What I will describe has been an ideological undertaking hatched in the back rooms of Wall Street in an effort to back hand the public. Schooling has now been transformed into a business plan and an ominous one at that, if one is interested in safeguarding anything public. The whole plan goes under many names: Charter Management Organizations, Profile Schools, the Diverse Provider Strategy and more. It is an idiomatic and thus ideological undertaking now, a Machiavellian Race to the Top in an effort to convince an unsuspecting community that public schools, the teachers, the unions, along with the students who inhabit them are cretins, or philistines in need of remediation or rehabilitation.
In fact, the use of the term ‘partnership’ is the real key to understanding the way EMOs have framed the issue for the public, insofar as the term implies a mutual playing ground between parties in the contract. According to Jonathan Kozol, educational writer and best selling author: One of the early strategies employed by private corporations to soften resistance to their presence in our public schools was the creation of so-called business partnerships between the poorest inner-city schools and large companies. The financial side of the partnership usually turned out to be inconsequential. Kerr-McGee, the multinational petrochemical giant, gave one impoverished public school in Oklahoma City the trivial annual sum of $36 for each pupil. In return, one of the company’s executives was appointed to direct a “governance committee” to oversee the school operations, and the school consented to be known not simply as a public elementary school but as an “Enterprise School”.