The following letter from Trish Gorham, Oakland Education Association president, was printed March 14 in the New York Times:
“Oakland Is Flash Point in Billionaire’s Push for Charter Schools,” (front page, March 5) explains the dispute well. But positive results from the “group of businessmen with grand ambitions to remake public education” have yet to be realized.
Have we seen great success as a result of the business model in public education, which features highly paid executives and consultants and top-down decision-making? Has a decade of school closings, disruptions of leadership and staff, mandated curriculum undone by a new mandated curriculum every other year, redesign after redesign, and more and more standardized tests produced positive results in Oakland, or have they created conflict and chaos, undermining confidence in our public schools?
Have Oakland’s four superintendents trained at an academy financed by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation — out of seven in the last 13 years — made a significant difference? If not, then we need to ask why the aforementioned solutions continue to be touted by the corporate class as essential fixes.
Eli Broad’s assessment that the placement of his minions “has been a worthwhile investment” must be based on a metric other than improving student outcomes.