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Re: “Eli's Experiment

Every time I hear the words Broad Foundation, red flags go up for me. This is a result of having followed California school reform for 15 years now, particularly the year-round school movement which was embraced by many developers like Mr. Eli Broad as a means of avoiding paying school impact fees when new homes are built. I was alarmed recently to hear words of praise by Duval County's (Florida) new interim Supt. Ed Pratt-Dannals about the Broad Foundation's education philosophy in his recent interview on a local PBS program. Two previous Duval superintendents were also Broad Foundation trained, as I suspect Pratt-Dannals is. Also, everyone of our local school board members has received training at the Broad Foundation, which the foundation paid for, I am told. Many Broad Foundation watchers around the country say the real purpose of this group is to diminish the power of school boards for an incremental and eventual takeover of public education by the corporate sector. There are concerns that Broad is carrying out the goals and education agenda of the Business Roundtable, made up of the CEOs of the nation's biggest companies, one of which Eli Broad headed. Those goals are less about providing children with a good education and more about turning schools into training institutions with job-related specifications dictated by the business sector. In otherwords, schools won't turn out broadly educated citizens capable of thinking for themselves, but narrowly educated and programmed corporate workerbees. More journalists need to take a closer look at the role of the Broad Foundation in education policy. Your story seems to establish a track record of failure by Broad associates placed in school districts to improve them. Certainly, we have at least two examples in our own school district. These repititious patterns of failure only serve to further undermine confidence in public education and set it up for a takeover by the private sector. I sometimes wonder if that is not the true underlying objective of the Broad Foundation approach. None other than Bill Gates and a Silicon Valley billionaire buddy of his is now funding a chain of private schools in which high school students pay for their tuition from salaries earned in jobs where they work a portion of the school week--part of their requirement for high school graduation. Such a set up is also a convenient means for providing a constant stream of low-wage workers for hard-to-fill, unrewarding, lowpaying deadend jobs with a constant turnover. How convenient it would be to tap a labor pool of 17 million high school students--an arrangement that would also have an impact of further suppressing American wages. There is a corporate agenda for education at work in this nation that is not healthy for children or this nation and the future of this nation. Billee Bussard bussardre@aol.com concerned citizen semi-retired journalist editor, www.SummerMatters.com

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anonymous on 10/30/2007 at 6:48 AM

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