Testimony of Karel Kilimnik to the Board of Education, September 19, 2019

Comprehensive School Planning review/Mastery Renewals/Answer our Questions

First, welcome to the new student Board members Doha Ibrahim and Imere Williams. Data is my topic. The District has declared its Data Devotion.  Where is your data showing how the Renaissance Charter Program is performing? Although 5 of these Mastery Renaissance schools up for approval tonight were recommended for 5-year Renewals with Conditions by the CSO when they first came up for a vote, the conditions have now been disappeared by the CSO.  The renewals specify that they “ do not include any school-specific conditions”. What was removed that Mastery did not want to implement? The public was never told what the conditions were, so we have no way to know what was rejected by this charter operator. The District conducts all charter renewal agreements in secret.  The SRC treated charter schools as clients and the Board is continuing that practice.

Next in DataWorld is the new Comprehensive School Planning Review.  The newly hired FLO Analytics based on the West Coast will be developing and collecting data . Is this simply a cover to start merging and closing schools? A school community is much more than a collection of data. Our schools have been stripped of resources to even provide the basic healthy school building. Thanks to the Notebook we know that Vanessa Benton (former banker, Broad Institute Fellow, and Mastery employee)is one of three new internal hires for this project.

1.How much will FLO Analytics be paid?

2.Who are the other Internal hires and what are their positions?

3.When does community engagement start? This  already feels like stakeholders will have a prescribed role to provide cover for what the District wants to accomplish.

I want to know how my  6 questions will be answered if no one can address them now. Many questions have been asked at Board meetings and never answered. The SRC started responding by providing a paper with both question and answer at the next meeting. How is the Board going to handle answering our questions? You are government officials spending our tax dollars, you have not been elected but part of your governing responsibility is to answer our questions asked at a public meeting.