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Tue Jul 1, 2014, 11:49 PM

The big money and profits behind the push for charter schools

http://pando.com/2014/06/19/the-big-money-and-profits-behind-the-push-for-charter-schools/



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Noting this isn’t to allege that every business titan bankrolling the campaign for more charter schools is in it for their own personal financial interests. As just one example, take Zuckerberg. The New Yorker reports that in his scandal-plagued $100 million campaign to charter-ize Newark, New Jersey’s school district, “more than twenty million dollars of Zuckerberg’s gift and matching donations went to consulting firms with various specialties: public relations, human resources, communications, data analysis, teacher evaluation.” Yet, no evidence has emerged proving that he personally was trying to profit off the campaign.

But, of course, a lot of corporate execs working for the firms who got Zuckerberg’s money did indeed personally profit off the pro-charter-school campaign. Additionally, in states where charter schools are for-profit enterprises, there are even more business interests with personal financial stakes in undermining traditional public education. And, again, there are all the profits inherent in the aforementioned tax credits. Meanwhile, there’s the whole anti-union element to the charter school movement. As any political consultant for a business group knows, if you get union-free charter schools to replace traditional public education, you damage the public sector unions – aka one of the few political forces with any resources to challenge Corporate America’s broader legislative agenda.

Of course, this is the kind of thing you almost never hear about in the ongoing debate about education. Most often, that debate pretends the fight pits greedy self-interested teachers’ unions against purely altruistic corporate types who are so rich they couldn’t possibly have a financial motive in their education policy advocacy. Somehow, we are to believe that in the midst of their careers making as much money as possible in their chosen careers, every philanthrocapitalist suddenly is selflessly spending gobs of money with no desire to get any return on investment. Worse, we are asked to believe this even though there are myriad ways to engineer such a return on investment through the campaign to promote charter schools.

Again, that doesn’t mean everyone supporting charter schools is doing so to make a quick buck. But it does mean that we cannot have an honest or reasoned debate if everyone pretends the profit motive is somehow completely absent from education politics and policy.

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Reply The big money and profits behind the push for charter schools (Original post)
Starry Messenger Jul 2014 OP
Squinch Jul 2014 #1
femmocrat Jul 2014 #2
Starry Messenger Jul 2014 #3

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 06:56 AM

1. Kick. Because this should be obvious, but apparently to many smart people like Zuckerberg, it isn't

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg himself is a product of the well funded and excellent public schools in Ardsley, NY. He could have just gone to the administrators there to find out how to run a PUBLIC school system well.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 07:48 AM

2. Imagine what the Newark SD could have done with that $20 million!

Scandalous.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 2, 2014, 08:49 AM

3. Zuck just gifted the Bay Area with a similar donation.

I suspect it will meet the same fate.

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