It has taken a while for the mainstream media to focus on the effect Common Core has had on Republican presidential campaigns. But Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, in discussing the unexpected weakness and in some cases collapse of candidates who were or are governors, has drawn the connection between a governor’s support of Common Core and his political fortunes.
As Barnes notes, governors can present themselves as more experienced and reliable since they’ve had to make decisions and run things, not just talk about what they would do if given an executive position. But when they act against the wishes of their states’ citizens on something as critical as education, those citizens sound the alarm about the true nature of this Man Who Would Be President. And with the pro-Constitution, anti-Common Core movement connected by such national networks as TAE, there’s nowhere for the offending governor to hide.
The worst miscreant on the Common Core front, of course, is former Gov. Jeb Bush. Anyone who has attended anti-Common Core rallies in critical electoral states such as Ohio knew from the outset that Bush had no chance with the base (he could have saved a lot of time and money if he had consulted us before launching his campaign). Bush has been Mr. Common Core from the beginning, and nothing he could do or say would change that.
When I was very young, my parents used to tell me why having “lots of toys” wasn’t a good idea. “The more you have, the more you want,” they would say. I didn’t have many toys — we were poor — so the idea of possessions feeding greed didn’t make much sense to me then.
But I’ve learned the truth of that statement from observation over the years and lately I’ve been observing Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg is a 31-year-old computer programmer who did two things that made him famous: he founded Facebook, the social networking super service, and, as a result, he amassed a fortune worth about $46 billion. His bank account is as large as the capitalization of many countries.
The Zuckerberg Family
How he got to these lofty heights of wealth and cultural impact is a matter of often fierce debate — he’s been sued by former “partners” several times. But what’s more important than how he got control of Facebook is what he’s constructed with it: a ubiquitous presence in the lives of a billion people with the potential to frame and manipulate their communications, their relationships and, to a frighteningly large extent, their lives.
So last month, when Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced in aletter to their new baby — a rather novel way to package a press release — that, over the course of their lives, they will give almost all their Facebook shares to a project called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the world took note.
The Initiative, they explained, would “advance human potential and promote equality” in health, education, scientific research, and energy. In short, change the world: on its face, a worthy cause. But, like many of Zuckerberg’s plans and projects, this one has another side that is darker, more cynical and, even if only partially successful, a potential nightmare for the human race.
How many zeroes are there in $46 billion? More than most of us will ever see. So it’s tough for us “average people” to fathom what a billionaire does with his or her money. Even living the most opulent life-style imaginable wouldn’t start to dent those savings in a bank — the interest alone would pay for everything you could imagine owning. That, in a sense, is Mark Zuckerberg’s dilemna. At 31, he has so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it.
So he follows a long capitalist tradition called philanthropy. In projects that range from supporting education to enhancing Internet access world-wide to tackling specific social problems, Zuckerberg has thrown money at social inequality like a park visitor throws bread-crumbs to pigeons…except the pigeons actually benefit.
When he gave $100 million to the Newark Public Schools, the money was largely wasted with very little impact on the quality of education in that embattled city. When he has joined other rich philanthropists, like Warren Buffett, in a string of similar projects — funding schools or programs in other U.S. cities, giving major endowments to hospitals or funding initiatives in Global South countries — they have usually fallen short of their expectations or projected expectations that didn’t make much sense in the long term. Some good happens but the social problems remain and often deepen.
At the same time, he’s used his wealth and power to launch Internet projects like one that brings together almost a million software developers to work on Facebook improvement and another, called Beacon, that enables people to share information with their Facebook friends based on their browsing activities on other sites (also providing a huge resource to advertisers and marketing people).
In the Summer of 2013, Zuckerberg launched “Internet.org” whose stated purpose is to bring internet access to over 5 billion people world-wide. The access, however, is partial; only certain websites will be seen by these newly connected people in part because many of the world’s governments don’t The Zuckerberg Donation and a Legacy of Control | Dissident Voice:
CONCORD -- After being rejected by district and county education boards in its bid to establish a new elementary school in the Monument Corridor, nationwide charter school operator Rocketship Education is appealing to the state in hopes of reviving the proposal.
The charter school network, which operates a number of schools in San Jose, submitted the appeal this week to the California State Board of Education, said David Kuizenga, vice president of Rocketship in the Bay Area.
"The reason we appealed was the same reason we decided to file the petition in the first place, there's still a lot of demand by parents for the school," he said, adding that just over 1,100 parents in the district signed a petition requesting that the charter school be built. "The need and demand is there, so we will continue to pursue the school."
Rocketship's bid to open a charter school in time for the 2016/17 school year was rejected by Mt. Diablo Unified School District in August. Rocketship filed an appeal with the Contra Costa County Board of Education, which also denied the petition in a 4-1 vote in October. The county board cited concerns about adequate staffing to educate its English language learners, its use of non-credentialed teachers and a lack of clarity surrounding its finances and its board representation. In particular, the board had questions about adequacy of local representation, since the school's board meetings are held in San Jose.
These Charter Schools Tried to Turn Public Education Into Big Business. They Failed.
It takes time, and nearly infinite patience, to build academically strong networks of schools from scratch. Investors aren’t used to waiting, though.
More and more these days, Americans think about schools using the language of business. Superintendents are “CEOs.” Districts manage “portfolios” of schools. And pundits talk obsessively about American schools’ “competitiveness.”
But we don’t always like them to act like businesses, particularly when it comes to having an overt profit motive. Partly as a result, for-profit public charter schools—at least the brick-and-mortar variety—are slowly dying in some states. Once touted as a model that would reduce inefficiencies in public education and achieve economies of scales by operating schools in multiple states, for-profit charters have fallen out of fashion. Charter schools in general are becoming more popular across the country, but since the early 2000s, for-profit charter operators have lost ground to their nonprofit peers. And their failure, in large part, has been the result of bad business plans—something the companies themselves freely admit.
Edison Schools—once the biggest name in the for-profit charter industry—partnered with 130 schools (some noncharter) in the early 2000s and fully managed 80. It now manages only five. In 2000, Advantage Schools, another for-profit chain, enrolled more than 10,000 children across the country. Today it enrolls zero. New Orleans hired several for-profit companies to manage some new charter schools after Hurricane Katrina. But by 2013 all of them had disappeared, their schools taken over by nonprofit operators. In recent years, lawmakers in Mississippi, Ohio, andTennessee have all taken steps to curb the growth of for-profit charters or ban them outright.
Nationally, in 2007 for-profit management companies ran almost half of charter schools that are part of chains or larger networks of schools. By 2010, the most recent year the figures were compiled, the number had dropped to 37 percent, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Gary Miron, a professor of educational leadership at Western Michigan University, says for-profit brick-and-mortar charter schools are by no means gone yet—and their online counterparts, which run degree-awarding charter schools on the Web, in particular, continue to flourish. But large for-profit operators with aspirations of operating scores of brick-and-mortar charter schools nationally have become something of an anomaly.
For-profit charter schools are failing and fading. Here’s why.: These Charter Schools Tried to Turn Public Education Into Big Business. They Failed.It takes time, and nearly infinite patience, to build academically strong networks of schools from scratch. Investors aren’t used to waiting, though.More and more these days, Americans think about schools using the language of business. Superintendents
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Is Academia.edu Improving Access to Professors' Research—or Is It Just Profiting From It? - The Atlantic: The Convoluted Profits of Academic PublishingOne company is changing the way research papers are being shared, but professors worry about trusting the for-profit website.Richard Price always had an entrepreneurial bent. He started a cake business in his mum's kitchen during a summer break from
Perdido Street School: These Are Clearly Reasons Why Buffalo Schools Should Be Charterized: These Are Clearly Reasons Why Buffalo Schools Should Be CharterizedFrom the Buffalo News:A new survey of students in Buffalo Public Schools reinforces the extent of the problems the district is facing – not in the classroom, but in the home.Fourteen percent of high school students who took the survey said t
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CURMUDGUCATION: Gulen Charters In Trouble Again: Gulen Charters In Trouble AgainThe Gulen network of charters is perhaps the most transparent abuse of the charter school system in the US, and their troubled nature is on display again in the midwest.A clout-heavy charter-school firm that operates four taxpayer-funded schools in Chicago is suspected of defrauding the government by funneling more tha
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Editorial: The cost of closed charter schools | Gainesville.com: Editorial: The cost of closed charter schoolsWhen Gainesville parents and teachers must buy their own paint to spruce up public school classrooms, it makes it even more galling that the state wastes millions on the facilities of failing charter schools.Such is the situation facing Alachua County and other communities throughout Flori
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