UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 7, 2009

HOW BILLIONAIRES ARE FORCING THEIR EDUCATION STRATEGY

Education Change - [In an article in Sage, Janelle Scott] explains the billionaires' strategy to push charter schools onto communities and how they are maneuvering their immense foundation-giving to achieve this result. . .

The foundation-giving programs of today require an important trade-off from the local communities: namely, the relinquishment of interest and power over their own public schools to the public education notions of a few immensely wealthy oligarchs. . .

Scott describes the flow of money to these organizations with the intent to have them work as a network in unison to further the billionaires' goal. Very few of the donations go directly to individual schools and their students, but just enough to make them look a lot better than their traditional school neighbors. The majority of the dollars go toward advocacy, propaganda, and the building of a national pro-charter school structure. . .

I was especially interested to learn that one of the official techniques used to push charter schools, and described in a 2004 Philanthropy Roundtable donors guide, is "the sponsorship of efforts that put parents of color out front instead of 'rich, white Republicans.' " . . . This general strategy may also explain why a deeply-in-debt-to-the-IRS Al Sharpton was persuaded to join the pro-charter force.

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