Another re-blog from Dianne Ravitch. In my opinion, this blog post goes to the heart of the school reform agenda. People often ask ‘why would governments want to privatize public schools?’ and the answer is blindingly simple. Money. This post, and the story it links to, are a staggering example of how people are trying to profit from the degradation of public education in the U.S.
Some people I talk to say ‘surely it won’t happen here’. Yeah, just like ‘Jersey Shore’ was an entirely American phenomenon. Sylvannia Waters and The Shire, anyone?
Recently, the FBI raided the offices of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, because of concerns about the intermingling of various for-profit businesses that were created by the school. The school has revenues of about $100 million or more and has spun off a number of other businesses. Apparently, the former governor Ed Rendell made some moves to seek greater accountability and transparency in the school’s booming business, but the current Corbett administration relaxed that effort.
This makes for fascinating reading, if you have any interest in how privatization works and how it is possible to become rich beyond your wildest dreams by running an online charter school for profit. The web of interlocking businesses is dazzling. For some reason, this line caught my eye: “The other person most involved in demanding more transparency from PA Cyber, former Department of Education Chief Counsel Judy Shopp, could not be reached. She left the…
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