Recently I stumbled on a side article written by Forbes describing the takeover of one of the big restaurant companies in America and realized the tactics that eventually will destroy that company, were very similar to how corporate con-artists are moving on our priority schools.. A hedge fund with less than 10% equity took over a major corporation, fired the old board and installed its own. The old guard was NOT under-performing; they were all of solid management.
But a plethora of lies seemed to darken the atmosphere of voting stockholders and in those games of high stakes being played by voters of low knowledge, those lies provided enough confusion to allow the unthinkable to happen. The company will implode soon from its inside.
Allow me to point out some parallels….
- Hoopla that these schools are doing badly (counteracted by the University of Delaware’s own impartial investigation required of all schools designated to be in transition from bad to good.)
- One sided media giving only one side of a story; (notice no News Journal reporting corroborating the University’s expert judgment?) creating an environment where unfounded charges are levied and profound rebuttals wiped off the record.
- Artificial estimates created out of thin air which are then used to cast dispersion and blame on others for not achieving what no one outside of that artificial mindset would ever expect possible.
In this environment of purposefully created confusion, only one solution gets offered and all parties are put under extreme pressure to enact that one solution before an artificially installed time restraint makes even that solution no longer viable. (A lot of unreliable used cars get sold the same way).
In the corporate proxy fight, it was over the alledged best interest of stockholders. In priority schools, it was over the alleged best interests of the students. The stockholders will be left with diminishing results while the hedge fund masters sell their shares at a profit; the city of Wilmington will be left with poorer education possibilities while friends of the DOE get 3 years at $160,000. In the name of reform, a lifelong corporate chain is now to be split and sold. In the name of educational reform our city’s 100 year old public schools will be split up, and those children’s per-pupil money sold to the highest bidders.
Parallels are uncanny.
Reading the article made clear that two sides (not just one) of information must be forthcoming in making a decision. Much personal regret was expressed by those board members who voted on something over which they had no grasp of what their vote meant. They were railroaded into believing what they were told.
Had more time and less pressure prevailed, a different decision would have transpired… This holiday It is too late for Olive Garden; it is not too late for Wilmington’s city schools..
Profit is the motivator behind both… yet profit is good only for its profiteers. When it comes to education the local equivalent of hedge-funds can’t go forward without our compliance. We need to be complicit and roll over to allow them to become rich.
Since the futures of children are involved; that shouldn’t be allowed to happen.