That’s a trick question. Privatizers fail again and again, and when they fail, they double down on their failure.

After they takeover public schools, their replacement fails (unless it kicks out the students it doesn’t want and keeps only the ones that get high test scores).

After the charter school fails, it either remains open or is replaced by another charter school.

Charter lobbyists fight accountability in the state legislature. Accountability applies only to public schools.

When a charter fails and closes, it is never restored to the public, which paid for the school.

Bill Phillis of Ohio writes:

The anti-public common school horde is conjuring up more tricks to undermine the public common school system

The school privatization movement is being driven by a gaggle of somewhat diverse troops but all, intentionally or unintentionally, are working for the demise of traditional public education. Billions and billions from philanthropic organizations, foundations, corporations and wealthy individuals are being invested in the advancement of privately-operated alternatives to the public common school.

Strategies and motivations of privatizers differ but the goal is to transfer the governance of public schools from school communities to private groups and individuals.

The original charter concept of a teacher/parent schooling collaborative, in a contract with the board of education of a school district, has evolved into an out-of-control lucrative business enterprise.

After a couple decades of chartering, it is clear this industry does not and cannot outperform the public common school. Public support for chartering is waning. But charter industry leaders are ramping up efforts to take over entire districts for the purpose of advancing chartering. They campaign for charter-promoter board members, often with dark outside money. The district board of education, when dominated by charter advocates, then turns the district over to private-interests.

Another strategy is the establishment of the portfolio model within a school district. In this case, the control of the district is transferred to local units (charters and district schools) that are essentially controlled by private interests.

HB 70 (state takeover bill of the 131st General Assembly) has features of the portfolio model. HB 70 transfers powers of the board of education to a CEO. If school improvement does not happen under the CEO (which it won’t) the district can become a bevy of privately-operated charters.

Ohioans need to wake up to the portfolio movement of privatization, as well as other such schemes.

William L. Phillis | Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding | 614.228.6540 ||