In World War II we cracked the German’s Enigma Code and were able to decipher all their plans. Very instrumental in helping us win the war. You may have seen this article that does the same with the takeover of education.
It’s long and illuminating and will be read by the handful of true educational warriors. But it drew a parallel in my memory discussing how how Wal*marts used to approach small towns and leave an economic wasteland behind, in which they became the monopoly and all others shut down.
We have for a long time berated the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for creating and funding Common Core. If any good can be said about their massive amounts of money, it is that at least with the Gates’ Foundation, the strings attached are not stretched tight; there is leeway for those recipients to move around. Not so with the second largest donor to American Education: the Wal*mart Foundation. To receive their money you have to be very clear in your attention to do away with high paying teachers, and breaking up the union… And based on most conversations… it really is all about breaking up the union… (Unions are an antithetic to Wal*mart. If Wal*mart ever unionizes…poof… its competitive edge is over)
One can say this hard line with lesser dollars is more influential than all of Gate’s money… If you need more than one source of income, and one source has loose ideals and the other’s are very tight, you are going to satisfy the one with the tight ideals because that is the only way you can still have both sources of income… Just like if you were working two jobs, and one doesn’t care when you show up and the other will fire you if you are ever one minute late, you always give the one who will fire you first priority…Always. They dictate your life, not the other one, and certainly not yourself.
It might be wise to review the Wal*mart model now, as in how their businesses operate.
Of the 10 richest Americans according to Forbes magazine, four are members of the Walton family. The Walton Family Foundation was established in 1988 and is based in Bentonville, Ark., the home of Wal-Mart. It it he Walton Foundation that parcels out cash to those who promote its ends, which are indeed the same as the company’s. How could they not be?
The foundation’s stated mission is to infuse public education with competitive pressure through school choice. The theory is based in retail: If consumers have options, they will choose either higher quality or cheaper products. Merchants who can’t compete will go out of business, opening up space for new entrepreneurs to enter. Through this constant churn of options, the theory holds, quality will improve across the board. In public education, that means flooding the market with schools, aggressively closing those that are labeled as “failing,” and opening up pathways to allow new school operators to take their place...
Although the foundation implies that this market-based model will lead to the improvement of all schools in a system, a different endgame is clear through its philanthropic portfolio: The foundation endorses the eventual elimination of public education altogether, in favor of an across-the-board system of privately operated schools.
Which is also how they run their business.
Wal*mart pulls up into a small town with the promise of jobs. The businesses in the town fight back but eventually the governing body approves the Walmart going in and it is always by a split vote and always with the majority of one…. And those few who swung and voted for Wal*mart mysteriously all begin renovating their houses with sources of mysterious income.
Once approved the building goes up… In one month, Wal*mart cuts 25% of its initial hires. Buy 4 months another 25% is gone… Then it tweaks the employees downward in single digits over the course of the first year… So after its initial promise of 300 new jobs to gullible small town council members, in the end it hires a steady 75 jobs… Meanwhile the entire center of the town folds up… Gone are all the retail outlets that have been there since the town was founded. The brick buildings either get boarded up, or sell cheap to some basket weaver and the town begins to die.. The competition is outside its tax base… Within the tax base, all the old income is gone.
Then once competition is eliminated, the prices go back up and there is really no change in savings from those that were there before..
Here is what one of the sub-foundations funded by Walmart says in his sales pitch to wealthy investors…
“Charters are competitors. They steal customers, deplete revenues and increase costs. When charters siphon off kids, they not only take the money that comes with them, they often cause nearby schools to operate under capacity. This increases inefficiencies and per-student costs because all that empty space still must be maintained.
As charters continue to expand, they will force districts to make more and more tough choices on personnel, closing schools and redrawing attendance boundaries, both political poisons. We are seeing this play out in spectacular fashion in some older urban areas.” Mike Thomas, FEE (founded by Jeb Bush) $4.8 million from Walton Foundation.
And that is exactly what happens when you allow charters to come into your neighborhood… The end game has nothing to do with whether kids learn. It is over who will get the money we spend to teach our kids…
Now if charters had a good track record, one might look at them favorably, after all it might benefit kids… But the reality of looking at Charters is like looking at Walmart… The quality of their merchandise is the lowest quality one is allowed to sell. They underpay their workers which swells up the assistance levels required by the local community. Instead of good wages, they pay poor wages. The SNAP and Medicaid programs stay filled at capicity even though the employment rosters show the county’s unemployment has dropped a few notches. If you want service… forget about it… It takes one hour to shop, and two hours to wait in the only checkout line they will open.
One of their most telling lines comes from their former director who published his views on education…..
“… The only course that is sustainable, for both chartering and urban education, embraces a third, more expansive view of the movement’s future: replace the district-based system in America’s large cities with fluid, self-improving systems of charter schools.”
Smarick (the above quote’s author) offers a “road map” for destroying public school districts. It includes a saturation investment strategy to build market share in a few targeted districts. Once the charter sector reaches a tipping point in student market share, he predicts, traditional districts will no longer be financially or politically sustainable:
“As chartering increases its market share in a city, the district will come under growing financial pressure. The district, despite educating fewer and fewer students, will still require a large administrative staff to process payroll and benefits, administer federal programs, and oversee special education. With a lopsided adult to- student ratio, the district’s per-pupil costs will skyrocket.”
“At some point along the district’s path from monopoly provider to financially unsustainable marginal player, the city’s investors and stakeholders—taxpayers, foundations, business leaders, elected officials, and editorial boards—are likely to demand fundamental change. That is, eventually the financial crisis will become a political crisis. …”
The foundation’s education program pursues this endgame through three major program areas: support for vouchers, both publicly and privately funded; support for charter school start-ups to encourage and enable the rapid growth of the sector; and public policy advocacy, to ensure that the road is clear for expansion with minimal regulatory interference….
The Walton Family Foundation’s flagship strategy for transforming public education was (and continues to be) to allow taxpayer dollars to pay private school tuitions for selected students…
And that is it’s entire end game… Destroy public education entirely. Then in it vacuum, insert ones investment through charter schools…
Whenever a public official goes against 90% of public opinion, and votes for charter schools or to not allow the opting out of the test which will create the image that public schools have failed…. you know they are in the payment of someone….
We have already asked that Matt Denn the Attorney General have his office investigate Rep. Earl Jacques’s personal funding secretly through a Grand Jury Investigation. (He has mysteriously renovated his house) .. We hope our Attorney General recognizes the serious of the crime of having ones vote bought, and initiates an investigation to determine if criminal activity was beset by Earl Jacques’s rather bizarre defense of an indefensible position…..