UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who 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

July 21, 2009

NO PROFIT LEFT BEHIND AT THE WASHINGTON POST

Abdul Rahaman, DC Watch - The Washington Post has editorialized and used its pages for countless articles and editorials supporting, initiating, and advancing positions it deems best for our children and our public schools. What the Washington Post has so far failed to openly disclose is how critical No Child Left Behind and Student Supplemental Education funding is to the survival of its enterprise.

NCLB/SES funds as of 2005 totaled a $3.5 billion initiative that benefits privately held companies, among them Kaplan, a subsidiary of the Washington Post. SES funds are provided to poorly performing school districts that are mandated to outsource and funnel these earmarked funds to largely (70 percent) for-profit large publicly held or privately owned SES vendors. These are companies that provide tutoring services to the growing Title I student population in large urban school districts.

The large and growing SES multi-billion dollar fund has attracted the notice of large for-profit companies such as Kaplan, Princeton Review, and privately owned Sylvan Learning Centers, Huntington Learning Centers, EduVentures, Inc, and Knowledge Quest Ventures ("Knowledge Universe" - the "cradle-to-grave education-business empire" created by the former junk-bond specialist Michael Milliken).

. . . In the fall of 2008, the Washington Post Company reported dramatic earnings losses totaling 77 percent, while the company's Kaplan education division saw a 52 percent growth. In 2003, just one year after NCLB/SES was passed, Kaplan's revenue for its elementary and secondary school division doubled.

. . . Since 2002 the Washington Post Company has reaped millions, while its subsidiary company Kaplan has taken advantage of these guaranteed funds that have shown little if any substantive results in student improvements. Most troubling is the ability of the Washington Post to use its journalists, writers, and editors to dictate and advance local and federal policies that the company directly benefits from.

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