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Jeff Bernstein

Plutocrats at Work: How Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy | Dissent Magazine - 0 views

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    "For a dozen years, big philanthropy has been funding a massive crusade to remake public education for low-income and minority children in the image of the private sector. If schools were run like businesses competing in the market-so the argument goes-the achievement gap that separates poor and minority students from middle-class and affluent students would disappear. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation have taken the lead, but other mega-foundations have joined in to underwrite the self-proclaimed "education reform movement." Some of them are the Laura and John Arnold, Anschutz, Annie E. Casey, Michael and Susan Dell, William and Flora Hewlett, and Joyce foundations."
Jeff Bernstein

Who's Killing Philly Public Schools? | Philadelphia City Paper | 05/03/2012 - 0 views

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    Thomas Knudsen, the man who was temporarily put in charge of Philadelphia schools in January, was running late to last Monday's press conference.

    He had been delivering the same presentation all day, and doomsday rumors had already leaked: The plan he was about to lay out would dismantle the central office and parcel out school management, at least in part, to private companies.

    Knudsen, paid $150,000 to hold the newly created post of Chief Recovery Officer through June, made a point of shaking the hand of every single reporter in the room before beginning his presentation. "Philadelphia public schools is not the school district," he announced, laying out the five-year plan before the School Reform Commission (SRC). "There's a redefinition, and we'll get to that later."

    He got to it, using terms like "portfolios," "modernization," "right-sizing," "entrepreneurialism" and "competition." In short, it was a plan to shutter 40 schools next year, and an additional six every year thereafter until 2017. The remaining schools would be herded into "achievement networks" of 20 to 30 schools; public and private groups would compete to manage the networks. And the central office would be reduced to a skeleton crew of about 200. (About 1,000-plus positions existed in 2010, and district HQ has already eliminated more than a third of those.) Charter schools, the plan projects, would teach an estimated 40 percent of students by 2017.
Jeff Bernstein

Alan Singer: Beware the Education-Industrial Complex | History News Network - 0 views

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    In the speech, Eisenhower warned the American people of the growing power of a "military-industrial complex," an alliance of the military with defense contractors that he saw as a threat to democracy.

    Democracy in the United States is now under a similar assault from an education-foundation-political-industrial complex. This complex takes many forms, but its primary goal is to shape state and federal educational policy in a way that maximizes private corporate profits.
Jeff Bernstein

Funding a Movement: U.S. Department of Education Pours Millions into Groups Advocating ... - 0 views

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    Over the past three years, more than $75 million in federal education funding has been diverted to just a handful of private, pro-voucher advocacy groups. This torrent of public funding appears to benefit and strengthen the advocacy infrastructure created by a network of right-wing foundations dedicated to the privatization of public education.  
Jeff Bernstein

The Pattern on the Rug - Bridging Differences - Education Week - 1 views

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    There comes a time when you look at the rug on the floor, the one you've seen many times, and you see a pattern that you had never noticed before. You may have seen this squiggle or that flower, but you did not see the pattern into which the squiggles and flowers and trails of ivy combined.

    In American education, we can now discern the pattern on the rug.

    Consider the budget cuts to schools in the past four years. From the budget cuts come layoffs, rising class sizes, less time for the arts and physical education, less time for history, civics, foreign languages, and other non-tested subjects. Add on the mandates of No Child Left Behind, which demands 100 percent proficiency in math and reading and stigmatizes more than half the public schools in the nation as "failing" for not reaching an unattainable goal.

    Along comes the Obama administration with the Race to the Top, and the pattern on the rug gets clearer.
Jeff Bernstein

Schools Matter: The trouble with Alexander Russo - 0 views

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    Russo's underhanded dig is followed up with his suggestion that billionaire funded astroturf groups like StudentsFirst, Stand For Children, and TeachPlus have the potential to correct what he perceives as an "imbalance." For Russo, the corporate education reform astroturf need to step up and post comments under articles, use twitter, blog, and avail themselves of social media. It simply isn't enough to be funded by the likes of the wealthiest one percent including names like Walton, DeVos, Broad, Bradley, Gates, Koch, Hastings, Dell, Powell-Jobs, Scaife, Tilson, et al. It's not enough to have the unwavering support of a bipartisan neoliberal consensus at every level of government including the most anti-public education administration and Department of Education of all time. It isn't sufficient to have the unquestioning editorial support of every mainstream media outlet-not to mention Rupert Murdoch's vast propaganda empire-all of which spew a nonstop stream of privatization propaganda with nary a dissenting note. This last point is of paramount importance, since it's often forgotten that outside the realm of privilege that has regular access to the Internet, there's a majority that obtains their information from more traditional sources.
Jeff Bernstein

Private Money for Public Education : The New Yorker - 0 views

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    For all the contention brought about by the O.W.S. protests, most observers and commenters agree that the movement's one success has been to shift the national conversation-inasmuch as there is one-to words like "poverty" and "inequality." Still, since the early occupations, calls for the protesters to give specifics to underline their shouting have resounded. And in the months of occupation, the financial and political structures that created and support such drastic inequality have been widely reported on and scrutinized.

    One, though-the privatization of public education, in the name of reform-has received less attention.
Jeff Bernstein

Billionaires for Education Reform - Bridging Differences - Education Week - 0 views

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    Today, the question of democracy looms large as we see increasing efforts to privatize the control of public schools. There is an even more worrisome and allied trend, and that is the growing influence of money in education politics at the state and local levels.
Jeff Bernstein

Plundering the Public Out of Public Schools « Living Behind the Gates - 0 views

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    Just 2 days before the Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action took place at the Ellipse on the US Capitol Grounds, Bill Gates was speaking in front of the National Urban League's annual conference on July 28, 2011.  His topic was "Education As a Civil Right".  In his speech he promoted the brave new world's philosophy of  CHOICE through the privatization of public schools.  
Jeff Bernstein

The Conservatives' ALEC Philosophy: Everything Related to Government Should Be Demonize... - 0 views

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    In the world according to ALEC, competing firms in free markets are the only real source of social efficiency and wealth. Government contributes nothing but security. Outside of this function, it should be demonized, starved or privatized. Any force in civil society, especially labor, that contests the right of business to grab all social surplus for itself, and to treat people like roadkill and the earth like a sewer, should be crushed.
Jeff Bernstein

How ALEC Is Flooding Statehouses with Pro-Corporate Legislation | The Nation - 0 views

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    In the 2010 midterm election, Republicans won complete legislative control of twenty-one states and the American Legislative Exchange Council was right there with model legislation to help them push through a radical right-wing agenda. Funded by billionaires like the Koch brothers, ALEC has provided the template for more than 800 bills aimed at undermining environmental protection, privatizing education, busting unions and curbing government regulation.
Jeff Bernstein

Publicopoly Exposed -- In These Times - 1 views

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    How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government.

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