Monday, May 09, 2005

Corporate control of schools vrs. Democracy

While we fight Arnold,
some corporate leaders think that democracy is the problem.
So.Cal's 4-billion-dollar big business education 'reformer' Eli Broad and his Broad Foundation is moving hard right now on wiping out democratically elected school boards in LA/SF/Oakland and Fresno.
Broad and his big business allies apparently want mayor's of the big cities to choose school boards [following the big business reform models in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit,Philly, etc. ]
Broad has worked with former LA Mayor Richard Riordan [currently Schwartenegger's head of the Education] to raise $2 million per election for their board of education slates and to eliminate independent, pro-labor and
grassroots candidates on LA's board of education.

Broad Foundation est. 1999
This is the $400 million philanthropic vehicle for Los Angeles housing development and
investments billionaire, Eli Broad (& wife Edythe), to take on K-12 education issues and develop a future standardized workforce of “knowledge workers.” The Foundation supports reforming urban public schools through entrepreneurial CEO-trained leadership, mayoral takeovers. Like many reactionary think tanks (Pioneer Institute, American Diploma Project, et al.), Broad Fdtn sees the main value of education in its output of skilled workers, hence the focus on standardized testing.
The Fdtn’s three flagship initiatives are The Broad Prize for Urban Education, The Broad Center for Superintendents (nonprofit executive development center established by the Fdtn and former Michigan Governor, John Engler), and The Broad Institute for School boards.(1) Noelia Rodriguez, previously Laura Bush’s press secretary, has become Chief of Staff to Broad and will serve as Director of External Affairs for the Broad Foundation.(2)
Broad is the son of Lithuanian immigrants. co-founder of two S&P 500 corporations—the enormously successful KB Homes and AIG SunAmerica Inc. Broad has bankrolled the Eli Broad College of Business & Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University, the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the LA Philharmonic (recruited by Mayor Dick Riordan and completed 10/03), Broad Art Foundation (international art “lending library”) and Broad
Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA (in works).(3) Broad was appointed to Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial transition team.(4) Broad is currently fundraising for Democratic Presidential candidate Wes Clark (previously Broad chose Clark to run LA Unified).
• Broad Institute for School boards pays for OUSD school board field trip to the Museum of Tolerance to learn tolerance for each other.(6)
• Dr. Randolph Ward was selected for Urban Superintendents Academy by the Broad Center for Superintendents,
• Eli Broad advises SPI Jack O’Connell and Mayor Jerry Brown on appointing an
administrator for OUSD.(5)
• SPI Jack O’Connell appoints Ward as the OUSD administrator
• Ward appoints Arnold “Woody” Carter as his Chief of Staff. Carter is one of Ward’s
Broad Academy cohort.(6)
• Monique Epps is hired for OUSD finance office; Broad Foundation covers 75% of her salary.(5)
Eli Broad on OUSD takeover:
“We’ll be observing from a distance, but we won’t be running the district in any way shape or form.” (5)
(1); (2) “Career Track: the First Noelia” The Hotline, 10/7/03; (3) Eli Broad; (4) “California transition: Schwarzenneger’s team” SF
Chronicle 10/10/03; (5) Alex Katz “executives trained by turnaround nonprofit” Alameda Times-Star 8/11/2003; (6) “School
district names chief of staff” Contra Costa Times 8/8/2003& Broad Center for Superintendents Alumni profiles

source: The Data Center. 1904 Franklin St. Suite 900, Oakland, CA 94612. tel: 510.835.4692 fax: 510.835.3017
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