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This briefing paper also explains how such proposals might fit within the broader economic agenda of both local and national corporate lobbies.
Above all, the report questions why an educational model deemed substandard for more privileged suburban children is being so vigorously promoted—perhaps even forced—on poor children in Milwaukee.
The original image of a charter school revolves around a lone dedicated educator, or a local community of parents, who decide to take over a school and make it into something better for their kids.
In reality, rather than a proliferation of small experiments, the last few years have witnessed a pattern of corporate consolidation.
By 2011 less than 17 percent of charter students were in schools run by companies that operated three or fewer schools.
The majority were overseen by corporations operating 10 or more schools (Miron and Gulosino 2013, iv).
As the following sections explain, there is no evidentiary basis for believing that substituting charters for public schools will, in itself, improve education in Milwaukee or any other city. “Learning Labs 101: Inside Rocketship, One of the Best-Known Blended Learning Initiatives in the Country.” Scholastic Administrator.
Furthermore, the education model of the Rocketship chain of schools, a company central to the education reform push in Milwaukee, is particularly ill-suited to providing the city’s children with a high-quality education. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Child and Nutrition Programs; Income Eligibility Guidelines, March 29.
It is thus crucial to determine whether charter schools are indeed more effective than traditional public schools. This strategy was first enacted in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, when the Bush administration refused to fund the reopening of public schools, and instead provided million for charter schools to take over the district (Saulny 2006). Stanford School of Education, Learning Design and Technology. As the charter industry has grown and as corporate money has become increasingly influential in both state and local politics, corporate lobbyists have sought to replicate the New Orleans model in other poor cities. It is these groups, rather than parents or community organizations, that provided the impetus for legislators to consider proposals for mass school closure and privatization in Milwaukee. In advocating school privatization, MMAC, allied corporate lobbies, and corporate-funded think tanks claim to be acting out of social altruism, motivated by the tragedy of poor children whose needs are unmet in the public school system.