US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s surprise announcement to leave his position in December is making headlines and driving lots of commentary, but an important story lost in the media clutter happened three days before he gave notice.
Similarly, the GAO found the BIE to be dysfunctional and working at cross purposes, in need of a complete overhaul. The entire Department of Education, in whatever venue it operates, is broken.
"US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s surprise announcement to leave his position in December..three days before he gave notice..Duncan rattled the education policy world with news of a controversial grant of $249 million ($157 the first year) to the charter school industry."
Wikipedia, Revolving Door (Politics):
"In politics, the "revolving door" is a movement of personnel between roles as legislators and regulators and the industries affected by the legislation and regulation. Political analysts claim that an unhealthy relationship can develop between the private sector and government, based on the granting of reciprocated privileges to the detriment of the nation and can lead to regulatory capture."
"..Duncan’s replacement as acting secretary will be John King, the controversial former New York State Education Commissioner, who has deep ties to the charter school industry."
Wikipedia, Regulatory Capture
"Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure; it creates an opening for firms or political groups to behave in ways injurious to the public (e.g., producing negative externalities). The agencies are called "captured agencies"."
I doubt its a big mystery why Duncan has approved this travesty right before his resignation. Let's see what job he takes in the private sector and with whom.
Privatization, baby! The more unaccountable, the better, as long as we get that money out of the public schools.
How dare us rabble demand a (tax-paid) "free" education! We should pay billions more to unaccountable, shoddy charter schools that screen out the challenged among us.
Charter Schools and the Profit Motive (http://jonathanturley.org/2013/03/16/charter-schools-and-the-profit-motive/)
Excerpt: "What happens is the investors who put up the money to build charter schools get to basically or virtually double their money in seven years through a thirty-nine percent tax credit from the federal government. In addition, this is a tax credit on money that they’re lending, so they’re also collecting interest on the loans as well as getting the thirty-nine percent tax credit. They piggy-back the tax credit on other kinds of federal tax credits like historic preservation or job creation or brownfields credits."
And hedge funders control the vast majority of the charter school ownership and management groups.
Profiteering on the backs of unsuspecting parents and students; shuttering unprofitable charter schools without notice and selling the buildings and land to cover any losses. There is no conscience when it comes to money.
Duncan is fully aware of all the loopholes and I would not doubt that he has a bundle of money invested in charter schools (via blind trusts like Cheney with his Halliburton bundle) not only in Illinois but also in NY, TX, and OH. During his tenure (2001-2009) as superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, he closed several schools much to the dismay of and wreaking havoc among teachers, parents, and students. Wonder how many of those shuttered schools became charter schools....? Duncan's gettin' out when the gettin's good. There's lots-o-money waiting for him in the "private" sector, to be sure.