Sunday, August 28, 2016

This week in the war on workers: Charter schools get the John Oliver treatment

This week in the war on workers: Charter schools get the John Oliver treatment:

This week in the war on workers: Charter schools get the John Oliver treatment


Charter schools got the John Oliver treatment, and it's brutal. Oliver opened by saying “we’re going to set aside whether or not charter schools are a good idea in principle,” because there are already a lot of them, “So instead we’re going to look at how they operate in practice.” And, as regular readers here know, how they operate in practice is often shady AF. Here’s just one example from an 18-minute segment filled with examples:
Voiceover from Frontline: By law charter schools must be nonprofit. But the schools can hire an educational management company or EMO to run the school and the EMO can try to make a profit. [David] Brennan calls his EMO White Hat Management.
Brennan: Education is first, last and always a business. If it’s run like a business it can be done profitably.
Oliver: Yes, education is first last and always a business. Take the ‘l’ off the word ‘learning’ and what do you got? ‘Earning.’ Take the ‘e’ off and what do you got? ‘Arning.’ Yeah, sure, that’s not a word, but it could be in one of our English classes. Now that man’s company, White Hat Management, worked on the contracts where each charter would pay 95 percent or more of its government funding to White Hat, which as a private company, isn’t obligated to provide the same level of transparency as, say, a school district. So taxpayers could have little idea how that money was being spent. And who can say if that’s a good system or not? All I know is, White Hat ran 32 of the lowest-performing schools in the state. And if you do essentially the same terrible thing more than 30 times in a row, you’re not a management company. You’re basically Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volumes 2 and 3.
Watch the whole video below.
I’m entirely unsurprised that Columbia’s response to [the NLRB ruling allowing graduate students to unionize] is to threaten an appeal and put up a union-busting website. Thanks to the training that I acquired at Columbia, I can tell you that Columbia is a historically union-busting institution: President Seth Low personally approved the use of Columbia students to help bust a national machinist worker’s strike in 1901, and the tradition continued with Columbia students acting as strike-breakers in a 1905 transit strike, a 1920 railroad strike, and a building trades strike in 1936, until the rise of student leftism finally made collegiate scabbing uncouth.
And again, I was there when the GSEU held a “Free the Ballot Box” protest on the steps of Low Library to protest management having locked up the ballot boxes in the NLRB election that had been held shortly before the Brown decision, which election had come only after four years of management stalling and failed appeals that dragged on for years after the NLRB had made its ruling in 2000 granting the right to organize.
● Remember how 401(k) retirement plans were supposed to bring more people into This week in the war on workers: Charter schools get the John Oliver treatment:

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