The Associated Press reported on September 6, 2016 that ITT Tech, with more than 35,000 students, will close all of its campuses after federal aid sanctions.
The AP reported, “Under President Barack Obama, the Education Department has led a crackdown on for-profit colleges that have misled students or failed to deliver the results they promise. The now-defunct Corinthian College chain agreed to sell or close more than 90 U.S. colleges in 2014 amid a fraud investigation over advertising practices. The department is also deciding whether to cut ties with the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the group that accredited ITT and Corinthian.”
With fraud and corruption also rampant in the K-12 corporate charter school industry, will that for-profit sector be next?
Stanford’s Bill Gates funded Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) reported in 2013 in its National Charter School Study that 75 percent of these corporate charter schools were no different or significantly worse than the locally controlled, community based, democratic, transparent, non-profit, traditional, public schools. In Math, 71 percent were no different or significantly worse.
Bill Gates funded the CREDO study, but he isn’t the good guy here. It’s obvious that Gates expected different results and has ignored the results of the study. Johnathan Petro reveals, “In a stunning expose written by Adam Johnson of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), it becomes undeniably clear that Bill Gates has reached the point where his billions not only fund the myriad of corporate education reform initiatives that are sweeping the country and the world, but his investment in the media taints much of the coverage of these developments.”
It’s obvious that the corporate education reform movement funded by billionaires and hedge funds failed long ago. Diane Ravitch reported in November 2015, “The big foundations support the growth of the charter industry: the Walton Family Foundation has put more than $1 billion into charters and vouchers; the Gates Foundation and the Eli Broad Foundation also put millions into charters, often partnering with the Far-right Walton Foundation.”
Ravitch continues, “There is a long list of other foundations that fund the assault on public education, including the John Arnold Foundation (ex-Enron trader), the Dell Foundation, the Helmsley Foundation, the Fisher Family Foundation (Gap and Old Navy), the Michael Bloomberg Foundation, and many more.”
The charter school movement was hijacked by billionaires and corporations. The original concept proposed in 1974 by professional educators that belonged to teachers’ unions was to allow a few schools called charters to operate as autonomous public schools with waivers from many of the legislated procedural requirements of district public schools, and to work with the most at risk children. The original concept never meant to destroy the traditional public schools but to work within the existing system.
In 1991, Minnesota was the first state to pass a charter school law. California was second in 1992.
Today fraud is rampant in what has become a secretive, publicly funded, for-profit (even when called a non-profit), corporate education sector that is at war with the traditional public schools, teachers’ unions and public school teachers.
In 2015 Education Opportuniy.org reported that “Federal Funds For Charter Schools Go Into A ‘Black Hole’”
PR Watch.org reported, “Feds Spent $3.3 Billion Fueling Charter Schools but No One Knows What It Really Bought”
Weapons of Mass Deception.org reveals, “Why Charter Schools are Fraud Factories”.
Diane Ravitch reports, “ACLU in California Finds Many Charter Schools Break State and Federal Laws”.
Bill Moyers & Company reports on “Charter Schools Gone Wild: Study Finds Widespread Fraud, Mismanagement and Waste”.
Charter schools were never meant to be operated by secretive, publicly funded, private-sector corporations that cherry pick the easiest to teach students (stealing the best students from the traditional public schools) who score higher on faulty, secretive, high stakes standardized tests that profit other private sector corporations that produce the tests.
The children charter schools were meant to help are been locked out, and if the public schools are destroyed, the only education left for most if not all of these at-risk children will be the streets that feeds the poverty to prison pipeline.
It’s obvious that the corporate/billionaire hijacked charter school concept has had 25 years to prove itself and has failed miserably.
The corporate charter school industry continues to mislead the nation with its lies and cherry-picked information/facts and has failed to deliver on the often fraudulent and false promises made decades ago that are repeated today.
It’s time for President Obama to pull the plug on corporate education reform and defy the oligarchs: Bill Gates, the Walton family, Eli Broad, John Arnold, and all the other billionaire funded, autocratic, private sector foundations that are nothing but tax shelters that further the individual extremist goals of their billionaire founders that operate outside of the democratic process of the U.S. Republic the American Founding Fathers created with the U.S. Construction.
“What’s at stake is the future of American Public Education – one of the foundations of our democracy.”
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and disabled Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
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