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Corporate funded reform

How Wall Street Power Brokers Are Designing the Future of Public Education as a Money-Making Machine

Ana Simonton, Alternet.

December 5, 2013  |  

Given that Arthur Rock has a net worth of $1 billion, lives in California and spends his time heaping money on tech startups (with the mantra, “Get in, get out,” as his guide), a local school board race in Atlanta, Ga. seems an unlikely candidate for his attention.

Yet there is his name, on the campaign finance disclosure reports of four candidates—two of whom were elected in November, and two who won a runoff [3] on December 3—for the board of Atlanta Public Schools. On each report, two columns over from his name, the sum of $2,500 is listed, the maximum allowable amount.

The APS race was a pivotal one for Atlanta, a city still dealing with the fallout of a cheating scandal [4] that thrust its public school system into the national limelight. Only two incumbents were re-elected to the nine-seat board.

The biggest question facing the board of newcomers is to what degree they will embrace charter schools. Last year, Georgia voters passed a constitutional amendment that enabled the creation of a state-appointed commission authorized to bypass local and state school boards in approving new charter schools. Critics say the measure passed because the text on the ballot, written by governor Nathan Deal, referenced “parental involvement” and “student achievement,” but not the specific authorities of the commission. In this climate, APS, which already has the most charter schools of any Georgia school district, will only avoid becoming the next laboratory for corporate education reform with significant pushback from the new school board.

That’s where Arthur Rock comes in. And a lot of other rich people, too.

Rock is not the only name on the reports with financial power and a less than obvious connection to Atlanta Public Schools. Greg Penner [5] of the Walmart empire, Dave Goldberg of the Sheryl Sandberg empire (they’re married), and Kent Thiry of the DaVita kidney dialysis empire (it sounds inglorious, but he pulls in $17 million annually), are among the names that had some Atlantans scratching their heads this election season.

Read the entire report here.  http://www.alternet.org/education/how-wall-street-power-brokers-are-designing-future-public-education-money-making-machine

Important analysis of the corporate funded "reform" forces.

Analysis of corporate agenda in New Jersey.


The Obama agenda, school choice, and the Joyce Foundation. 2013.


Most recently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel oversaw the closing of 50 public schools, many of which will be replaced by charter schools. A bulk of the 550 laid-off teachers will be replaced by Teach for America contractors, many of whom teach in charter schools.

“Statewide enrollment in charter schools has surged from 6,152 students in 2000 to 54,054 this school year — with most of them in Chicago — according to the Illinois State Board of Education,” an April Chicago Tribune editorial explained. “The first charter school in Illinois opened in 1996. Now there are 132 campuses operating under 58 charters.”

A thus-far underreported story of the retooling of CPS concerns a foundation close the epicenter of it all: the Joyce Foundation.

Joyce is a major liberal foundation. President Barack Obama sat on its board of directors from 1994 to 2002, as did Valerie Jarrett, his former senior advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement .

A look at major organizations dedicated to restructuring U.S. education turns up a slew of current and former upper-level Joyce staff and board members.

Between 1995 and 2012, the Joyce Foundation spent $135.58 million on education reform.

Read the entire piece.


Also see: Politico;  Teach for America.  http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/teach-for-america-rises-as-political-powerhouse-98586.html 

See also.  The Crumbling of Corporate School Reform by Randy Shaw.  http://www.californiaprogressreport.com/site/crumbling-corporate-school-reform