Carol Heinsdorf testimony to the SRC – January 21, 2016

Carol Heinsdorf 1-21-16

I am Carol Heinsdorf, taxpayer.

Dr. Hite–You are to be applauded for actually using SDP data to inform your decision about Wister School. Because this defining data became available only recently, it is to be expected that any future decisions will be made AFTER, not BEFORE, these School Progress Reports are posted in January.   The SDP technology department once again has provided clear, easily understandable School Progress Reports. This is a fine job well done by Tech, which understands education.

My listed topic is Family Privacy, but the research led me elsewhere. Tonight’s topic, instead, is Extreme and Possibly Dangerous Charter School Marketing.

Dr. Hite, SRC–Are you aware of the harassment you are subjecting your families to when you suggest that a certain charter chain take over a school? These are questions needing your attention as a result of a parent conversation on January12.

Do you know that the school catchment area is leafleted, with people knocking on doors, soliciting neighbors without being clear that the solicitations are for this one charter school company?

Do you know that influential community members are targeted to be won over to the charter position with t-shirts, gift cards, and jobs?

Do you know that community meetings are called, supposedly for the betterment of children’s schooling, and the only speakers presenting are from this one charter company? In a break-out group, company representatives did nothing but sit close to listen to parents, and then introduced themselves at the end. The parent said it felt as if, without being told, it was a charter school recruitment meeting.

Do you know that unsuspecting community members are requested to provide their contact information, under the guise of improving their children’s schooling, and then were contacted by this company’s representatives at home by telephone as late as 9 o’clock at night?

Do you know that a parents’ meeting was held at a local church, the topic understood to be parents’ rights, but instead focused on charter schools? Do you know that that parent host then appeared on a promo video for the charter school chain? The meeting was described as “infiltrated.”

Do you know that the company’s Community Organizing Manager showed up at a parent’s place of business asking for a petition to be signed? The petition was in support of a turn-around, asking for name, email, phone number, but the charter school company name was not on the petition. Do you know that when the parent asked about student educational concerns, the organizer stopped speaking and left?

Do you know that as a result of one community meeting attended by a parent, the manager of the location came over to the parent to engage in a conversation that was described as “too familiar?”

Dr. Hite, SRC–You are implicated in these activities because you boldly invite these outside entities into our school communities.

Thank you.