Over the course of the past six years after Republicans continually demand to perpetuate their failed economic agenda that devastated the economy, many pundits have often cited Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity as exclusively Republican. As a refresher, Einstein said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” One thing most Americans, particularly Democrats supporting Barack Obama, would be loath to admit is that the President is insane for doing the same thing over and over again and after failing, do it again and expect different results. Unfortunately, Democrats would be wrong in thinking the brilliant President Obama would learn from his, and his Department of Education’s, mistakes. Particularly in joining Republicans by throwing good taxpayer money after bad at a gross failure and think they would get different results.
Democrats may be surprised to learn that although Republicans have never granted one of the President’s domestic funding requests there is one specific area that Republicans will gladly give the President unrestricted amounts of taxpayer money including much more than he asks for. Especially if it hastens their crusade to abolish public schools and destroy teacher unions. Republicans will do anything to advance the interests of the school privatization movement driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers; the one area that the Obama Administration and the Kochs are in absolute agreement.
If there is one thing Republicans and the Obama Administration love more than pandering to Wall Street, it is the abject 20-year failure of the charter school industry; and why wouldn’t they? The Koch brothers and ALEC have spent no small amount of money in the states and nationally to advance the Koch brothers’ vision of a nation without a public school system to eliminate teachers’ unions; primarily because it is a profession dominated by women. It is one area that Republicans, ALEC. The Kochs, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, his BFFs Michelle Rhee and Senator Cory Booker all agree needs to happen without haste and charter schools are their chosen means of privatizing education. To show his continued support for the privatization movement, last week the President gave Republicans, the Kochs, and ALEC multiple orgasms by asking the Koch Congress to increase government funding for the grossly underperforming, unregulated, and corrupt charter school industry by 50 percent; a request Republicans wet themselves in seeking how to grant the President’s request with the greatest expediency and full support of their Koch masters and ALEC.
First, it is beyond dispute that the charter school “industry” that is wholly funded by taxpayer dollars at the expense of public schools is an abject failure. Charter schools typically underperform even the lowest performing and underfunded inner-city public schools, and yet the President wants them to have more taxpayer dollars. One of the primary reasons charter schools underperform is because “they operate with no federal or state oversight as written into their ‘charters’ by the Koch brothers’ American Legislative Exchange Council, including with no regulation or accountability on how they are spending the billions of taxpayer’ public school money.” In fact, according to the charter industry’s own admission, the anti-regulatory environment allows charters to conceal their finances leaving no record of how they are spending government money or how horrible the student results are with good reason; charter schools underperform public schools.
In a new report by the Center for Media and Democracy, “New Documents Show How Taxpayer Money is Wasted by Charter Schools,” there is such incriminating evidence of fraud, corruption, pathetic results, outrageous spending on executive salaries, outsourcing to for-profit corporate schools, and lobbying the federal government for more charter schools that it is insane for the President to ask the Koch Congress for more funding. In fact, American taxpayers are underfunding their public schools to not only lobby for more corrupt and underperforming charter schools, but to waste millions advertising the benefits of sending their children to charter schools. It is a perpetual feedback loop of funding corruption with taxpayer dollars to advance the Koch and ALEC’s drive to privatize America’s schools and an unwitting public is funding what any sane person would regard as a Koch brother scam of epic proportions; a scam the Obama Administration wants more money invested in. As the report says, even though these failed corporate entities are called “public charter schools,” they operate for the private sector for the benefit of CEO’s and Wall Street.”
Charter schools are allowed to get away with fraud at will because unlike public schools, they are unregulated according to rules put in place by ALEC in states across America. According to audits based on the Inspector General’s report, there are no real state or federal controls, or financial accountability on how taxpayer money is spent and it is all by ALEC design. States have no way of knowing how or where taxpayer dollars are spent, or what happens to “alleged” assets schools acquired, much less if students are served at all. In fact, according to a report released last week examining federal and state criminal fraud indictments, there has been more than $200 million worth of fraud in the charter school industry. An industry President Obama wants to increase funding by 50% that boggles the mind. Instead of screaming ‘waste and corruption’ and demanding greater accountability, oversight, and control, with Republicans, the President wants to throw more money at the problem while Republicans scream that what the charter industry really needs is greater independence without ‘overbearing government’ regulation.
It is possible that President Obama forgets the story he told about why he succeeded in school and how it was his mother’s diligence in ‘forcing’ him to study hard, strive for excellence, and achieve his own lofty goals; not attending unregulated, unaccountable, underperforming, and corrupt corporate charter schools. Whatever happened over the past six years, the President has wholly embraced the charter movement he has to know underperforms public schools because there are myriad studies exposing them as failures. He also knows the charter school movement is the Koch Republican path to privatizing public education as legislated by the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is disparaging to see someone as intelligent and successful as Barack Obama join forces with the likes of Republicans, the Koch brothers, and ALEC to hasten the demise of America’s public school system. It is even worse to see him doing the same thing over and over again and instead of expecting different results, knows he is wasting taxpayer dollars to get a result the Koch brothers lust; privatizing public education.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.