Saturday, September 11, 2010

Repeat something enough…and suddenly, privatizing schools now a good idea. Dems starting to ignore research and believe propaganda.

From PBS’s NOW I found this story uncovering the early influence of taxpayer money, pouring into the coffers of special interest groups that may have tipped the scales in their efforts to sell the idea of privatizing our educational system. The participants are unapologetic and saw nothing wrong with pushing a purely partisan agenda, against the will of congress and public opinion.

How do you feel about hedge fund managers stepping in to support privatization?

This is a story of private money now outspending union money. I’m sure conservatives will find the imbalance “fair.” But you won’t hear them criticize private business for buying politicians to vote their way, right?

While Democrats are expected to advance their platform on a bipartisan two way street, conservatives have successfully changed them to one way streets, through a combination of repetition and conviction that advocates a profitable free market above all else. It hasn’t worked in practice. In fact, it failed again as recently as the economic collapse in 2008.

But that won’t stop them…

NY Times: Mark H. Pollard (D) was a little-known candidate for New York State Senate in Brooklyn … saying that a group of wealthy investors who supported charter schools wanted to meet with him. So … Then “the checks started rolling in,” he said, and by July he had received more than $100,000. “They made my campaign viable,” said Mr. Pollard, a lawyer who supports the charter school movement.

In response, powerful unions representing teachers and other school workers have flocked to the side of his opponent, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, who has staunchly criticized the rise of charter schools, which receive taxpayer money but are privately run. Ms. Montgomery has received more than $100,000 in contributions, much of it through union channels.

Hold on there. It looks like those evil liberal unions stepped up and threw huge gobs of money in and made the race even. That’s outrageous.

Wall Street financiers and unions are spending huge sums and mobilizing supporters in hopes of propelling their education agendas to victory. “There is an emotional attachment to the charter school movement,” said Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, a pro-charter group based in New York.
Lacking the spine and conviction of their beliefs, many more Democrats are falling for the misinformation and myths surrounding privatization, ignoring research and common sense:

State Senator Bill Perkins, a Democrat who has been outspoken in his distaste for charter schools, faces a stiff primary challenge from a well-financed outsider, Basil Smikle. In Buffalo, which is home to some of the state’s lowest-performing schools, (D) Assemblyman Sam Hoyt has made his support for the charter movement one of his issues in his primary battle against Joseph Golombek Jr., a member of the city’s Council. Michael Tobman, a political consultant representing groups that support charter schools, approached Mr. Pollard … Two other pro-charter school Democrats also attended: Mr. Smikle of Harlem and Lynn Nunes in Queens…

Does anyone see any red flags with the introduction of hedge fund managers advancing privatization of education?

The political clout of unions faces a new threat from Wall Street hedge fund managers who have embraced charter schools as incubators of innovation free from the rigid rules of the traditional education system. While the unions have the foot soldiers, the investors have deep pockets and wealthy friends.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, criticized the involvement of Wall Street, suggesting the investors were drowning out the voices of average people. “People are leery when you have hedge funders come into areas where they’ve never been before and all of a sudden are starting to influence political races,” Mr. Mulgrew said.

The real winner for charter schools advocates and privatizers is the number of Democrats jumping on board. This is like the push for deregulation and free markets, where just enough Democrats bought into the scam to support a system that failed the global market place and crashed in 2008.

Can you imagine a crashing private school system and a generation of uneducated low information voters?
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