Posts by: William Phillis

What will happen to the “government of the people, by the people and for the people” when privatization is fully accomplished?

Historically, governmental services and institutions have been governed by democratic rule. This strategy is messy at times but it is the best kind of government ever devised.

The craze to privatize government functions is accelerating at the behest of the corporate world. Of course, profit is the motive.

Some manifestations of privatization:

Private prisons Charter schools Voucher schools Privatization of parking at OSU Privatization of airports, municipal power Privatization of transportation infrastructure

When privatization of government functions is […]

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William Lager, founder of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), is spending a lot of taxpayer money on litigation. He has two cases in the Ohio Supreme Court and one in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. The most recent appeal is before the Ohio Supreme Court. This new one challenges the decision of the Franklin County Court of Appeals that would force ECOT to repay $60 million that it collected for students who rarely, if ever, log on for classes. One of ECOT’s arguments, as reported by a July 7 article in The Columbus Dispatch is telling. ECOT argues that the effect of the Ohio Department […]

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The choice advocates have opened a can of worms that may erupt into warring factions within the choice movement. The floodgates of draining public funds from public common schools into private unaccountable and non-transparent hands have been opened. The current federal administration intends to flood choice programs with public funds. The same is true in Ohio and many other states.

The choice factions are each lobbying for a market share that fits their agenda. The corporate charter school moguls have a bevy of lobbyists that ply substantial influence on the flow of public dollars to private education entities.

Parochial education leaders are ramping up […]

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The June 6 Washington Post article, “What we just learned from Betsy DeVos’s painful appearance before Congress,” validates that the new U.S. education secretary really does not support public education.

According to the article:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday on Capitol Hill that she won’t offer protections to ensure that public money is not used by for-profit education companies to make their owners rich.

She also said that private schools accepting federal funds in a voucher program would have to follow federal laws but would not promise to protect LGBTQ or other students from discrimination if the law […]

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The Buckeye Institute, an ultra-conservative think tank of sorts, has a long history of opposition to adequate funding for public schools, and support for tax-funded, privately-operated alternatives to public education.

David Hansen, the former Ohio Department of Education (ODE) charter school office head had been a Buckeye Institute official. Hansen resigned from his short stint at ODE when it was revealed that he was guilty of data rigging.

In a May 31, 2017 report, Buckeye Institute recommends an atrocious public policy proposal-Education Savings Accounts. The report quotes a Matthew Ladner who states, “American schools suffer under a […]

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Although test scores are not the best measure of the efficacy of schooling, vouchers were sold as a vehicle to improve test scores. That has not happened according to multiple studies – the latest of which is reported in The New York Times.

Math scores among students who used the vouchers were roughly seven percentage points lower than students who were not selected. The negative academic effect was even more pronounced for students who were not attending a low-performing school when they were awarded the vouchers – their scores were 14.6 percentage points lower in reading and 18.3 percentage points […]

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Some political pundits have been saying SB 85-the Universal Voucher Bill-will not move through the legislature. Hopefully they are right. But in the era of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Education Secretary, vouchers could become more appealing. DeVos’ response to every question is an elevator speech on a parent’s right to choose. After hearing a talking point hundreds of times, one often accepts it as fact regardless of how wrong it is. The sponsor of SB 85, State Rep. Matt Huffman, is taking his show on the road.  A May 19th Plain Dealer article details a rally […]

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A hearing officer ruled against ECOT last week, however this political powerhouse has brawny allies in all branches of state government

ECOT appealed the results of the recent enrollment/student participation audit by the Ohio Department of Education to the State Board of Education. The State Board appointed a hearing officer to hear the audit matter. On May 10, the hearing officer ruled against ECOT. The matter will be decided by the State Board in June. If ECOT loses, it may appeal the State Board’s decision in court. Don’t count them out.

ECOT is everywhere. Rally at the Statehouse. Lobbyists […]

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Last week’s ECOT rally backfired, but some state officials are still rallying behind this political campaign funding-driven machine. The May 16 Dispatch editorial seems to imply that the ECOT rally was not impressive. ECOT is marketing, lobbying and litigating to gain approval to lock in revenue streams for students even if they don’t participate-the equivalent of funding empty classrooms. Now that the ECOT scam has been exposed to the public, the political grip of the ECOT Man may be loosening. But don’t count ECOT out. It only takes one legislator to insert an ECOT-friendly amendment into a […]

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Last week, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich conducted a Statehouse news conference and four town hall meetings in Ohio regarding the realities of the charter school industry.

Steve Farber has posted videos from two of the events. You can watch them below.

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A cleverly-worded amendment that would benefit some charters magically appeared in the State Budget bill. No one seems to claim ownership-not me, not me, they say. However, Representative Teresa Fedor was suspicious. Even ECOT didn’t claim it.

Fortunately, Senator Peggy Lehner is quoted in The Dispatch as saying she has begun to draft an amendment to remove this provision.

“If it indeed does create some kind of staggering loophole, I think we need to deal with it,” said Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, said Wednesday, adding she already was drafting an amendment to strip it out of the bill.

 

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