Build an infrastructure to support the public school system
By Thomas Ultican / Tultican
Educating children is expensive. Rich people like Charles Koch don’t hesitate to pay to educate their own children, but they hate the idea of being taxed to pay for the education of other people’s children.
In the market-driven dystopian system that libertarians like Koch espouse, people should only get what they pay for. They believe almost all government programs should be cut, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, FAA, EPA, Department of Energy, FDA, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and more. Libertarians argue that mail, schools and roads should be privatized, and personal and corporate taxes should be abolished (Kochland pages 113 and 114).
To achieve their ends, Koch, Gates, the Walton family and dozens of wealthy elites built an infrastructure to take over and privatize the public school system. By twisting the laws regarding tax-exempt philanthropic organizations, wealthy tycoons are funneling huge sums of money into the creation of privatized schools; thus eliminating local control of elected school boards. All the while, they are illegitimately reversing most of their spending to promote the privatization of public schools as charitable donations.
In addition to spending to privatize schools, a key strategy used to advance their market-based curriculum is the creation of alternative professional development and certification for teachers. It is another new system privatized under their control and not influenced by university programs or academics in education.
The third step in their attack on public education is political spending to support elected school boards and influence legislative assemblies.
The New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF) and Teach for America (TFA) support the three pillars of public school privatization.
The article “Organized to Disrupt” gives extensive details about the founding, purpose and lavish funding of NSVF. Former NSVF CEO Ted Mitchell was also concurrently chairman of the California State Board of Education. He left the NSVF to become Undersecretary of the United States Department of Education. NSVF generates over $ 100,000,000 in annual income which it uses to invest in edtech start-ups, charter schools and political organization.
The history of TFA is well known. The article “TFA is Bad for America” gives some details on how, with huge funding, TFA is providing its billionaire backers with a privatizing army of career-seeking college graduates. These interim teachers – 80% of whom have left in three years – have nothing to do in a classroom. Real teachers follow a rigorous college curriculum and a year of teaching students under the supervision of a master teacher. TFA teachers do not get any curriculum and five weeks of teacher training in the summer.
These unqualified TFA teachers have become the backbone of the teaching core of charter schools without excuses. They embrace market-based reform as a mechanism for reforming schools (Scripting Page 173) and within two to three years of leaving the classroom, their relationship with TFA puts them in a good position to become leaders in the classroom. education at the district, state or federal level. The TFA also provides political assistance to body members to apply for school board positions through its associated nonprofit Leadership for Education Equity (LEE). LEE’s board of directors consists of Emma Bloomberg (daughter of Michael Bloomberg); Steuart Walton (billionaire); Arthur Rock (billionaire) and Elisa Villanueva Beard (TFA-CEO).
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