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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:47 PM

RAVITCH: If teachers can divest from guns why not corporations killing public schools?

I'm the reader who sent the email she quotes.

I don't currently have the connections or time to make this happen, but I'm going to try.


Time to Divest?
by Diane Ravitch

A reader sent along a story that the California teachers' pension fund, the second largest in the nation, has decided to divest from corporations that manufactures weapons.

That's a good start. Now how about divesting in Walmart, which is the biggest retail outlet for assault weapons like the one used in the Newtown massacre? Another reason to divest in Walmart is that the Walton family is one of the biggest sponsors of vouchers and charters--all non-union--of course. Why should teachers invest in corporations that want to cut their pay, eliminate their job security, tie their profession to unreliable test scores, and break their union (if they have one)?

Teachers often act powerless but in fact their pension funds wield a lot of power in the marketplace. Others use their economic power to attack public education. Why shouldn't teachers and administrators use their economic power to defend this citadel of democracy?

The reader asked the following question:

Why can't we ask our retirement funds to divest from at least those companies that directly profit from the corporate education reform movement, like testing companies, education management companies, and the for profit charter companies?

Another way to get at the same effect is to move districts and states toward open source textbooks and testing, that are developed by educators collaborating and offered to schools at minimal cost. The state of California passed a law setting up a project to do this at the college level for the most commonly used course textbooks. I can't imagine collaboratively developed tests would be as expensive as the corporate ones, and politicians would have a hard time arguing against the cost savings as well.

We need to stop giving money to companies that are slowly strangling our public schools.


dianerav | January 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Categories: Education Reform |

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Reply RAVITCH: If teachers can divest from guns why not corporations killing public schools? (Original post)
yurbud Jan 2013 OP
Squinch Jan 2013 #1
yurbud Jan 2013 #2
Squinch Jan 2013 #3

Response to yurbud (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:08 PM

1. I'm going to write to my union tonight. We should have thought of this long ago. Thank you.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:21 PM

2. which one? I'm in the AFT, and I'm going to look up who to contact to create some pressure there

and I'll try to find the analogous person in the NEA.

I'd like to put something together to go viral that's simple and just a couple of clicks for people to do.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:09 PM

3. UFT, but a non-teacher chapter.

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