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Prior to becoming Secretary of Education in the Obama administration, Arne Duncan was the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools for seven years. Until he became Secretary of Education, Duncan was on the board of the Broad Foundation. The Broad Foundation is one of the leading “philanthropies” promoting privatization through its Broad Superintendents Academy. Duncan laid the groundwork for the subsequent closing of fifty Chicago schools as part of the Broad strategy to transfer public schools to charter management companies.
This launched Chicago on a two-tier school system: one of charter and private schools for students from middle class and better off working class families, and the other for low-income families left behind in public schools starved of resources and support. This has become the template for the corporate education reform drive to privatize public education in urban districts across the U. S.
In Philadelphia, the task of advancing a two-tier school system has now been taken up by School Reform Commission Chairman William Green. Former City Councilman William Green IV was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett as Chairman of the SRC on February 21, 2014. The SRC is the appointed body that has managed the School District of Philadelphia since the state takeover dissolved the Philadelphia School Board in 2001. (Three members are appointed by the Governor and two by the Mayor.)