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Madfloridian's Journal
Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Mar 11th 2010, 10:59 PM
He says he only knows about management, but for someone whose group knows nothing about teaching or curriculum or "any of that"....his influence on education is powerful.

He and his fellow billionaires, Bill Gates and the Walton family to name two...have no intention of listening to those of us who were teachers and/or educators.

Broad, a Los Angeles-based billionaire who made his fortune in insurance and real estate, has been at the forefront of the school restructuring movement over the past decade. Using the foundation that bears his name, he has pushed aggressively for schools to be run more like businesses. The Broad (pronounced like “road”) Foundation has seeded charter schools across the country, including in New York. It has also developed a number of programs to train school administrators, including the Broad Superintendent Academy, which instructs business, nonprofit, military, government and education leaders in how to manage urban school districts. A number of top officials at the New York City’s Department of Education have received Broad training. Speaking at the 92nd Street Y in New York City last year, Broad summarized his approach: “We don’t know anything about how to teach or reading curriculum or any of that. But what we do know about is management and governance.”

The Faces of School Reform


The educator and blogger at Perimeter Primate has a website called The Broad Report. The site tries to keep track of the powerful influence of Eli Broad (rhymes with toad) and his foundation.

From The Broad Report:

“The Broad Effect”: Part Two

Because of his immense wealth and interest, billionaire Eli Broad is one member in a very small set of non-elected, extremely wealthy individuals who have acquired the power to determine U.S. public education policy and the future of our public education system. Most of the masses are not aware that public schools are being dismantled by the coup. For those who have caught on and are reading this, I offer you some information about him, all easily accessible on the internet.


This section is titled The Inauguration Party thrown by Broad for President Obama.


The guest list looked like a who’s who list of Washington old and new: Hillary Clinton, Mr. Obama’s choice for secretary of state and her husband, former President Bill Clinton; Lawrence Summers, the former treasury secretary and new White House chief economics adviser; Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve; Arne Duncan, Mr. Obama’s pick for Education Secretary, Leon Panetta, the nominee for director of the C.I.A.; Vernon Jordan, the power lawyer, as well as media celebrities like Larry King and Charlie Rose.


The page refers to a post by Jim Horn at Schools Matter last year...more about the inaugural party.


Arne Duncan and Eli Broad
Broad Inauguration Party in Washington D.C., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (Photo/Stuart Ramson)

Here are comments from his post about the coziness with billionaires like Broad.

While many of us were out busting our humps to gather up a few dollars and votes for the change we thought we could believe in, the Harvard boys were cutting backroom deals with the multi-billionaire oligarchs to fully engage their plan to corporatize American public education, beginning with the urban schools.


There is a discussion on the PAC called Democrats for Education Reform. It is a long post with many quotes, worth reading.

The education reformers who came to prominence in the 1990s, including the founders of Teach for America and the Knowledge Is Power Program, the national charter school network that fought unionization in one of its Brooklyn schools, often went to great lengths to portray themselves as explicitly apolitical. Nevertheless, "a lot of those people are, politically, Democrats," says Sara Mead, a DFER board member and director of early childhood programs at the Washington-based New America Foundation. "One of those things that DFER does that's really important is to help give those people a way to assert their identity as Democrats. It's important for those groups' long-term success, but also for Democrats, to the extent that some of these organizations are doing really good things for the kids whose parents are Democratic constituents. It's important that those organizations are identified with us rather than being co-opted by Republicans, as they were in the past." . . . .


In November 2006, Slate Magazine tells about a Vanity Fair article about Eli Broad. It speaks about the time that Broad was trying to buy the Tribune Company and its media.

Bully in Search of a Pulpit

I don't really hold the origins of Broad's fortune against him, but he's not the one I visualize when I imagine the perfect owner of a major daily newspaper. (See my sign-off for my visualization.) Although Mr. 42-on-the-Forbes-list is deeply vested in the Democratic Party—sleeping in the Clintons' Lincoln Room and running Alan Cranston's 1968 senatorial campaign—he's not especially principled about his affiliation: He defected from the party to serve as vice chairman of Democrats for Nixon in 1972 out of fear that McGovern would surrender to the Soviets.

Don't get me wrong. I'd be equally nervous about him owning the Los Angeles Times if he had sponsored Ronald Reagan's political career and shot friends in the face with Dick Cheney and then endorsed Ralph Nader for president.

While I'm fine with how Broad made his money, the way he's spending it gives me the creeps. For one thing, he's a busybody philanthropist. There's nothing wrong with philanthropy, but it's not the same thing as charity. Broad uses his foundation billions to steer public policy, most notably in the field of education. Broad preaches the centralization of public primary and secondary education, and Colacello reports that through his foundation, Broad "plans to virtually take over the Delaware school system in 2007, pending approval from that state's legislature." He backed the winning slate of candidates for the local board of education in 1999 and helped hire the new superintendent. I'm sure the folks on the Times education beat already anticipate receiving Broadgrams about their coverage.


I don't know how far Broad has gone in taking over the Delaware School System. Anyone?

There is a fascinating column on the left hand side at the Broad Report website.

It tells how the Broad Foundation is working in the background to "reform" education. There is a list of cities where Broad scholars are working, and great links to the progress they are making behind the scenes.

Here is more about how the Broad Residency works and how they have the power.

"In September 2009, Parker Hudnut was appointed as the executive director of innovation and charter division for Los Angeles Unified School District. Previously, he served as the chief operating officer at the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization creating a network of high-performing charter schools in Los Angeles. Previously, Hudnut was the director of development at Chancellor Beacon Academies (now Imagine Schools), leading the expansion of charter schools in Arizona, New York, Michigan and Florida"

I found that interesting, since LA is a leader in turning their public schools over to charter management.

..."There is big money behind these schools.

"In school districts, Broad Residents report directly to the superintendent or a top cabinet member. In CMOs, Residents report directly to the CEO or chief operating officer. Residents are often tasked with leading major projects like opening new schools, leading budgeting processes, increasing operational efficiencies or improving human resources. Residents earn starting annual salaries of $85,000 to $95,000 and participate in a series of professional development sessions over the course of two years. At the conclusion of the two-year program, The Broad Residency expects that school districts and CMOs will hire Residents permanently in their current positions or promote them into more senior leadership posts.

Now in its eighth year, The Broad Residency has placed more than 173 Residents in more than 50 urban school districts and CMOs nationwide


That is real power placed inside the educational structure.

The band of billionaires who are working closely with Arne Duncan and this administration to "reform" education have decided schools must be run like a business. They forget that the ones that business-like atmosphere would serve are children, not test taking robots, not automatons who are best treated as a way to make profits.

Eli Broad (rhymes with toad) and his billionaire cohorts are not knowledgeable about education. Broad admits he knows nothing of learning and teaching.

Once this is done, it won't be undone.

We only have our voices on this issue. They are not being heard by major media. The other side has the money, the power, and the ability to get favorable media coverage.

There is no major political figure pointing out that public education is being turned over to billionaires and their foundations. Not a single one.

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