Private Money / Public Education: Or, Can a Publishing Executive Run a School System?

Dissent and the Nation present:

Private Money / Public Education: Or, Can a Publishing Executive Run a School System?

Wednesday, January 12, from 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, NYU, 20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor

Located at E. 5th St. and Bowery: 4/6 trains at Astor Pl., N/R at 8th St., B/D/F/M at Broadway-Lafayette

This event is free and open to the public.

“School reform” has called to mind dedicated parents, passionate teachers, and community members devoted to the political fight for school funding and support. But is this still so? At the helm of the new movement in K-12 school reform stand philanthropic billionaires and their political allies, backed by foundations with a market-based approach to reform. Choice, competition, and experimentation are the name of the new game. The traditional role of teachers’ unions has been called into question.

Now, Mayor Bloomberg has selected publishing executive Cathie Black as New York City Schools Chancellor. Controversial reformer Michelle Rhee is stepping down in Washington, D.C. And the fight over the future of school reform is far from over. What will be the role of private money in public schools?

Joanne Barkan, writing in Dissent, has argued that not only do philanthropists usurp democratic power, but they are in the thrall of an educational ideology impervious to critical evaluation. Read her article here. Dana Goldstein, in the Nation, has explored how education reform is marketed to the public with such success that Democrats and Republicans unite in support of aggressive reformers like Michelle Rhee.  James Merriman is one of New York’s leading experts in charter schools, and the current CEO of the New York City Charter School Center. He has worked for the Walton Family Foundation in charter school development.  Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University, where his scholarship focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. He was a classroom teacher in public schools in Providence, Rhode Island and Oakland, California and has published widely on urban school reform.

This event is co-sponsored by the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at NYU.


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