CHARTERS KILL TRUE CHOICE

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The End of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gov­ern­ment…
…The Begin­ning of Glob­al “Gov­er­nance”

Charlotte Thomson IserbytGov­ern­ment of the peo­ple, by the peo­ple, for the peo­ple?! Accord­ing to Reed Hast­ings of Net­flix you only have 20–30 years of free­dom left! Get out to vote now, because you won’t have it in the future.

While many con­ser­v­a­tives are out in the polit­i­cal world oppos­ing the CRISIS of Com­mon Core, few real­ize that the pre-digest­ed, pre-deter­mined SOLUTIONS being pro­posed and imple­ment­ed by the pow­ers-that-be (what Dr. Den­nis Cud­dy refers to as the “Pow­er Elite”) are out to elim­i­nate grass­roots Amer­i­ca. Bye-bye grasss­roots. Bye-bye elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Hel­lo con­trolled “gov­er­nance.”

We already know from the New Orleans exper­i­ment that the char­ter par­ents are under­go­ing inten­sive re-edu­ca­tion so that they will “buy into” a new struc­ture of gov­er­nance, which is top-down con­trol. (read “The Delib­er­ate Dumb­ing Down of the Vil­lage” for details). Now we know a lit­tle more of the sto­ry. Reed Hast­ings tells all.

You can read the com­plete tran­script of the Reed Hast­ings address to the Cal­i­for­nia Char­ter Schools Asso­ci­a­tion at my blog: Below are some key excerpts.

Net­flix CEO Reed Hast­ings
Keynote Speak­er, CCSA Con­fer­ence 2014
Cal­i­for­nia Char­ter Schools Asso­ci­a­tion
Pub­lished on Youtube Mar 4, 2014
Watch Reed Hast­ing by click­ing here.

Char­ter schools are very chal­leng­ing…. All of you are war­riors every day as lead­ers of char­ter schools, teach­ers of char­ter schools, advo­cates of char­ter schools. It’s very hard work; an every­day grind. And, then you get to come to this con­fer­ence….

But, it does give me a chance to talk with many of you and with your col­leagues around the coun­try in try­ing to under­stand more about this puz­zle of char­ter schools; how do we suc­ceed polit­i­cal­ly, why is it impor­tant, why do dif­fer­ent con­stituents fight with us? Why do school dis­tricts have such a dif­fi­cult time? And so I thought I would start by shar­ing some of those reflec­tions with you. It starts with a love affair. So, I fell in love 14 years ago with Roy Romer. Roy Romer was the for­mer gov­er­nor of Col­orado, a very sophis­ti­cat­ed politi­cian. He basi­cal­ly vol­un­teered to become the super­in­ten­dent of Los Ange­les Pub­lic School Dis­trict in June of 2000. There was great excite­ment about how he was able to gal­va­nize the phil­an­thropic com­mu­ni­ty, the polit­i­cal com­mu­ni­ty, the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty, teach­ers. He had a real touch for peo­ple and for 6 years…. Then what hap­pened was the school board changed enough that he got thrown out!…”

Roy Romer, for­mer gov­er­nor of Col­orado, is a famil­iar name to those of us who opposed Out­come-Based Edu­ca­tion 25 years ago. In his plat­form of the Nation­al Gov­er­nors Asso­ci­a­tion, he chaired the Edu­ca­tion Com­mis­sion of the States, and worked to fur­ther the agen­da of edu­ca­tion reform. In case the read­er isn’t up to date on Romer, here is his lat­est bio, which indi­cates he is still a major change agent in edu­ca­tion reform cir­cles, heav­i­ly financed by the Pow­er Elite:

On June 7, 2000, he became Super­in­ten­dent of the Los Ange­les Uni­fied School Dis­trict, where he served for six years.…On April 25, 2007, Roy Romer began his ser­vice as the chair­man and lead spokesman for Strong Amer­i­can Schools, a non­prof­it project… fund­ed by the Bill and Melin­da Gates Foun­da­tion and the Eli and Edythe Broad foun­da­tion….” (Source)

Reed Hast­ings con­tin­ued with his remarks, dis­parag­ing the elec­tion process. He doesn’t like the changeover in lead­er­ship each time there is an elec­tion, and he doesn’t like board mem­bers who keep promis­es to their con­stituents:

Well, it start­ed me think­ing – think about how hard it is to win elec­tion in LAUSD. It’s a big deal (right?) to win elec­tion to the school board! Well, are you going to win elec­tion and then not try to cre­ate change? No! You’ve got a promise to your con­stituents…. So, what hap­pens in school dis­tricts which have big con­test­ed elec­tions…. your large dis­tricts have very con­test­ed elec­tions.

So, inevitably, super­in­ten­dent changes rapid­ly. So, in the last eight years we’ve had 3 dif­fer­ent ones in LA Uni­fied and that’s not unique. That’s typ­i­cal across the coun­try. What hap­pens then is the school dis­trict has a very hard time mak­ing long-term plans, mak­ing long-term changes because the school board is rapid­ly chang­ing – so the super­in­ten­dent changes, so the staff changes. That is the essence of why school dis­tricts can­not get to sus­tained excel­lence.

School dis­tricts are filled with good peo­ple try­ing to do good work; but, the gov­er­nance of a school dis­trict is rel­a­tive­ly chaot­ic, espe­cial­ly in large urban dis­tricts where elec­tions are expen­sive to get to win. Because of that turnover, they basi­cal­ly oscil­late instead of improve….

…So, this polit­i­cal process is very dis­heart­en­ing because it makes it very hard for a school dis­trict to do longterm change….

Well, that all comes down to governance.A char­ter school is gen­er­al­ly non-prof­it and the board-mem­bers pick the new board-mem­bers. It’s called “self-per­pet­u­at­ing gov­er­nance.” They’re not elect­ed by the gen­er­al pub­lic. Because the board-mem­bers pick the new board-mem­bers, when you join the board of a non-prof­it you join to help. You’re not nec­es­sar­i­ly going to cre­ate change, you didn’t have to run an expen­sive elec­tion to get there….

So, that non-prof­it self-per­pet­u­at­ing gov­er­nance is very healthy….So, for-prof­its are basi­cal­ly self-per­pet­u­at­ing, board-mem­bers pick new board-mem­bers and then the orga­ni­za­tions com­pete.“‘

What is Reed Hast­ings real­ly say­ing here? Well, he is using a clas­sic tech­nique for cre­at­ing CHANGE via manip­u­la­tion. He is down­grad­ing our elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tive form of gov­ern­ment by cit­ing all of the PROBLEMS with it that he can think to list. Many of us would agree that there are prob­lems. How­ev­er, he is say­ing that cit­i­zen-elect­ed school boards are not “healthy.” He is talk­ing about what a dis­as­ter it is when DULY ELECTED LOCAL school boards, rep­re­sent­ing cit­i­zens in each school dis­trict, have changeover each elec­tion. What?!

Local cit­i­zens may not LIKE how any duly elect­ed school board mem­ber acts, and so they vote to throw them out of office the next elec­tion. This is America’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive form of gov­ern­ment. Messy it may be, but it is free­dom. This is the EMPOWERMENT of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. WE have a voice. WE have a vote. WE can go to the polling booth and CHOOSE who we want to rep­re­sent us. WE have TRUE CHOICE!

But in the Reed Hast­ings uni­verse, notice what he calls “healthy.” SELF-PERPETUATING boards!!! Self-anoint­ed, self-appoint­ed, self-elect­ed boards that act like good-old-boys clubs and pass the baton to the next board mem­ber WITHOUT any VOTE! He says that a char­ter school’s board of direc­tors gets to choose the next mem­bers of the board. This means that you the PARENT and YOU the CITIZEN have absolute­ly NO CHOICE in the mat­ter! Even if your chil­dren are enrolled in the char­ter school, you have NO CHOICE over who gets appoint­ed to the board.

The impli­ca­tions are stag­ger­ing. Char­ter school “choice” is an utter sham!

Read on. Reed Hast­ings is talk­ing about a top-down mil­i­tary-style con­trol orga­ni­za­tion. What’s so good about the mil­i­tary? “Con­trol­ling their train­ing,” he says. This is “essen­tial­ly the char­ter school way.” Wow.…

If you think about it, it’s also true in the mil­i­tary branch­es…. So, this mod­el of the army con­trol­ling their train­ing…. And that’s essen­tial­ly the char­ter school way.

Think about church­es. The car­di­nals pick the pope, the pope picks the car­di­nals – anoth­er form of self-per­pet­u­at­ing gov­er­nance….

So, the fun­da­men­tal prob­lem with school dis­tricts is not their fault. The fun­da­men­tal prob­lem is they don’t get to con­trol their board. And, the impor­tance of the char­ter school move­ment is to evolve Amer­i­ca from a sys­tem where gov­er­nance is con­stant­ly chang­ing….”

Next, Reed Hast­ings men­tions New Orleans. Of course! The New Orleans char­ter school exper­i­ment which we’ve writ­ten about oftenon my blog. (Read my post: “The Delib­er­ate Dumb­ing Down of the Vil­lage.”) No vot­er rep­re­sen­ta­tion. No true free­dom of “choice.” Every­one is part of the char­ter “hub” sys­tem. And John Ayers and his “choice” bud­dies are busi­ly re-train­ing the par­ents to accept this new form of “gov­er­nance.” (Read our blog post: “Using Cri­sis to Con­trol ‘Choice’.”) Hast­ings con­tin­ued.

We’re get­ting lit­tle glimpses of this when we look ahead, when we look at New Orleans which is now about 90% char­ters. The over­all results in New Orleans across the whole city is amaz­ing! They’re rapid­ly ris­ing much faster than any­where else in Louisiana and soon going to pass the state aver­age which is amaz­ing giv­en the demo­graph­ics con­sid­er­ing the state. So, it’s very impres­sive. And again, that’s because they pio­neered this form where near­ly all the schools are char­ters, orga­nized into net­works of all dif­fer­ent sizes, some sin­gle schools, some big net­works and they all learn from each oth­er. But, the most impor­tant thing is that they con­stant­ly get bet­ter. Every year they’re get­ting bet­ter because they have sta­ble gov­er­nance. They don’t have an elect­ed school board. That’s the real tough issue here.”

What a stark admis­sion! He says that the self-anoint­ed, self-appoint­ed unelect­ed CHARTER school board is bet­ter! Bet­ter for WHOM? The cit­i­zens, who have just lost their voice? The vot­er who has just lost his true grass­roots pow­er? The chil­dren who now have an unelect­ed board gov­ern­ing their dai­ly lives – peo­ple who are NOT account­able to their par­ents, not account­able to the local cit­i­zens? Not account­able to ANYONE but them­selves?!! Real­ly? (Read my blog post: “The 3-Legged Stool of School ‘Choice’.”) Reed Hast­ings is open­ly talk­ing about get­ting “rid of school boards” below, and he is telling char­ter school oper­a­tors that they have their polit­i­cal work cut out for them – to take over – lit­er­al­ly. He said:

Now, if we go to the gen­er­al pub­lic and we say, “Here’s an argu­ment of why you should get rid of school boards,” of course, no one’s going to go for that. School boards have been an icon­ic part of Amer­i­ca for 200 years…. And, the work ahead is real­ly hard because we’re at 8% of stu­dents in Cal­i­for­nia where­as, in New Orleans they’re at 90% [of char­ter schools]. So, we have a lot of catch up to do….

So, school dis­tricts would like to learn the prac­tices. They… are pris­on­er to their gov­er­nance, to the elect­ed school board chang­ing so rapid­ly.

So, what we have to do is just to con­tin­ue to grow and grow….It’s going to take 20 or 30 years to get to 90% char­ter kids. And the answer is, “Yeah, it is. It’s going to take 20 to 30 years.”

And, if we suc­ceed over the next 20 or 30 years, that will be one of the fastest rates of change ever seen around the world for a large sys­tem. It’s hard! (applause)….

But, we are mak­ing great progress. Again, it’s not because the peo­ple in school dis­tricts are bad. Most of them we want to pull into the char­ter school move­ment where they can see what a great pub­lic school is that doesn’t have the chaos inflict­ed by the rapid turnover of a local school board.”

Like many of the cor­po­rate man­age­ment gurus, Reed Hast­ings is a futur­ist. He seems to hold to a utopi­an view of the future where all chil­dren will per­form per­fect­ly in a per­fect­ly con­trolled sys­tem. But all of these utopi­an man­age­ment types, the father of whom was Peter Druck­er, also advo­cate for a new form of gov­er­nance. In real­i­ty, in its actu­al work­ings, this form of gov­er­nance (which is glob­al in scope) is total­i­tar­i­an. It is a top-down man­age­ment con­trol struc­ture, dri­ven by per­for­mance-based objec­tives, with pre-set stan­dards and cri­te­ria, along with con­tin­u­ous qual­i­ty improve­ment require­ments and assess­ments. Those who do not per­form up to par are penal­ized. Those who con­form to the sys­tem are reward­ed. One can see the begin­nings of this oner­ous sys­tem in the No Child Left Behind Act. (Read my blog post: “Peter Drucker’s Role in Edu­ca­tion Reform.”)

Below is where Hast­ings explains how you lose your right to vote. Note Hast­ings’ con­vo­lut­ed his­to­ry. He could stand to go back in the class­room him­self. In fact, this rais­es an inter­est­ing ques­tion. Just WHAT are char­ter schools teach­ing stu­dents about the Amer­i­can REPRESENTATIVE form of gov­ern­ment? Are they even teach­ing the Amer­i­can Con­sti­tu­tion? Some­body needs to start inves­ti­gat­ing char­ter school cur­ricu­lum.

Hast­ings presents skewed his­to­ry in order to make his case that the VOTE must GO! He arro­gant­ly intro­duces “Our idea” – which is the char­ter school industry’s “author­i­ty and reg­u­la­tion and account­abil­i­ty” as a new­er, bet­ter, improved mod­el of gov­er­nance that should replace democ­ra­cy. Democ­ra­cy is old-fash­ioned and obso­lete. He likens char­ter gov­er­nance to a “rock­et­ship.” He seems to be con­de­scend­ing­ly say­ing, “We elites are all so mod­ern and high tech, we have evolved to the point of hav­ing a high­er form of gov­er­nance now, you poor peons.… give up now. or some­time in the next 20–30 years we will take it away from you.…” Note how Hast­ings dis­par­ages rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment in his con­clud­ing remarks:

Now, some ideas like this take a long time. They can be frus­trat­ing, and unless you put it in per­spec­tive, it can seem like it’s very daunt­ing. So, let’s go back about 400 years ago. At the time in Europe was “divine rights of kings.” That was the over­all the­o­ry; kings had the divine right to rule and that gave them their moral author­i­ty. Then along came a num­ber of thinkers like that nut­ty John Locke, a Scot­tish min­is­ter, talk­ing about the basis; the legit­i­ma­cy of gov­ern­ment was derived from the con­sent of the gov­erned. That was a rad­i­cal idea at the time when you had divine right of kings!… And then, in the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion, final­ly, you have a major nation with democ­ra­cy!

So, the thing is done after 200 years of think­ing, final­ly we have democ­ra­cy! Con­sent of the gov­erned!… So, 400 years on a very sim­ple idea, the con­sent of the gov­erned, one per­son and one vote….

Our idea is a lit­tle more complicated;the char­ter­ing author­i­ty and reg­u­la­tion and account­abil­i­ty. So real­ly, when I think about the last 20 years, in 1994 there was just a dozen char­ter schools–10,000 stu­dents. The progress that we’ve made between 1994, 2004 and 2014, it’s like a rock­et­ship com­pared to even basic ideas like democ­ra­cy tak­ing hold. So, you all should feel incred­i­ble about the achieve­ment in this move­ment. It is hard!…

We get to work togeth­er on this epic mis­sion for the next 20 or 30 years to grow char­ter school capac­i­ty…. And we get to do that in, basi­cal­ly, one life­time – 20 years past, 30 years to go! Much bet­ter than hav­ing to wait 400 years!

So I just want to thank all of you for the incred­i­ble work you do. It’s a great jour­ney and we’re going to do it togeth­er, next 10 years, next 20, next 30, because WE ARE RELENTLESS!…”

Had enough of Reed Hast­ings’ vision of the future yet? Bone up on the facts. Read the fol­low­ing blog posts on abcsofdumbdown.blogspot.com which will bring you up to speed on the entire prob­lem with char­ter schools and pho­ny “choice.”

Char­ter Cor­rup­tion
Par­ents as Cus­tomers?
WAIVERS for FAVORS
The Camel’s Nose Under the Tent
“Birds of a Feath­er Flock Togeth­er”
Char­ter Schools for “Dum­mies”
Glenn Beck’s Action Plan
IF GLENN BECK IS SUCH A GREAT RESEARCHER, HOW’D HE MISS JOHN AYERS?!?
Facts regard­ing Tax-fund­ed School “Choice”School “Choice” For Dum­mies
Sen. Appel’s Most Alarm­ing Admis­sion
The 3Cs of Destruc­tion
TALKING OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF THEIR MOUTHS?
SCHOOLCHOICEIS AMERICA’S TROJAN HORSE

Thanks to 3D Research Group mem­ber Chey Simon­ton, we have the fol­low­ing tran­script for 

read­ers. Thanks also to The Peo­ple LLC and Sarah Leslie for their research assis­tance.