WIPpet Wednesday: Detective Work

By Wordbuilder (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

It’s time for another installment of my WIP.  This week, we join my other MC as she tries to figure out just what the heck is going on.  For some context, she found Phin’s phone and did some snooping, and now she’s using what she learned to do a bit of detective work.  This scene was my husband’s idea–does that say something about him that he would go digging around if he found a phone belonging to his possible nemesis?  Anyway, this is 11 sentences from the 12th scene of the story (today is 12/11).  I’d have done it the other way around, but I posted from the 11th scene last week.

If you want to play along (and I hope you do!) post a bit of your WIP (your snippet must have an association with the date) and link up here.  Be sure to read the others; there are some absolutely fantastic WIPs to enjoy.


Dani opened up one of the tabs on her browser. She had done a quick search for Donald Murdock’s name, hoping for more information besides his position with the Department of Education. She hadn’t been expecting to find much, but when she saw his name associated with a school district in the Albany area, she clicked the link.

By the time she was three sentences in, she was frowning. Murdock appeared to have been involved in the conversion of several elementary schools into charters. That wasn’t uncommon; with the new standards, many schools had failed to pass. Closing and reopening as charter schools was among the valid options. The problem was that Murdock seemed to have had a hand in at least three districts converting multiple schools to charters. Dani wasn’t sure if that was strange or not, but she decided it warranted further investigation.

It wasn’t until she clicked the link about Lorne Patterson’s company, EduText, that she made the connection. A news report from two years prior showed Patterson at the ribbon-cutting of a brand-new charter school near Buffalo.


10 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: Detective Work

  1. Okay… So now I have to ask, do you live near Albany, Amy?

    As for the snippet itself, lots of fishy here. Unfortunately, it’s too realistic. Some of this sort of stuff is what inspired our homeschooling…

    • Sorry it took so long to respond. No, I’m not in Albany–I’m in Rochester. The same things are happening here. Our former city schools superintendent, Jean-Claude Brizard, is supposedly returning here to do a version of what I described above. The idea is to take “failing” schools and turn them into for-profit charters. It’s awful. I started reading about this stuff because my husband is a teacher, and, well, this story was born.

      We homeschool our younger one, but our older one goes to school (for many reasons this is what works best). We are lucky–he goes to what I think is the best elementary school in the district. I dread the changes that are coming.

      • I know a few people who do the ‘one in school, one at home’ method. If it works, that’s all that matters.

        We’re private schooling at the moment (we homeschooled for a while, but our son actually blooms in a group setting, and for all that the Albany area is the capital region… it’s hard to maintain a consistent homeschool group [it also doesn’t help that we’re more in the boonies than the city]). It’s not a charter–almost the complete opposite actually. Except for the expectation of ‘certified teachers’, it’s much closer to the type of education we’d been giving our son when homeschooling him.

        I get your concerns though. I wonder if more people read about these things they’d realize what a lie they’ve been falling for….

      • Yeah. What I find so disgusting isn’t so much what type of school but how/why it got that way. The issue is turning public schools into private ones in order to monetize education. Those for-profit charters run by EMOs are not really better education, but they do make money for the EMO and its investors.

    • There are certainly advantages of private education. Charter schools in and of themselves can be great (our own Commissioner of Education, John King, sends his girls to a Montessouri school). There are good and bad reasons for creating a charter. My beef is with the worst reason–to make money off it. A charter that’s just a charter is great, but one created by an Educational Management Organization is not always. EMOs are businesses, not educators, and they create profit for their investors as well as the EMOs themselves. Plus, it leaves school districts with serious problems when parents can’t pay to send their kids there (or don’t want to because the education is sub-par).

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