Our nation’s model charters haven’t cracked a code for educating inner city students; they have cracked a code for isolating motivated inner city students and parents who see education as a way out of poverty, and filtering out the rest. …When they hold up choice and charters as our nation’s panacea, their sleight of hand may temporarily obstruct our view of the kids left out on the sidewalk, the kids unwelcome in their brave new dynamic, but it doesn’t disappear them from the face of the earth.
Closing a Public School What Bennett Calls a Beautiful Day
October 20, 2012 By 1 Comment
“When the first (public) school closes because it cannot meet the needs, we will be successful. What a beautiful day that will be.”
–Tony Bennett, Superintendent of Public Schools,
“The two largest sectors of the U.S. economy – health care and education – are poised to expand and become an even larger share of gross domestic product.”
–Michael Milken, venture capitalist billionaire,
convicted felon for racketeering and securities fraud,
established controversial K12 company,
investor in Tony Bennett’s re-election campaign
State Superintendent Tony Bennett has received nearly 1.5 million dollars in campaign donations, but only a handful cannot be traced to the corporate school reform movement. These donors are not acting out of benevolence to Hoosier children. Through recent changes in the law, charter schools are manipulating real estate purchases then extorting rent from the public tax payer.
Estimates are Bennett will “grade” more than 20% of schools in serious need of improvement or failing. This ploy is so the Indiana Department of Education can hand over these schools to charter corporations. One can easily imagine that at the end of his tenure as superintendent, Bennett will be richly rewarded.
Hoosiers, don’t be charter fooled. What most people want from charter schools is simply what we should want in all public schools. Instead, Bennett’s system of charters do not outperform public schools and simultaneously weaken the public school system. As John Kuhn demonstrates,
Tony Bennett’s strategy for improving pubic education is not a “public” solution at all. It excludes and shuffles poorer students around like a hustler with a shell game. All the while, Bennett continues to open markets to his corporate sponsors while never once addressing that Governor Daniels cut $300 million dollars from the state’s educational budget, or that nearly 25% of Hoosier Children now live in poverty.
Hoosiers must recognize that Tony Bennett’s charter school solution is nothing more than a sleight-of-hand: it funnels public tax dollars to big corporations while providing nothing more than an illusion of choice to Hoosier families.
Glenda Ritz is Bennett’s challenger. She is in favor of restricting charter school distinctions and reining in the corporate siphoning of public education tax dollars.
Please talk with neighbors and friends who are not familiar with education issues to enlist their support for Glenda Ritz. That is a vital step to counteract the enormous advantage in TV advertising held by Tony Bennett and his campaign that has been so well funded by those profiteering from Hoosier education. Your actions will make all the difference if Glenda Ritz is going to win in this grassroots campaign.
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