Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram newspaper leads with the headline, “Special Report: The profit motive behind virtual schools in Maine.” The reporting is a stunning tribute to what reporters can do when they look past the spin and the fancy press releases and really start digging.
It is also another shocking example about how public education is falling to the education reform industry.
Change the location from Maine to Connecticut and the term “virtual schools” to “education reform” and readers will recognize the patterns.
They are just as prevalent here in Connecticut.
In Maine it is being perpetrated by a tea-bag governor and his ultra-right hacks, and the lack of finesse and sophistication shows. Here, in Connecticut, it is being designed and implemented by Democrats, so it appears more sophisticated and legitimate. However, many of the goals and outcomes are exactly the same.
Read the article from the Maine Sunday Telegram. Book mark it. Hold on to it. We’ve seen some of it already here in Connecticut; we’ll see more of it, if Connecticut legislators don’t stand up and put a stop to it.
The Maine Sunday Telegram’s core findings are eerily familiar.
Education Reform: Guided by people and organizations, many of whom stand to profit from the changes.
Out of State Connections: Individuals within government, our schools and education reform groups that are part of a broader coalition of people seeking to undermine public education.
Follow the Money: The flow of lobbying dollars from out of state, leading to the flow of taxpayer funds from Connecticut and our schools districts to education companies…and then back to some of the very people who are making the decisions to privatize our education system.
Behind the Scene Deals: Every Freedom of Information request, here in Connecticut, like those in Maine, reveal more and more behind the scene meetings and efforts to push education reform forward with as little public input as possible.
And to top it all off, all the money going toward systems that fail: The Education Reform advocates claim success after success, but the most basic research reveals that their claims are nothing more than lies.
Charter schools who cream off the best students, refusing to take their share of the poor, those with language barriers or students who need special education services. Or bait and switch techniques, such as those used in Hartford, to make it appear test scores and graduation rates were up.
Feeding on the fears and desires of parents and communities to improve their education system, many of these “education reformers” are little more than white-collar crooks, stealing and wasting scarce public resources.
For the Maine Sunday Telegram Story See: http://www.pressherald.com/news/virtual-schools-in-maine_2012-09-02.html. More here: http://media.kjonline.com/images/virtualschoolsfull.jpg