HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    

  March 5, 2018

Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education (1/4)

In Part One, Principal Matt Hornbeck introduces author Noliwe Rooks and explains how charter schools in Maryland, unlike other states, have defied privatization
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

I support The Real News Network because it is one of the few remaining political voices of the people. - David Pear
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


MATT HORNBECK: I'm Matt Hornbeck and I'm a principal at a charter school, but ...


MATT HORNBECK: Yeah, boo. But I am a huge fan of unions and when Corey Gaber, who's one of the BMORE people, was looking for a place to meet when the Governor's legislation came out and said that teachers might have to work for operators and couldn't work for the city, and their living wage, their benefits, and their retirement would be at risk, I gave space at our school for teachers from all over the city to meet and try to think about and organize. I did not stay in the room, they did their own thing.

I just was asked for a moment to give some context on charters in Maryland and the privatization work here in Maryland. I am such a fan now, a new fan, of Dr. Brooks. The book is fantastic, I have it on tape in my car. It's reading like a wonderful, really urgent history and present solution on what needs to happen. And for me at a school that is very integrated, and I really believe we were the number one performing school on state tests, which boy, are they not the end all be all. National history day projects, and portfolios, and what you might call "real work" or what matters. But we were the number one performing school in grades three through five on reading for African American students in Baltimore City. And our school has been a Title I, school for two and a half decades, but is 40% Latino, 20% African American, and 40% white. As you know if you're a teacher in Baltimore city, that's somewhat unusual for schools in Baltimore.

In terms of the context in Maryland for charters, it is widely touted that Maryland has, over and over the mantra is the "worst charter law in the nation." Jessica Shiller and I think that it is the best charter law in the nation because it requires that schools work with unions and that everyone be a member of a collective bargaining unit which is good for families, good for cities, good for kids, just good all the way around. So, I know that the starting salary for teachers at $50,000 plus really good benefits does not nearly do justice to the work that good teachers do every day, but I also know because of the marketplace that I could probably find people for $35,000 and they would come in droves. So, we do need to be protected from ourselves with workplace rules and guidance because when the hard financial decisions come about, you need to have some basic parameters.

So, in Maryland, I think that the charter law is very unique. I testified against the Governor's charter bill. And we do have autonomy over our curriculum. We do have autonomy roughly over who we get to hire, last year was a little bit challenging for everyone in the room. But then certainly all of the due process issues when anyone is not performing well applied equally to everyone at our school as they would at a traditional school. Then one massive advantage that I think ought to apply to traditional schools at some point is the rolling over of dollars year-to-year so they don't evaporate and go back to the district to central. So, there's roughly $10 million some years, depending on the year you look, that schools don't spend or gets frozen because of budget reasons and goes back.

In terms of privatization here, we've played around with Edison, we've played around with Chancellor Beacon, which became Imagine Schools. Their profit is based on, EMOs are based on 500 students in a school, in a Title I school, that gets roughly $500,000 in Title I money. They can produce between $500,000 and $800,000 a year for their shareholders if they're running it at that level. So, they need scale, and it's a real challenge because certainly, and Dr. Rooks I'm sure will talk a little bit more this, there is no better results with these schools than there are with traditional schools. In case you don't already know, and I'm not just talking to my audience 'cause it's the truth but the teacher is the whole game. So having talented, well compensated, supported people in the classroom is the entire game.

Thanks to all of the people who are teachers and who, our day starts a lot earlier than 9:00 AM at the water cooler and I really appreciate everyone coming out tonight. Thank you Dr. Rooks for everything and get her book.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at

latest stories

Paul Jay On Trump and Bolton: One of the Most Dangerous Times in Human History
Money Can't Wash Blood Off Hands of Saudi Prince
Mired in Corruption Scandals, Peru's President Resigns
Philippines: Duterte's Bloody War on His Own People
Ivan Bates: State's Attorney's Race From Freddie Gray to GTTF
Former Venezuelan Interior Minister Arrested: Fracturing the Bolivarian Movement?
Are Police Reform Efforts Doomed to Fail?
How Long Will It Take for Casino Money to Reach Classrooms?
Trump Boasts of Killer Arms Sales in Meeting with Saudi Dictator, Using Cartoonish Charts
15 Years of Mass Destruction in Iraq
Mercer's Cambridge Analytica 'Utterly Sleazy'
Democracy in Crisis: Take Note
Meet The Man Behind Cambridge Analytica, Who Made Trump President
Will Congress Affirm its Constitutional Power to Stop the War in Yemen?
A Rare Glimpse Inside a Police Body-Camera Review Unit
In Afrin the Turks are Looting and Pillaging with Gunfire
Protester Arrested At State House: Gov. Hogan Would Not Drink Water Contaminated by Fracking
'Samantha Em-Powers Genocide in Yemen': Students Protest US Role in Saudi War
After a Shooting at His School, a Maryland Teacher Speaks Out
European Left Divided Over Brexit
Marilyn Mosby: From Freddie Gray to GTTF
Trump and the Rise of the European Right, with Reps of UK Labour Party, De Linke, Podemos, and Syriza
Petroleum Executives Visit Trump, Increasing Offshore Oil Drilling
EPA Sued for Removing Independent Scientists from its Advisory Board
Inequality in America: A National Town Hall
Laura Flanders Show: Women's History Makes The Future
Corbyn Allies in Labour Attacked For Supporting Palestinian Struggle
Paul Jay: Threats facing Humanity, Russiagate & the Role of Independent Media
Kochs and ALEC Behind Criminalization of Dissent Bills in Five States
West's Anti-Russian Fervor Will Help Putin Win Election On Sunday,, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting