Changing the Face of Public Schools

Money In, Money Out

Who or what’s at fault? Teachers or poverty? Unions or political will? Teaching-to-the-test or inquiry-based learning? These are some of the many debates going on inside Department of Education offices, legislators’ committees, nonprofit conference rooms, and philanthropist board rooms. With all of this maneuvering going on, wouldn’t you think taxpayers would see a narrowing of the achievement gap in America’s classrooms? Well, the gap hasn’t changed all that much in 20 years, but the financing and framework of public instruction has.

Education reform continues to churn away in the upper echelons of the movement with well-heeled funders including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook, the Walton Family Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the George Soros Open Society Institute.

The old guard of government schools like Bill Ayers, Mike Klonsky, Diane Ravitch, and teachers unions carry on with their causes as well. And while all of the above as well as hundreds of non-taxed organizations, i.e. nonprofits, and for-profit advocates for reform keep themselves employed based on the mantra of putting the students first, some students still remain more equal than others.

Even so, struggling students have become a necessary prop in the reformers’ plan to buy into the business of setting up charter schools, tapping into taxpayer money, and selling high-tech devices and software to school systems. Do insulated billionaires care about failing schools turning out students who cannot test past the third grade level or is the education reform movement simply a lucrative business opportunity too good to pass up?

Education venture philanthropists apply corporate business models to public schools, thus creating a hybrid of private/public partnerships. This has led to a dramatic increase in public charter schools which has in turn led to an increase in the number of organizations springing up to manage these new schools.

The money loop from funders to nonprofits to school systems to software companies back to the funders keeps most of the benefits among relatively few players in the ed reform game.

Teachers Have To Go

Among the non-taxed organizations, there are those like The New Teacher Project (Michelle Rhee, CEO and founder) and Teach for America (Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder) which supply in some school districts half of the teacher ranks. These groups train, recruit and place teachers in both highly rated and failing schools; and they pick the cream of the crop from the top universities in the country to go into classrooms. Ostensibly the reason for their existence has to do with helping disadvantaged school children raise test scores and achievement levels, but in reality, the same troubled, undereducated children end up taking a back seat to the bottom line.

The marketing strategy of organizations like Rhee’s New Teacher Project has been to weed out “ineffective” teachers and replace them with specially picked “teacher corps members.” The onslaught against teachers began in earnest in 2008 when then-candidate Obama declared war on “bad teachers” when he said this during a Hofstra University debate: “And we also agree on the need for making sure that if we have bad teachers that they are swiftly…if they can’t hack it, then we need to move on because our kids have to have their best future.” What an ominous signal to send to teachers across the country.

In that same debate, the Senator from Illinois praised Michelle Rhee, chancellor of DC schools at the time, calling her a “wonderful new superintendent there” but John McCain pointed out that Rhee supported vouchers; a hot button issue which Obama completely opposed. Obama replied Rhee was also for charter schools which he did support. He noted “Charter schools, I doubled the number of charter schools in Illinois despite some reservations from teachers unions.”

The Democrat Rhee has gone on to become a Republican darling because she promotes school choice, public charters, vouchers, no tenure for teachers, and limited collective bargaining for unions, and opposes “last in first out” (LIFO). The former chancellor says teachers are the most critical factor in a student’s achievement. She says it doesn’t matter if the children are dirt poor without parents and living on the streets; competent teachers, if they’re good enough, will overcome the obstacles. So, in her three years as head of the DC school system she fired hundreds of teachers whom she deemed ineffective.

After DC’s parents and unions forced her out in 2010, Rhee created her own non-taxed lobbying firm StudentsFirst. She hired two high powered Democrats to run her operation. Her second in command, Hari Sevugan, was the Democratic National Committee press secretary during Obama’s first two years in office. Rhee’s marketing agent, Anita Dunn, was the former Obama White House Communications Director and professed admirer of Mao Tse Tung.

Obama and Rhee: Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right

This mixing of the Left and the Right harkens back to the early 1990s when progressives like Bill and Hillary Clinton took up a strategy called the Third Way which would begin to blur the lines between traditional political opponents. After the Berlin wall came down, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev suggested governments could change and become a mixture between communism and capitalism.

In 2001, a paper prepared by George Soros’ Open Society Institute describes the Progressive Policy Institute’s “third way” which aims “to achieve a new synthesis of liberalism and conservatism for today’s electorate. PPI’s vision generally blends a traditional liberal politics…with more market-oriented solutions and individual choice (Medicare choice, charter schools, a limited role for unions), then adds to the mix a strong dose of the moralism usually claimed by conservatives…It holds traditional liberal constituencies such as unions and African Americans at arm’s length, while actively courting corporate leaders and the white middle class.” [emphasis mine]

The inference couldn’t be clearer. What has the latest attempt at education reform been all about? Leaders of the movement like Rhee pull in billions of dollars from private funders and the Stimulus Bill to change the face of public education. They use this money to keep unions “at arm’s length” by negotiating new contracts reducing their bargaining rights while at the same time garnering sweeping support from “the white middle class”–in other words, conservatives.

Even corrupt pols like Rahm Emanuel are on board with Rhee’s and Obama’s agenda. The Chicago mayor has been pushing for more and more charter schools and opposing teachers unions; all the while greasing his own palms in the process.

The progressives [communists] have been at this for a very long time. The Left doesn’t change; it just trades a “radical pose” for a conservative pose if that’s what it takes to gain complete government control in America.

The “fundamental transformation” of our country took place long before Obama got into the White House. Our task now is to pull our heads out of the sand and believe the facts staring us in the face.

Read more Ann Kane at Potter Williams Report

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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  1. The major problem in our society is the reluctance on the part of the general public to admit, admit, that our government has fallen to Communists and that they are the one’s who have been fighting for control of our government for the past 50+ years since the 50’s beginning with “integrating” the non-Black public education system. Instead of testing all the Black kids who were coming into that system in order to allow only those who passed the test, which would have been put in place so America’s high STANDARD of excellence in education could be preserved, protected, and to promote the high standard is the reason why Blacks wanted into a better system than they believed their’s was, is the only reason why the level of excellence found in the non-Black public education system should be protected. It’s what put men on the moon and you see where we’ve been since liberals decided that the education system was “unfair” and the outcome of Black schools to predominately White schools was so “unequal”.

    If we had had someone in government who believed in the level of excellence found in the non-Black public school system instead of being afraid Blacks would riot and burn down more towns and overturn cars, the “outcome” would be a hell of a lot more “equal” now than Black teens having the highest dropout rate of all the races, Black teens having the highest out of wedlock births than any other race, the lowest grade point average of any race exiting high schools, and the least rate of success of any race of students in overall test results of any race in the public schools, that you would think that by now someone would have seen what needed to be done to save our schools and return to that level of excellence once found in the non-Black education system instead of just continuing to follow what the Communists wanted done to our education system, and that is it’s final destruction.

    If we think for a moment that anyone from either political party has a better idea of how to improve education in America so that more than 35% of all students surveyed who couldn’t find the state they live in on a map of the United States was acceptable, then returning to how it was before the leftist said our education system wasn’t good enough if it excluded Blacks and needed to be changed, is the only way to save our schools. But this time do it the way it should have been done and that is the better you do the more attention you get from educator’s like it used to be. Not the other way around where the under achiever got all the attention. Didn’t anyone think that the reason why they are a underachiever is because they don’t want to be there and don’t care about school, but was no reason why all the attention should be placed on bringing up their scores? Back in my day those who didn’t care about being educated ended up being a ditch digger. That was the threat to a kid who was failing was if the didn’t get a good education they would end up being a ditch digger for the rest of their lives was enough motivation to get the kid’s grades going up until they were doing better. But what do you tell some Black kid who see’s crack dealers making $5,000 dollars a week in his neighborhood that studying and going to college so he could start out making $30,000 a year was a better thing for them to do? No, where that kid needs to be is sending him to a “work farm” where he can stay and do something much more productive for everyone concerned. And there he would remain for the rest of his life since he doesn’t care where or what happens to him. Not keep him in school and spend how many trillions of dollars on seeing to it he can read by the time he’s in the damn third grade? I could read when I left the 1st grade. Was that worse like the liberals said? I don’t think so. And that’s the direction we need to go. And don’t think I’m some kind of racist because when I said all students would be tested to see where to place them, I mean all students even Whites.

  2. All this political involvment is the problem with dealing with seeing to it that a kid had a good enough education to give them a better chance to have a more productive life and possibly be successful more than a person who had no education at all should be the only reason why our children have to endure all this bickering back and forth using our kids a pawns and footballs while they become dummer and dummer. It’s stupid. And allowing Communists to run things is even more stupid. All they want to do is destroy this nation and do this hell bent fundemental transformation like Obama and Soros wants, along with the distraction of allowing every Mexican who can walk into the country so their kids can get a quality education to, is equally as stupid as all the rest. Close the borders so Mexican kids can learn about their homeland just like American kids. At least the class wouldn’t be split into those who speak English and those who don’t, or teaching the class in Spanish instead of English because there are more Mexican kids in the class than American kids is treason, and racist.

    Get the damn politician’s out of schools, out of the education system, disband the Federal Dept. of Education so the politician’s don’t have a way back in. That’s how the Communists got in and that was through the government sticking their noses into something they had no business being in.

  3. Both my parents were teachers. I liked school, even though many of my friends didn’t. I just kept my mouth shut about it when we were out together, and I did have some teachers who I didn’t like just like everyone else. All kids have teachers who they thought were from outter space or something, or were insane and were there just to see how much they could torture us. What the truth of the matter was, these teachers were just real hard and didn’t take any excuses when it came to making you reach your full potential.

    See, when I was in school back in the 50’s and 60’s teachers were more interested in pushing kids to reach their full potential rather than teaching the LEAP test like they do now. Teachers back in my day knew that young people would go on to making America an even greater nation than it had been before them. And they did make those kids reach their full potential because they reached all the way to the moon and back with some of the most high tech equipment than man had know before. Of course now, a Iphone has more power in it than ten Command Modules and Moon Landers combined.

    Did Steve Jobs go to the kind of school these kids go to now? No way! Steve Jobs went to the non-Black public schools just like I did. He got a real education for young American’s to go out and make something of themselves. So did Bill Gates. He’s near enough to my age to have caught the schools just before they were ripped out by the roots and thrown in the trash heep of history, and then the liberals began rebuilding them so they would be “fair” and “equal”.

    Yeah, sorta like the teachers in Georgia did by pencil whipping the grades of Black students so it looked like they made a higher grade on the tests that gave the public schools a position to get more Federal funding. That’s all the teachers do these days is make sure their schools qualify for all the Federal funding they can get because that’s how everyone gets paid. Look at what Obama did with the Stimulus money, he gave it to the union pension fund to make sure the teachers retired with all the money they had coming to them.

    I’m not going to get into all the details because I don’t know all the details. And it doesn’t matter anyway because I know what it would take to get things back to where we were putting men on the moon again, because the way it’s going now we’re not going back to the moon any time soon. It took the kind of education we had back in my day to put men on the moon, do you think these kids could become ther engineers it took back then, today? No. These kids can’t even find their own state on a map of the U.S. let alone the moon.

  4. I was asked if I saw any hope for Black children in our schools to get an education. And my answer is YES. They do have hope that they will receive an education, but…. Today’s schools are structured by hard core leftists, globalists, and New World Order advocates and powers. These people have absolutely no regard for America as a sovereign nation, nor do they see any need to teach American exceptionalism, or America greatness in all the things that used to exist that were taught in our schools.

  5. Hitler said, “Give me the youth, and Germany will rule the world.” The outlook for our youth in public schools can be scary. Even though parents – not the government – holds responsibility for educating their children, the government has an agenda out there. Read Bradlee Dean’s article: Pull Your Kids – Save the Nation

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