Mr. Agassi's New Challenge: Charters and Cash Joe Brennan
Andrew Agassi has long thrilled tennis fans on the court and has assisted many off the court through his generous philanthropic activities. But not anymore, he discovered that you don't make money by giving it away, and so he has turned to schools, charter schools that is. Well not exactly to charter schools per se, more like charter school buildings. So many proponents of charter systems proclaim that there true interest is in children and their education, and in some cases that is really a fact, but how do you then explain why so many entrepreneurs have invested millions into what is becoming a multi-billion dollar industry - charter schools, privatized schools. This is the lesson that Mr. Agassi has recently learned.
Team Agassi is now composed of Mr. A. and a group of well financed investors ready and willing to build the school structure that will be rented or purchased by you the tax payer. As of this date, there are thirty-three educational structures being supporting Mr. A's enterprise with public funds. The message is why allow children to attend sub-par facilities when they could be attending these newer or renovated facilities, and at the same time contribute to the profits of innovative businessmen. These buildings are not donated, and there is little risk involved. If the particular charter goes bankrupt, there will be another to take its place, or the building will be used for some other purpose. The children from such failed enterprises will just have to seek another educational facility, again at the tax payers' expense. If this were not such a lucrative business, big money would not be investing in it.
There are such competitive enterprises throughout the nation. They go by different names and many of these can give examples of individual academic achievements, along with their failures. As is the case of most of these charter enterprises, transparency is not evident. After all, they are protected by their 501 (c) (3) non-profit status which excludes close scrutiny of financial and other administrative matters.
Mr. A. reportedly did not graduate from secondary school. Family pressures unfortunately made him follow a career that was not completely to his liking. Now that he has the time and the means to correct the misfortunes of his past his plans are rather to build one hundred such educational structures throughout the nation. However, some of his initial efforts have not proven to be too successful, at least academically speaking.
Charter schools have presented themselves as the solution to America's educational problems. Finland had this option and rejected it. It focused rather on the excellence of the training and the knowledge base of its teachers. This was not the less expensive method, but it has proven to be the more effective way of improving educational standards. In Finland, the children really are the focus of attention, and not the entrepreneurial benefices of a few profit seeking investors.