Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, is one of the few high-level policy thinkers who have noticed the attacks on public education. His concern is mainly with the rip-offs in for-profit institutions of higher education, which impoverish students and saddle them with debt.

But he does know that teachers are being scapegoated.

“Reich: Undoubtedly. Teachers have been scapegoated by those who don’t want to invest more in education. Who don’t want change. Who are personally happy with the status quo but feel that because the public is so unhappy with education, it’s easiest to scapegoat teachers. The fact of the matter is teachers are underpaid relative to other professions. The law of supply and demand in terms of wages is not repealed at the doors of our school houses. We are paying investment bankers and Wall Street traders, the people who are in charge of our financial capital, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — many of them millions of dollars a year, a few a billion dollars or more. Yet we are paying teachers who are in charge of our human capital, arguably more important than our financial capital, a very tiny fraction of what Wall Streeters are paid.”

That’s good but he hasn’t yet figured out that these millionaires and billionaires are financing the privatization of public education, starting in urban districts and deeming themselves civil rights activists. Some for fun. Some for profit. Some because they believe the free market solves all problems.