PRIVATISATION OF EDUCATION MEETS SETBACKS IN THE UNITED STATES.

Press Release 907

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF

GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE 907

PRIVATISATION OF EDUCATION

MEETS SETBACKS IN THE UNITED STATES.

 

American public education, like its Australian counterpart has been under siege from capitalism run rampant in the form of privatisation. In America however, for profit as well as not-for-profit religious schools are aggressively undermining the public sector. The Charter school movement in particular, has sought to make education into a money making exercise – at taxpayers’ expense.

But promotors of public education are fighting back. 

 In the last few weeks, a number of developments have set the privatisers back a little.

  1. According to Jeff Bryant, a writing fellow and chief correspondent for Our School, a public school action group in the US,  Charter school industry lobbyists, appear to have lost a fight in the U.S. House of Representatives over an appropriations bill . The bill cuts federal funding to charter schools operated by for-profit businesses. But lobbyists are now rolling out a campaign to defend their taxpayer revenues in the U.S. Senate. However, federal lawmakers may wish to consider new evidence of how for-profit charter enterprises introduce potential harms into public education.

A recent post by Jeff Bryant presents a case study of charter school investors overtly grifting, as opposed to the usual slower-motion version of cherry-picking students via using any excuse to expel ones that look difficult to educate. Even with that (over time) selection advantage, large scale studies have shown that charter school students do not outperform their public school peers.

DOGS refer readers to an article by Jeff Bryant at For-Profit Charter Schools Provide an Entryway for Private Investors to Exploit Public Education

  1. Meanwhile Diane Ravitch, on her blog, reports that in Oakland a group called Oakland Not For Sale (ONFS) formed to fight privatization have just won a major settlement. For many years, the Oakland public schools have been a plaything for billionaire privatizers and a succession of Broadie superintendents. They plan to use the money to fund further battles to save public schools from closure and privatisation. See Oakland: Activists Win Six-Figure Settlement, which They Will Use to Fight Privatization | Diane Ravitch's blog

The times of plague have exposed the extraordinary levels of educational inequality in both the United States and Australia.

An uneducated citizenry is fair game for right wing activists and conspiracy theorists as we have seen in both democracies.

So it is heartening when groups get together to fight the encroachments of those lusting after profits and power upon our public systems of education.

 

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