An interview on CNBC's Street Signs demonstrates, with painful clarity, that the focus of charter schools has little to do with children and education, and everything to do with making a profit.
It is eerie to hear the interviewee brush off the failure of some charters as a mere nuisance that fortunately doesn't really impact their bottom line because of the way they have structured their investment. The word to investors is, "Come on in. The water's fine."
To make sure that these investments function as good "businesses" the Eli Broad Foundation is working to put entrepreneurs into top administrative positions within the school districts and government to make sure that the business education reform measures are carried out well. Like a TFA for administrators, Broad's new Leadership Academy draws participants from outside the field of education and reduces “the experience level required for entering [the] training program.” According to the Washington Post, the Academy’s revised program of study "will aim to prepare leaders for positions beyond the superintendency of districts to include leaders of charter management organizations and state education departments." Got that? They are actively working to put people who have little education background or even interest into state education departments that will deliver your child's education.
But hey, as long as these business whiz kids do a great job, who cares that they aren't totally focused on education? Well, ask the parents of Prince George's County Maryland Public Schools who have enjoyed Broad leadership for the last several years.
The Broad Academy acolytes that have honored us with their presence barely stay in their positions for three years, getting out when they realize their Broad ways aren't going to work. PGCPS is a mixture of urban and suburban areas. When "Dr" John Deasy's illegitimate doctorate came to light, he left. Now Dr. Hite is leaving for Philly where he won't have to listen to parents. He told parents in PGCPS that he didn't have the time to visit every school. He ran into a concrete wall when he tried to close suburban schools in Bowie and bus all the kids to a massive, 900 student elementary factory school (Fairwood , which is not going to be built). Their deputy Bonita Potter Coleman is leaving for Mississippi to be close to home.--------------------------------------
And we see the failure of Broads in Philly (Ackerman) Rochester (Brizzarre) and Seattle (Monica Goodman?). 15 years of failure from Eli.
Prince George's County Public Schools has had several Broad disciples, all who have used PGCPS as resume padding. "Dr" John Deasy left for the Gates Foundation when his questionable doctorate came to light and spends his time running LAUSD and telling lies to Rick Hess. Dr. Hite, who claimed he wanted to turn gray while at PGCPS yet told parents he didn't have time to step from his chauffeured driven Denali to visit all the schools (though he did visit a classroom at Duval HighSchool twice), has left for Philly where he doesn't have to answer to the parents.For more background on the Broad Foundation, check out Parents Across America's Guide to the Broad Foundation's Training Programs and Education Policy.
The future of education will no longer be the Three R's, it will be ROI.