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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Is pre-K just test-prep?

Submitted to the Daily Herald, Columbia, TN, Sept. 29.

According to a recent study from Vanderbilt University, children who voluntarily participated in a pre-K program did better on kindergarten readiness tests than children who did not do pre-K, but the pre-K advantage was gone by the end of third grade ("Pre-K expansion remains iffy after intensive study of benefits," Sept. 29). The pre-K advantage at entering kindergarten was greatest on tests of literacy, especially on skills-oriented tests such as letter-word identification and spelling. But by the end of grade 2, those without pre-K actually did slightly better on the same kinds of tests as well as on a test of reading comprehension.
The 51-page report does not tell us what methods of instruction were used in the pre-K program, but it is likely that literacy instruction was "training" for the kindergarten readiness test with an emphasis on direct and intensive phonics instruction, judging by the test performance.  The results of previous studies show that this kind of training does not contribute to performance on tests in which children have to understand what they read.  The Vanderbilt results are consistent with this research.
In addition, the pre-K students also "had poorer work skills …" and felt more negative about school in kindergarten. This could also be a consequence of focusing on test-preparation and not real literacy.
Stephen Krashen

The full report: Lipsey, M. W., Farran, D.C., & Hofer, K. G., (2015). A Randomized Control Trial of the Effects of a Statewide Voluntary Prekindergarten Program on Children’s Skills and Behaviors through Third Grade (Research Report). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University, Peabody Research Institute.
Previous research summarized in: Krashen, S. (2009). Does intensive reading instruction contribute to reading comprehension? Knowledge Quest 37 (4): 72-74.  (Available for free download at: http://sdkrashen.com/articles.php?cat=1).
Original article: Pre-K expansion remains iffy after intensive study of benefits - http://columbiadailyherald.com/news/local-news/pre-k-expansion-remains-iffy-after-intensive-study-benefits#sthash.LrT8q76M.dpuf

Common Core and the Incredible Shrinking Imagination

by Jim Horn
One of the many technocratic mandates of the Common Core Standards comes in the form of an insistent rationing of the kinds and amounts of reading materials that schoolchildren should be exposed to at different grade levels.   

Below is the breakdown from the Common Core website.  Notice that as children get older, they are to get less and less reading in the form of imaginative literature.  
Those who argue that there are connections between the kinds of reading material that children are allowed and encouraged to ingest and the direction and scope of their ethical and intellectual growth, and I count myself in this group, have looked askance at the mandated percentages of literature vs "informational text." 

We are extremely skeptical of David Coleman's rationing of literary works as adolescents get just old enough to appreciate the great poetry, drama, and fiction that our civilizations, past and present, have produced.

Notice just above in the last two lines of the quote from the Common Core web page that Coleman and his tiny cadre of technocrats blame NAEP for this rationing of imaginative literature in the higher grades, as "to measure students' growth toward college and career readiness, assessments aligned with the Standards should adhere to the distribution of texts across grades cited in the NAEP framework."

After all, isn't it all about alignment with NAEP expectations, which, by the way, have been decidedly set at unrealistic levels for a long time, for the sole purpose solely of making public schools look worse they are.

The only problem with this "follow NAEP" rationale is that the NAEP reading framework was changed in 2009 to "adhere" to the demands of Bill Gates and his Common Core assault, which was paying Coleman and his tiny band of non-educators to come up with a national curriculum that would better align with multinational corporate needs for a never-ending stream of faceless and soulless technocrats who just as soon read a McKinsey employee manual as Madame Bovary:
Most interesting, too, is the fact that Susan Pimentel, who functioned as David Coleman's right hand during the writing of Common Core, was sitting on the NAEP Governing Board at the same time the NAEP reading framework was changed to fit the Gates agenda!  Small world, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

NYTimes Economics Columnist w/Physics Degree Has Ed Solution

by Jim Horn

As a veteran educator of educators, I am accustomed to hearing how much people, regardless of education, training, or native wit, believe they know about education and school policy, especially when they find out how I make a living. 

"History and philosophy of education, huh?  Well, let me tell you why schools are so bad. . ."

And listening to them is easier than explaining how history or philosophy may be relevant to policy talk, implementation, and practice, if the powerful elites who make policy were not committed to remaking the same self-serving system that the protectors of the social status quo have been imposing for 150 years at least.  

Today's businessmen who run the paternalistic and segregated schools for the disadvantaged are no less enthralled by rote learning and soul-crushing discipline systems than were the Latin grammar school teachers of the 19th Century, who cried out in protest when Horace Mann suggested "moral suasion" as an alternative to beating schoolchildren into submission.

Nor are today's edupreneurs any less excited about the use of racist "achievement" testing than were the social efficiency zealots like Stanford U.'s Elwood Cubberley a hundred years ago, who declared in the foreword of Louis Terman's 1914 classic, The Measure of Intelligence,
Questions relating to the choice of studies, vocational guidance, schoolroom procedure, the grading of pupils, promotional schemes, the study of the retardation of children in the schools, juvenile delinquency, and the proper handling of subnormals on the one hand and gifted children on the other— all alike acquire new meaning and significance when viewed in the light of the measurement of intelligence as outlined in this volume. . . .More than all other forms of data combined, such tests give the necessary information from which a pupil’s possibilities of future mental growth can be foretold, and upon which his further education can be most profitably directed. 
Take, for instance, the ignorant remarks by modern day efficiency "expert," economics reporter, and former NYTimes editorial board member, Eduardo Porter.  Porter has taken Cubberley's fascination with data one step further, to claim that raising test scores, in fact, is the best indicator that inequality has been, or is soon to be, eradicated:
Narrowing proficiency gaps that emerge way before college would probably do more to increase the nation’s college graduation rate than offering universal community college, easier terms on student loans or more financial aid.
How does Eduardo know this?  Can't say, since he does not offer any evidence to support his outrageous claim.  

Nor does Eduardo, whose degree is in quantum physics, say anything about new evidence that points to more and more underemployment for those who do graduate from college:
The dire experience of these workers with college degrees displacing workers with less formal education stands in strong contrast to the widely-held view in economic and policymaking circles that the main problem facing the U.S. economy is a shortage of highly-educated workers. If college-educated workers were in short supply, then we would expect their wages to rise as employers attempted to lure them away from their competitors. Yet the inflation-adjusted value of the wages of college-educated workers has barely increased in the 21st century.

What’s more, between 2000 and 2014 (the last year for which complete data are available), the employment of college-educated workers has increased much more rapidly in low-earning industries than in high-earnings ones. If there weren’t enough college graduates to go around, then the opposite should be happening because high-earnings industries would presumably be outcompeting low-earnings industries to hire college-educated workers. Our new analysis of the data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators strongly suggests that college-educated workers are more likely to “filter down” the job ladder than to climb it.
Eduardo does offer some data, however, that suggests that our past three decades of fixation on testing proficiency while forgetting about rising resegregation contributes nothing positive for either test scores or diversity in schools.  

Extrapolating from Sean Reardon's paper on NAEP trends, Eduardo claims the black-white achievement gap has dropped by "as much as 50 percent compared with what it was 30 to 40 years before." 

What we see in NAEP trends, however, is that the test score gaps were lowest when school desegregation was at its highest (click charts below), a correlation that is entirely lost on the middle class neolibs at the New York Times who require education fixes that don't work in order to maintain and grow the class divisions that provide the unscalable wall between Eduardo and those he presumes to save by raising their test scores.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

David Sirota Weighs In on CorpEd

A clip from Salon (minus links):
. . . .For education, technology and charter school companies and the Wall Streeters who back them, it lets them cite troubled public schools to argue that the current public education system is flawed, and to then argue that education can be improved if taxpayer money is funneled away from the public school system’s priorities (hiring teachers, training teachers, reducing class size, etc.) and into the private sector (replacing teachers with computers, replacing public schools with privately run charter schools, etc.). Likewise, for conservative politicians and activist–profiteers disproportionately bankrolled by these and other monied interests, the “reform” argument gives them a way to both talk about fixing education and to bash organized labor, all without having to mention an economic status quo that monied interests benefit from and thus do not want changed.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that many “reformers'” policies have spectacularly failed, prompted massive scandals and/or offered no actual proof of success, an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers'” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover cheering on wildly unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars on a new private sports stadium).

In other words, elite media organizations (which, in many cases, have their own vested financial interest in education “reform”) go out of their way to portray the anti-public-education movement as heroic rather than what it really is: just another get-rich-quick scheme shrouded in the veneer of altruism.

That gets to the news that exposes “reformers'” schemes — and all the illusions that surround them. According to a new U.S. Department of Education study, “about one in five public schools was considered high poverty in 2011 … up from about to one in eight in 2000.” This followed an earlier study from the department finding that “many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding … leav(ing) students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.” . . . .

Bad News for the Testocracy

from the 2015 PDK/Gallup Poll on public attitudes toward the public schools:

Eli Broad's California Strategy, Part 2: Shrinking Organized Labor and Increasing Control of Parents

Broad's plan to claim half of Los Angeles schools over the next 8 years for corporate welfare charter companies is specific in its grandiosity.  See Part 1 here.

The first chart below shows the Broadie vision for how paternalistic "no excuses" charters will replace the most vulnerable public schools

By 2023, Broadies expect the number of charter students in corporate reform schools to outnumber those students in public schools.
As apartheid charter schools replace highest poverty and lowest scoring publics, the number of union members will also decline, as the chart below shows.  Notice that maintaining both poverty and standardized testing are critical for this strategy to work.

And as the number of charter parents increases, their gathered bodies will become useful tools for the charter public relation machines for exerting political pressure.  Note that parental participation "will be expected."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Charter Schools Crime Log

Could be any few days of the school year.

from Ohio:
State Auditor Dave Yost plans to have employees fan out across the state again this year in an attempt to verify that charter schools’ enrollment reports match up with the students sitting in their buildings.
Yost also noted that although the Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled that charter-school operator White Hat Management can keep furniture and equipment paid for with taxpayer money, the majority of justices made a key finding that could keep operators from getting the upper hand in future contract negotiations.
Last fall, auditors from Yost’s office made unannounced visits to 30 charter schools to count students. They found significantly lower numbers than expected at half the schools.
from California:
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (BCN) -- A Sunnyvale charter school that was temporarily closed after the arrest of an employee revealed that the school had failed to complete background checks and tuberculosis tests has been cleared to reopen, the Santa Clara County Office of Education said Thursday evening.
Spark Charter School was shut down at the end of the day last Friday after county education officials found the school could not confirm they had complied with all state procedures regarding employee background checks, TB clearances and teacher credentials.
from New Jersey:
PATERSON – In the latest salvo over the role of charter schools in New Jersey, a Newark-based education advocacy group issued a report that says Paterson-based charters accumulated $6 million in surplus funds this year while the local school district was forced to impose layoffs because of financial problems.
The group, the Education Law Center (ELC), says in a report issued on Thursday that the state has not imposed the same two-percent limit on charter schools’ unrestricted fund balances that it applies to regular school districts.
The Law Center reports says that if the state’s two-percent cap on unrestricted fund balances were applied to charter schools, then the four charters in Paterson would have to return $5.4 million to the city school district. The report says that statewide charters ought to return $77 million to local districts.
“This speaks to the favoritism that the state seems to extend to the charter schools at the expense of the vast majority of the students in the district,” said Paterson Board of Education President Jonathan Hodges, after reading the report.
from Seattle:
First Place Scholars, the state’s first charter school, received about $200,000 more public money than it should have in the 2014-15 school year because the Seattle school reported incorrect information about its staff and enrollment, according to the Washington State Auditor’s Office.
The audit, released Monday, also found that First Place Scholars:
• Did not properly account for the use of some public funds;
• Inappropriately mixed business expenses of First Place’s private parent organization with those of the public charter school;
• Failed to follow provisions of the state’s open-meetings laws.
The state’s Charter School Commission had already reported those problems, and the school remains under close watch as it starts its second year.

Friday, September 25, 2015

NY Charter Movement Calls Mayor de Blasio Racist for Not Supporting Apartheid Charters

from the Observer:

“The rhetoric of this ad, and the people and money behind it, are part of the problem,” she said.
Luis Garden Acosta, the founder of El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice and the father of a child who attended a charter school, said FES was “race-baiting.”
“‘Race baiting’ like ‘red baiting’, exploiting the values and legitimate concerns of our city’s communities of color, for whatever political purpose, is abhorrent and posits a dangerous and expanding wedge in a city all to segregated by class, color and community,” Mr. Acosta stated, noting that Roberto Perez, a City Hall staffer, encouraged him to speak out. “It is abhorrent that a movement that emerged as a demand to tell the truth is used to obfuscate, divide and attempt to denigrate New York City’s progressive agenda”.
While Mr. de Blasio is enlisting surrogates to fight back on his behalf, his office was a bit less hostile, though it called the ad “crass.” “Our students and our families need solutions, not another crass political ad. That’s why Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Farina are focused on ensuring that every child, in every classroom, has a future that isn’t limited by their ZIP code,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for the mayor.
Since failing last year to halt the expansion of Success Academy Charter Schools, run by his old political foe Eva Moskowitz, Mr. de Blasio has softened his rhetoric toward charter schools, even as his liberal allies continue to seethe. Democratic elected officials aligned with the city and state teachers’ unions see charters as a thinly-veiled, well-moneyed effort to erode job protections for teachers.
“These folks have figured out a way to make profit off the same kids that they disdained for years and years. As far as I’m concerned, its predatory education, subprime schools,” Ms. Lewis said. “Eva Moskowitz and none of them wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t making enormous profit. To then turn around and say, ‘Oh black people, I’m trying to save you from the big bad white man, the mayor, who wants to put you in a failing school’–that’s racist.”
A spokesman for FES declined to comment.
Updated with comments from Mr. Acosta and Mr. Norvell.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Eli Broad and the Clintons: Update

By Ken Derstine @ Defend Public Education!

September 22, 2015

The most recent link update at the end of the post is October 14, 2015.

On Sunday, September 20th hundreds of supporters of public schools rallied in Los Angeles to protest corporate education reformer Eli Broad as he opened his new museum. The Broad is a museum designed to show to the world Eli Broad’s “trophy acquisitions from the contemporary art market, tigers’ heads bagged from a notoriously wild and lawless economic jungle.”

The protestors were not at The Broad to protest the crass commercialization of art, however. They took the opportunity to protest their outrage at what Broad would like to do to the public schools of Los Angeles. Eli Broad and corporate education reform backers plan to spend $490 million in an attempt to turn over half of Los Angeles’ public schools to charters in the next eight years.

In the museum were seven hundred invited guests…celebrities, artists, art collectors and arts professional. Topping the list was former President Bill Clinton. The Los Angeles Times report on the gala event had a reveling off the cuff comment by Bill Clinton.

Of his friendship with the Broads, Clinton turned to them and asked, “What year did you come and sit in the living room with me?” Edye Broad noted that Clinton daughter Chelsea, now an active figure in the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, had been a baby at the time and that Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of State, had been Eli’s lawyer. After settling on 1983, Clinton said, “I looked up one day and Eli was in my living room, and my life has never been the same.” (Boldface added)


This confirms that Eli Broad’s relationship with the Clintons has existed for over thirty years. Bill Clinton was the governor of Arkansas at the time, and Eli Broad was of the owner of the retirement savings company SunAmerica.

At the beginning of his “Courage in the Classroom” bus tour in 2010, Arne Duncan gave a speech at the Clinton Presidential Library and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The U. S. Department of Education report on Duncan’s speech said,

Both as governor of Arkansas and as president, Bill Clinton was an early and active voice in the education reform movement. While in the White House, he pioneered a financial aid program that made the federal government, instead of private banks, the direct lender to college students. This year, Congress expanded the direct lending program, fully eliminating wasteful subsidies to banks and recouping billions of dollars in savings to send millions more needy students to college and invest in our nation’s community college system.

President Clinton also spurred states toward rigorous standards in elementary and secondary education and better assessments of student learning. And in the last year, under the leadership of governors and state education chiefs along with incentives from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), the movement toward higher standards has advanced considerably, with 36 states and the District of Columbia—and counting—signing on to a common set of college- and career-ready standards that they developed together. ARRA is providing $350 million to develop a set of 21st century assessments that will better measure students’ readiness for college and careers, and the Department plans to award that money to groups of states in the coming weeks.

President Clinton also passed a school-to-work law, recognizing one of the ultimate goals of education—to prepare students for careers that are rewarding to themselves and to society. The Obama administration’s education agenda continues this emphasis on preparation for the workplace, and the Department of Education has proposed regulations to ensure that career-focused college programs are providing training that leads to gainful employment for their graduates.

So, in many aspects of its education agenda, the Obama administration is building on programs and policies for students that began in the Clinton administration nearly two decades ago. (And, coincidentally, President Clinton’s education secretary, Dick Riley, also marked the back-to-school season with a bus tour.) 

From this soil the Eli Broad corporate education reform agenda grew.



The above post is an update of the article “Eli Broad and the Clintons” published on June 28, 2015 which traced the evolution of the relationship of Eli Broad and the Clintons.

Eli Broad and the Clintons

By Ken Derstine

June 28, 2015

The Broads and the Clintons at the pre-ball dinner hosted by Eli Broad at the Inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009. Click here to view more pictures from the event.

For some people, sleep seems incidental. If you’re one of them, I envy you. Bill Clinton, who I have known since he was governor of Arkansas, sticks out in my mind as someone who does exceptionally well with very little rest.

While he was president, he invited me to stay at the White House. It had been a long day and I was tired, so I went to bed a bit early. At 11:30 PM, I woke up to a knock on the door. The president’s usher poked his head in and informed me the president was in the solarium and wanted to chat. There wasn’t much I could say except, “Sure.”

President Clinton came in, sat down, and began talking about everything–the Russian election, the Taiwan Strait, Israel, and why Kentucky was the best of the Final Four in that spring’s college basketball playoffs. We ended up going to bed not long before dawn.

            From The Art of Being Unreasonable by Eli Broad
            John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2012   p. 40, 41

During his presidency, Bill Clinton started the controversial practice of inviting political supporters to spend the night in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House. Nearly 1000 White House guests gave more than $10 million in the 1990’s towards his reelection campaign and later to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential bid. One of the contributors was Eli Broad who gave more than $162,500. From January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1996 Broad gave $100,000 and listed his corporate affiliation as Truman Arnold Companies. Truman Arnold Companies is a $2.2 billion Texarkana, Texas petroleum marketing company. Clinton’s assistant District attorney, Webster Hubbell, who was convicted on corruption charges in 1994, was on the payroll of Truman Arnold and Sun America, Inc., “a California financial services company controlled by Eli Broad, a close Clinton friend who, like Rapoport and Arnold, stayed overnight at the White House.”

Eli Broad started accumulating his riches from a real estate company that he began with his wife’s cousin on borrowed money in 1957. Riding the crest of the expanding real estate market after World War II, particularly with the growth of suburbs around urban areas, Broad began building his millions, later to be billions, when he acquired Sun Life Insurance Company of America in 1971. In 1999, he sold SunAmerica to the American International Group (AIG) for $18 billion. For those who see accumulating wealth as the measure of a man, Broad became an icon fulfilling the American Dream’s Horatio Alger myth of the self-made man becoming incomprehensibly rich.

Fortunately for Eli Broad, his myth could remain intact during the real estate and financial market crashes in 2008 because his affiliation with his real estate business and financial company was years in his past. He stepped down as CEO of Kaufman & Broad in 1974 and CEO of SunAmerica in 2000. AIG was given $182 billion in taxpayer funds in 2008 to prevent the company, and the financial system, from collapsing during the financial market collapse brought on by the real estate market collapse.

In 2000, Broad and his wife Edythe created the “philanthropy” The Broad Foundations. The “philanthropy” became a means for the Broads to bring their Horatio Alger myth to the arts and to education, having no background in either, and, along with other major “philanthropists” like the Gates Foundation and the Walton Foundation, he begin the reshaping of public education in the United States to fit a neoliberal agenda in the interests of the financial oligarchy the 1% is trying to form in the United States.

Bill Clinton’s all night White House meeting with Eli Broad, occurred as Clinton, under the guise of a progressive agenda, was advancing a neoliberal agenda during and after his presidency. Though he claims many of the reactionary laws during his Presidency were due to Republican intransigence, the Democrats controlled both legislative bodies during Clinton’s first term when most of these reactionary laws were passed. He continued with the policies of the Reagan years that were a counter-reform undermining the gains of Roosevelt’s New Deal and the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60’s. Corporate and financial interests had given these concessions because of fears that labor unrest in the 30’s and urban unrest in the 60’s would lead to a political movement that threatened the interests of the 1%. The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932 benefited Clinton’s many White House guests and others in the 1% and have led to historic levels of wealth for the 1% even as it has impoverished the 99%. Clinton’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 led to an expansion of Reagan’s “War on Drugs” which creation a prison population that is the largest per capita in the world and an expansion of the death penalty for the low-income population. His Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, known as “welfare reform”, was to lead to an explosion of homelessness and low-income or no-income families falling into a poverty not seen since the Great Depression. The North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) opened up corporations to low-wage workers in the developing world and gutted manufacturing in the United States. It is under these conditions that Eli Broad launched his “philanthropies”, including the Broad Superintendents Academy in 2000, to train and insert superintendents in school districts all around the United States who would advance a privatization of public schools agenda. Based on the right-wing economic theories of economist Milton Friedman corporate education reform began a fascistic agenda designed to reshape public schools financially and ideologically for the one percent.

Playing a central role in promoting Clinton’s neoliberal agenda was the Democratic Leadership Council. Formed in 1985 after the defeat of Walter Mondale and the reelection of Ronald Reagan, it became the think tank for many of the rightwing neoliberal policies promoted by Clinton. Clinton was head of the DLC in 1990 until he became President in 1992. A key player shepherding the neoliberal agenda during the Clinton Presidency and after was Bruce Reed who became head of the Democratic Leadership Council in 2001.

“Mr. Reed was policy director when Mr. Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, was chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. Mr. Reed also served as deputy chairman of policy for the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign, then worked in the White House for all of the Clinton administration.
As head of the Domestic Policy Council, he had a leading role in overhauling welfare in 1996 and in developing initiatives on education, crime, health, tobacco and more. In 2006, back at the Democratic Leadership Council, Mr. Reed and Rahm Emanuel, now the White House chief of staff but then a congressman and Mr. Reed’s friend from their years in the Clinton administration, wrote a book called “The Plan: Big Ideas for America.” It was intended as a platform for the Democrats’ takeover of Congress that year.”

Files in the National Archives show that Reed was heavily involved in developing the Clinton neoliberal education agenda. Files from 1997 – 2000 in 133 folders in 9 boxes “includes material pertaining to national standards and testing; the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the 1999 efforts to reauthorize the act; 100,000 teachers and class size; charter schools and vouchers; education events and forums; social promotion; Goals 2000; Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) Scholarships; Pell Grants; the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (Ed-flex); education funding and budgets; and various school and teacher issues.”
In the final months of the Clinton administration, another controversy erupted over favoritism for wealthy supporters of the Clinton’s neoliberal agenda. Hillary Clinton played an active role in efforts to give tax breaks to private foundations and wealthy charity donors at the same time as donations were being solicited for Bill Clinton’s presidential library. Bruce Reed, who was Clinton’s chief domestic policy advisor at the time, dismissed the controversy saying, Clinton "wanted to give a break to working people for putting a few more dollars in the plate at the church. Not for any other far-fetched reason." Months before proposing the tax breaks, Clinton White House officials had proposed holding a September, 1999 conference to celebrate “philanthropy heroes” who had donated large gifts. The list included “Microsoft's Bill Gates and his wife, Dell computer founder Michael Dell and investors George Soros and Eli Broad”.

In July of 2005 Hillary Clinton was appointed by the Democratic Leadership Council to define the party’s agenda for the upcoming 2006 and 2008 elections. Reed assured an interviewer on NPR that she was on board with the neoliberal agenda but her appointment had nothing to do with a political run for President in 2008. 

Despite his endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 election, Eli Broad was thrilled with the election of Barack Obama. The 2009/2010 Annual Report of the Broad Foundation (page 5) says,

The election of President Barack Obama and his appointment of Arne Duncan, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, as the U.S. secretary of education, marked the pinnacle of hope for our work in education reform. In many ways, we feel the stars have finally aligned.
With an agenda that echoes our decade of investments—charter schools, performance pay for teachers, accountability, expanded learning time and national standards—the Obama administration is poised to cultivate and bring to fruition the seeds we and other reformers have planted.”
Arne Duncan had been on the board of the Broad Foundation until he became Secretary of Education (2009/2010 Broad Report page 25) and, according to this Report brought five Broad Residents and alumni with him to the Department of Education. Also on the board (2009/2010 Broad Report page 25)   the Broad Foundation is Larry Summers who served as top economic advisor in the Clinton and Obama administrations after being Chief Economist for the World Bank from 1991–1993. At this time the World Bank was in the midst of playing a leading role in developing a neoliberal education agenda in Chile that began under the Pinochet dictatorship. Among the many former officials in the Clinton administration joining Obama’s administration was Bruce Reed who became Vice President Biden’s chief of staff. On March 22, 2010 he also was appointed executive director of President Obama’s bipartisan commission to reduce the national debt.
On November 13,, 2013, Bruce Reed left as Biden’s chief of staff to become the first President of The Broad Foundation. The website Inside Philanthropy said this appointment made him “one of the powerful people in education philanthropy.” In an interview in the Los Angeles Times on March 13, 2014, about his agenda with the Broad Foundation, Reed gave the standard boilerplate of corporate education reform. This is someone who has never taught a day in his life at any grade level nor had any background in pedagogy or education.
After announcing her run for President on April 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton met with the leadership of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association in June. She sought to distance herself from her support of No Child Left Behind when she was a Senator in 2001. While she was an early critic of standardized testing, her position seems to shift by which way the political winds are blowing. Given her history with the Broad Foundation, can there be any illusions that she will continue the neoliberal attack on public education? It has been reported that 181 Clinton Foundation donors lobbied the State Department when she was Secretary of State. The two top donors were leaders in corporate education reform: The Microsoft/Gates Foundation ($26,000,000) and the Walmart/Walton Family Foundation ($10,500,00).
Nor can the union leaders be trusted to represent the interests of their members. Randi Weingarten in particular has a history with the Broad Foundation going back to 2002. This collaboration has continued ever since.
In the 2009/2010 Annual Report (Page 10), the Broad Foundation said,
“Teacher unions have always been a formidable voice in public education. We decided at the onset of our work to invest in smart, progressive labor leaders like Randi Weingarten, head of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City for more than a decade and now president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). We partnered with Weingarten to fund two union-run charter schools in Brooklyn and to fund New York City’s first incentive-based compensation program for schools, as well as the AFT’s Innovation Fund. We had previously helped advance pay for performance programs in Denver and Houston, but we were particularly encouraged to see New York City embrace the plan.” 
In 2010 she collaborated with the Gates Foundation to develop a teacher evaluation system based on standardized tests, testifying before Congress three times in support of the effort. A recent study noted the increasing convergence of the goals of Bill Gates and Eli Broad. Randi Weingarten has been collaborating with both. For several years, she has been a leader in the Clinton Global Initiative conferences that bring together corporate and union leaders to foster collaboration in promoting a neoliberal agenda nationally and internationally.
Unless the 99% gets its act together and launches a serious political challenge to the two-party system with a party with a program that represents the interests of the 99%, the November 2016 election will once again be a choice between the lesser of two evils. The problem is the evil just keeps getting worse.
Also see:

Diane Ravitch's Blog - July 11, 2015
Read the comments.

Huffington Post - July 17, 2015 

Esquire - July 16, 2015 

Democracy Now! - July 17, 2015 

Real Learning CT - July 20, 2015

Daily Beast - August 4, 2015 

Curmudgucation - August 20, 2015 

Fred Klonsky's blog - September 21, 2015
At the opening of the Broad Museum, Bill Clinton confirmed the Clinton's close relationship with Eli Broad.  

The American Enterpirse Institute - September 21, 2015
The American Enterpirse Institute's Frederick Hess with the neocon view of Obama's education legacy.

Defend Public Education!- April 22, 2015
Analysis of Randi Weingarten's appearance before an audience at the American Enterprise Institute on June 18, 2014. 

LA Plan to Crush Public Education
Curmudgucation - September 22, 2015

K-12 News Network’s The Wire – September 24, 2015

Eli Broad, the Billionaire at war with democracy, the want-to-be Emperor of Southern California
Crazy Normal – The Classroom Exposé – September 25, 2015

This LA Times article cites the website Defend Public Education! as one of the sources of the discontent with Hillary Clinton, but it distorts what is stated in the above article. A previous LA Times article (quoted in the Update above) says Eli Broad visited the Clintons in 1983, but this new article does not include the information that Bill Clinton said that Hillary Clinton was Eli Broad's lawyer at the time as the previous article did. This relationship indicates a much deeper connection between Eli Broad and the Clintons than previously disclosed. Is this why this LA Times article, while mentioning this website, does not provide the link to this article?

The Movement Lives in Ferguson: Teach for America, Black Leadership, and Disaster Capitalism
Orchestrated Pulse - October 9, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter: Chat Partners with Hillary
Black Agenda Report - October 14, 2015