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Special Report | What You Need to Know About the Privatization of Our Public Schools

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  • School privatization has too often resulted in self-dealing, corruption, thousands of failed schools, and attempts, often successful, to dislodge and usurp local school boards—often community beacons of local democracy. Many boards have been replaced with a corporate model of school control, with virtually no transparency.
  • Related:  How Billionaires Are Successfully Fooling Us Into Destroying Public Education—and Why Privatization Is a Terrible Idea.

Don Hazen, AlterNet

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Front_Cover_Who_Controls_Our_Schools_lo-res.jpgOctober 20, 2016 | Greetings,

Over the last two decades, a major struggle over control of public schools in America has put our children’s education at risk. Several dozen billionaires, through a powerful infrastructure they established, are attempting to privatize as many K-12 schools as they can—6,700, at last count. There has been plenty of resistance, and the battle continues.

AlterNet.org has covered the school privatization story in great detail. Over time, AlterNet’s parent organization, the Independent Media Institute (IMI), became alarmed at what we were seeing through this coverage, and have responded with a report titled, Who Controls Our Schools? The Privatization of American Public Education. Click here to access the report on your computer, phone, tablet, or e-reader.

School privatization has too often resulted in self-dealing, corruption, thousands of failed schools, and attempts, often successful, to dislodge and usurp local school boards—often community beacons of local democracy. Many boards have been replaced with a corporate model of school control, with virtually no transparency.

Some good things have happened as well, of course. Not all charter schools are bad. There are parent-organized and community-run charter schools doing great things in many locales—but they are increasingly few and far between. At this point, more than 40% of all charter schools are part of national and regional chains, often with no roots in the community.

We are sending you this report because we want to share what we now know about this important, but too little discussed, topic. You might say, “But I’m not interested in public schools”—which is understandable. But we believe that privatizing public schools so that the super-wealthy can profit and impose their ideologies is anti-democratic to its core. This is an issue that affects us all.

Our report draws on extensive research, investigative reporting, and industry publications to show what is happening in our communities and explain why school privatization has taken hold in some cities.

Please, if you could give the report a read, we would appreciate it. And we would love to know what you think; send comments to comments@alternet.org. If you have friends or colleagues who might be interested, please forward them a copy, too.

I hope you enjoy it.

Peace,

Don Hazen
Executive Director
Independent Media Institute

Related: 

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How Billionaires Are Successfully Fooling Us Into Destroying Public Education—and Why Privatization Is a Terrible Idea, Diane Ravitch, Basic Books / AlterNet

  • The billionaire-backed privatization movement is stealthily advancing an undemocratic agenda, cloaked in deceptive rhetoric, that the public is not aware of and does not understand.
  • Related: When schools become dead zones of the imagination, Henry A. Giroux <www.henryagiroux.com>, Philosophers for Change

 

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