"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ed Privatizers to the Rescue on the Gulf Coast

A few days ago Jerry Bracey noted that the Center for Education Reform (CER) and the National Council of Education Providers (NCEP) had issued a press release to announce their search for new prospects among the rubble of Katrina. Hoping to pump enrollment for their outfits that now enroll less than 200,000 students nationwide (that includes the big dog, Whittle), and never missing the opportunity to haul off some more ED funds (if you are a friend of ED, any excuse will do), these humanitarian hucksters are now lined up around New Orleans waiting the feeding frenzy to ensue.

There is quite a symbiosis between these two outfits. NCEP represents a teaming effort among a dozen or so private charter companies, who are vying to land contracts with local municipalities to take over the operations of public schools deemed failing or otherwise. Unless all the NCLB genius that is documented is place in box cars and pushed into the Potamac in 2007 when re-authorization occurs, we can count on these corporate welfare outfits to continue at increasing rates to prey on public schools, quite content to disparage anything public except the public dollars with which they seek to build their MacSchools of the future. Why? Well, of course, the racist and impossible testing demands of AYP make failure among the majority of American schools assured by 2014. In the meantime, unending and mandated failure letters going home to parents will continue to erode their support of their teachers and administrators, making private management seem like a logical alternative.

The CER, on the other hand, serves a propaganda function for the privatizeers, writing op-eds and letters to editors and maintaining a blog where the lastest post is "Wal-Mart 1; Teachers Unions 0." It seems that founder, Jeanne Allen, is not a fan of the NEA and is a fan of Wal-Mart, who subsidizes her sleazy outfit to the tune of over a million dollars for the good work of CER to shut down the public schools. In another blog, Allen takes a page from Paige in accusing opposition to corporate welfare schools as engaging in "holy war." Get it--holy war--terrorists?

The CER has some other interesting and ongoing financial support, among them the holders of the mother lode of conservative and racist private grants, the Lynne and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc. This outfit has a clear racist history, from remaining the last major employer to integrate their business in 1968, to providing
a major funding source for the Center for Individual Rights, the public law firm that successfully argued Hopwood vs. the State of Texas, a challenge to affirmative action policies at the University of Texas Law School that eventually ended affirmative at UT in 1996. Bradley has had Charles Murray on his payroll even before the publishing of the racist pseudo-science, The Bell Curve. Bradley also brought Murray on board to hel destroy the state welfare system in Wisconsin, reducing it by 95%.

All of this is documented here at Media Transparency.

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