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Privateers Ahoy! The International Charter School Movement (Part I)

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 05:24 AM
Original message
Privateers Ahoy! The International Charter School Movement (Part I)
Edited on Thu Oct-14-10 06:14 AM by Hannah Bell
The British Teachers' Union & its supporters have blown the cover of the wolf who pretends to be grandma -- the school privatization/charter school movement.

Contra the warm-hearted mom-&-pop image the charter school movement tries to cultivate in the US, a backgrounder by the "Anti-Academies" group in Britain exposes the British movements relationship to global capital and the world of high finance -- as well as its global ambitions and links to the US charter school movement.

In the Anti-Academies report we learn that the British school "reform" movement is being steered by the same kind of hedge funds, management corporations, & investment firms steering the US version & in some cases, the very *same* firms.

This link http://bit.ly/9p1oti goes to the pdf of the compiled brochure that lists the many firms that have their hands outstretched with the passing of the UK Academies Act, which is generating the same kind of buzz in the private sector that RTTT is here in the states. http://www.newstatesman.com/education/2010/09/free-scho...

These organisations seek a "radically expanded role" in the English education system and openly declare their goal to be privatization, deeming education in the UK a "100 billion market."

Here are some of those players.


INVESTMENT & SERVICE COMPANIES

BPP HOLDINGS
Category: Investment firm
Type: PLC, subsidiary company to Apollo Global
Turnover: 7.8 million (31 Aug 2009)
Operating profit: 1.5 million (31 Aug 2009)

BPP Holdings is owned by Apollo Global. Apollo Global is a $1 billion joint venture between the Apollo Group and private equity firm the Carlyle Group established in September 2007. Apollo Global is an educational investment company, formed to make investments in the international education services sector. It runs Learning Media, its publishing division and, in July 2010, the BPP Law and Business School was granted a charter to become a university college.

Comment:

In the USA, the Apollo Group runs the University of Phoenix. Apollo Globals aim is to set up a global education network. Its 2009 acquisition of BPP Holdings was to serve as a platform from which to operate in the UK and throughout Europe.

DUers should remember the Carlyle Group, infamous for linking the Bush family with the bin Laden family fortunes. Apollo Group and Carlyle have mated to provide a $1 billion dollar joint venture aimed solely at entering the international education services sector. http://globalhighered.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/apollo-g... /

Readers might also remember recent news stories aimed at exposing the sordid practices of University of Phoenix, ripping off students with huge loans for worthless degrees. http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/profit-education-abc-news-...


CAPITA GROUP
Category: Outsourcing services
Type: PLC
Turnover: 2686 million
Net income: 189 million

Capita is the UKs leading provider of business process outsourcing and business transformation services, offering expert resources and support, ICT, specialist software and information management systems, and property consultancy. Major shareholders include some of the largest investment management companies, including Baillie Gifford & Co, Fidelity, Capital Research Global Investors and BlackRock Advisors.

Comment:

Capitas website claimed:

Most establishments use one or more of our services and we deliver core administration services to the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). There is considerable opportunity to continue strengthening and broadening our relationships. Following the end of the National strategies programme in 2011, the Government intends to develop an assured suppliers market for improvement support to schools. Under this scheme, selected suppliers will be quality assured and accredited by the DCSF. Capita is in a good position to develop a strong presence in this market.

The Capita group was found in 2006 to be involved in the notorious Cash for Honours (Titles) scandal that rocked the Blair government and involved several captains of high finance. Founder and chairman Ron Aldridge was made OBE on the heels of a secret 1 million pound loan to the Labour Party. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4836024.stm It has been said that the awarding of honours is nowhere near as important as the awarding of lucrative government contracts, which were also obtained for Capita. http://www.capita.co.uk/markets/pages/central-governmen... Aldridge, who was referred to in 2002 as a privatization tycoon stepped down from his position at Capita in the wake of the scandal. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2002/sep/15/schools....


SERCO GROUP
Category: Business services
Type: PLC
Turnover: 3.97 billion (2009)
Operating profit: 130.2 million (2009)

Serco is a British-based business services company listed on the London Stock Exchange & FTSE Index. Styled "the biggest company you've never heard of," it performs a range of services in various countries.

It operates light rail systems in England, Australia, Holland, and elsewhere. It operates traffic camera systems in the UK. It runs prisons & immigration detention centers. It runs hospitals. It has defense contracts world-wide. It runs air traffic control in Dubai. It runs hospitals. It runs drivers' licensing centers in Canada. It runs leisure centers, scientific labs, border security, & welfare-to-work programs. It also runs schools, contracts with governments & other providers to inspect schools, and supplies student data systems.

Comment:

Serco began as an operational division of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) -- which was itself a creation of General Electric. RCA Service Division was bought by its management sometime after 1969 & renamed Serco.

Serco North America (Serco, Inc) is based in Reston, VA & has 11,500 US employees. It provides professional, technology, and management services to the federal government, especially the Dept of Defense, in keeping with its heritage -- RCA & GE were also big defense contractors.


VT GROUP
Category: Support services (formerly shipbuilding)
Type: PLC, wholly-owned subsidiary of Babcock International
Turnover: 1095 million
Operating profit: 25.1 million

In 2008 VT Group moved away from shipbuilding into engineering and support services. It provides a variety of support to the government (mostly defense-related) & private sectors including communications, emergency, aerospace, nuclear, environmental & defense services. And education. Its Education & Skills Division offers training to commercial education companies and facility management & consultancy to schools.

Comment:

VT Group has a US subsidiary, VT Services Inc. The Department of Defense & related businesses are its prime clients. VT Group is itself a subsidiary of Babcock International, another global corporation whose main income stream comes from defense & government contracting. Babcock International began its life as the UK unit of America's Babcock & Wilcox.


PEARSON (PEARSON EDUCATION)
Category: Support services/consultancy
Type: PLC
Turnover: 5624 million
Operating Profit: 462 million

Pearson is a global media company with headquarters in London. It's the largest education company and the largest book publisher in the world. Its properties include Penguin Books, Simon & Schuster, the Financial Times Group. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearson_plc

Pearson Education is one of Pearson's three operating divisions. It's headquartered in New Jersey but operates world-wide with about 40,000 employees. It publishes a wide range of books, software and online resources for primary and secondary schools, FE colleges and private training providers. Its educational imprints include Longman, Addison-Wesley, Prentice-Hall, & Pearson Scott Foresman. It recently formed a consortium with other publishers to develop an e-textbook business, in which students buy content for a specific amount of time instead of a physical book. Pearson also contracts with schools to provide pupil assessments, teacher training and student data tracking software.

Comment:

Pearson owns Edexcel, which offers "academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning in the UK and internationally." http://www.edexcel.com/Pages/Home.aspx

In July 2010 it announced the establishment of a school improvement (aka school "turnaround") business. This is an organization that comes in when, for example, a school has been declared "failed" -- as No Child Left Behind & Race to the Top stipulate -- and supposedly "improves" it -- for a price, of course.


MOTT MCDONALD (CAMBRIDGE EDUCATION)
Category: Support services
Type: Privately owned company
Gross revenue: 1.01 billion
Group operating profit: 48.1 million

Cambridge Education is the trading name of the education arm of the Mott MacDonald Group, a privately owned global health management and construction consultancy.

Cambridge Education Foundation, its not-for-profit arm, is a consultancy providing education services in the UK and internationally. Its 2009 annual report states that it offers a onestop shop for school development in conjunction with its parent company, including detailed design and development of the building, project and construction management, and facilities management.

Comment:

The Mott MacDonald Group http://www.mottmac.com / is an engineering & services company with operations in 140 countries. It's the product of a 1989 merger between two companies founded in the 19th century, which built, among other projects, the Aswan Dam & portions of the London metro system.

Mott McDonald is currently building schools in Iraq paid for by the "Iraqi Commander's Emergency Response Program, aka US taxpayer dollars, another example of private corporations siphoning profits via public funding. http://www.mottmac.com/iraqiheritage / http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/call/docs/09-27/ch-4.asp


Part II: Coming soon: Education Management Companies! Religious groups! Global Charities!

A Messenger/Bell production


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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. k
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. k n r
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. Kick And Rec Hannah. Thank You For Posting This.
The current education policy is a losing policy, it's that simple. Keep up the great work Hannah, maybe some will see the light. :hug: :kick:
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. ...
Education funding = $$$ for corporations
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. The neoliberal core of the deform movement exposed.
Edited on Thu Oct-14-10 06:50 AM by LWolf
"These organisations seek a "radically expanded role" in the English education system and openly declare their goal to be privatization, deeming education in the UK a '100 billion market.'"


:grr:
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R, thanks for posting..
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VioletLake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
7. I used to imagine that Colombia has the education model
that Republicans want for the United States: rudimentary public schools for the dirt poor and private schools for everyone else.

Now I realize that it is rudimentary -private- schools that they want.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. k&r
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
9. Neil Bush and Condescenda Rice spoke at University of Phoenix grajuashen.
Edited on Thu Oct-14-10 08:09 AM by Octafish
Pictures of the Big Day.

Condoleezza Rice tells Valley grads: Find, follow your passion

Outstanding post, HannahBell! Haven't put the connections through the GOOGLE, but it's safe to say the same turds who make money off Perma War, Big Oil and Bankstering are tapping into the next big thing: Education.

Look out, world. You won't know what hit you.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. Neil Bush has profited greatly from the privatization of Public Schools
He must have had a heads up before the NCLB program went into effect. He developed an educational program and was ready to have funds directed towards buying that program immediately.

The NCLB program was devised by businessmen for businessmen. The progress and education of children takes a back seat to many other issues in this program. It is a shame to see Democrats not only supporting this disastrous educational system, but going even further than Bush went.

What do these business people know about educating children? The very fact that their whole program is based on testing answers that question.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
10. k & r
Someone here just sagely remarked that the new entrepreneurship is interrupting a government $$ stream. These guys are sleaze. Powerful sleaze.
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Panaconda Donating Member (672 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R
This is a keeper.

Thanks Hannah.
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anaxarchos Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. Why shouldn't the narrowest and most ignorant...
... among us, "teach the world"? Seems in perfect keeping with the times.

K&R
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. As Dame Judi Dench said in "Notes On a Scandal"........
... "And they call it "PROH-gress".
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. Good for the British Teachers union
Recommending this. We knew it was international, just not how much so.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. 'The New World Order'
Which apparently is supported by some on DU as this post is being unrec'd for some inexplicable reason.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. :>) not inexplicable.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #35
43. kik
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
15. K&R
Thanks for sharing
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
16. The Class War is pretty much over at this point. And we never fought back
Wow. Just wow.

K&R

Excellent reseach
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
17. University of Phoenix was a sponsor of Education Nation on NBC
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. It was. This is depressing. n/t
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. That figures.
The picture is becoming quite clear.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
18. knr!
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jotsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
19. Propublica looked into some matters regarding UofP
<http://www.propublica.org/search/search.php?q=universit... >

The link is to an index of a group of stories regarding a variety of misdeeds, as we have come to expect from corporate models in many disciplines.

I'm guessing you're already familiar with TheyRule.net. If not, know it's a site where you can plug in company A against company B and find what common denominators exist on their boards of directors, which might lead you to more central forces behind this farce of a 'movement'.

I see education of a free public as infrastructure. Regardless of what it costs, it has to well built and maintained for that public to remain free. The moneychangers are running scant of markets to milk and now look to make one of yet another aspect of life that profit should not apply.

I rec'd this thread. As I do most of this members posts. It is rare I'll rec before reading, which I did in this case for two reasons. Her body of work warrants it, IMO. And the last couple of posts I would have rec'd but didn't catch in time, consider it something of a make good.

Keep that ring in an echo Miss Bell.


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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. Thanks for that link. There are a lot of stories about U of Phoenix's problems there.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. Thanks for posting that link
Good stuff there!
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jotsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. They do good work on lots of topics.
Their data trackers are like a library you can get lost in for hours upon hours.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
20. Excellent post.
Anyone who has been following the news on some of the organizations behind the Charter School business in this country should not be surprised.

They are selling this country to Global interests, one school at a time, one foreclosed home at a time.

I think we'll be seeing similar exposure here before long.

Thank you for this research, Hannah.

K&R
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
25. K&R. I don't see anything surprising here other than incredible stupidity of people
that can't grasp that turning the education of citizens into a profit stream for an organization who's only goal is to maximize profits is a fine idea.
:kick: * R

Were we always this dumb and I just wasn't paying attention?


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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
29. where's the cheering section? c'mon, "charter schools are public schools!"
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. I know, what's up?
Do they only work odd days?
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. seems so. they were out in force a couple days ago.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. This is odd, I was all ready for blood this morning.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. snark is less effective against cold documented hard-money facts.
i'd guess that's why.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-15-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. k
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. They do use public funds. Many of them are run by religious
Edited on Thu Oct-14-10 03:35 PM by sabrina 1
groups but claim they do not teach religion.

Eg, the Turkish/American-run Charter schools, which hire teachers from Turkey while U.S. teachers are being fired.

While I don't really have a problem with the guy who apparently inspired a whole movement in Turkey and is now living in the U.S., and who many say was the inspiration behind the American Turkish Charter Schools, there is a problem with Public Funds going to private entities which bring in foreign teachers, while our own Public Funds remain underfunded.

Objectives of charter schools with Turkish ties questioned

Crossing the line?

At minimum, the rapid growth of the Turkish-affiliated schools shows how the freewheeling world of charter schools has changed the face of K-12 education in the USA.

In most cases, charters are loosely regulated in exchange for improved performance. A few schools are affiliated with religious groups or offer programs that others can't. But in several cases, a school's orientation has forced it to show that it's not crossing lines and endorsing religion. Examples:

Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, a Minnesota charter school authorized by Islamic Relief USA, a Virginia-based aid group. In 2008, the school ran afoul of state officials who said having teachers take part in voluntary Friday prayers could give students the impression that the school endorsed Islam.

Sacramento City Unified School District in California, which for 12 years has fought a lawsuit that says the city's Waldorf schools are based on the religious beliefs of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner.

Whether such schools continue to grow is no small question, since President Obama has made charter school expansion a priority.


Regardless of whether one views these religious groups as good or bad, the Public School System is meant to provide an education that has no religious ties whatsoever.

The Turkish run Charters deny any affiliation with the Spiritual leader, Gulen, and he himself has denied being involved. Investigations show no ties between the two, but he has sais his views influenced the establishment of the Charters in the U.S.

While they generally have had good academic results, they, like many Charters appear to pick and choose the students and parents so it is easier to get good results.

I don't understand why all the money being spent from the Public Education Fund has not been spent improving the Public Schools already in existence.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. because it's not profitable, & might cause dissatisfaction in the ranks of the proles as well
as unbearable amounts of competition for the snowflakes of the ruling class.

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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Yes, that is clear. They are privatizing the Public Schools
no matter how you look at it. Any Charter receiving Public funds should be held to exactly the same standards as Public Schools. First and foremost, they should have to take and keep special needs children and then we'll see how their test results look.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
36. K & R
before they kick us back into the 19th century
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
37. ..
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LooseWilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
38. But on the plus side, those of us with peg legs and hook hands are seeing new job opportunities...
Yarrr... charter school teaching and a bottle of rum.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
39. Btw, I am looking forward to Part 2 of this excellent post.
Edited on Thu Oct-14-10 07:04 PM by sabrina 1
This information should be in the media here. I hope it changes things in Britain now that it has made it into their media. And that might put a dent in the whole Globalization of Education fiasco if the Brits had to get out of the Global Charter School business.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
40. K&R
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-15-10 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
44. K&R
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-15-10 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
45. kick

Sorry I'm not able to rec.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-15-10 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
46. Carlyle group = Bush = NCLB = Testing madness = Charter mania = Profits for Carlyle Group. Q. E. D.
Edited on Fri Oct-15-10 07:48 AM by WinkyDink
The Missing Link: Reason for Obama's intense interest.
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Oilwellian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-15-10 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
47. Kick n/t
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-15-10 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
49. Capitalist: profiting where nobody dared before.

I guess this is why some call capitalism 'innovative'.
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-16-10 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
50. Kick and thank you!
Edited on Sat Oct-16-10 05:33 PM by maryf
I've been scarce...bookmarked for full perusal later...

Error: you can only recommend threads which were started in the past 24 hours
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