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

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Anti-DeVos Sentiment Almost Makes Us Forget Dems' Privatization Efforts

Charter schools are not the issue here.  --Senator Al Franken at Betsy DeVos hearing

Indeed, charter schools are not the issue, since Democrats have long supported the billions of federal dollars that Team Obama gave to vastly increase the number of charter schools over the past 8 years.

During the failed Clinton campaign of 2016, NPE, NEA, and AFT were on the hot seat for their candidate's staunch support for even more charters.

Now they have launched campaigns against the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.  DeVos supports privatization of schools, and she doesn't much care how she does it.  Charter, voucher, private, for-profit charter, non-profit charter--it just doesn't matter--she is on a mission from god, or someone.

NPE, NEA, and AFT, however, have more discriminating tastes when it comes to school privatization. They prefer the non-profit variety, which is to say, the kind that offers the corporate whales big tax breaks for supporting them.

NEA president, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, was on MSNBC last week to make it clear that NEA does not support the for-profit, "unaccountable" kind of charter schools, the ones that drain tax money from public education.

At the same time, she made it clear that NEA supports high-scoring, "innovative," non-profit charter schools that are "accountable" and that do not drain public education dollars.  You know, that "innovative,"segregative, no excuses variety that all the billionaires love.  

It's almost as if Garcia believes that the charters that NEA and AFT prefer do not drain public funds, and that the ones that the ones that Betsy supports do drain public funds.  Sorry Lily, the thousands of public dollars that leave public schools with every charter kid are lost regardless of the profit or non-profit status of the charter reform school.

No doubt, the BATs, NPE, AFT, and NEA have an impressive campaign going against the privatizing DeVos.  Imagine what might have happened if they had put that money and spirit behind quashing the debilitating spread of charter schools for the past 8 years.  If they had, perhaps there would have never been a DeVos nomination.  Or Donald, for that matter.


  1. Anonymous11:50 PM

    All charters are privately managed in competition with public schools and drain resources from the public school district they are located near. But, they also drain political resources from supporters of public schools with Super PACs. And, they replace unionized public schools with all, but a tiny minority of unionized privately managed charter schools.

    And, let's not fall into the trap of seeing the word non-profit and thinking the non-profit is run in the interest of the public. Privately managed charters can structure, and do structure, their public funds to benefit management and friends of management because state laws provide poor oversight of charters and golden opportunity for the diversion of public funds to profit the management of privately managed charter schools.

  2. On January 17, Randi Weingarten appeared on PBS Newshour to do a point-counterpoint debate about Betsy DeVos with her "friend" Rick Hess of the reactionary American Enterprise Institute. (Betsy DeVos is on the Board of AEI.) Weingarten was reading from the same play book as Lily Eskelsen Garcia in the above article. Not once does she say that this is all about the privatization of public education, instead allowing the debate to center on "teacher accountability". https://www.aei.org/press/discussing-betsy-devos-rick-hess-on-pbs-newshour/