How the Walton education agenda harms public schools | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How the Walton education agenda harms public schools

Posted By on Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 9:17 AM

click to enlarge WALMARTUCATION: Can they transfer their business model to education? And if they succeed, will communities be hurt by abandoned schools as they've been hurt by abandoned businesses? - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • WALMARTUCATION: Can they transfer their business model to education? And if they succeed, will communities be hurt by abandoned schools as they've been hurt by abandoned businesses?

This is an important article 
about all the things the paid Walton lobbyists and Walton-owned politicians won't tell you about the down side of the billionaires' push for "school choice,"  as embodied by charter schools.

There's corruption in many locales (including Little Rock). There's lack of accountability in the private management organizations that run many of the charters. There's the creaming of students. There's the damage done to conventional school districts left  to struggle with more concentrated pockets of difficult students and less money to help them. There's the fear that charters are merely a transitional step to the voucher system the Waltons preferred in the first place. There's the fact that the movement is built on myths about the presumed failure of public education, a popular tactic in Little Rock, where the existing public school system, despite being over-endowed with poor students, competes quite well when you compare demographically similar groups of students.

Concludes the author Jeff Bryant:

But what if John Walton’s disappointment in public schools stems from the possibility that Americans, as a whole, want other kinds of “results” from their public schools? What if what they want, as Jitu Brown says of his own community, is the opportunity to “improve our neighborhood schools” instead of having them replaced by the charters preferred by the Waltons?

Meanwhile, as WFF contemplates how to best “soften the ground” for increased school choice, and policy makers ponder the growing impact of philanthropists in education, more communities may have to contend with the reality of schools, public or charter, coming and going based on forces not in their control. Completely lost in the discussion, though, is whether it’s right for the American populace to have its access to education determined by the values and philosophy of a few rich people.
In Arkansas, the prevailing political dynamic favors the rich people. And the Waltons' paid lobbyist, Gary Newton, spews propaganda hourly in their quest to destroy the Little Rock School District. His latest: More charter schools with predominantly white, upper income students in western Little Rock are good for the Little Rock School District. He also contends the Pulaski County School District should not be allowed to improve its middle school in western Little Rock with a new campus. Competition apparently is OK if the deck is stacked in favor of Newton's charter schools. Not so much if it's a public school district trying to do better.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (33)

Showing 1-33 of 33

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-33 of 33

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation