Ohio BAT Greg Mild, who writes for PLUNDERBUND, is top-notch at presenting deep, connecting truths related to education in Ohio. Though this article about charter school millionaire William Lager, is a little over a year old, the information is still needing to reach many eyes and understanding. Bruce Knecht, also a BAT, commented under a thread where the ECOT article was posted. He had these truths and context connectors to share about the “for-profit”-charter-take-over-syndrome:
“The case of William Lager is typical of what has been occurring during the current era of “education reform.” Let me offer a view of the broader context in which this is occurring. The present version of education reform is the product of a convergence of forces, representing a conjunction of political and economic power, that have vested interests in seeing that the reform agenda (more charters, CCSS, more standardized tests, higher stakes attached to those tests, etc.) is implemented.
Budget allocations of state and federal departments of education must be protected.
Political and bureaucratic control must be exerted over public schools.
Elected politicians must raise large sums to contend in the next election cycle.
Corporate profits must keep growing, which entails that more and more taxpayer dollars intended for public schools are transferred into the coffers of corporate vendors (Pearson, ECOT, et. al.) even as funding for schools is cut.
This creates a network of symbiotic relationships (an education-industrial complex) among government bureaucrats, politicians, corporations, and the private investment community which serves the essential interests of all the players in the game. What about students, parents, and teachers? They are simply not counted as players in the game – until now they have been effectively shut out of the process.
This is a “reform” effort that is driven entirely by elites, the net effect of which is to create a system of perverse incentives. It is in the interests of the players in this game to maintain the problems of education, not to solve them! In so doing, they keep a mutually beneficial game going. Of course, they must create the appearance that solutions are being sought (involvement without efficacy). Thus, just as it is imperative to find (fabricate?) a clear and present national security threat in order to maintain the military-industrial complex, it is necessary to sustain the narrative of failing public schools in order to promote the growth of the education-industrial complex.
The concomitant weakening of the public school system can provide still further justification for the urgent pursuit of “education reform.”
Welcome to the Brave New World of American Education!”