Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Karen Lewis, Milwaukee Vouchers, and NEA's Worst

Brother Fred asks a great question: Why didn’t Arne Duncan make the NEA’s worst of 2014 list? Has Arne gotten any better since the NEA membership called for his resignation at its Representative Assembly back in July? Or has the leadership just forgotten what the rank-and-file had to say?

Students board buses at Milwaukee voucher school.
Sadly for Milwaukee, it will long be remembered as the birthplace of the nation's miserably-failed school voucher system which takes badly-needed public school funds and turns them over to private (including) Catholic schools.

See my recent piece on the city's early voucher proponents, Howard Fuller and the late Polly Williams. Before she died, Williams had become a vocal critic of voucher expansion and of the direction her own movement had taken, under the leadership of the right-wing think-tankers.

The latest episode in this sad saga comes to us from Journal Sentinel reporter Erin Richards who exposes the foul play of the private Ceria M. Travis Academy, one of the city's longest-operating voucher schools and one of its poorest performing.

The invisible hand...When prolific blogger, Jennifer Berkshire (EduShyster) was in Chicago last month, not only did she speak to my class of education undergrads at DePaul, she also did a great interview with CTU leader Karen Lewis. Here's a piece:
Berkshire: The Chicagoland version of the invisible hand always seems to end up in the cash register. For example, the Chicago Tribune recently ran a devastating investigative series on how risky bond deals are costing the Chicago public schools a fortune, even as these deals enrich Mayor Emanuel's allies.
Lewis: And now they're getting ready to do the same thing again with the pre-K program. People need to understand who the players are here. Because we don't have the ability to elect a school board, the president of our school board is a bankster. He is unrepentant about these toxic swap deals that were made, and argues that, well, they were good deals at the time. Well these deals may be great when the stock market is up, but because of the crash in 2008 we owe tons of money to banks, tons of money to pensions. And so now you have the same people who got us into this saying "you have to give up your pensions so we can balance the budget." No one says that maybe the banks shouldn't get paid. The problem is that as long as the mayor controls the school board, there is nothing we can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.