Charles Koch and his network of wealthy donors have created a new Astroturf organization called “Yes Every Kid” to promote school choice and take public money away from public schools.

Yes, they are targeting “every kid” as a prime prospect for a charter school or a voucher.

Yes, they want to shrink public schools so that they are no longer the “choice” of 90% of American families.

Koch in June announced the Yes Every Kid initiative as the latest addition to his sprawling network of wealthy donors, political groups and tax-exempt advocacy organizations best known for pushing anti-regulation, small-government policies. Its political arm, Americans for Prosperity, has made waves supporting the tea party and fighting former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Yes Every Kid group is tasked with monitoring statehouses where it can be influential on school choice, said Stacy Hock, a Texas philanthropist who is among hundreds of donors each contributing at least $100,000 annually to the Koch network’s wide-ranging agenda.

Hock and officials with the Koch network said it’s too early to provide specifics about what policies the group is pushing.

“The priority is to go where there is a political appetite to be open to policy change and lean in there,” said Hock, who also leads the Texans for Education Opportunity advocacy group that supports charters and other education alternatives.

She cited Texas, West Virginia, Tennessee and Florida as priority states where school choice proposals have flourished.

It is hard to say that West Virginia is a place where school choice proposals have “flourished” since the legislature approved them just weeks ago for the first time, and they have not yet been implemented. So translate: Koch money has successfully bought enough legislators in rural West Virginia to foist “choice” on local communities, although it has not happened as yet.

In Tennessee, Koch money bought the new governor and the legislature to impose charters and vouchers on districts that don’t want them.

Florida is a wholly owned subsidiary of the DeVos-Jeb-Koch combine.

There is no evidence that students benefit by having school choice, although there is plenty of evidence that vouchers underwrite racism and ignorance and there is plenty of evidence that school choice promotes segregation.

This is what the billionaires actually want: ignorance, racism, and segregation. And it is worth paying for. For them. Not for us, and not for our society.

Peter Greene defined this new group of Astroturfers far better than I. 

He calls it the “Astroturducken,” with one deform idea wrapped around another, all of them guaranteed to destroy public schools, trick parents, and generate jobs for the faithful hangers-on from Reformy world.

Greene writes:

Yes, don’t wait for things to come down from above, says this website that has come down from a billionaire who wants to drive the education bus despite his complete lack of educational expertise. But this astroturfery is insistent. “Real change has to start from the ground up. We’re here as your resource to facilitate conversation.” That might be really moving if the very next sentence weren’t “We’re here to foster a culture of disruptive innovation,” which suggests that these facilitaty listeners already have some answers in mind. Also missing– an acknowledgement of where all that negativity came from. Here is yet another reformy outfit talking about negatives from the past as if they simply fell from space, instead of saying, “Yeah, that was us. Sorry.” And here comes the tell:

We want to hear new ideas, new solutions, and new voices. And it can only happen when we listen to the real stakeholders in education: you.

But who is this “we” and why should stakeholders feel any need or obligation to talk to “we” in the first place? This is the same old rich fauxlanthropist baloney– we’re not only going to vote ourselves a seat at the table, but we’re also going to go ahead and give ourselves the seat at the head because, yeah, this is our table now. It’s so big and generous of you to agree to listen to us, Sir, but I still haven’t heard a reason that we should be talking to you. This is the overarching narrative of decades of modern ed reform– actual teachers and educators were working long and hard on the problems of education, and a bunch of rich amateurs strolled up and announced, “Good news! We’re going to take over this whole conversation now!” Thirty years later we’re still all waiting to hear why these guys should be running any part of the show beyond reasons like “I’m rich” and “I want to.”