Howard Fuller recently decided to close down the organization Black Alliance for Educational Options, which received funding from billionaires to promote charters and vouchers to African Americans. BAEO was funded initially by the rar-right Bradley Foundation, then added millions from the Walton Family Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and others, all to sell privatization to people who need good public schools, good healthcare, and good jobs, not free markets.

Now, Fuller tells ace education journalist Alan Borsuk that a $15-an-hour minimum wage would mean more to kids in central cities than better curriculum (or, may we assume, School Choice).

The billionaires got good return on investment. BAEO lined up support among key blacks to pass charter legislation in Alabama, Mississippi, and D.C.

But Fuller has second thoughts. The damage is done. Will he now repudiate the conservatives who pumped millions into BAEO to perpetuate the hoax that privatization is “the civil rights issue of our time”?

“One force behind his changing views: A deeper understanding of the life circumstances of young people and the difficulties a school has in changing the trajectory of their lives.”


Will he reach out to the Walton Family, whose Walmart stores employ more than one million people, and persuade them about the importance of paying $15 an hour and giving them enough hours of employment to support their families?

Will he tell the powerful Bradley Foundation? The Gates Foundation, whose idea of fighting poverty is to promote the Common Core Standards?

Fuller was a bitter critic of trachers’ unions. Has he figured out that union jobs are a godsend for Black and Hispanic workers, providing better pay than non-union jobs and a measure of job security. Fuller appeared in “Waiting for Superman” harshly criticizing public schools, teachers, and unions.

Has he figured out that he helped to shred the route to the middle-class for many of the families and children he claims to care about? Has he noticed how many of the thriving charter chains are run by wealthy white men?

Was he cynically used? Was he duped? Was he a willing collaborator? On reflection, does he think that children and parents of color benefitted or were harmed when their local schools were taken over by corporate charter chains?

Howard Fuller is a smart man. I hope he speaks out and explains more about his decision to close BAEO. I welcome a submission to this blog.