Teachers union goes mute – refuses to explain “foundation”

If you want to know what the “ERC Foundation” is, don’t bother asking Newark Teachers Association President John Abeigon, who has refused to respond to repeated  press inquiries.

abeigon

John Abeigon (Facebook)

Abeigon’s silence comes amid myriad published reports of the union’s so-far unsuccessful effort to raise money through a newly formed “foundation” called the ERC Foundation.

The failed campaign has even caught the eye of the Washington Examiner. http://washex.am/2cNrXJp

“Maybe it’s due to poor promotion, or maybe it’s a hoax,” The Examiner’s Jason Russell wrote. “But after five days, a fundraiser for the Newark Teachers Union has raised $0. As of 5:30 p.m. on Monday, a GoFundMe page for the union had zero donations since its creation on Sept. 14.”

On its page http://bit.ly/2d1ZUYw the NTU writes:

“With Newark educators, their unions, students and public education under constant attack, the Newark Teachers Union is announcing an innovative way not just to fight back but educate the public about why public education must be supported and strengthened.

“Are you as angry as we are—the Newark Teachers Union—about the unrelenting attacks on teachers, their unions, their students and public education? This war is funded by the state, which is using taxpayer dollars to destabilize public education, especially in the poorest districts, like Newark.

“We need to fight back, but we don’t have access to the same funding sources as those who want to destroy our public schools. If you’re mad as hell and want to help us launch a real campaign to make sure Newark students, their educators, their families and communities have the strong, well-resourced neighborhood public schools they need to thrive, then consider donating whatever you can to our struggle.

“Any amount you contribute is greatly appreciated.”

Failed CNN anchor and Pamela-Cantor-bosom-pal Brown: see if you can Turn(THIS)around! ‘Sorry, class, I’m late – again LOL.’

campbell brown

Campbell Brown turns a cold shoulder LOL

Hey Campbell http://www.the74million.org Brown – see if you can do a little work on the unions that are protecting pure incompetence.

Like, how can a teacher be late 111 times and still be, uh teaching?

http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2015/08/tardy_more_than_100_times_nj_teacher_can_keep_job.html

NEW BRUNSWICK — An arbitrator used scathing language to describe the conduct of a public school teacher who has been late to work several dozen times in the last two years but also rejected the district’s attempt to fire him, according to a ruling in a tenure hearing reached earlier this month.

Arnold Anderson, a teacher at Roosevelt School, was late 46 times in the most recent school year through March 20, and another 65 times in the previous school year, according to the text of the arbitrator’s decision, which was filed Aug. 19.

The state-appointed arbitrator, David Gregory, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law in New York, was dismissive of Anderson’s claim that the quality of his teaching outweighs his frequent tardiness.

“At most, [Anderson] uses micro-quibbles of a few unpersuasive explanations, with a macro-default position that even when he is late he nevertheless delivers a superb educational experience to his grateful students,” Gregory wrote.

Gregory was likewise skeptical of Anderson’s claim that his lateness does not merit disciplinary action, adding that Anderson offers “no credible explanations for his tardiness record.”

But Gregory, citing his nearly 15 years of service, also found that summary discharge was not appropriate for Anderson, who is entitled to due process and progressive discipline prior to termination. Anderson has been denied raises as a  result of his lateness, Gregory noted, but was never given at least 90 days’ notice to correct his behavior.

Turnaround for Children ‘lost’ $1 million last year? Newark entry a bust? Ring a bell?

turnaround loss4

BULLETIN:

Turnaround for Children Inc.’s IRS filing shows $1 million expenses over revenue last year.

turnaround loss

In its Form 990 filing for the tax year that ended June 2014, the expense-exceeding-revenue disclosure (for 7/1/13 to 6/30/14) is revealed.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=285fb088e5&view=att&th=14df8dbbc531c7c5&attid=0.1&disp=safe&zw

Pamela Cantor, who is Turnaround’s chief executive officer, filed the report under penalty of perjury on Jan. 30, 2015, according to IRS records.

In her report to the IRS, Cantor tries to trumpet her agency’s “success,” but discloses “not as much progress as we would like to see.:”

    turnaround loss2

Menawhile, the IRS filing also shows that Kate Felsen, who is paid $160,000 as “vice president of communicatins,” masks her name in the IRS filing as “Katherine Di Pietro,” which is her married name.

turnaround loss3

Who knew?!

For $160,000, I guess you are free to use whatever name you want LOL.

Di Pietro – or Felsen depending on your flavor – is for the first time listed as among the organization’s top-paid employees.

So, the moral to the story may be, ‘you can call me Ray, or you can call me Ray Jay, but you doesn’t have to call me Felsen.’

The Form 990 also shows:

* Nearly $1 million in receipts for the organization’s annual “gala” party.

* Food & “beverage” gala expenses of more than $135,000. Now, that’s a party, folks!

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Oops – there was one more thing, ma’am, that we licked our chops over this tidbit in the IRS report:

* Director Owen Lewis was paid $35,000 for “consulting services.”

SONY DSC

Owen Lewis

http://turnaroundusa.org/staff/owen-lewis-m-d

Oops! $377,000-a-year David Osher of AIR.org forgot to publish his “research” that allegedly shows what a blazing success Turnaround for Children Inc. is. What gives, Mr. PhD? Must be phantom research!

Did he forget something?

osher's missing research

osher mug

Where is $377,000-a-year David I-Make-It-All-Up Osher’s research on Turnaround for Children published?
 
It is not on his expansive resume.
 
Google searches produce nothing.
 
What is the reason?


http://cecp.air.org/about/resumes/david_osher.htm

A 50-page resume and no mention of his “celebrated” research that allegedly shows Turnaround for Children Inc.’s successes?

The same “research” that Turnaround’s Pammy Cantor extolled on her Facebook page?

Where is it, $377,000-a-year David?

Do tell!

Here’s $377,000-a-year Osher’s “research:”

http://www.gtlcenter.org/blog/building-positive-relationships-truly-disadvantaged-schools

Meanwhile, you can check our research – and it’s even footnoted:

https://newarkschoolsforsale.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/turnaround-for-children-inc-test-score-grades-in-nyc-a-big-fat-f/

And our response to $377,000-a-year Osher:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hlpbN5nB9O7A4aytAduqil_NG19INWntVj4Ylnd6iq8/edit?usp=sharing

AIR.org still refusing to grant equal time to Cohen; Osher’s one-sided view of Turnaround for Children Inc. immolating by the minute

air.org letter

david myers

AIR.org President $566,304-a-year David Myers

pat gurin mug

AIR.org Chairwoman $53,750-a-year Patricia Gurin

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http://www.topix.com/forum/city/washington-dc/T8R11J9K2V9QAGGEO

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Bowing to public pressure, leaders of American Institutes for Research have mollified their refusal to grant us space to respond to AIR.org Vice President $377,000-a-year David Osher’s glowing commentary on Turnaround for Children Inc.’s alleged successes reaching at-risk children in public schools.

osher mug

AIR.org $377-a-year Veep David Osher

Only after I filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Inspector General did AIR.org officials decide they not only have a legal problem denying adequate public editorial access – since they receive $260,000,000 a year in taxpayer money – but they fear that funding could now be in real jeopardy.

Why would they want critical public opinion to crash the party?

And they also granted Osher space to add another two cents

to try to defend his failure to include disastrous test scores in his so-called “research.”

test score disaster graph

Osher’s so-called “research” missed the drooping test scores

In this link, you will see $377,000-a-year Osher’s blog post, below which AIR.org top officials have published my response.

It took them nearly two weeks to conclude that their delayed decision to publish my response is what they call ‘compliant’ with their commenting policy “posted on the website.”

“All comments on the blog are subject to review. We reserve the right to withhold approval for any comments that are contrary to respectful and productive dialogue.”

Maybe they should add: “…any comments that run counter to our judgment that a $377,000-a-year PhD can do no wrong.”

They reached such a conclusion only after I served notice that I would pursue my complaint with the top cop at the U.S. Department of Education.

We call that “running scared.”

As in, running scared that their annual $260,000,000 in government money will fall under a federal audit – meaning they would lose that support if the inspector general concludes that they are freezing the public out of editorial access to their partisan commentary.

air failed to justify text of my post

http://www.gtlcenter.org/blog/building-positive-relationships-truly-disadvantaged-schools

If you don’t want to wade through Osher to get to me, here is my unfettered version:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hlpbN5nB9O7A4aytAduqil_NG19INWntVj4Ylnd6iq8/edit?usp=sharing

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When AIR.org is done trying to silence me, they will have to deal with Kathleen Tighe, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education.

In that role, General Tighe is what you might call the agency’s top cop – rooting out fraud.

General Tighe has impressive credentials in such a role.

Tighe has a lengthy background in government accountability and a wealth of experience fighting fraud, according to BreakingGov.com.

http://breakinggov.com/2012/01/26/feds-work-kathleen-tighe-helps-recovery-board-stay-transparent/

Prior to becoming the IG at Education, she was the Deputy Inspector General at the Agriculture Department.

From 1995 to 2005, she served as Counsel to the Inspector General, General Services Administration and, before that, she was an Assistant Counsel for the Office of Inspector General. From 1988 until 1991, she was a Trial Attorney with the Fraud Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice.

General Tighe’s office has published this mission statement:

“To promote the efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity of the Department’s programs and operations, we conduct independent and objective audits, investigations, inspections, and other activities. Anyone knowing of fraud, waste, or abuse of Department of Education funds should contact the OIG Hotline to make a confidential report.”

File:The Inspectors General - Logo.jpg

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lao

Lao Tzu

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

…So, too, our blog’s effort to shine a light on reform-education hypocrisy and fraud…

Turnaround for Children Inc. blinded by AIR.org’s $260,000,000 in annual tax money: a helter-skelter educational mission clouded by dollar signs

David Osher of AIR.org – who never saw a resume builder he didn’t like – is in good company with Pam Cantor of Turnaround for Children Inc., who never saw an inflated resume she didn’t like.

$377,000-a-year David Osher of AIR.org has claimed to work on improving “conditions for learning.”

But out in the field at Turnaround for Children Inc., it is impossible to find the nexus between so-called improved conditions for learning and academic proficiency as measured by standardized test scores.

Several possible explanations exist;

1) the theory does not hold water

2) TFC provides a counter example to the research

3) your tax dollars are being wasted

990 air

What’s $255,941,081 in wasted taxpayer dollars among friends?

Just ask $377,000-a-year David Osher:

osher mug

“What, me worry?”

Oh, speaking of…

Osher’s 50-page resume includes his claim that he was dean of a “pioneering” NH college from 1974 to 1978.

But he, uh, forgot to mention that the school closed due to what Wiki calls

“years of declining enrollment and increasing financial difficulties.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franconia_College

The college was an unmitigated disaster, according to this searing retrospective on it:

http://www.northcountrynhstories.org/story_Jeff_Woodburn.html

And here’s more on the disastrous academic experience that Osher claims in his resume was a success:

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2008/04/05/490612/-Bare-Debauchery-at-Franconia-College

Here is Osher’s self-styled creative resume section on Franconia College:

osher resume fraud

$377,000-a-year Osher fires back, defends his ‘facts’ as they come under scrutiny; says he ‘didn’t know’ about last few years of failing test scores in wake of Turnaround for Children Inc.’s work

rock

osher mug

$377,000-a-year David Osher living under a rock

American Institutes for Research Vice President David Osher is now claiming

he didn’t know about the disastrous test scores that resulted in the wake of

Turnaround for Children Inc.’s work in NYC schools.

He apparently missed headlines such as this just weeks ago:

test score headline nytimes

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/08/nyregion/under-new-standards-students-see-sharp-decline-in-test-scores.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Osher missed this story, too, in the NY Daily News:

daily news school

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/city-students-scores-dramatic-plunge-new-standardized-tests-article-1.1419973#ixzz2bKyyrzVI

If you doubt that Osher has been living under a rock, here is his explanation for missing the biggest education story in ages:

“My research on the Turnaround for Children School and five others took place between 2005 and 2008. Ted Cohen’s assertions relate to a school and a timeframe that I did not study nor mention in my blog post,” he writes in a Facebook message to us.

He gets paid $377,000 a year in taxpayer money to do that kind of work.

AIR receives some $260,000,000 a year in “government grants (contributions).”

 

990 air

Are you proud to be an American?

Our response to Osher:

We wrote back to Osher:

“OK, if your claim is true, then why is this the first time you are mentioning it in any of your writings?

If you stand by your research, then what happened in the five years following your work – or is that academic, as we say?”

Noe the big question to Osher:

So if your research is ‘stale 2008,’ on what basis did you write your article?

You will see here in Osher’s moldy commentary praising Turnaround for Children Inc. that he makes absolutely no mention of 2005 to 2008:

http://www.gtlcenter.org/blog/building-positive-relationships-truly-disadvantaged-schools

Here is a graph showing the test scores that Osher says he didn’t know about:

south bronx

Oh, there is one person who thinks Osher is a, uh, crack researcher…

Her name?

pamela cantor mug

Pam Cantor, president of – envelope please – Turnaround for Children Inc.

Cantor liked his article so much she posted it on TFC’s Facebook page – the same page she has locked me out of.

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Again I call on Osher’s boss – the $100,000-a-year Patricia Gurin – and his other boss, AIR.org President David Myers – to once and for all publish my response on the institutes’ web site.

Here is it in case Gurin and Myers need an extra copy:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hlpbN5nB9O7A4aytAduqil_NG19INWntVj4Ylnd6iq8/edit?usp=sharing

ted mug2

$1-a-year Ted Cohen, who has filed a complaint with the U.S. Inspector General for the Department of Education.

The inspector general roots out fraud in federally funded groups such as American Institutes for Research.

Your hard-earned federal tax money pays David Osher $377,000 a year as he shills Turnaround for Children Inc.’s fraudulent claims

air irs

This guy, $377,000-a-year David Osher of the tax-exempt American Institutes for Research, holds four taxpayer-funded jobs.

All that money and he can’t even look at a few test scores.

And get this: his resume says that his job at AIR  he “supervises data collection and analysis.”

But he doesn’t look at the test-score data that put to shame his claim that Turnaround for Children is succeeding in the classroom?

Sounds like top-notch research chops to us.

AIR’s own website says:

Osher serves as principal investigator of four major research and technical assistance centers funded by the U.S. government:

The National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, The Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health, and The National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk.
The real question is:

What is he investigating?

Maybe himself?

How can he play the roles of investigator and cheerleader simultaneously?

Where is the old-fashioned pretense of objectivity?

Or does he conveniently switch hats from researcher to PR fan as needed?

David Osher

He’s a shill for Turnaround for Children Inc.

Despite documented proof that Turnaround’s efforts to reach at-risk school kids is failing, Osher wrote that the program is a success.

http://www.gtlcenter.org/blog/building-positive-relationships-truly-disadvantaged-schools

He writes, “Turnaround for Children put South Bronx on the right path.”

Huh?

He apparently missed the report showing dismal test scores in Every school in which Turnaround is working.

Just look at the South Bronx score report:

south bronx

It doesn’t take a statistician to determine the direction of a line on a graph.

Is it going up, or is it going down?

Simple enough, no?

Want more?

See this report of the disastrous Turnaround for Children Inc.’s hand in failing student tests:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/city-students-scores-dramatic-plunge-new-standardized-tests-article-1.1419973#ixzz2bKyyrzVI

American Institutes for Research – which is partly taxpayer funded through the U.S. Department of Education – has refused to print our response to Osher’s fraudulent claims.

(Here is our response – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hlpbN5nB9O7A4aytAduqil_NG19INWntVj4Ylnd6iq8/edit?usp=sharing)

We have emailed $50,000-a-year-salary AIR Chairwoman Patricia Gurin – who besides her AIR salary is pulling down a good chunk of change – an additional $54,000 – from the University of Michigan.

Curiously, her UMich page makes no mention of her double-dipping. No mention there of her cushy ‘job’ at AIR.

pat gurin mug

pgurin@umich.edu

We have also:

* Requested that Kathleen Tighe, the U.S. department OF Education’s inspector general, launch a probe into the institute’s Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.

The Inspector General

Inspector General Tighe

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General - Washington

Our complaint reads as follows:

Inspector General Tighe:

I am interested in your opening an investigation into lack of public editorial access to The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders of the American Institutes for Research.

AIR has refused to respond to or print my response to a blog article it posted on its website that praises the work of Turnaround for Children Inc. in spite of publicly documented evidence that Turnaround for Children’s involvement in at-risk schools is not only not as successful as claimed, but simply is falling short of its publicized goals.

AIR’s Center on Great Teachers and Leaders website says: “The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders is based at American Institutes for Research and funded through a cooperative agreement by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.”

Because this is a publicly funded endeavor, it is required to provide access to anyone wishing to offer competing editorial viewpoints.

By failing to do so it is in violation of the tenets of the agreement with the DOE.

Its website further states: “The contents of this website were developed under a cooperative agreement (S283B120021) from the U.S. Department of Education. Information presented in this site does not necessarily represent the policies of the Department of Education and does not imply endorsement by the federal government.”

Even though the agreement “does not imply endorsement by the federal government,” that disclaimer is insufficient to excuse or insulate the American Institutes for Research from offering editorial space to opposing viewpoints.

* Filed a Freedom of Information request with the U.S. Department of Education seeking a copy of the agreement between the department and the institute.

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You folks out there need to know more about David Osher – as David Osher views himself?

Do you have time to peruse his 50-page resume?

That’s right – this taxpayer-paid scam artist has what we call self-aggrandizing tendencies.

His 17,347-word resume is a tree-killer’s delight.

You need a nap? If so here ya go:

http://cecp.air.org/about/resumes/david_osher.htm

AIR.org joins the Turnaround for Children Inc. coverup; refuses allowing response to taxpayer-funded blog

$377,000-a-year David Osher

So Turnaround for Children Inc. now has another Teddy Bear kissing its face.

David Osher, the $377,000-a-year vice president of American Institutes for Research, published a glowing piece on Turnaround on AIR’s “Great Teachers and Leaders” blog.

http://www.gtlcenter.org/blog/building-positive-relationships-truly-disadvantaged-schools

And guess who posted his lapdog piece on her website: Pammy Cantor, president of Turnaround for Children!

“Luckily,” Osher writes, “…Turnaround for Children, helped put the South Bronx school on the right track.”

Oh, really?

Apparently he missed this report of the South Bronx school’s test-score results since Turnaround went into that school.

south bronx

So, what to do?

We have submitted an op-ed to AIR to point out what a fraud Osher’s piece offers the reading public – to say nothing of the donors who blindly think their money is helping at-risk kids in poor school districts.

(Here is our response: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hlpbN5nB9O7A4aytAduqil_NG19INWntVj4Ylnd6iq8/edit?usp=sharing)

But AIR has ignored our emails.

We have filed initial appeals of their ignorings, pointing out that their website says they are taxpayer funded:

The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders is based at American Institutes for Research and funded through a cooperative agreement by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

We are patiently awaiting a response from:

pat gurin mug

Patricia Gurin, $50,000-a-year AIR board chair

Her website:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pgurin/

We have also filed a complaint with the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Education:

Inspector General Tighe:

I am interested in your opening an investigation into lack of public editorial access to The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders of the American Institutes for Research.

AIR has refused to respond to or print my response to a blog article it posted on its website that praises the work of Turnaround for Children Inc. in spite of publicly documented evidence that Turnaround for Children’s involvement in at-risk schools is not only not as successful as claimed, but simply is falling short of its publicized goals.

AIR’s Center on Great Teachers and Leaders website says: “The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders is based at American Institutes for Research and funded through a cooperative agreement by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.”

Because this is a publicly funded endeavor, it is required to provide access to anyone wishing to offer competing editorial viewpoints.

By failing to do so it is in violation of the tenets of the agreement with the DOE.

Its website further states: “The contents of this website were developed under a cooperative agreement (S283B120021) from the U.S. Department of Education. Information presented in this site does not necessarily represent the policies of the Department of Education and does not imply endorsement by the federal government.”

Even though the agreement “does not imply endorsement by the federal government,” that disclaimer is insufficient to excuse or insulate the American Institutes for Research from offering editorial space to opposing viewpoints.

The Inspector General

Inspector General Kathleen Tighe

Turnaround for Children Inc.’s lap dog fighting back: “Cohen lacks cred”

Seems Tom Vander Ark is a little sensitive to criticism of his string of fawning articles on Turnaround for Children Inc.

Vander Ark’s latest vacuous piece was published in Education Week. (See following post for details on that disaster.)

van ark fights back

As you can see, Vander Ark wrote:

“I have investigated Mr. Cohen’s claims and they don’t appear to be accurate or credible.”

My reply:

For someone who writes nothing but fawning pieces about Turnaround for Children Inc. – and then reposts them on his blog – you speak with no accuracy or credibility.

If you can cite one instance of lack of accuracy, I would be more than happy to provide you the information you need to clear up your journalistic jaundice.

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OH, YOU SAY YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT CRYBABY VAN DER ARK?

http://ischoolexcellence.wordpress.com/tag/newark-new-jersey/

To wit:

President of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Tom Vander Ark, is walking away from a multi-million dollar project to open new charter schools in NYC.

The New York Times is reporting that after spending more than $1.5 million of investors’ money on consultants and lawyers, Tom Vander Ark, president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has walked away from the project to open new charter schools in New York City.  As a result, the new schools will not open as planned this fall.  This shocking move has left many frustrated.

MORE HERE:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/07/plans_for_newark_charter_schoo.html

AND HERE:

http://newarknj.patch.com/groups/schools/p/two-charter-schools-to-still-open-after-setback

AND HERE’S CRANKY TOM AT HIS, UH, BEST?

http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/11/vander-ark-getting-cranky-regarding.html?m=1