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Peter Greene: Campbell Brown’s Néw Assault on Public Schools

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Author: dianeravitch

Peter Greene has discovered that Campbell Brown, scourge of public schools, teachers, unions, and due process, has just created a new vehicle to advance her cause.

With funding from various billionaires who share her passion to destroy public education, she has started a new organization.

Greene writes:

“Today the Wall Street Journal is announcing that Campbell Brown is launching a new education site that “won’t shy away from advocacy.” Which is kind of like announcing that Wal-Mart is opening a new store and will not shy away from marketing or that Burger King is opening up at a new location that might sell hamburgers.

“Sadly, there are no surprises in this story. The site, called The Seventy Four in reference to the seventy-four million students in the US (and not say, the seventy-four gazillion dollars Campbell and her friends hope to make from privatizing education)….

“The new site will launch with thirteen employees and a $4 million dollar budget, courtesy of backers that include Bloomberg Philanthropies (as in former anti-public ed NY mayor Michael Bloomberg), Walton Family Foundation, Johnathan Sackler, and the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation– in other words, the usual group of charter school backers….

“As usual, I am struck by just how much money reformsters are willing to pump into the cause. I’m here with my staff of one (me) and a budget of– well, I guess you could claim that my budget today is about 75 cents because while I was sitting here working on this, I had a bagel and a cup of orange juice.

“At any rate, brace yourselves boys and girls– here comes the next wave of faux progressive teacher bashing and charter pushing by privatizers who will not rest until they’ve cracked that golden egg full of tax dollars. Because that’s the other reason they’re willing to sink $4 million into something like this– because while that may seem like a lot of money to you or me, to them it’s peanuts, an investment that they hope will pay off eventually in billions of tax dollars directed away from public education and to the private corporations that are drooling at the prospect of cashing in on education.”

Will the reformers ever learn that everything they promote has already failed? Hey, Campbell, the highest performing states on NAEP (Massachusetts, Néw Jersey, and Connecticut) have strong teachers’ unions. The highest performing districts have teacher tenure. The highest performing nations have strong PUBLIC schools, not vouchers or charters. Your children at the Heschel School will not be affected by the Common Core or high-stakes testing (I know, two of my grandchildren went there).

Campbell, please read “Reign of Error.” You are misreading the data. Test scores and graduation rates are at their highest point in history. Dropout rates are at their lowest point ever. Where scores are low, children live in poverty. Please make the war on poverty your focus and drop the war on teachers and public schools.

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