The context of Levesque’s talk was “online education and the perceived value of permitting online charter schools, funded with public education dollars”; she urged that “reformers” use “decoy legislation” to distract the “opposition,” unions.
Levesque said she planned to sponsor a series of statewide reforms, like allowing taxpayer dollars to go to religious schools by overturning the so-called Blaine Amendment, “even if it doesn’t pass…to keep them busy on that front.” She also advised paycheck protection, a unionbusting scheme, as well as a state-provided insurance program to encourage teachers to leave the union and a transparency law to force teachers unions to show additional information to the public. Needling the labor unions with all these bills, Levesque said, allows certain charter bills to fly “under the radar.”
Crooks and Liars also highlights the “cozy relationship” existing between Florida’s Governor Rick Scott and the for-profit charter organization Charter Schools USA, which manages 25 charters in Florida with about 23,500 students. The company’s operation is actually larger than 40 of 67 public school systems in the state — but you have to wonder what’s going on as a report from this summer revealed that charter schools received nearly half of the 31 F grades handed out across Florida.
Levesque is the Executive Director for the Foundation For Excellence in Education, whose Chairman is Jeb Bush and whose Board of Directors includes former New York City school chancellor and current head of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation’s education division Joel Klein. Levesque heads the very organization that, back in October, held the National Summit on Education Reform at which Rupert Murdoch trumpeted the virtues of technology in education in a keynote speech. As Care2 blogger Judy Molland writes, the Foundation For Excellence in Education has a very particular definition of educational excellence. It “champions reforms such as charter schools, performance pay for teachers, more standardized tests, and vouchers” and “many educators believe that the group’s chief goal is to privatize education by turning it into a business and thus doing away with public education entirely.”
So this is what the Gates Foundation is funding, education that is not only privatized but that is to be provided not by teachers but via teaching and if it’s via technology, via computers, via software, via online “academies” likes these videos on YouTube, so much the better — and, too, budget-wise.
Related Care2 Coverage
Read more: #OCCUPYALEC, alec exposed, alex, bill & melinda gates foundation, bill gates, charter schools, education reform, exposealec, jeb push, joe klein, occupy alec, privatization, rick scott, rupert murdoch
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