When voters in Bridgeport, CT recently defeated three school board members that supported a very controversial superintendent named Paula Vallas, they sent a very specific message. Why this matters on a national basis has to do with Vallas’ past track record in places like Philadelphia and New orleans where he has pushed a very corporate approach to education that includes closing schools, laying off teachers, privatizing school management, raiding pension funds, and funneling taxpayer dollars to for-profit education companies with dubious track records.
Vallas says he has done none of these things in Bridgeport but his opponents are still unhappy with what he has done and have essentially voted him out. The real philosophical issue is that pro-charter people are essentially interested in selling out American public education to corporate America and that never works out. Of the few charter schools around the country that have actually shown decent results, none of them are run or owned by for-profit companies. In pretty much every case of a charter being run by a for-profit, results have been dismal and the schools have been closed or the companies tossed. Many of the kids have gone back to public school too.
The simple truth is that education should NEVER be “run like a business”. That call is the siren song of corporate America looking for new markets to plunder and new places to destroy, all in the name of profit. We all have seen how bad and corrupt for-profit colleges have been thus far, so letting these guys educate our kids is a sure formula for disaster. Until corporations begin to operate in a fair and ethical manner, they should have no ability to touch or influence public education. The election in Bridgeport shows that not everyone in this country is as dumb as the corporate thieves think they are.
To read the complete story, please click here.
Image courtesy of reclaimreform.com.