Oppression of Public Schools
EIA Board of Directors and Executive Staff:
DEBORAH M. McGRIFF, President, Edison Schools, Inc.
GEORGE CIGALE, President-elect, Tutor.com, Inc.
MARK DEFUSCO, Secretary,
ALAN J. CARTER, Sr., Treasurer University Instructors, Inc.
SUSAN JACOBY, Past-President, Education Industry Association
MICHAEL R. SANDLER, Executive Committee, Eduventures, Inc
JIM GIOVANNINI, Academic Tutoring Centers
BARBARA ANDERSON, Knowledge Learning Corporation
CLEMENT ERBMANN, First Analysis Corporation
J. C. HUIZENGA, National Heritage Academies
RAYMOND HUNTINGTON, Huntington Learning Centers
KATHLEEN HURLEY, Pearson Education
MATTHEW LUPSHA, Kumon North America
TODD PARCHMAN, Parchman, Vaughan & Co. L.L.C.
LORI SWEENEY, ESA/Ombudsman Educational Services
EIA seeks to expand educational opportunities and improve educational achievement for learners of all ages by infusing American education with market-based drivers of service, innovation, and results.
The Leadership Board is also interesting. It is in a pdf file.
by Tauna Rogers
Yesterday, I paid my first visit to the website of the EIA Education Industry Association, the "premier organization of education entrepreneurs." Their Memorandum of Agreement for 2006-2007 for the "Campaign to Support Quality Tutoring for Americaís Students" caught my attention. They are of course presenting themselves in appealing language as "voices for our nationís economically disadvantaged students" and referring to SES services as the "civil rights" of parents and their children to federally funded tutoring under NCLB. And it is oh so much more about money and greed than helping these kids. Among their campaign activities for 2006-2007 are to:
1). Brand the Campaign for Quality Tutoring for Americaís Students as the collective national voice for unfettered access by students to SES services and for fair-play between providers and school districts.
2). Monitor state and local implementation of SES, identifying areas of non-compliance and engaging appropriate local, state and federal officials to correct policies inconsistent with NCLB.
3). Continue a three-pronged media outreach campaign: (1) to expose objectionable district or state actions (or inactions); (2) to spotlight SES success stories in districts that are managing the programs well, and (3) to monitor news media coverage of SES nationwide and to follow-up and/or respond to stories accordingly. Conduct proactive media strategies to support advocacy and government relations goals of the campaign, and continue to position EIA as the national spokesperson for the Campaign.
Now, donít school districts themselves have to pay for this tutoring? It seems to me that under the heavy-handed policies of NCLB, public schools are in essence being asked to pay for and facilitate their own destruction. And in so doing, open up to these vultures what is in their own words "rapidly becoming a $1 trillion industry, representing 10% of Americaís GNP." Our policymakers have prostituted themselves to corporate influence peddling and are allowing our country to be taken over by corporations. The DOE should exist to support public schools, not to facilitate their destruction.
Reprehensible is not too strong a term to describe the oppressive actions of this administration in dangling the scent of badly needed education funds under the noses of cash-strapped states and school districts, yet denying them that money unless they agree to implement unproven high-stakes testing policies which harm children and lead to the destruction of their schools. And do not these oppressive tactics bear resemblance to extortion and bribery with their improper pressure? I know they wonít meet the strict legal definitions of such but the actions are no less despicable. And Jerry, you were so right to advise states to "Just Say No" to NCLB. But like it or not, states DIDNíT say no and we are now in the vise grip of NCLBís jaws. In the long run, until NCLB can be changed or repealed, itís better for states to just forego this tainted money.
Iíll close with a question for consideration. When we who are dissenters appeal to our state representatives, legislators and governors, is it better to advocate for a massive overhaul of NCLB or outright repeal of it? Realistically, I suspect weíll have to go with advocating for changes in the law? But from a moral standpoint repeal is, in my view, entirely justified. Anyway, the privatizers have access to and great influence with the Congress. Somehow, we who disagree have got to get our collective voices to Congress also.
EDDRA discussion list
INDEX OF NCLB OUTRAGES