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Sigh . . . so - just exactly how often do we dirty fucking hippie liberals need to be right about an issue before we are taken seriously??
Just in time for National Charter School Week, there’s a new report highlighting the predictable perils of turning education into a poorly regulated business. Titled “Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud and Abuse,” the report focused on 15 states representing large charter markets, out of the 42 states that have charter schools. Drawing on news reports, criminal complaints, regulatory findings, audits and other sources, it “found fraud, waste and abuse cases totaling over $100 million in losses to taxpayers,” but warned that due to inadequate oversight, “the fraud and mismanagement that has been uncovered thus far might be just the tip of the iceberg.”
While there are plenty of other troubling issues surrounding charter schools — from high rates of racial segregation, to their lackluster overall performance records, to questionable admission and expulsion practices — this report sets all those admittedly important issues aside to focus squarely on activity that appears it could be criminal, and arguably totally out of control. It does not even mention questions raised by sky-high salaries paid to some charter CEOs, such as 16 New York City charter school CEOs who earned more than the head of the city’s public school system in 2011-12. Crime, not greed, is the focus here.
In short, the report is about as apolitical as can be imagined: It is narrowly focused on a white-collar crime wave of staggering proportions, and what can be done about it within the existing framework of widespread charter schools.http://www.salon.com/2014/05/07/charter_schools_are_cheating_your_kids_new_report_reveals_massive_fraud_mismanagement_abuse/
Gee -- whoever could have thought that the conservative idea of turning over the crucial job of educating our children to the unregulated, no oversight, profit-driven capitalist crowd, would turn out to be a profoundly dumb and shitty idea??
(The Gadfly raises his hand like Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter -- "ooh, ooh, me Mr. Kotter - me!)
Oh yes indeed - we dirty fucking hippie liberals warned that this kind of corruption was an inherent, natural byproduct of allowing the investor class to get their grubby fingers on billions in taxpayer money, just like we warned, futilely, about allowing them to privatize the nation's prison system, and the public utility infrastructure and of course, the biggest failure of all, the privatization of the country's health care delivery system.
How much additional evidence is required to show that the bold promises of the privatization advocates have failed miserably and in fact, are doing great harm to the institutions which they claimed that their privatizing efforts would magically reform?
When conservatives first began the push to de-fund public education and steer the taxpayer money to these private business (because that is what these "schools" are - businesses) charter schools, we were told that charter schools would be the savior of public education because they would wrest control away from the political bureaucrats and the evil teacher's unions and put it back in to the hands of the parents. We were told that the money would be better spent on enhancing the learning experience of the children and that would result in better grades and higher test scores. We were told that private business people, due to their business world experience, would much better know how to spend the taxpayer money and what to spend it on. And unsurprisingly, just like all of the other privatization promises that these charlatans have peddled to everyone over the decades, they simply are outright full of shit.
The Gadfly does so tire at times of having this same debate over, and over and over again, and frustratingly so, for the fact-based, real world evidence favoring The Gadfly's view is overwhelming. Yet, trying to get the American people to open their eyes and pull their heads out of their collective asses to realize just how badly privatization has been, and currently is, fucking them in the ass, is an exercise in abject exasperation. As the old proverb says, "you can lead a horse to water, but if there's a conservative guarding the water hole, be prepared to pay at a larcenous markup rate, or hit the road jack."
The American people need to decide who they trust their children's education with more -- in the hands of actual dedicated career educators or in the hands of the bean counters and marketing sharks at JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and the Koch Brothers.
Once again, The Gadfly defers to you dear readers, to get off your asses and do something and make your views known if this is an issue which you truly do care about.