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: , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
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

  • We have met the enemy: The open line

    The open line with a dose of Trump and other unhappy news.
    • Jul 15, 2018
  • Welcome to the United States, children

    Recommended reading: The New York Times' report on the conditions for the hundreds of children being held in detention since they arrived at U.S. borders seeking asylum. There are many rules and they included no touching of other children, not even a hug for a little brother or sister.
    • Jul 15, 2018
  • Bills arrive for petition campaigns, including term limits

    Filings are expected next week on the campaigns to put a minimum wage increase and casino gambling expansion on the November ballot. One other campaign reported financial information last week
    • Jul 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation