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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

National Association of Charter School Authorizers Outed as ALEC Funder

NACSA is the most visible and well-heeled of the corporate charter front groups posing as a professional organization dedicated to quality and oversight of charter schools.  What they were, and are, is the corporate cadillac of lobbying and pressure charter privateers laser-focused on removing any barrier at the national, state, or local level to expanding school privatization via charter school.  
NACSA also gets millions from cash-starved states, who hand over part of their federal grant money to fund NACSA, where big chunks of the cash have been funneled to ALEC to buy legislation and access.  
This is the perfect example of federal dollars going to states, where it is then handed over to ALEC to buy public officials so that ALEC's patrons can lay waste to the public fund.  Of course, we should add that the federal dollars at the front end of this chain are targeted by those same plutocratic patrons who are the back end of that same chain.
Great investigative work by a non-corporate media outlet, Republic Report, outed NACSA on Saturday.  Yesterday, they announced their subscription to ALEC will expire next month.  Here is a link to NACSA list of Partners, an impressive array of interconnected parasites.
On Saturday, Republic Report’s Zaid Jilani reported that the National Association of Charter School Authorizers was one of the many covert members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial front group that helps lobbyists ghostwrite state law. As Jilani noted, NACSA is funded in large part by taxpayer dollars:
NACSA is financed in part by school districts and state departments of education. Here are just a few of NACSA’s members that fall into this category: Denver Public Schools, Baltimore City Public Schools, Arkansas Department of Education, California Department of Education, and the Los Angeles Unified School District.
NACSA worked closely with ALEC to promote charter schools. As we’ve reported, ALEC legislation allows for-profit charter school companies [and non-profit corporate charter schools] to siphon tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. In many cases, the ALEC-authored legislation provides for unproven online school companies to administer the charter schools.
A few hours ago, NACSA released a statement announcing that it will exit ALEC:
Our work with ALEC has been focused entirely on promoting excellent charter schools. As part of our annual review processes, however, we determined that alternative strategies would be more effective in achieving these policy objectives. Thus we will not be renewing our membership in ALEC when it expires next month.
The move is just the latest in a long exodus from ALEC. Over two dozen legislators and many corporate members have left the organization since Republic Report and several other good government groups began publicizing ALEC’s role in crafting reckless legislation behind closed doors. ALEC has been linked to bills designed to enhance telecom monopolies, increase pollution, and steer taxpayer giveaways to big businesses.

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