Peter Greene is a master of close reading. In this post, he deconstructs Eli Broad’s audacious plan to take over half the students in Los Angeles and put them in charter schools.

Peter read the 44-page report, which reads like an investors’prospectus. It turns the stomach to see these very rich men destroying a democratic institution.

Here are a few wonderful excerpts:

“But the dream is not just to tap into the huge market of students trapped in failing blah blah blah waiting for their chance for high-quality seats (and, man, I would love to see one of these seats, sit in one of these seats, visit the High Quality Seat Factory and see how these seats are made) blah blah blah.”

And best of all:

“I am absolutely bowled over at the magnitude of this power grab. Imagine if Broad and his friends said, “We’re not happy with the LAPD, so we’re going to hire and train our own police force, answerable to nobody but us, to cover some parts of the city. Also, the taxpayers have to foot the bill.” Or if they decided to get their own army? Or their own mayor?

“Who does this? Who says, “We can’t get enough control over the elected officials in this branch of government, so we will just shove them out of the way and replace them with our own guys, who won’t bug us by answering to Those People.”

“This is not just about educational quality (or lack thereof), or just about how to turn education into a cash cow for a few high rollers– this is about a hamhanded effort to circumvent democracy in a major American city. There’s nothing in this plan about listening to the parents or community- only about what is going to be done to them by men with power and money. This just sucks a lot.”

It was said that Mussolini made the trains run on time. All the Italian people had to do was accept fascism. Are the people of Los Angeles prepared to hand their children over to autocrats and billionaires?