Globalists are Moving at Lightning Speed to Convert Public Schools (and Catholic Schools) to Charter


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2008
Globalists are Moving at Lightning Speed to Convert Public Schools (and Catholic Schools) to Charter Schools

There has been much public praise for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts to reform public education. However, few scholars have engaged substantively and critically with the organization’s work. While the Gates Foundation is the single largest supporter by far of "choice" initiatives particularly with regard to charter school formation, it is pushing public school privatization through a wide array of initiatives and in conjunction with a number of other foundations. What are the implications for a public system as control over educational policy and priority is concentrated under one of the richest people on the planet in ways that foster de-unionization and teacher de-skilling while homogenizing school models and curriculum? The Gates Foundation and the Future of US "Public" Schools addresses this crucial, unanswered question while investigating the relationships between the Gates Foundation and other think tanks, government, and corporate institutions. - How Bill Gates Plans On Privatizing us Public Schools, The Frustrated Teacher, November 22, 2010

Return of the One-Room Schoolhouse

March 29, 2011

The American Spectator - Even among the nation's woeful traditional big-city school districts, Detroit Public Schools is a particular abomination. Between falling into state receivership for the second time in the past 12 years, facing $327 million in budget deficits for the next four years, wrangling with scandals such as the travails of literacy-bereft now-former school board president Otis Mathis (who resigned last year after the district's superintendent complained that he had engaged in lewd acts during meetings), and constant news about its failure to educate its students, the Motor City district has secured its place as the Superfund site of education.
So it wasn't a surprise when Detroit's state-appointed czar, Robert Bobb , announced on March 12 that the district would slash its deficit -- and eliminate as much as $99 million in costs from operating its bureaucracy -- by getting rid of 29 percent of the 142 dropout factories and failure mills. But instead of just shutting down the 41 schools (as the district originally planned to do) it would convert them into charter schools, handing off instruction, curriculum, and operations to nonprofits, parents groups, and others interested in running schools.

While Detroit's move is certainly driven by cost-cutting, the district is conceding to the reality that the school district model -- with its expensive central bureaucracy, woeful inefficiency, and lengthy record of academic failure -- no longer works either for children or taxpayers. With states and districts facing $260 billion in budget shortfalls over the next two years (and $1.4 trillion in pension deficits and unfunded teacher retirement liabilities in the long haul), charter-like ways of operating schools have become more appealing than ever.

Just outside of Atlanta, the suburban Fulton County school district is taking advantage of a Georgia state law and beginning to convert itself into a charter system. Under the contractual status, the district would be free from traditional degree- and seniority-based pay scales and be allowed to use such innovations as teacher performance pay plans; in turn, school operations move from the central bureaucracies to school-based councils run by adults, teachers and principals. Six other school systems in the Peach State have already converted into charter school systems, and others will likely do follow suit.

In tiny Elkton, Oregon, a town better known as a hotspot for bass-fishing than for school innovation, the one-school district there has taken advantage of a state loophole and fully converted itself into a charter. This has allowed the district to attract students from nearby traditional school systems, creating a form of competition that hadn't previously existed. In the three years since it converted to a charter, Elkton's enrollment increased by 54 percent. Eleven other rural districts in the Beaver State have abandoned the traditional district model in the past eight years; three more have already applied to do so this year.

Then there is New Orleans, which has become the nation's model for school reform. Right after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Louisiana state officials moved to take over 107 of the Crescent City's failing public schools from the faltering traditional school district and began aggressively launching new charter schools. Since then, the traditional district model has been all but abandoned, with both the state-controlled Recovery School District and the old Orleans Parish system operating just 26 of the city's 84 schools; charters account for 70 percent of all New Orleans school enrollment. And even the schools under state control have become de facto charters and, under a plan approved by the state in December, will remain so even after they return to Orleans Parish oversight.

Certainly, traditional school districts still educate the overwhelming majority of the nation's students -- and if the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and other defenders of traditional public education have their say, it will remain that way. As in the private sector, the advantages of size -- including greater purchasing power -- means that there will always be some large school operators of some sort; even big names within the charter school movement, such as KIPP (which runs 99 schools throughout the nation), Aspire (30 schools in California), and Green Dot Public Schools (17 in California and New York), have enrollments as sizable as some mid-sized traditional districts.

But with just 69 percent of the nation's students ever graduating from high school, big-city districts such as Cleveland and Los Angeles failing to reach even those low graduation rates, and one out of every three fourth-graders reading at levels of functional illiteracy, any thought that big districts equals better student achievement is clearly mistaken. Size (and corresponding big-spending) doesn't turn out to equal efficiency or achievement either. Just 17 percent of the top-spending districts in Florida were among the top third of districts in student achievement, according to a report released in January by the Center for American Progress.