I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The WSJ has a piece about how the Masters of the Universe (Digby's term for the Wall Street types, via Tom Wolfe) are throwing cash at politicians supporting charter schools. This on the heels of the Obama Administration's push for charters as part of Race To the Top; funny, they seem to have a few ties to Wall Street as well.

Right next to this article is another one on how Mike Bloomberg's charter chief is steeping down to take a job at a charter - a for-profit charter.

Now, we all know the data about charter performance is mixed at best. You'd think that the MOTUs would want to see a little more evidence before they started throwing money around. You'd think the Obamaites would want a little more concrete evidence of success before they staked their political fortunes on charters. You'd think pols wouldn't be leaving public service for private industry jobs unless they knew there'd be a payoff for them.

If I were paranoid, I'd actually maybe wonder if these people are thinking that charters that make money are the coming wave of the future, and now's the time to get up on their boogie boards. I'd maybe think that the Wall St. types are seeing another way to make some scratch off of the American taxpayer, and their buddies in the administration and the politicians that they are buying off in Albany and Trenton and elsewhere are pushing policies that will enhance their bottom lines. I'd start to question why Wall St is suddenly so interested in charter schools when they've shown so little regard for anything besides their own profits up until now.

I'd actually maybe start questioning whether this entire charter push - like Christie's privatization push - was possibly less about getting children to achieve and more about feeding off of taxpayer discontent in a recession in an effort to divert education dollars into corporate profits.

Fortunately, I know better: the only folks you can't trust when they say they want the best schools for our kids are the teachers unions. Everyone knows that.

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