Thursday, March 11, 2010

'Scuse me, just connecting some education dots....G inspired me to dig a little, so allow me to share:

Exhibit A: Lafayette Academy Charter School

Occasionally mentioned here, when LACS booted out Mosaica Education as its management company, and here, when it stood out as a participant in a school tuition lottery on a local public TV station. Thought something was weird about the latter, but never really followed through.

Exhibit B: Choice Foundation

The nonprofit corporation that is "accountable for the success of Lafayette Academy", founded to help promote school choice...which led me to...

Exhibit C: Choice's Board of Directors

One name near the bottom jumped out at me: one Kevin Kane, who founded...

Exhibit D: The Pelican Institute

Where have I heard that name before? you might be asking yourself. I know I did. And yes, it's five degrees of separation here, but let's head over to...

Exhibit E: James O'Keefe

Yep, THAT O'Keefe, the ACORN pimp and the dude who tried to orchestrate a break-in of Senator Mary Landrieu's office in a government building in broad daylight. Robert Flanagan, one of the guys who helped O'Keefe carry out the break-in, once worked for the Pelican Institute. But O'Keefe is a peripheral part of this connection of dots.

Exhibit F: Kevin Kane, head of an organization that is not made up of pelicans, nor is it an institute

Remember that nifty Choice Foundation video that said it was being led by an administrative team of all New Orleanians? Maybe within the school building they are all New Orleanians, but Kane himself isn't originally a local. That's fine. Plenty of people from out of state have done some great work for this town on the recovery front. But Kane's non-institute's advocacy of turning down high-speed rail for Louisiana, the organization's constant pushing of policies that don't have much basis in fact - only in right-wing ideology, and the idea it has that all problems can be solved by market-based policies makes for a tank that doesn't do much thinking beyond its narrowly-defined agenda. How much that agenda influences the workings of LACS is an intriguing question.

It also makes me wonder what else might be going on with the other Choice board members...

...or maybe I'm just asking too many questions in the face of improved test scores.

1 comment:

G Bitch said...

Yeah, you right!--the connection between the privatization of Orleans schools and right-wing ideology is significant, in both senses of the word. It's the primary reason little of this "reform" has to do with classrooms, learning, children. I have thought for some time that there are 2 underlying beliefs/thoughts at work here:

1) There's an awful lot of education money that can be spread, and is being spread, upon private hands. Think Ross Perot's rise to millionaire.

2) Raise tesrt scores so there will be no more talk of desegregation--if segregated and re-segregated schools have The Right Scores, all conversations about improving or changing them can end. [How many of these folks talk at all about suburban schools? Uh, none, perhaps?]

To the advantage of you know who.

OK, let me stop ranting--this is your blog, after all.