The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Michigan Schools:
Funneling More into Private Profit

Sep 5, 2011

The State of Michigan just announced it had hired John Covington as chancellor to head its new “Education Achievement Authority” (EAA) – at the grand price of 1.5 million dollars over four years.

This EAA is a new state-wide school district created earlier this year, supposedly to help students in failing schools. Individual “failing” schools will be split out of their local districts and put under the EAA’s control.

So, once again, the governor is appointing yet another over-paid bureaucrat to address the problem of the schools. And these bureaucrats are proposing to do what they’ve already been doing in Detroit for the past several years – to privatize schools they say are failing.

This epidemic of for-profit school privatization is already meeting a growing opposition in Detroit, as well as other cities around the country – Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago and New Orleans among them – where parents and teachers have seen first hand that most charter schools result in an even worse education for their children.

All credible studies show that charters do nothing to help educate students, so why would these administrators and politicians keep pushing a failed idea?

Because they are being funded and supported by a handful of corporate-backed private foundations, like the Broad and Gates foundations, that are pushing hard for charters. Their whole purpose is to allow private corporations to get their hands on the money devoted to public education – at least, that money going to educate the children of the poor and working class.

Covington himself graduated from the Broad Academy, which trains administrators to do just that. The Broad and Gates Foundations are paying Covington’s signing bonus of $175,000.

And now, right when more parents and teachers are souring on school privatization, this new state-wide EAA “district” will ensure even less control by local school boards, parents or teachers: How will parents in the Upper Peninsula organize with parents in Detroit? What school’s administration building will students march on?

This lack of control will allow Covington to turn even more schools over to private profit.

And he’ll be paid handsomely to deliver the goods!