Eli Broad made billions in the home mortgage business and the insurance business (AIG).
He runs a foundation that specializes in education reform, medical research, and art.
One assumes he does not tell the medical researchers what to do or the artists what to create.
If only he had the same modesty about education.
He thinks he knows what works.
School choice. Test-based accountability. Merit pay. Business-style management.
None of his favorite nostrums are supported by research or evidence.
Now he plans to expand to generate even more “disruptive,” “entrepreneurial,” “transformational” leaders of your schools.
He boasts about listening to no one and plunging ahead.
It worked for him in the home mortgage business, though he was long gone when millions of people lost their homes.
It worked for him at AIG, but he made his billions before that giant collapsed.
Now Broad trains school leaders in his unaccredited “academy.”
They learn his principles.
His Broadies are leading districts and states.
Some are educators, some are not.
Some are admired, some are despised.
But the question remains, who elected Eli Broad to reform the nation’s schools?
He is like a spoiled rich kid in a candy shop, taking what he wants, knocking over displays, breaking jars, barking orders.
America’s public schools are not his playground. Or should not be.
How can he be held accountable?
And who will pick up the pieces when his latest fancy blows up like AIG?