How can something so wrong feel so righteous?
For far too long, three little words have been holding back the adult interests that long to put students first. What are they you ask? The teachers union conflict of interest laws. Thankfully these outdated and antiquated restrictions are now out of sight and out of mind where they belong. And while haters like you are already mumbling about ethics, may I take this opportunity to remind you that it isn’t corruption if you do it for the right reasons? I believe the word is *carerruption*…
$haring is caring
The current poster person for carerruption is Los Angeles superintendent John Deasy, aka Dr. Deasy. Note: the poster can only be viewed on an iPad so I very much hope that you have one. Now back in the day, Dr. Deasy’s $1 billion dream of arming every student in the Los Angeles Unified School District with their own iPads, complete with pre-loaded Pearson software (note: keyboards not included), might never have come to pass thanks to a bunch of useless old conflict-of-interest laws. But what difference does it make if Dr. Deasy owns Apple stock or if Deasy’s number two at the time, Jamie Aquino, who oversaw the wish fulfillment project, came to LAUS direct from a Pearson subsidiary? Carerruption means never having to say you’re sorry—until you accidentally bankrupt the school district.
Can’t spell career without care
So the nation’s second largest public school district is awash in carerruption. Any chance we can scale up Operation Caring (and $haring) to, say, an entire county? Indeed, we can reader. Now last time we visited Douglas County, CO, students there were hurtling towards World Class Outcomes and 21st Century Skills. But it turns out that students aren’t the only ones being, ahem, *enriched* in DougCo these days. Helping to lead the wagon train across low-expectations gulch is an ever swelling roster of district personnel who are bringing home World Class Salaries. Note: based on DougCo’s *unique* market-based pay system in which salaries rise as the number of applicants for a position drops, we can only assume that there is an *extreme* shortage of flacks in the Denver area… As for those pesky conflicts of interests that piled up nearly as high as Castle Rock during the recent DougCo school board election, nothing to see here folks. In fact any claims to the contrary are meritless, which is why the school district has retained not one but two high-powered law firms.
Welcome to Conflicticut
OK—so you can check off “county” on your play at home carerruption scorecard. But is there a state that’s leading the way? Connecticut may be known as the Nutmeg state but these days the state may be best known for an astonishing array of reform shenanigans, all being done for the right reasons, mind you. A typical day found local education officials in Hartford announcing the handover of a public school to Achievement First, a chain of charter schools founded by Connecticut’s own Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor. But with parents cool to that *choice* the Hartford Board of Education was left with no choice but to consider choosing an even more conflict-laden choice in order to give parents more choice, whether they wanted it or not. If only there were a blog devoted to monitoring Connecticut’s assorted education carerruption scandals…
Reader: have you ever noticed that a surprising number of the adult interests who have at last been freed up to put students first seem to know each other? In fact, it would not be inaccurate to point to theirs as an extended family—lets call them the Care Bears, shall we? EduShyster recently received a vivid reminder of this snuggly phenomenon. Soon after we posted this story about Rhode Island treasurer Gina Raimondo, who cares so deeply about that state’s retirees that she’s been investing their pension fund into funds managed by her own investment firm, a comment arrived from a RI reader. Were we aware that there was an #edreform angle to this story? We were all ears…As the obliging reader helpfully informed us, Ms. Raimondo’s husband, Andrew Moffitt, formerly sat on the national board of the Stand for
Care Bears Children Leadership Center. And were we aware that Mr. Moffitt had once shared a dorm room with the caringest man in America: Cory Booker? Why, we were not aware of any such thing. Then again, why are we not surprised?
Send tips, comments and carerruption scandals to firstname.lastname@example.org.