The Wal-Martization of Education
Publication Date: 2010-11-29
This essay is from The Black Commentator
Walton gave $500,000 to former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler for his "private scholarship" program. When Schundler was caught using the money for ads supporting his run for governor in 2001, Walton rescued him, telling reporters that was the intended use of the money.
When Walton launched the Children's Scholarship Fund in 1999 -- giving $160 million in private vouchers to urban students -- he claimed his goals were simply altruistic. But an Aug. 31, 1999 Wall Street Journal article reported that Walton "yesterday announced a parallel initiative to focus on the creation of schools to serve the burgeoning choice market." For Walton -- as for Wal-Mart -- it's about market domination. Can "Wal-Mart academies" be far behind?
I've been alarmed by the stream of disclosures about Wal-Mart's abuses of workers and its flaunting of labor laws, so I'm naturally concerned about Walton's vision for the future of education.
It's time to recognize this very real threat to privatize our public schools for corporate profit, and send John Walton back to Arkansas.
Edithe A. Fulton is President of the 180,000-member New Jersey Education Association.
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