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    Did you know...that the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, first printed in 1903, is the oldest peer-reviewed publication dedicated to Kentucky history?Subscribe to the Register (only $40 per year).
  • Is the Public School System Inferior to Corporate-chartered Schools?
    Posted On: Jun 01, 2016

    Is the Public School System Inferior to Corporate-chartered schools?

                                           joe brennan

                Proponents of Corporate-chartered schools (C-c), especially those who are property developers, conservative politicians, investors, hedge fund directors, multimillion dollar corporations, or million/billionaire entrepreneurs, would suggest that their system is, by far, superior to public schools. They would say that the C-c system should be used as a model for all contemporary public schools. At the same time, when it comes it obtaining public taxpayer funds, they would claim that the C-c system is just like the public school system. Their own Corporate subsidies, protected by the confidentiality of their contributions to non-profit C-c schools obscures reality.

                When Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders visited his childhood neighborhood, reporters noted that he attended the local James Madison High School.  It appears that this institution, established in 1925, in a poor to middle class neighborhood, has a distinguished history of student achievement. Among its graduates number three U.S. Senators, one U.S. Supreme Court judge, two State Supreme Court judges, two opera singers, a number of authors, one world prominent economists, several professional athletes, one Academy Award Winning actor, oh and yes, FOUR Nobel Prize Winners. Not bad for one public school, among many in the New York's Public School System. Despite its twenty plus years of existence, no C-c school has yet to compare itself to James Madison High?

                So what has made this school so different? Certainly it was not because of elites living in the neighborhood, this was not Trump's Jamaica Estates. Fortunately, these immigrant residents were not excluded from entering the country. Nor was this a private school for select students only. Is it because a high portion of the student body were Jewish?  Many of their parents had only a basic education. Was it because of the highly educated Ph. D. faculty, needing employment during hard economic times? Or was it due to a highly motivated student body, dedicated to personal achievement, or all of the above? Whatever the formula was, it worked.

                C-c proponents like to use their few successful schools as models to be imitated by the public school system. They fail to compare their own system to schools like James Madison High which is administered solely by taxpayer funds, without the private and undisclosed Corporate contributions as are the C-c schools. There are those who want to privatize our educational system with C-c' s, presumably for purely educational and reform improvements. Financial motivation is never mentioned. This cover up is veiled by a legal non-profit status that allows C-c 's to operate without full disclosure or transparency.     

       


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