Saturday, July 23, 2011

Who, What, When, Where and How of Bloomberg's War on Public Education


The Indypendent published a Rogues gallery of Bloomberg's accomplices:  Bill Gates, Arne Duncan, Spencer Robertson, James Shelton, Eli Broad, The Waltons, Eva Moskowitz, Michael Millken, Larry Ellison, Witney Tilson, Charles Ledley, John Petry, Ravenel Boykin Curry IV, Al Sharpton
Led by a band of billionaires, the school-reform movement has gained increasing momentum during the past decade, spreading its reach into urban communities across the country. But instead of truly transforming public schools, private funders want to restructure them. They insist running schools like a business is the solution. At stake is not only control over hundreds of billions of dollars in local, state and federal funding, but also the future of the next generation of schoolchildren.

What?  The privatization of public education.  The destruction of the trade unions.
When?  Ongoing
Where?  New York City,  New York State, USA, All Over the World
Why?  Massive wealth transfer out of public domain into private hands.
From the blog, Modern School, on the profit motive:

The Convict Who Stole Public Education—Milken’s Online Learning Cash Cow

We hear plenty about the billionaire boys club that has taken control over much of the education reform debate, the unholy triumvirate of Bill Gates, Eli Broad and the Walton Family Foundation. However, they are just the tip of the iceberg. The rogue’s gallery of Ed Deformers who are buying up charter schools, capitalizing on NCLB, bashing teachers and generally destroying public education as we know it, includes numerous hedge fund managers, bankers, billionaires, millionaires and even a few convicted felons, like junk bond peddler Michael Milken...
It is obvious how private charter schools can turn a profit by spending less on salaries, maintenance, supplies and services than they take in from local and state taxes and donations from wealthy philanthropists. What has been flying under the radar is what hedge fund managers, big banks and foundations hope to get out of their investments in charter schools. In a recent report on Democracy Now, Juan Gonzalez turned up an obscure tax credit that was passed by Congress at the end of the Clinton administration in 2000, called a New Markets tax credit. It provides an enormous federal tax credit to banks and equity funds that invest in community projects in underserved communities. The credit has been heavily used in recent years for charter schools...

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