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May 13, 2010 at 3:30 PM

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Charter Schools and the Argument from Profit

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

A Seattle activist sends me a link to an Amy Goodman piece on charter schools, from her show, “Democracy Now!” In it, Goodman's colleague, Juan Gonzalez, says:

One of the things I've been trying now for a couple of years is to try to figure out why is it that so many hedge fund managers, wealthy Americans, and big banks, Wall Street banks--executives of Wall Street banks, have all lined up supporting and getting involved in the development of charter schools. I think I may have come across one of the reasons. There's a lot of money to be made in charter schools.

The activist who sent me this added his own headline: SMOKING GUN: THE CHARTER SCHOOL LINK = BIG BUCKS.

All political activists like stories that validate their beliefs. This is a story that validates one of the beliefs of the Left, which is that the people on the Right are in it for the money. For a certain type of person, then, this story is the "Smoking Gun"--the AHA! story, the I've-got-you-with-your-hand-in-the-cookie-jar story. It's a big story for that person because it lets him say, "I can ignore your arguments for charter schools--because I know you're in it for the money". And the vast majority of supporters of charter schools are not in it for that reason.

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