Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Billionaire Declares: Better Public Schools Won’t Fix America | Diane Ravitch's blog

A Billionaire Declares: Better Public Schools Won’t Fix America | Diane Ravitch's blog

A Billionaire Declares: Better Public Schools Won’t Fix America

Nick Hanauer was a big supporter of charter schools. As he explains in this fascinating article, he swallowed the Corporate Reform Dogma whole. He believed that America’s “failing public schools” were the cause of poverty and inequality. Fix the schools and—poof—poverty and inequality will disappear.
He writes:
Taken with this story line, I embraced education as both a philanthropic cause and a civic mission. I co-founded the League of Education Voters, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education. I joined Bill Gates, Alice Walton, and Paul Allen in giving more than $1 million each to an effort to pass a ballot measure that established Washington State’s first charter schools. All told, I have devoted countless hours and millions of dollars to the simple idea that if we improved our schools—if we modernized our curricula and our teaching methods, substantially increased school funding, rooted out bad teachers, and opened enough charter schools—American children, especially those in low-income and working-class communities, would start learning again. Graduation rates and wages would increase, poverty and inequality would decrease, and public commitment to democracy would be restored.
But after decades of organizing and giving, I have come to the uncomfortable conclusion that I was wrong. And I hate being wrong.
What I’ve realized, decades late, is that educationism is tragically misguided. American workers are struggling in large part because they are underpaid—and they are underpaid because 40 years of trickle-down policies have rigged the economy in favor of wealthy people like me. Americans are more highly educated than ever before, CONTINUE READING: A Billionaire Declares: Better Public Schools Won’t Fix America | Diane Ravitch's blog

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