Tom Ultican has been writing a series of brilliant studies of cities where the Destroy Public Education Movement is busily undermining and privatizing its public schools, usually because of an unwarranted admiration for the efficiency of market forces. In their unalloyed love of the market, the DPE forces ignore the fact that markets never create equality; instead, they have a few winners and a lot of losers. They forget that the American education ideal is equality of educational opportunity, not a vast sorting machine that leaves most children behind.

In this post, he analyzes the city of Dallas, where business leaders, in league with the city’s leading newspaper, are determined to privatize public schools.

The business leaders think they are innovative, but in fact they echo the same stale cliches as corporate reformers in other cities. The slogan of the moment is that Dallas (and apparently all of Texas) wants “a system of great schools,” not “a great school system.” When I came across this chestnut in Ultican’s article, I nearly spit out my coffee because I had heard the same words uttered by Joel Klein in New York City in 2003.  Is there a Corporate Reformer hymnal where they learn all the same phrases, then pretend they made them up themselves?

Ultican’s history of Dallas education in the crosshairs of the Privatization Movement is richly detailed, too much to summarize briefly. It involves the brief tenure of a Broadie who arrived with great fanfare, then departed without having accomplished any of his grand goals.

It is safe to predict that nothing positive will come of the money lavished by elites to privatize the schools. It hasn’t succeeded anywhere else, and it won’t succeed in Dallas. When they finish playing with the lives of Other People’s Children, they should all be horsewhipped, an old Texas tradition. That would be real Accountability.