Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Think Tanks and education. Part 2.


How do interest groups and “think tanks” operate ? Part 2.
“ Interest groups supported by the Kochs spew out a steady stream of position papers, congressional testimony , and public pronouncements about public policies that are detrimental to the middle class.  They back unrestricted free trade and oppose even the slightest government action that might be interpreted as protectionist, a position that helped to destroy millions of domestic manufacturing jobs. “
Bartlett and Steele. The Betrayal of the Middle Class. 2012.
And, in public education ?
Good for Business; Kids Not So Much
While most education reform advocates cloak their goals in the rhetoric of "putting children first," the conceit was less evident at a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, earlier this year.
Standing at the lectern of Arizona State University's SkySong conference center in April, investment banker Michael Moe exuded confidence as he kicked off his second annual confab of education startup companies and venture capitalists. A press packet cited reports that rapid changes in education could unlock "immense potential for entrepreneurs." "This education issue," Moe declared, "there's not a bigger problem or bigger opportunity in my estimation."
Moe has worked for almost fifteen years at converting the K-12 education system into a cash cow for Wall Street. A veteran of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, he now leads an investment group that specializes in raising money for businesses looking to tap into more than $1 trillion in taxpayer money spent annually on primary education. His consortium of wealth management and consulting firms, called Global Silicon Valley Partners, helped K12 Inc. go public and has advised a number of other education companies in finding capital.

Moe's conference marked a watershed moment in school privatization. His first "Education Innovation Summit," held last year, attracted about 370 people and fifty-five presenting companies. This year, his conference hosted more than 560 people and 100 companies, and featured luminaries like former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty and former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein, now an education executive at News Corporation, a recent high-powered entrant into the for-profit education field. Klein is just one of many former school officials to cash out. Fenty now consults for Rosetta Stone, a language company seeking to expand into the growing K-12 market.
Read more;
https://sites.google.com/site/democracyandeducationorg/Home/selling-out-our-schools

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