Crony Capitalism

Deregulation in education has led to cronyism, corruption and conflicts of interest. Dr. Preston Green sees a familiar pattern and a cautionary tale…

Jennifer Berkshire: Our Secretary of Education is visiting a Florida charter school that is best known for being started by rap-u-preneur, Pitbull. But a lesser known true fact is that the school’s powerful and politically connected management company, Academica, ran afoul of the feds for a little something something called *related-party transactions.* What is a related-party transaction? And why do I have the feeling that Betsy DeVos didn’t drop by to, um, continue the investigation?

Preston Green: Related-party transactions occur when you have two entities that have a pre-existing relationship. For example, if two entities have common management, or in the charter sector context, you could have an EMO that also has a real estate arm, which then leases property back to the charter school at a greatly inflated rate. In the case of Academica, which is the management company that runs the school Secretary DeVos visited, it’s *all of the above.* You see different entities sharing the same board of directors, conflicts of interest and questionable real estate dealings, including charter schools paying rents that are well above the market rate to companies that Academica owns.     Continue reading →

John Arnold’s Big Fact Check

The exquisite sensitivity of being a billionaire…

Reader: last time we checked in with the rich they were different from you and me. For one thing, the rich are exquisitely sensitive, which is why the average billionaire sleeps on sheets with a thread count higher than your annual income. But the truly rich also have billions more feelings than a slob like you, which means that their feelings are easily ruffled. Fortunately they also have armies of lawyers at the ready to intervene in the event of such misfortune. And so it is with EduShyster’s favorite young billionaire John Arnold, who recently endured a feelings hurting of unendurable magnitude. Ready the Kleenex reader for this is is a tragic tale indeed… Continue reading →

All About the Benjamins

A retired hedge fund billionaire says that it’s time for teachers to stop living so large

Let’s face it, reader. Most teachers go into the teaching biz for one reason and one reason only: the money. And the only reason they continue to show up, day after day, year after year, is to collect the golden parachutes, otherwise known as pensions, that will make their golden years literally golden. But is there anyone brave enough to look these fat cats in the eye? Meet billionaire and 38-year-old retiree John Arnold who is on a quest to rescue the nation from large-living teachers and at last put students first.  Continue reading →