Monday, March 17, 2014

Billionaires love us

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wants the world to follow New Orleans's example when it comes to divorcing public education from democracy.
He appears to be presenting a vision of education in the United States where nearly all students are educated in collections of charter schools: “So what we have to do is to work with school districts to grow steadily, and the work ahead is really hard because we’re at 8% of students in California, whereas in New Orleans they’re at 90%, so we have a lot of catchup to do.”  Really? Even many charter advocates recognize that the charter model will not work for a majority of America’s school children. Besides, if he is using the charter-heavy New Orleans Recovery School District as a model, we should run for the hills.

After Hurricane Katrina, most of the schools in the recovery discovery were turned in to charters, which reformers like Hastings see as a silver bullet to all that ails public education. But many of the district’s charters do worse than the traditional public schools, and many of those that do at all better have selective admissions. And there’s this, from a story last September from the Times-Picayune: “The Recovery School District reprimanded nine New Orleans charter schools in the first four months of a accountability system that aims to tighten oversight of 59 largely independent campuses, according to public records.” Imagine that. The charter governance wasn’t good enough.
Has NOLA.com reported on this speech yet?  Despite the paper's own reporting cited above, the headline will be "Netflix CEO praises New Orleans Education Reform"  with an exclamation mark if they can get away with it. 

1 comment:

Nolaresident said...

And here's the money quote - literally! - from the WaPo article:

Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Mark Zuckerberg, various Waltons — these are just
some of the prodigiously wealthy who have decided that they know how
public education can be “fixed” and have plowed big money into it.

Right. As "bidness" folks they want a R.O.I. on their charter investment.