The Billionaire Boys Club

Jerry Johnson, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has much in common with the hedge funders who are behind the corporate education reform movement.

What do the hedge funders and venture capitalists who have taken it upon themselves to dismantle improve America’s public schools have in common with the owners of the National Football League? For one, both are fabulously wealthy (see, for example, Johnson, Jerry or Rauner, Bruce) And of course both groups DELIGHT in seeing minority kids succeed against all odds.

But might there be some other commonality that unites these men of means and vision? It turns out that both the titans of the NFL and the plutocrats behind Education Reform, Inc. share a common dislike for overpaid employees who insist on hanging around for an entire “career,” waiting to collect a pension.

Among the sticking points in the contentions negotiations between the NFL and its referees was the owners insistence that they have more “flexibility” to fire underperforming refs. When I saw this, I understood exactly what the problem was. It turns out that LIFO lifer referees have been ruining America’s favorite pastime just the way LIFO lifer teachers have been widening the achievement gap and destroying the future of an entire generation with their low expectations.  Continue reading →

Kopp to Kozol: Your New Book Didn’t Mention Me Once!

Teach for America foundress Wendy Kopp read Jonathan Kozol’s latest book, Fire in the Ashes, and thought it was a real dud. One complaint: Kozol doesn’t mention TFA once!

If you were thinking of ponying up $20 to buy Jonathan Kozol’s latest book, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America, don’t bother. EduShyster has it on EXCELLENT authority that the book suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. While I haven’t actually read Fire in the Ashes, I know someone who has—Teach for America foundress Wendy Kopp—and she thought it was a real dud.

You see Kozol has spent the past 642 years writing about the scourge of poverty among America’s children, racial segregation in the public schools and inequities in education funding—all of which we now know DO NOT MATTER AT ALL. In fact just by mentioning these non-mattering factors Kozol is practically a one man excuse factory.

But his harping on the non-mattering is just the start of Kozol’s sins in Wendy Kopp’s eyes. The dude is also a real downer. While Kozol goes on and on and on and on and on about poverty and inequality somehow he missed the great news that Kopp and Kompany have been working well-funded wonders. The solution is as obvious as it is attractive to donors: recruit fresh-faced white college grads from privileged backgrounds and send them into the inner city to motivate Rachel’s children with their high expectations. Come on Jonathan, get with the program! Continue reading →

Welcome to Good Posture Academy

So you want to go into teaching, but you know that a public school isn’t the place for you as you have heard about these innovation-free zones where iron-clad union contracts prohibit teachers from staying after school. This fact, by the way, is documented by the forthcoming documentary film, “Won’t Back Down.” Well, there is good news. No longer do you have to settle for a LIFO life of low standards. Now, thanks to the MATCH Teacher Residency Program you can become a MATCH teacher and say goodbye to mediocrity forever. Continue reading →

Stuff White People Like: Education Reform

One lesson made abundantly clear by the recent Chicago teachers’ strike was that our nation suffers from a dearth of African-American hedge fund managers and venture capitalists. What can we do about this shameful scourge? I have no idea, but what I do know is that the strike revealed a fascinating split along race and class lines over what white hedge fund managers like to call priming the edu-pump for future profits education reform.

The key take away: rich white people who send their kids to private schools were the only group to oppose the teachers’ strike. In other words, the very group whose children will likely grow up to become the next generation of achievement gap warriors.

Warning: I am about to use some polling data to back up my claims so those of you whose own educational prospects were damaged by having LIFO lifer teachers in public schools, or who lost valuable edu-days due to a strike will probably need to call on a tutor at this point. Continue reading →

Boston Globe Watch: A Two Source Town

To: Globe editorial staff, writers in all departments

Re: Mandatory use of Paul Grogan and Sam Tyler as sources in ALL stories

It has come to our attention that some writers are failing to follow the recently implemented policy requiring that either Paul Grogan or Sam Tyler be quoted AT LEAST ONCE in every Globe story or editorial. Note: the new policy is mandatory and applies to all departments, including food and sports. Some of you have questioned how best to incorporate Grogan or Tyler into stories on subject matters upon which they may have no expertise. To clarify: Grogan and Tyler are experts ON ALL TOPICS and should be treated as such. (See forthcoming: Grogan Impatient with Pace of Red Sox Turnaround; and Dinner with Cupid: Will this Financial Watchdog Find Love? (And how can he get out of picking up the tab???).

Continue reading →