Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Charter Schools Increase Fraud, Corruption, Chaos, and Anarchy | Dissident Voice

Charter Schools Increase Fraud, Corruption, Chaos, and Anarchy | Dissident Voice:

Charter Schools Increase Fraud, Corruption, Chaos, and Anarchy

Every day, more than a few news items, journal articles, books, and blogs expose a range of scandals, crimes, fraud, and corruption associated with charter schools—schools that barely make up seven percent of the nation’s schools. There are arrests, fugitives, government investigations, embezzlement, lawsuits, lies, mismanagement, Enron-style accounting, shell games, nefarious links between millionaires, legal loopholes of all kinds, little accountability, and rampant arrogance, anticonsciousness, and impunity, making a reckless “Wild West” atmosphere seem civilized, stable, and virtuous in comparison.
The charter school sector has taken all the antisocial, antipublic, and antipeople practices of medieval autocrats and opportunists to new extremes. To be sure, such crimes and corruption are widespread in other sectors and institutions in society. After all, the society and its outdated economic system are decaying rapidly and dragging everything down with it. But the charter school phenomenon has introduced a new level, a new range, a new quality of criminality, secrecy, recklessness, and impunity. It has brought a new vigor to the drive to violate all civilized norms of conduct. It is breathtaking in its scope, and there appears to be no end in sight to the wrecking activity, making one wonder how much more chaotic, anarchic, and violent things will get in the charter school sector in the months and years ahead.
One only has to read Doug Martin’s Hoosier School Heist (2014) to feel irreversible internal nausea about the corruption and fraud unfolding in the education privatization movement energetically organized by major owners of capital. The many works of Kenneth Saltman, Christopher Lubienski, Alex Molnar, Danny Weil, Bruce Baker, Susan Ohanian, Diane Ravitch, Jeff Bryant, and so many others have also exposed and opposed the widespread corruption plaguing this deregulated, non-unionized, and non-transparent sector.
It is important to appreciate that this neoliberal perfidy is taking place in the context of a continually failing economy, the constant lowering of living and working standards for millions, and no sign that the ruling elite have any solutions to the worsening problems. Today, insecurity prevails broadly. The natural and social environment are being destroyed rapidly. Unemployment and under-employment remain high. The labor force participation rate is at an all-time low. Student debt is out of control. More young adults are living at home with their parents. Violence is widespread. Depression and opiate addiction are pervasive. Surveillance is increasing. Poverty and segregation are growing. Income and wealth inequality are intensifying. More wars are being planned. The entire polity is more marginalized than ever by a discredited political setup. The 2016 elections are scandalous and offensive in every respect. National chauvinism is alive and well. And chaos, anarchy, and violence are everywhere, including in new television shows and movies that take the spectacle of cruelty and anti-consciousness to new levels, desensitizing and dehumanizing more people in the process. One cannot even wake up in the morning without being traumatized by some “breaking news” about another tragedy of some sort.
It is not possible to feel normal, well-adjusted, and healthy under such Charter Schools Increase Fraud, Corruption, Chaos, and Anarchy | Dissident Voice: