Archives for category: Colorado

Mike Miles, former superintendent of Dallas public schools and former superintendent of a Colorado district, was turned down by the Colorado Springs school board when he applied to open a charter school in a former Macy’s department store in a large shopping mall.

Miles led the Dallas district for three tumultuous years, during which time there was a sizable teacher exodus and stagnant test scores, which he had pledged to raise. Miles is a military man who attended the unaccredited Broad Superintendents Academy.

“The district’s board rejected Miles’ 210-page proposal 6-1 on Wednesday night and relinquished charter authorization, which means Miles will need to petition the Colorado Charter School Institute, a state authorizer, for approval to open in the fall of 2019…

“District administrators and members of the District Accountability Committee raised numerous concerns about the proposal at a Nov. 14 board meeting, including the governance model, finances, not providing transportation for students and the location being in close proximity to marijuana dispensaries and alcohol outlets such as a Hooters restaurant.

“It would be in both of our respective interests” for D-11 to relinquish exclusive chartering authority and permit organizers to apply to CSI, D-11 Superintendent Michael Thomas said.

“I believe the conditional requirements and expectations that would need to be addressed would not be able to be done in a timely fashion,” he said Wednesday, in issuing a recommendation to deny the application.

“Miles agreed to the relinquishment, Thomas said.

“Board member Teresa Null cast the sole opposing vote, saying sending organizers to the state authorizing body won’t remove the concerns of D-11 representatives who reviewed and analyzed the application.

“We do not think this charter school can be ready for our students by next year, and going to CSI is not going to change that dynamic — they’re still not going to be ready,” Null said.

“Among her personal concerns: “They want to put a playground in a parking lot.”

“Coperni 3 would be the second school in a charter school network Miles is building under the name Third Future Schools. The first school in the network, Academy of Advanced Learning, opened in the fall of 2017 in Aurora, as part of Aurora Public Schools.”

Parents of students at a Colorado charter school filed a federal lawsuit claiming infringement of the atudents’ First Amendment rights after the principal suspended the entire high school for refusing to recite the school pledge.

“Students at Victory Preparatory Academy said their First Amendment rights were violated, last year on September 28, during a school assembly. According to the lawsuit, after standing and reciting the United States Pledge of Allegiance, the students chose not to participate in the school’s own pledge in protest of “certain VPA ( Victory Preparatory Academy) policies and practices” which they elaborated on in a letter given to the school’s Chief Executive Officer Ron Jajdelski.”

Charters can treat their “scholars” in an authoritarian way when they are in elementary school, but high school students won’t be bullied.

Peter Greene checked into this story and concluded that the charter was at war with the First Amendment. He has more detail and explains why the students refused to recite the school pledge. He also says this is an example of a charter operator who believes he is exempt from the laws known to every other school administrator.

http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2018/11/co-charter-battles-first-amendment.html

Coloradans should not be surprised to learn that Governor-Elect Jared Polis has packed his transition team on K-12 education with people who have a history of preferring charters and vouchers over public schools.

Polis himself founded two charter schools and is a fierce advocate for privately managed charter schools. He was one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

So of course he appointed Jen Walmer from DFER, the notorious organization of hedge fund managers who advocate for charter schools, never for public schools, and who are anti-union, pro-merit pay and pro-high-stakes testing. DFER is the face of corporate reform, using its ample resources to undermine public education. Walmer, according to the article, is an unregistered lobbyist for DFER. The Democratic party of Colorado (and California) both passed resolutions calling on DFER to stop calling itself “Democrats for Education Reform” because its idea of “reform” is to turn public schools over to private management. Its political action arm, Education Reform Now Advocacy, bundles hedge fund money to candidates in state and local races across the nation without releasing the names of the donors. The linked article says that ERN gave out $1.8 million in Colorado races, “almost all of it on behalf of Polis and Democrats running for the General Assembly. Education Reform Now Advocacy is a dark money group that doesn’t disclose its donors.”

It gets worse. Polis invited former Republican Congressman Bob Schaeffer to join his transition team on K-12 education. Schaeffer supports vouchers. Not only that, he directs the “Leadership Program of the Rockies,” an organization that prepares candidates to run for local school boards and to become active in local politics on behalf of vouchers and other conservative principles. Schaeffer’s group was active in leading the effort to turn Douglas County into the first district in the nation to vote for vouchers. The DougCo School Board supported by Schaeffer paid former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett $50,000 to speak to local civic leaders and praise its voucher plans. After a bitter, divisive fight, the entire pro-voucher board members were ousted by popular vote in 2017.

Schaffer also is chairman of the board of the Leadership Program of the Rockies (LPR) a Republican-leaning organization that provides training on conservative principles and leadership. Its graduates include three of the former members of the Douglas County Board of Education who approved a controversial private-school voucher program in 2011. Schaffer advocated for the state board of education to endorse the voucher program.

The Dougco program led to lawsuits, including a trip all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was dismantled last year after voters elected an anti-voucher school board.

Another member of Polis’ transition group is Michael Johnston, who ran for governor against Polis and lost. Johnston is a graduate of Teach for America and author of what is possibly the most punitive teacher evaluation law in the nation, known as SB-191. Johnston, of course, favors privately managed charters. I was in Denver in 2010 on the day the SB-191 passed. I was scheduled to debate Johnston, who arrived at the event the minute I finished speaking. He proclaimed that as a result of SB-191, which based 50% of the evaluation of teachers and principals on student test scores, Colorado would soon have great teachers, great principals, and great schools, because the bad teachers and principals would be fired. Reformers across the country hailed Johnston and his law as the dawning of a new day. Last year, one of Colorado’s reform leaders, Van Schoales, lamented the failure of Michael Johnston’s law. Most teachers were not teaching the tested subjects, so could not be judged by student test scores. All of Colorado’s 238 charter schools waived out of this wonderful system designed by one of their champions. The new evaluation system failed: less than 1% of the state’s teachers were found to be “ineffective,” about the same as before the law. As Van Schoales put it, we “not only didn’t advance teacher effectiveness, we created a massive bureaucracy and alienated many in the field.”

So what Governor-Elect Polis has pulled together is a transition team devoted to charter schools, vouchers, the discredited VAM method of evaluating educators, and high-stakes testing.

I had a brief and unpleasant personal experience with Polis in 2010, when I was invited to meet with the Democratic members of the House Education Committee to talk about my reasons for abandoning school choice and standardized testing. We met in a Congressional conference room. I explained that charter schools and vouchers were harming public schools and were part of a national effort to turn public education into a free market (this predated my awareness of Betsy Devos, who makes no bones about her desire to do exactly what I predicted). At the end of my talk, Polis took the floor, announced that my book (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education) was “the worst book he had ever read.” He then threw the book across the table at me, and said, “I want my $20 back.” Another member of the committee reached into his wallet, pulled out a $20 bill, and bought the book from Polis. To say he was rude would be an understatement.

Parents of Colorado: Prepare to protect your public schools from your new Governor. He doesn’t like public education.

Forget all you have heard about tens of thousands of students on waiting lists for charter schools. That’s a marketing ploy. When people think a product is rare and hard to get, they really want it. When Bernie Madoff said that his fund was closed, people literally begged to get into his fund.

Mercedes Schneider obtained a copy of a guide to marketing charter schools, published by the Colorado League of Charter Schools. It is slick. It tells charter folk which words to use and which to avoid. It advises them to build alliances with their local public schools, the better to poach their children away.

It has the fascination of watching a train wreck in slow motion. That is, it is repulsive. It is consumerism at its worst. Read if you dare.

Audrey Hill tells a fascinating story about Michael Johnston, the highly accomplished TFA alum from Colorado who was briefly a principal, then became a very influential state senator, and recently tried unsuccessfully to run for the Democratic nomination for governor. While Johnston was in the State Senate, he wrote a bill for evaluation of teachers, principals, and schools called SB 191 (2010), which tied evaluation firmly to test scores and was one of the most punitive in the nation. Standardized test scores count for 50% of overall evaluation. He pledged that his bill was historic and would produce “great teachers, great principals, and great schools.” Eight years later, it is clear that it had no effect other than to demoralize teachers (who are among the most underpaid in the nation. It did not produce great teachers, great principals, or great schools, yet Michael fought to keep it in place until he was term limited out of the legislature.

But that is not what Audrey Hill writes about in this post. She writes about the bald-faced whoppers that charter advocates tell.

She quotes Johnston telling a group of innocent young college graduates about the miracles he accomplished when he was a principal because he believed (!) She has a tape of his 21 minutes of self-praise.

She begins:

At a Teach for America fundraiser, DFER politician and then Colorado Senator, Mike Johnston, tells a story that will be brief because (he jokes) he doesn’t want to keep his audience from dessert. He launches into a narrative about a scrappy, young, founding principal who beat all the odds because he believed in truth and hope. Johnston’s story is peppered with the names of students and their stories. Over the course of 21:53 minutes, we meet Tasha, Flavio, Jermaine and Travis (the 44th kid). He weaves from story to story and then back to how he and others (mostly TFA alums) fight against a system that has been catering to “an old set of interests with a wrong set of priorities,” and he ends by telling an eager, young audience that they are the army who, through sheer force of will “…would hoist America onto its shoulders and carry it across the water…”

What Johnston is saying at that moment (without a shred of irony) is that what America needs most is to be saved by an army of over-privileged youth right out of selective college who will move, with all deliberate speed, into positions of influence and power and more privilege. To return to the 2010 ed reform documentary, they are the Supermen that America has been waiting for, and they will, through sheer force of will (and a rehabilitated mid 20th century vernacular), fix all the things. The message is classic trickle down theory:

More privilege for the over-privileged helps the underprivileged.<!–more–>

Despite all obstacles, 100% of his seniors graduated from high school!

What he didn’t say was that 40% of the class never made it to senior year (the dirty little secret).

There was an increase in the graduation rate, but what Hill notices is the 40% who disappeared and were forgotten.

However, modest improvements don’t sell privatization, unfair labor practice and fast track careerism… all goals in the private interest that are sold alongside the goals of the public interest. Ed Reform makes serving a private interest virtually indistinguishable from serving the public one. It becomes easiest for a rising star to make the pragmatic, commonplace choice to accept whatever half truth or lie of omission keeps the train running. So, 40% of juniors have got to go. But, this article is not about Johnston. It is about other stakeholders: the 45th kids, the families that love them, and the teachers that teach them. And, it asks one question about removing a large share of a junior class…

Celebrating the personal success of students going off to college does not require celebrating the fake success of a business model. Students going off to college deserve all the accolades, but their interests are not served by the disappearance of 40% of their peers at the end of 11th grade. The only interests that are served by a school’s 100% Forever Mission Accomplished party are the private ones… the career of the rising star, the reputation of a school network, the agenda of the wealthy donors that fund them.

What Audrey Hill has discovered is that reform is not about the kids. It is about the heroes of their story, the privileged elite who make up stories about saving them. The saviors are the heroes! They can fudge the data as much as they want, and a credulous media won’t care. Their funders won’t care either.

As a result, a disposing school can remove as many students as they wish to fulfill their 100% Forever claim. They can hold onto non-disruptive kids and use their per pupil dollars for years and still not return a high school diploma. They can create a culture of winners (who gets to stay) and losers (who’s got to go). They can use fake data to suggest that superior performance is a result of at-will employment, ending due process, high class size with exceptional teachers, blended learning, daily test prep, low community agency, mayor controlled school systems, two hour bus rides to school, high but unpublished attrition rates. They can dump any educator, any child, any parent who displeases them and effectively dampen protest and oversight. They can maintain a parasitical relationship to living public schools and return only those students who they do not prefer. They can pursue instability with no concern for the people they are supposed to serve.

All of these are the bad policies of more privileged people on the backs of less privileged people… the kids that are removed or taught in test prep factories, the teachers that labor every day under a cloud of undeserved censure, the schools that are shamed by fake data, and the users and benefactors of public education itself. The mission is not only NOT accomplished, it is subverted and harnessed to an entirely different mission serving the oldest set of interests and the wrong set of priorities.

In the education world, we have become accustomed to the intrusion of billionaires into local and state school board races, bundling money for candidates committed to privatizing—not helping—our public schools. The most prominent such group calls itself Democrats for Education Reform, but we have no way of knowing whether its contributors are Republicans or Democrats. Some of its most prominent members are billionaires who donate to both parties, depending on which candidate is likeliest to protect charter schools and low taxes.

This post in the Blog “Crooks & Liars” notes a broader phenomenon of Republican billionaires inserting their money into Democratic primaries to choose rightwing candidates.

I noted on Twitter and on this blog that Politico’s Morning Education recently published a lengthy interview with DFER spokesmen about where they plan to target their millions, which school board elections they plan to invade, without noting that DFER represents Wall Street and contains not a single educator in its midst. Politico didn’t bother to question why hedge fund managers in New York and Connecticut are swaying elections in Colorado and California. Nor did they point out that DFER was censured by the Democratic parties in both states, which said they stop calling themselves Democrats because they represent corporate interests. I don’t know nor does Politico whether DFER is actually a Republican front group with one or two show Democrats.

Politico Morning Education has NEVER interviewed a critic of Corporate Reform, has NEVER discussed the distorting effect of outside money bundled by hedge funders on state and local school board elections. Why do the Waltons—a fiercely anti-union, anti-public school family of billionaires—invest in school board elections across the nation? Why is this story NEVER reported by Politico? Why do they keep hands off the billionaires intent on privatizing public schools?

Conversely, why has Politico never seen fit to interview public school supporters other than National Union leaders? Why have they never interviewed Carol Burris or Anthony Cody or Julian Vasquez Heilig or Jesse Hagopian or the BATS?

When the Network for Public Education released a carefully researched 50-State report ranking states on their support for public schools, Politico did not consider it worthy of even a mention, let alone a paragraph with a link to the report.

What gives at Politico Morning Education?

If you like high-stakes testing and charter schools, you will love “Democrats for Education Reform.”

DFER, as it is known, was condemned by resolution by the Democratic party conferences in Colorado and California for using the word “Democrat” to promote a corporate agenda that is hostile to public schools. DFER is also hostile to public school teachers and unions, but loves TFA and merit pay. All the usual Corporate Reform failures. Real Democrats, like the parties in Colorado and California think that DFERs are Republicans pretending to be Democrats.

Democrats for Education Reform is a group funded by Wall Street hedge fund managers who despise public schools. They never support candidates who are opposed to privatization or those who are fully committed to public schools. They only support candidates who want to siphon money away from public schools to support charter schools. They support candidates who love high-stakes testing. They never look at evidence that shows the damage that charters do to public schools or the evidence that shows the total failure of high-stakes testing to make any difference other than demoralizing students and teachers. They don’t care that a decade of their policies driven by the U.S. Department of Education has led to stagnation of NAEP scores.

In New York State, hedge funders supporting charter schools are pouring millions of dollars into races for the State Senate, both to support the charter school industry and to make sure that Republicans retain control of the State Senate, thus fending off higher taxes and protecting charter schools. Another DFERite dumping big money into New York State campaigns is Paul Tudor Jones, who gave $150,000 to something called “Parents Vote,” which seems to be controlled by StudentsFirst (hard to tell the Astroturf organizations apart). The treasurer of “Parents Vote” is the attorney for StudentsFirst. Jones may be a parent, but he lives in Connecticut, not New York, and you can bet your bottom dollar that he does not send his own children to public schools or charter schools. This outpouring of money is meant to keep the State Senate firmly under GOP management, to make sure that charters continue to operate without oversight and do their own thing.

You may or may not remember that Paul Tudor Jones is one of the nine billionaires who determined that it was up to them to remake the public schools of New York, although no one elected them to do so.

Just five years ago, Forbes ran a big article about Paul Tudor Jones and his plan to “save American education.” While busy saving American education, Jones also served on the board of Harvey Weinstein’s company and fought to save Harvey’s battered reputation.

Please note that the following story misidentifies DFER and treats them as a legitimate “reform” group when DFER acts only in the interest of Corporate Reform, high-stakes testing and privatization. The story also errs in not acknowledging that many DFER members are not Democrats.

From Politico:


FIRST LOOK: EDUCATION REFORM GROUP BETS BIG ON GOVERNOR’S RACES: Democrats for Education Reform plans to spend $4 million on campaign contributions and advertising this election cycle, boosting Democratic candidates who want to support public schools but are open to reform-minded ways of improving them.

— The organization — which advocates for a host of school reform policies nationwide like strong test-based accountability and high-quality public charter schools — through its political action committee is prioritizing gubernatorial races in Colorado, Connecticut and New York, in addition to the California state superintendent’s race and some state legislative races. DFER exclusively detailed its spending and campaign plans with Morning Education in an interview late last month. Asked the source of the $4 million, a spokeswoman the figure comes from their “supporters” and “contributors.”

— In Colorado’s battle for governor, DFER is backing Rep. Jared Polis, a House education committee Democrat who’s running against state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican.

— The race to replace term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper has proven divisive for Colorado Democrats — the state teachers union backed another Democrat, Cary Kennedy, during the primary. Allies of Kennedy sought to tie Polis to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her support for private school vouchers. Polis founded two charter schools, but hasn’t shown support for vouchers or federally funded private schools in Congress. When Kennedy lost to Polis, the state teachers union released a statement that didn’t even mention Polis’ name.

— In Connecticut, DFER is supporting Ned Lamont, the Democratic hopeful looking to replace Gov. Dannel Malloy, who’s not seeking reelection. And the organization is pushing for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reelection in New York.

— In California, DFER wants to lift Marshall Tuck to victory as state schools superintendent. Tuck is an education reform advocate who has run both charter schools and district schools in Los Angeles. In 2014, he narrowly lost a bid for state schools chief to Tom Torlakson, the current superintendent, who had the support of teachers unions. Tuck will face another Democrat, state Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, in the general election this fall.

— DFER in addition is launching a social media campaignon what it means to be an “education progressive.” The group defines that term as fighting to spend more money on public education while embracing “new ideas” to bring about faster improvement. Some of those ideas, like stronger test-based accountability measures, have faced staunch opposition from progressive groups like teachers unions. But DFER is pushing new polling results that President Shavar Jeffries says illustrate strong support. More on that polling here.

— Jeffries, who recently sat down with Morning Education, stressed that more than half of Democratic primary voters, African American voters and Hispanic voters don’t think public schools are changing or improving fast enough. The poll also found broad support for public school choice — a divisive issue for the Democratic Party — and more equitable funding for public schools, particularly disadvantaged ones. The results stem from two nationwide phone polls of more than 1,000 voters each between May and July of this year. The poll was conducted by consulting firms Benenson Strategy Group and 270 Strategies.

Would it be asking too much to hope that Caitlin Emma and the crack reporters on the Politico team might consider interviewing a critic of billionaire “Reformers.” Maybe a teacher? Say, someone like Steven Singer or Peter Greene or Mark Weber, or other well-informed critics of the intrusion of billionaire know-nothings into education policymaking? Maybe Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education?

The Democratic Party in Colorado and California have passed resolutions attacking Democrats for Education Reform as a phony, corporate-controlled front organization and demanded that it stop sullying the Democratic Party by using its name.

In New York, where hedge fund money flows freely to DFER, it continues to be a political player, having no popular political base but owning corporate politicians who wants its campaign contributions. It has filled the vacuum left by the collapse of the phony “Families for Excellent Schools,”also funded and owned by billionaires who never set foot in a public school.

Now DFER in New York is speaking out to call for more school closures and more privately owned charter schools.

If only New York’s Democrats had the fortitude of their counterparts in California and Colorado and were brave enough to call out DFER as DINOS, whose only purpose is to destroy public schools in communities of co,or.

Colorado is heating up as a battleground over education issues. The gubernatorial race could be a watershed moment in the fight to reverse failed and punitive reforms.

There are three candidates for Governor. Two are corporate reformers: Jared Polis and Michael Johnston. The third, Cary Kennedy, has taken them both on for betraying public schools and teachers. I am not aware of any political race where the issues are drawn as sharply as they are in this race.

Polis and Johnston are angry at Kennedy because a teacher-funded group bought ads criticizing their education views. She can’t control the outside group. Polis and Johnston say she is engaged in negative campaigning and call the ad an attack ad. It seems to me that voters need to know where candidates differ. If they can’t criticize one another for their records, how will voters learn about the candidates?

Cary Kennedy was Colorado State Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Mayor of Denver. She has been endorsed by the Colorado Education Association. She also won a surprise victory at the state Democratic assembly. The Democrats of Colorado had previously denounced the hedgefunder group DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) for claiming to be Democrats while pushing conservative anti-public school, anti-teacher Policies.

Jared Polis is a multimillionaire member of Congress who is zealous about charter schools. He started two of them, and as a member of Congress he has pushed for generous charter funding. When I met with Congressional Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee in 2010, after the publication of my best-selling book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, Polis literally threw my book across the table at me and said it was “the worst book he had ever read.” He asked me to give him his money back. Another Congressman peeled off a $20 bill and bought Polis’ copy. I became the target of his wrath because I criticized charter schools.

Michael Johnston is a TFA alum who was briefly principal of a school, then won a seat in the State Senate. He authored a bill called SB 191, which assigns 50% of every teacher and principal’s evaluation to test scores. The Colorado Education Association fought it but lost. Johnston promised that his bill would guarantee that every school, every principal, and every teacher in the state would be “great.” Eight years later, even reformers acknowledge that the bill failed. But Johnston has opposed its repeal. I happened to be in Denver to meet with about 60 civic leaders on the day the bill passed in April 2010 and to debate Johnston. He didn’t appear until I finished my presentation—literally, as I finished, he walked in— so he never heard what I thought of his evaluation bill. I predicted it would fail. He was jubilant because he had just re-engineered Colorado education to march to the beat of standardized tests.

I have never met Cary Kennedy, but I am impressed by her education views and her deep experience. She is a graduate of Manual High School in Denver, one of the schools that reformers have toyed with for years.

If I were lucky enough to live in Colorado, I would vote for Cary Kennedy in the Democratic primary on June 26.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLE YOU WILL READ TODAY. SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR SCHOOL BOARD, YOUR LOCAL MEDIA, YOUR ELECTEDS. TWEET IT. POST IT ON FACEBOOK.

In the states where teachers have engaged in walkouts and strikes, public education has been systematically starved of funding. Typically, corporate taxes have been cut so that funding for education has also been cut. The corporations benefit while the children and their teachers are put on a starvation diet.

Who are the corporations and individuals behind the efforts to shrink funding for public schools and promote privatization?

This article makes it clear.

It begins like this, then details a state-by-state list of corporations and billionaires backing the cycle of austerity and school privatization.

“The ongoing wave of teacher strikes across the US is changing the conversation about public education in this country. From West Virginia to Arizona, Kentucky to Oklahoma, Colorado to North Carolina, tens of thousands of teachers have taken to the streets and filled state capitals, garnering public support and racking up victories in some of the nation’s most hostile political terrain.

“Even though the teachers who have gone on strike are paid well below the national average, their demands have gone beyond better salary and benefits for themselves. They have also struck for their students’ needs – to improve classroom quality and to increase classroom resources. Teachers are calling for greater investment in children and the country’s public education system as a whole. They are also demanding that corporations, banks, and billionaires pay their fair share to invest in schools.

“The teachers’ strikes also represent a major pushback by public sector workers against the right-wing agenda of austerity and privatization. The austerity and privatization agenda for education goes something like this: impose big tax cuts for corporations and the .01% and then use declining tax revenue as a rationale to cut funding for state-funded services like public schools. Because they are underfunded, public schools cannot provide the quality education kids deserve. Then, the right wing criticizes public schools and teachers, saying there is a crisis in education. Finally, the right wing uses this as an opportunity to make changes to the education system that benefit them – including offering privatization as a solution that solves the crisis of underfunding.

“While this cycle has put students, parents, and teachers in crisis, many corporations, banks, and billionaires are driving and profiting from it. The key forces driving the austerity and privatization agenda are similar across all the states that have seen strikes:

“*Billionaire school privatizers. A small web of billionaires – dominated by the Koch brothers and their donor network, as well as the Waltons – have given millions to state politicians who will push their pro-austerity, pro-school privatization agenda. These billionaires lead a coordinated, nationwide movement to apply business principles to education, including: promoting CEO-like superintendents, who have business experience but little or no education experience; closing “failing” schools, just as companies close unprofitable stores or factories; aggressively cutting costs, such as by recruiting less experienced teachers; instituting a market-based system in which public schools compete with privately managed charter schools, religious schools, for-profit schools, and virtual schools; and making standardized test scores the ultimate measure of student success.”

Keep reading to learn about the interlocking web that includes the Koch brothers, the Mercers, the Waltons, the fossil fuel industry, their think tanks, and much more, all combined to shrink public schools and replace them with charters and vouchers.

By the way, rightwing billionaire Philip Anschutz of Colorado was the producer of the anti-teacher, anti-public education, pro-charter propaganda film “Waiting for Superman.”