Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Charter schools, ALEC, and (tax) money for the taking.

On Saturday I noted the Atlanta business communities connection to the Atlanta public school cheating scandal (An order of men, whose interest is to deceive and oppress the public).

I pointed out that business leaders are pushing privatization of our schools because they want their hands on those profits, and by that I mean our tax dollars.

Diane Ravitch's blog has a good post this morning connecting the dots via ALEC on how the Charter movement has become a movement of based on nothing but profit making. "No accountability, no oversight, no transparency, no laws, no regulations. Just money for the taking," is the goal.

How ALEC Is Changing the Face of Charters.
When the charter school movement began in the early 1990s, the promise of advocates was that charters would be held accountable for results. There were two promises, really: one was that there would be accountability; the other was that there would be results. If the results didn’t happen, the schools would close.  
Now there is a new approach to charters, sponsored by ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). To learn more about ALEC and to see its model legislation for education and other issues, look here.   
It is a tenet of ALEC that charter schools should be completely unregulated, unsupervised, and unaccountable. The goal is choice, not accountability or results. 
ALEC pretends to be conservative but pushes model legislation to give the governor and sometimes his allies the power to appoint a commission to override local school boards.   
You see, ALEC doesn’t like local school boards. It likes bigtime corporate power. It likes the free market. Those pesky local school boards are so close to the people in their district that sometimes they actually want to protect the local public schools and refuse to authorize more charters to take away students and funding.
The charter movement has become an effort to undermine public education by businesses seeking profit.

Education "reform" has become a hot topic but sadly most people I know have not done very much thinking on the subject--aside from very shallow positions such as "yeah, lets make schools better."  This plays right into the rent seeking hands of business leaders who want to sell you on their product.  They want their hands on your tax dollars.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out you really must read Diane's book The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.  Also check out her excellent blog here.

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