends of the good dr.

Jon said...

Maybe because it's a for-profit enterprise run by a company that just lost its contract with the district. Magic Johnson lent his name to it.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports/Magic-Johnson-Gets-in-the-Education-Game-129691773.html

Anonymous said...

Can you say CAT?????

Beth said...

We have a school in both Peoria and Tazewell counties for these students. Unfortunately, they often don't know from year to year if they will receive the funding to continue. While I don't wish to have a for-profit business involved in education, it does give students and families another option that is stable.

Dennis in Peoria said...

I agree with Jon, with the Edison name in there, that brings up the question if it is related to the Edison school program that District 150 just kicked out last year. As good as this program sounds, it's not going to be free.
The cost may be why Dr. Lathan turned it down.

Frustrated said...

The Edison contract was terminated due to financial reasons, correct? If you ask any parent and, I believe most teachers that worked at Edison Northmoor,they thought the program worked.

If Edison,in partnership with Magic Johnson, has a new program to offer, I think the prior termination/relationship with the District is irrelevant.

Perhaps there are valid reason not to partner with this entity. Given Lathan's image problems it would be wise for the District to share, to some degree, their rationale for not pursuing this opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Magic Johnson will take over Parent University.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Dr. Lathan for refusing to meet with the teachers' union on Tuesday. The union was open to collaborating with the administration when Dr. Durflinger left. Lathan had to work extra hard to destroy that positive relationship.

Anonymous said...

They need a dress code for the board members. No elephant print, no sun dresses, only a limited quantity of Jean Nate per individual, and no same-day home perms.

Anonymous said...

My class is doing a fundraiser before the next board meeting. We'll be selling bullhorns for 5.00 each. Can I get an AMEN?

Anonymous said...

Someone get Gruhnituh a "Do Not Interrupt - Pouting" sign for her office door.

Anonymous said...

If you go into LuhToy's office this week, refrain from sitting on the couch with the Hello Kitty throw pillows. Apparently, she gnaws on them when she gets angry.

Jon said...

Beth, I assume that you're referring to the Regional Safe Schools that are run by the Regional Offices of Education for Peoria County and Tazewell County, that you probably know are funded by the State. The question, of course, is who is going to pay any entity (for-profit or not) to teach these particular students. It won't be those Regional Offices of Education, who can't get properly funded by the State now.

If you look at the target student - high school age kids who have dropped out or at-risk of dropping out, District 150 arguably believes it already has provided an alternative to traditional high school for them - at Woodruff. Further, the programs at Woodruff are just getting started, and along with a new high school option at Quest (along with traditional high schools and Regional Safe Schools) creating another opportunity at Carver is likely too much too soon and could hurt those other new initiatives.

When D150 allowed Quest to open as a charter, they struck a bargain by paying them 85% of the average cost of educating a D150 student. I highly doubt any school aimed at high school drop-outs is going to cost less than the average per student cost - these schools typically cost more due to the necessary greater staff to pupil ratio.

What's also very important to understand is not just the average cost - but also the marginal cost per student. For simplicity, if I have 10 students that cost on average $10,000 per student, or $100,000, and I lose 1 student, thus $10,000 of "revenue", I only "get" $90,000 - but I probably have almost all of the same costs for 9 students as I do for 10 - the same facility costs, same number of teachers, etc.

Now a district can adapt to these changes (losing 225 students initially to Quest, for example) but too much change too quickly is the fear (the district would have to have more cuts across the board to adjust to the loss of students). Of particular note is that in the first year of Quest, D150 funded it with considerably less than 85% per student – in order to adjust to those changes – and CAT and private donors made up the difference.

Add to all of this the "taint" of a for-profit entity linked to Edison with complaints that the District is already trying to do too much too soon, and I can understand why this has no chance of happening right now. Of course, the Magic Johnson name gets a few meetings - thus why Magic can sell his "marketing" to entities like EdisonLearning.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhh, Jon, forever a buzz kill.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Duh. We're just using the Magic school as another excuse to get rid of Lathan. We don't really expect it to amount to anything. Save your breaf, man. Save your breaf.

Sharon Crews said...

The Magic school doesn't add another reason for wanting to get rid of Lathan, but it does possibly increase the number of people who will join the effort. Many want to find the viable use for reviving Carver Center that this school would offer. Perhaps some people in the city would like to see the school in Peoria.
Since it is a school for dropouts, I am not quite sure why District 150 would have the obligation to fund the school. If the school is for students who have already dropped out, 150 has no legal obligation for them, does it--sincere question; I don't know? If the school is for potential dropouts that's a different story.
The Edison connection does muddy the waters.

Anonymous said...

The people who ran Carver into the ground (and drained their $$$$) want to reopen it under taxpayer sources so they can have a running stream of money to grab again. Those who support such notion are either clueless or culpable.

Dennis in Peoria said...

Anonymous, did you ever visit Carver Community Center when it was open, and see the great programs that went on there? Head Start classrooms, a senior lunch site, sports programs, a computer center, plus an optometrist who operated an office there; a food pantry, and so much more.

Cite me a reliable source where there is an investigation into financial fraud by Carver Center staff.

Anonymous said...

Dennis - I didn't say fraud. Check their cost structure. United Way cut funding. Why? Check your own Exec. directors pay and benefits and see if others take 1% of total revenue for the top earner alone. Some charity evidently starts at home.

Anonymous said...

Dennis - I didn't say fraud. Check their cost structure. United Way cut funding. Why? Check your own Exec. directors pay and benefits and see if others take 1% of total revenue for the top earner alone. Some charity evidently starts at home.

hot in the city said...

Wells, here's another reason for the local community to look more closely at Dr. Lathan. She is very probably (putting it that way because it hasn't been stated openly yet) going to make most if not all of the educational support staff (paraprofessionals) "part-time." They will work slightly less than a full day and therefore will not be eligible for any benefits like health insurance.

These are the people in the classrooms every day working directly with our students: the teacher assistants, the school nurses, the sign language interpreters, etc. Parents should be upset that the needs of their students are going to be shortchanged if the administration goes forward with this plan. The community should be upset that Peoria students will be at a huge disadvantage if they are subjected to a revolving door of classroom support.

And why? Not for any educational reason. This is NOT "Respecting the customer" by the administration.

Anonymous said...

I think Heavy D will be burned at the stake by support staff if she votes for part timing them. Gonna sit at the horse('s ass) shoe collecting retirement from being a secretary while voting to cut their wages. She'll use her standard line that "change is hard and not always popular" then POOF nothing left but some steel rimmed glasses and a smoke plume of polyester.

Anonymous said...

Rev But. will have to start using flame retardant micro curl and Petelle will have to start making her sleeveless sundresses out of fire proof underoo pj's.

Anonymous said...

Ross will fare the best. She can stop drop and roll from any angle.

Anonymous said...

Okay. Okay. Seems this whole charter school thing was just a BIG misunderstanding. Apparently, Grenita is settling down after Magic walked in and initially mistook her for his lifelong friend James Worthy.

Anonymous said...

And there you have it floks - the last trilogy of anons is really Carrie collecting a paycheck on YOUR tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

DILLY DILLY DILLY DEEEEEE!

Anonymous said...

WELL I THINK ITS A BLESSING THAT SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING...ALSO I WISH THERE WAS SOME TYPE OF CHARTER SCHOOL FOR ADULTS TO ATTEND,NOT THOSE BORING ADULT GED CLASSES THATS GETTING FUNDED AN NO TELLING WERE THE FUNDING ARE GOING.

Anonymous said...

I was extremely pleased to uncover this web site.

I wanted to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!
! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you book marked
to look at new things in your blog.

my website http://wiki.urospace.De/