Friday, October 30, 2015

Re-Surfacing to the World of Commentary and Pondering

If my thoughts could go directly from my brain to a keyboard when I am driving or taking a shower, I just might keep up with everything; since that's not really possible for me, I just have to get back to the keyboard!

The last 4-6 months have been quite the time for dyslexia and learning disabilities! Rather than try to really sift through all of the pieces, I realize might just be better to just chew on one at a time.

Today's pondering is related to what appears to be the muddied world of Social Impact Bonds and Pay for Success related to ESEA Bill. One thing I love about having a blog that is mine and not really related to an agency that I work for or represent, is that I can speak out and it's okay if it's not always 100% complete thoughts. Today that is key because, Pay for Success - what the heck is this?

Earning Money Because less Students are Identified as Needing Special Education?

From what I can tell, the short version of a social impact bond, which seems to be the same thing as Pay for Success, is that a Wall Street company funds a social impact project directly related to school success of some kind. When/if that success occurs, the company receives their money back plus interest. I get the upside of opening up some potential opportunities for funding and the goal of success. What I definitely don't get is how these goals are determined and measured - and the fact that it's kids and teachers who get caught in the middle.

The project I have read about today is related to a corporation which receives the return on their investment with interest (through a bond) when students in preschool do not end up in special education. Again, I get how this is a good thing in theory; how about actual translation? For example, it also translates as someone gets extra money for each child not identified as special ed - not necessarily because they are achieving as expected.

And, these types of programs would be part of federally funded projects through the ESEA? Okay, so the money goes into a bond which can provide funding to a non-profit to implement a program in a school..... and the corporations would earn money when programs they have paid for are implemented well. Wall Street directs educational practice is what I keep getting as a mental paraphrasing.

I believe schools need community support to truly do their jobs, but a corporation being able to receive what is really an incentive for support when students are not placed in special education? I see some definite RED flags there!


That is where my pondering has stuck this afternoon.

Additional reading:

1 comment:

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