Privatizing Public Schools, Part 2

Since my last post, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my topic (for those who have missed it, I am blogging about the privatization of public schools, you can find my previous post here). I have been researching and gathering more and more information. Along the way, I have also been gathering more and more anger. How can we expect corporations who are out to make money to keep the interest of the students in mind? How can we expect them to keep the parents or teachers interests in mind? 
Protesting the privatization of public schools in Philadelphia. Some signs are sporting the slogan "I don't have a price tag. "Picture can be found here.

To quote New York Senator Bill Perkins “Charter schools came on board with the promise that they could do better for less… No sooner than they became they started advocating for more money…they began advocating to be a part of those public schools, to take over those public schools. So it’s a switcheroo kind of a thing. They came in with one expectation, and now they’re in the public schools creating all kinds of chaos. And the Mayor is closing down schools, with the plan of putting in these charter schools. And I think it’s outrageous that they’re getting paid so much.” 

Private corporations who are only looking to make money are running our schools. Does anyone else find anything wrong with this statement?

Protester holds sign sporting the slogan "Don't privatize, our schools are not for sale."  at demonstration. Pricture can be found here.
Who’s to blame for this mess? 

The School Reform Commission has proposed a plan that will close 64 neighborhood schools in the next 5 years. The SRC also wants 40% of all Philadelphia students to be attending a private school in the next 5 years.

Which company the schools actually go to is still undecided. Some ideas that are floating around include having “Achievement Networks” and decisions about schools would be made within each. These decisions would be about curricula, discipline, staffing, supplies, etc. As retired teacher, education activist, and writer said Lisa Haver said in a Daily News article “District officials have admitted that this new system would do nothing to lessen the deficit…. A bidding process would determine who controls each network. Anyone may be chosen: former district personnel, charter school operators, corporations, or politicians including State Rep. Dwight Evans, who last year bullied one charter school behind closed doors in order to override the choice of parents at Martin Luther King High School. How have we arrived at a point where the public school system can be auctioned off to the lowest bidder?”

I am strongly against the privatization of public schools. After doing even further research, I learned that when a school becomes privatized, they no longer have to be transparent to the taxpayers who support it. They don’t have to release the salaries of the CEO’s or staff, do not have release whether or not they have the required level of certified teachers, and do not have to say whether or not those teachers are even teaching the subject they are certified in.

In some ways, I wish I could talk to the SRC. I would have plenty questions for them. How am I supposed to learn geometry from a certified gym teacher?  How am I supposed to become a member of by global community, and an active, contributing citizen if my government doesn’t value my education? How can I trust the SRC to be a powerful advocate for my education if, as Lisa Haver said, “its policies can be dictated by billionaires with deep pockets and rigid contracts”? 

Hearing these things sparks something inside of me. It's a hard feeling to describe when you pledge allegiance to the flag every morning to have the SRC/American government send the message that they don't value your education.

Well, government, if you don’t care about my education, how can I believe that you care about me?

You can find my bibliography here.