Friday, December 16, 2016

Understanding Public-Sector Privatization Strategies in the Age Of Trumpism

Coalition for Public Education/Coalición por la Educación Pública: Understanding Public-Sector Privatization Strategies in the Age Of Trumpism:

Understanding Public-Sector Privatization Strategies in the Age Of Trumpism

"The Cartel has created a vast array of
think tanks and advocacy organizations
to distribute questionable and deeply flawed
research studies to confirm that corporate
and virtual charters, vouchers, and non-certified
teachers are the best approaches to
educating low-income students of color." Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell. 

 Public sector stakeholders (teachers, unions, and ordinary citizens) are on the precipice of a public education Armageddon. On January 20, 2017, the nation’s system of public education is likely to begin descending into a public education free zone. President-Elect Donald J. Trump has stated that he will ramp up and facilitate the efforts of the corporate education reform Cartel to privatize public schools. To underscore his commitment to this endeavor, he has placed one of the Cartel’s most prominent and aggressive members, billionaire Betsy DeVos, at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).

She and the Cartel have also established and funded an interlocking network of majority and minority civic leaders, grassroots groups, corporate executives, professional athletes, entertainers, former and current school board members, superintendents, political bosses, governors, state and federal legislators, and every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan. DeVos’s approach has been bipartisan with deep tentacles among both Democrats and Republicans.

This reality is at the core of public education supporters’ conflicts as to how to combat this assault on K-12 public education. As noted in previous columns, they cannot decide whether cooperation or opposition is the best option to save public education and the public sector. As a result, teachers, unions, elected officials, and others have been unable to come up with a coherent and focused set of initiatives to win the battle for K-12 public schools.

While these difference of opinion persist among public education stakeholders, the corporate education reform Cartel has systematically employed a military-style offensive on the foundations of private- and public-sector unions: co-opting and/or developing Democratic legislators and leaders who traditionally sustained and advanced the public sector; legislative redistricting which facilitated Republican takeovers of state legislatures and the U.S. Congress; writing and passing state and federal legislation promoting public school privatization; dismantling collective bargaining agreements (CBAs); and forming sixty-five Cartel think tanks, from coast to coast, that produce a steady stream of questionable and exaggerated research findings to affirm the success of public school privatization.

Starting in the 1980s, the Cartel identified minority and majority politicians, clergy, and local leaders and contributed to their campaigns and 501c3 non-profits. Included in this group are former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke; South Carolina legislator, U.S. Congressman, and now U.S. Sen. Tim Scott; former Illinois state senator, U.S. Senator, and now two-term Coalition for Public Education/Coalición por la Educación Pública: Understanding Public-Sector Privatization Strategies in the Age Of Trumpism:

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