Arthur Camins writes here about two different worlds, two different perceptions of reality. 

On one side is money and power, defending privatization, promoting disruption, and ignoring corruption.

On the others are the defenders of the common good, who do not have money and power.

In recent years, people associated with the hedge fund industry, technology titans such as the Gates, Zuckerberg, and Jobs families, and right-wing foundations have all invested financial and political capital to promote charter schools. Their predominant ideological lens– no matter their political party affiliation– is competition and associated risk. That is why the liberal Gates and the conservative Walton families find common cause on charter schools. Long- and short-term triumphs and failures are essential features of their entrepreneurial worldview. Through that lens “start-ups” come and go, IPOs rise and fall, businesses merge, and divisions divested.  Lost jobs and careers are collateral damage–especially when the victims are poor and/or not White. That is their normal. It is the world in which they have triumphed.  They look at the world through the lens of their personal success. The losers in the process are, well–just part of how things get done. They have wealth and power and seek to impose and extend their will and perspective on everything within their reach. The public sector–including schools–is in their way. Increasingly democracy, and with it, government regulation is in their way too. Hence, they favor private over elected school boards. They are a tiny minority, but their perspective has gained bipartisan political and mass-media traction.

Another lens is the common good and its explicit companion, cross-racial unity. It has no wealth and power to extend its reach. However, it has a distinct advantage.  It represents the vast majority of Americans.  The questions you ask frame the answers you get.  Let’s ask, “Do you favor single a democratically-governed, high-quality public education system for every child or two taxpayer-funded systems: One privately-governed and another democratically governed?” I haven’t seen such a poll, nor have I seen any that ask: “Is it fair to drain money from public schools to fund charter schools?” or “Is it acceptable for schools to frequently open and close?” My best guess is that the stability, the common good, and racial unity will win hands down over the disruptive, market competition, and racially-divisive perspectives.

Read on to see where Camins is going as he explores the two perspectives.