Let's start with the ASD and Chris Barbic. Back in 2010, when everyone was waiting for Superman, we all thought Barbic was it. He appeared on Oprah and collected a cool million for his charter school, YES Prep in Houston. Both he and his wife, Natasha Kamrani received numerous accolades for their efforts in education reform.
But his leadership of Tennessee's ASD has been a bitter disappointment and it's clear that Barbic is no Superman. Under his direction, the ASD has failed miserably and been the subject of on-going litigation. It has never lived up to its promises of catapulting the bottom 5% of schools into the top 25% in only five years. Instead, the data shows that ASD charter school operators are no more successful than the school districts who ran the schools before they were taken over by the ASD. In many cases, ASD schools are even falling behind their traditional public school counterparts.
So we'd like our money back. The ASD is not best for our kids and we need to return it for traditional public schools that serve the needs of all children and are governed by locally elected school boards. After all, we suspect the Barbic's would demand a tuition refund if their child's private school did not live up to its promises.
Which bring us to a rather unusual message received over the holidays...
Momma Bears received a message from someone purporting to be Chris Barbic's child. We were asked to quit blogging about him and were blamed for his recent heart attack. We don't personally respond to those types of messages and believe these issues are best handled by adults. So we would like to publicly address the issues about our blog and its impact on the health of someone's dad.
We would like everyone to know that we don't blog to cause heart attacks. We blog because we are directly connected to public schools across the state. People need to know our perspective as public school parents.
We know first hand, the impact stress has on the health, well-being, and personal lives of all those affected by ASD takeovers and other corporate driven reforms in public education. It's not just one person's dad who is affected. Entire communities are under stress. Children are publicly crying and begging for their schools to remain open. Good teachers are stressing out because they are being replaced by unskilled TFA corp members. Parents are confused and often mislead by the takeover process. Imagine their stress.
But unlike the students, teachers and parents across Tennessee, Chris Barbic has always had a choice in the matter. He chose to move to Tennessee. He chose to be superintendent of the ASD. He chose to collect a hefty paycheck for his troubles, not to mention the profits from nepotistic side deals. He has always had a CHOICE in the matter.