By Tim Scott
Eli Broad’s opposition to Betsy DeVos further exposes the current financialization model of education he and his peers maintain, which is based on funneling public funds to seed and support government protected/regulated (NCLB, RTTT, ESSA, etc) education markets. For insiders like Broad:
(1) A voucher system that funds truly private and dispersed schools is too pure of a market-based model for venture philanthropists like Broad, who seek a cohesive standardized (universal) education system that is about social control as a means to maintain their neoliberal social order. Thus, Broad is fearful of how radical free-market interventions will disrupt current federal/state-finance partnerships where publicly funded charters - with aligned curriculums - are positioned as sites of authoritarian incubators for the tech industry and its function within the larger Internet of Things/Artificial Intelligence surveillance “ecosystem.” Read more here, here and here.
(2) Since Broad’s model currently relies on a social justice marketing narrative that exploits subordinated groups as investment opportunities (Social Impact Bonds, etc), there is also a PR purpose in opposing the Trump administration’s far too explicit white supremacist agenda… at this time. Many Silicon Valley companies are now distancing themselves from this agenda for PR purposes and so they can continue their current labor practices of largely relying on workers with H-1B visas.
I suspect that when DeVos is confirmed, she and her boss will quickly get in line with how things “are supposed to work,” particularly since universal state controlled education systems have always served as a bedrock for nationalism.
Simply, Broad is only seeking to protect a model of education that is in the making – one that is state protected and intended to bolster the supremacy of finance capitalism via highly sophisticated and profitable surveillance technologies – from the irrational far right who promise to destabilize the still fragile seedling markets and infrastructure that he and his ilk are still irrigating.