Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting For Super Bucks

“Waiting for Superman,” (WFS) the new education documentary by Davis Guggenheim, the director of “An Inconvenient Truth,” claims that public education is in crisis and can only be saved through charter schools. Such claims should immediately make one suspicious. Who is really behind this movie? After all, numerous studies have shown that charter schools are no better (and often far worse) than traditional public schools. They tend to be much more segregated. They generally hire non-unionized teachers at scab wages. They lack the accountability and community oversight of traditional schools. Most significantly, they tend to be run or managed by private, for-profit businesses that turn profits by underpaying employees and scrimping on educational supplies and a safety.

One would expect that the people behind the charter school movement would be wealthy entrepreneurs looking for the next big buck, and they are. A recent article by Barbara Miner, “Ultimate $uperpower,” identifies the financial backers of WFS and the big players behind the charter school movement. It’s a rogues’ galley of media moguls, high tech billionaires, hedge fund gamblers and Wall Street bankers, combined with a few Christian billionaires.

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