Saturday, November 15, 2008

Free Market Greed and the Formula for Making Money on Education Through Charter Schools: Vilify Teachers and Public Ed

While Republicans focus on attacking the teachers unions and over abundance of critically important school administrators, the educational community is working overtime fixing the problems that have plagued the system.

While conservatives see education as an opportunity for exploitation and profit, i.e. private school vouchers/charters, educators are feverishly trying to improve the public school systems in order to keep up with promising new teaching advances and European competition.

So far as I can see, free market/small government principals have not only wiped out state and federal budgets to advance necessary educational investments, but it has also made it almost impossible for inner city and low income families to focus on their kids learning while struggling to hold down multiple jobs. Let’s face it, economic status is the elephant in the room these ideologues refuse to acknowledge, so they have a reason to blame schools and teachers for high drop out rates and low performance. It’s that simple, and that sick.

So my question to those who want to make money on private, home and unregulated e-schooling: Just how much do you want to spend on research and technology to stay competitive in the global economy? Without massive public funding and investment, bottom lines and investor profits in the private sector, will expose education to downsizing and budget cutting.

Take what’s happening in Minnesota for instance, where 1 in 5 charter schools are failing. Some teachers are unlicensed, which is against state law, but still teaching with the full backing of school administrators. They think he’s a good teacher and is qualified anyway. Don’t you love free markets?

KAAL TV reported this:

A school made a bold and public response to Thursday night’s 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation.

A sign welcomed students to North Lakes Academy in St. Paul in the morning. It read ‘License shouldn't matter, knowledge does, save Mister Engen.’ Dave Engen is one of the unlicensed teachers the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation uncovered was working at a Minnesota charter school.

The North Lakes Academy director said Engen is qualified, even though he hasn't had a valid teaching license in five years.

When the Minnesota Department of Education heard about the sign, they sent a letter to the director that states, "Your school's mocking of state laws and regulations, is disturbing." The letter also warns that if North Lakes Academy doesn't comply with teacher licensure laws, the state will withhold funds.


  1. KSTP was incorrect about at least one school, BlueSky school. All teachers are licensed- the teacher in question just changed her name when she got married so her married name doesn't show up on the web site.

  2. Thanks for the update and correction.