Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Corporate agenda and public education

I'm highlighting parts fromthis article called The Privatization of Public Education: The Corporate Education.

The DLC, the wing of the Democratic party representing corporate interests, are serious playas in developing and promoting current education policy, especially NCLB.

Here's more on where the money comes from:
It is important to note that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the Progressive Policy Institute study. This is the same foundation that recently poured $1 million into Washington State’s Referendum 55 that called for the creation of charter schools. This was Washington’s third statewide referendum on the issue. The last time, it was bankrolled by Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen, who stood to gain financially through his heavy investment in Edison Schools and other education companies. He changed his strategy to making contributions to political candidates, and a charter law was passed, but enough signatures were quickly gathered to put it back to a third referendum.

The corporate interests pulled out all the stops to get this one passed. In addition to the Gates’ contribution, Donald Fisher, founder of The Gap and Wal-Mart heir John Walton have also kicked in a million each. Allen and Amazon also have contributed $100,000 each, as have 15 other out-of-state businesses. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer three weeks before the vote charter school supporters had raised $3.8 million in cash and $44,300 in in-kind contributions. It is likely that amount increased as the date drew nearer.

On KIPP, here's a bit on the money behind that program:
Fisher is chairman of KIPP, the not-for-profit Knowledge is Power Program, into which both he and Bill Gates have invested millions. KIPP operates the KIPP Sankofa charter school in Buffalo and whose methods are questioned in a Washington Post online debate by our neighbor to the east, superintendent of Fairport Schools William Cala. The Walton family has been heavily involved in charter school and school voucher efforts, and is poised to make as big an impact on “public” education policy as they have in retail. Allen has partnered with Edison Schools to create online education programs.
The rest of the articles are found here:
Part 1:The Privatization of Public Education (19 April 2003)

Part 2: Segregation, Desegregation, Resegregation (2 May 2003)

Part 3: How Charter School Legislation Undermines Public Education

Part 4: The Conservative Agenda (1 September 2004)
A dire situation when we have no strong progressive policy making in education to at least balance the corporate driven DLC agenda. Where are the progressive thinktanks on this?

How the DLC Does It
Right Web on the DLC