News Ticker

Reblogged: Billionaire charter school leader says black politician worse than the KKK

The white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was the tragic result of the Republican Party’s racist politics, which have only intensified under President Donald Trump.

We must fight those politics, but we should also acknowledge that racism isn’t only angry people clutching guns and confederate flags.

A week ago, Daniel Loeb, the chairman of the board for New York City’s Success Academy Charter Schools network, accused New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of being worse than the Ku Klux Klan:

“Hypocrites like Stewart-Cousins who pay fealty to powerful union thugs and bosses do more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”

What had the African-American senator done wrong? Stewart-Cousins supports more transparency and accountability for charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately operated.

The billionaire hedge fund manager went on to praise charter school advocates “who stand for educational choice and support Charter funding that leads to economic mobility and opportunity for poor [black] kids.”

Loeb’s remarks are unacceptable and should be condemned—but we shouldn’t miss the deeper lesson.

While Loeb has apologized, he’s refused to resign—and there’s very little New Yorkers can do about it. Even though Success Academy is funded with taxpayer dollars, taxpayers have no say over how the network operates. The investors, lawyers, PR professionals, and philanthropists that sit on its board get to spend public money to educate children with little accountability to the public.

That’s the problem with private control of public education. Charter schools are publicly funded schools run by private groups—some for-profit, some nonprofit, and some that use nonprofit status to hide behind for-profit schemes unaccountable to parents and the public who pay the bills.

For example, across the country from Success Academy, two charter schools in Livermore, California, managed by the nonprofit Tri-Valley Learning Corporation were recently found to have potentially funneled millions of dollars in public money to various private entities. The schools closed, leaving students scrambling for other options and parents with no way to hold Tri-Valley’s leaders accountable.

Many charter schools also raise additional money from private investors with little transparency about how that money is spent. Success Academy has received millions of dollars from billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and Trump economic advisor John Paulson.

What Daniel Loeb said is not only racist, it’s also wrong. As the nation’s schools become increasingly segregated by race and class, many charter schools are making things worse.

Public schools should be in our hands, not in the hands of billionaires who get to decide what’s best for “poor black kids.”



Read the full story on HuffPost and share it on FacebookTwitter, or by forwarding to a friend.

Donald Cohen

Executive Director, In The Public Interest

Advertisements
About Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (697 Articles)
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.

1 Comment on Reblogged: Billionaire charter school leader says black politician worse than the KKK

  1. I’ll just leave these here.
    Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education Reform Movement
    https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2016/04/27/here-are-corporations-and-right-wing-funders-backing-education-reform-movement/210054

    Center for Education Reform (v. SourceWatch)
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Center_for_Education_Reform

    Privatizing Schooling and Policy Making: The American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] and New Political and Discursive Strategies of Education Governance // Educational Policy http://sco.lt/8VUjgX

    ALEC vs. Kids: ALEC’s Assault on Public Education
    http://www.progressflorida.org/sites/all/files/alecvkids.pdf

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: