August 14, 2014


MA: Water company lobbyist admits pulling fire alarm at Oxford town meeting
A lobbyist for the company that owns the water system and who was accused of pulling a fire alarm during discussion of a controversial article at the May town meeting admitted to the act during a closed-door hearing, according to an email from Police Chief Michael Hassett to Selectman Chairman John G. Saad.  William F. Malloy Jr., of 31 Wildcat Lane in Norwell, had been charged with a false fire alarm violation and disturbing a public assembly.  Mr. Malloy’s alleged motive was to prevent an early-morning re-vote that might have resulted in the town’s takeover of the company. Telegram

MD: Protesters question city water system study
About 50 protesters rallied Wednesday outside Baltimore City Hall to object to a proposed study of the water system, a step they fear could eventually put the system in private hands. The group, led by labor organizers and the nonprofit Corporate Accountability International, is worried that a $500,000 consultant’s study could lead to the private management of the water system. Baltimore Sun

IN: Lawsuit: Virtual charter school owes $600K for services
Indiana Cyber Charter School, a virtual charter with locations in Fort Wayne and Avon, is accused of not paying Pennsylvania-based National Network of Digital Schools for contracted services and not following through with an additional repayment plan agreement. National Network filed the lawsuit July 25 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.. . . The school listed 200 students enrolled for 2013-14 academic year, according to state data. Passage rate for this spring’s ISTEP exam was 54.4 percent — 20 percentage points lower than the state average.  Indianapolis Star

NJ: NJEA decries ‘massive corporate takeover’ of Camden schools
. . . The New Jersey Education Association, the teachers union, jumped on the announcement and issued a scathing critique of the bill as an expansion of the “privatization” of the district. The NJEA supported the original law, passed in 2012, but said the amended bill would allow charter-school expansion that ran counter to the original intent of the legislation.

The Law-School Scam
. . . There are only a small number of for-profit law schools nationwide. But a close look at them reveals that the perverse financial incentives under which they operate are merely extreme versions of those that afflict contemporary American higher education in general. And these broader systemic dysfunctions have potentially devastating consequences for a vast number of young people—and for higher education as a whole.  The Atlantic