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

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Education "Reform" Is Really About: $$$

The banksters have stopped trying to hide what the charter school movement is really about:

RIFuture.org has a transcript. It's really unbelievable:

Anchor: Charter schools have become very popular as parents seek more choice in educating their children. But are charter schools a wise addition to your investment portfolio? Well let’s ask David Brain, President and CEO of Entertainment Properties Trust. David, why would I want to add charter schools into my portfolio?

DB: Well I think it’s a very stable business, very recession-resistant. It’s a high-demand product. There’s 400,000 kids on waiting lists for charter schools, the industry’s growing about 12-14% a year. So it’s a high-growth, very stable, recession-resistant business. It’s a public payer, the state is the payer on this category, and if you do business with states with solid treasuries then it’s a very solid business. [emphasis mine]
It's especially solid when you can get reformyists like Michele Rhee to go around the country and buy up state legislatures for your sector - all while claiming, "It's for the kids!"

Anchor: David there has been somewhat of a backlash to charter schools in some areas given their use of public money, as you noted. Any risk to the growth of charter schools generally?

DB: I don’t—there’s not a lost of risk, there’s probably risk to everything but the fact is this has bipartisan support. It’s part of the Republican platform and Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education in the Obama Administration, has been very high on it throughout their work in public education. So we have both political parties are solidly behind it, you have high demand, high growth, you have performance across the board, most studies have charter schools at even or better than district public education. So, I think it has some risk because it’s new and it’s emerging and it is a high-growth category. But at the same time I think much more’s going forward so it’s still a safe area for investment. [emphasis mine]
What a steaming plie of dung. How much more proof do we need that "successful" charters don't serve the same students as public schools? Bruce Baker has another post today about charters, this time in New York and Houston. No, they aren't miracle schools - and they're not replicable. Why, then, would we want taxpayer dollars going toward the profits of these charter banksters?

Anchor: You’ve invested in retail centers, ski parks, you’ve got charter schools, you’ve got movie theaters. If you could buy one thing right now, David, one type of asset in real estate, what would it be? 

DBWell, probably the charter school business. We said it’s our highest growth and most appealing sector right now of the portfolio. It’s the most high in demand, it’s the most recession-resistant. And a great opportunity set with 500 schools starting every year. It’s a two and a half billion dollar opportunity set annually.
All this comes right off the heels of an interview with Joel Klein where he appears to push video games for teaching history:
He said digital materials can engage students in history, science and other subjects. He envisions students reading the Gettysburg Address and clicking on the words "Four score and seven years ago" to learn why Abraham Lincoln traced the nation's birth to the Declaration of Independence. Then they might fight the Battle of Gettysburg themselves. 
"If games will get them engaged in the work and excited about it, isn't that great? If they're educational games," Klein said. "I don't want them to sit there and play Minesweeper."
Way to set that bar high, Joel; I'm sure giving your boss, Rupert Murdoch, even more taxpayer dollars for vaguely defined junk like this will work wonders in the schools.

We also recently had the big conference where investors unashamedly admitted they want to privatize education to maximize their profits:
In the venture capital world, transactions in the K-12 education sector soared to a record $389 million last year, up from $13 million in 2005. That includes major investments from some of the most respected venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, according to GSV Advisors, an investment firm in Chicago that specializes in education.

The goal: an education revolution in which public schools outsource to private vendors such critical tasks as teaching math, educating disabled students, even writing report cards, said Michael Moe, the founder of GSV.

"It's time," Moe said. "Everybody's excited about it." [emphasis mine]
I don't ever want to hear anyone again tell me that there isn't a push to turn our schools into a publicly funded profit-making complex, like the military and the health care sector. The people who are pushing this stuff are now freely admitting that this is their goal. They want every school in America to become Haliburton High.

But you don't have to take my word for it: they've said it themselves. Repeatedly. It's idiotic to deny it.

It's NOT all about the kids.

Update: Now with correctly spelled title! 

Update again: The typos are getting out of control. I need a break...


tjmertz said...

Entertainment Properties is the company behind all of the outrageous Imagine Charter School real estate scams. They partnered/took over from Joe Robert, deceased DC voucher bag man. They operate in many states, here is some of the background: http://kenmlibby.com/2012/05/20/entertainment-properties-trust-and-imagine-schools/

Duke said...

Good stuff, tj. Ken Libby is always on the case.