Monday, November 21, 2016

Corporate ed reformers throw in with Trump

Ivanka Trump visits Eva Moskowitz' Success Academy Charter School. 
It looks like they've dropped their phony rhetoric about charter schools being "the civil rights issue of our time." Following the Democrat's devastating loss to Trump, one by one, the corporate reformers and champions of privately-run charters are jumping the Dems' ship and throwing in behind the racist, anti-immigrant Trump education movement.

For some, the move is nothing new. Former D.C. chancellor, Arne Duncan fave, and Waiting for Superman star Michelle Rhee for example, turned to selling her talents to the far right as soon as voters ran her and Mayor Fenty out of town. She went to work advising FL Gov. Rick Scott on school privatization and union-busting matters.

Now that she's stepped down from leadership of her anti-union ed group, Students First,  she's considering leaving her new position with a national fertilizer company if Trump offers her the job as his secretary of education. Her problem is that she's a proponent of Common Core. Trump isn't. But either of them can easily accommodate the other's position since Rhee sees Common Core's value mainly in its testing provisions, enabling teachers to be evaluated, hired and fired on the basis of student test scores. There should be a basis for unity with Trump there somewhere.

And her scandal-ridden past, including her connection with D.C. test-cheating scandal shouldn't bother the Trump transition team too much considering the rest of his recent scandalized appointees and advisers. Not to mention, Trump's own $25M pay-off to make the Trump Univ. suit go away.

But Trump also has to placate his base. Upon hearing about his possible choice of Rhee, the right-wing group, Parents Against the Common Core, wrote Trump and open letter calling on him to cut federal funding of public schools, dismantle the D.O.E. and appoint someone like former Bush aide Williamson Evers to the top post.

BTW, Trump also met with Rhee's husband KJ, the disgraced mayor of Sacramento. They have some legal problems in common. Something about teenage girls. But let's not even go there right now. I just ate.

Then there's New York's own charter-hustler supreme, Eva Moskowitz who is now pulling down nearly a half-million a year for managing the city's Success Academy Charters. EM met with Trump last week, but reportedly turned down the Ed Sec job. Some NY friends told me she couldn't afford the pay cut. The Secretary of Education's salary is a measly $186,600. Others say, she has her eyes on the NY mayor's office. But she left the meeting on good terms, promising Trump that she would get behind his school reform plan.

So far, Arne Duncan has carefully avoided any mention of Trump. His successor, John King has  mainly followed suit, advising the nation's teachers simply to keep their heads down and "focused on the students." Duncan's former assistant Peter Cunningham, who now runs Eli Broad's Education Post blog, says he "skeptical" about Trump, but seems to be keeping his option open.

Can Joel Klein be far behind?

1 comment:

  1. Accused sexual abuser (D) meets with accused sexual abuser (R) to talk ed reform.


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